Kurt Marko

Contributing Editor


Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

More Events »

Subscribe to Newsletter

  • Keep up with all of the latest news and analysis on the fast-moving IT industry with Network Computing newsletters.
Sign Up

See more from this blogger

HP's Turnaround: It's Time To Believe

The last few years for HP have been some of the most tumultuous for any major corporation in recent memory not named Enron. HP's era of strife includes six CEOs in the last 12 years, several five-figure layoffs during the same period, multibillion-dollar write-downs and a stock price that dropped to fire sale levels last November. It was easy--nay, natural--to assume the company would follow the path of its acquired properties--DEC, Compaq and 3Com--and be sold outright or broken up for parts.

But it turns out last November's confluence of bad news--an underperforming earnings report and the accompanying massive $8.8 billion write-down on the value of its ill-advised Autonomy acquisition--was the nadir of HP's fortunes. The company has since slowly but surely been grinding away at CEO Meg Whitman's five-year HP turnaround strategy to produce what she characterizes as HP's strongest product lineup in 20 years.

More Insights

Webcasts

More >>

White Papers

More >>

Reports

More >>

It's become clear that Whitman's plan wasn't just a stall tactic to bulk up her bank account. Unlike her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, who was tickled to finally get a job running a tech giant like HP, Whitman didn't need the money nor the headaches of righting a sinking ship like HP. She was already a billionaire from her days at eBay and had nothing left to prove. But she was on HP's board, and thus bore some responsibility for the mess left by Apotheker and his predecessor Mark Hurd's short-term, quarterly numbers focus and scandalous exit. Whitman had been around Silicon Valley long enough to venerate HP's traditions and reputation, and clearly didn't want to see it end like this. Unlike certain recent holders of her position, she valued HP as an institution capable of producing great products that improved the lives and profitability of its customers, not just as a path to fame, fortune and power.

The cynics among us--particularly old HP hats like me (full disclosure: I worked at HP for over 17 years, leaving more than seven years ago) who remember the days of Bill, Dave and their protégés like John Young--took Whitman's early pronouncements as so much lip service. We'd been burned by former CEO Carly Fiorini's rechristening of the HP brand as "Invent," only to see it end up as a hollow slogan and not a recommitment to product and engineering excellence. But Whitman has since had time to prove the skeptics wrong.

Last year was the painful part of her five-year strategy. In retrospect, it's clear Whitman's year-one tactic was to clean up HP's messy balance sheet and cost structure, including taking a realistic assessment of recent acquisitions, which resulted in the painful Autonomy and EDS write-downs. Another dose of pain was initiating almost 30,000 layoffs from an employee base that had bloated to nearly 400,000 after so many large buyouts.

This year starts the gain from all that pain. From a balance sheet characterized as "a mess" by one analyst who valued the company at a negative$2 per share last fall, HP has roared back. The result is an HP that saw its cash from operations increase 44% to $3.6 billion in its second quarter of 2013 while reducing its debt almost 40%. While cleaning up the finances to make Wall Street happy, Whitman was simultaneously repositioning HP to take advantage of the tumultuous changes upsetting the consumer and enterprise technology markets.

Indeed, as HP board member, noted venture capitalist and Internet luminary Marc Andreessen recently told CNBC, Whitman "has been emphasizing products much more, like Moonshot. She has more stuff out of the labs, more products under development. I think HP has more new products under development than it has at any point in its history." He even called Whitman HP's best CEO since the founders.

Next Page: HP's Transformation


Page:  1 | 2  | Next Page »


Related Reading


Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.
 
Vendor Comparisons
Network Computing’s Vendor Comparisons provide extensive details on products and services, including downloadable feature matrices. Our categories include:

Research and Reports

Network Computing: April 2013



TechWeb Careers