HP Milestones: A Look Back, As Tech Giant Splits In Two - InformationWeek

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11/5/2015
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Jessica Davis
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HP Milestones: A Look Back, As Tech Giant Splits In Two

HP has officially split into two companies. The breakup marks perhaps the biggest milestone in the company's storied history. Here's a look back at the corporate hits and misses that brought the company to where it is today.
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(Image: Thinglass/iStockphoto)

(Image: Thinglass/iStockphoto)

Hewlett Packard Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are marking their first week as two separate companies after the Nov. 1 split, a year in the making, became effective on Sunday.

The divorce comes at a time when traditional tech giants such as HP, Dell, and others are facing new competition from companies that were born in the cloud, or mostly born in the cloud, including Google, Salesforce.com, and Amazon. While HP has finalized its split-into-two strategy, Dell is taking a different tack, acquiring EMC and betting that the supply-chain economies of scale will pay off significantly. Nobody knows for sure which bet will pay off, or even if either one will.

HP Inc. is the new PC and printer business led by Dion Weisler, president and CEO. HP Enterprise (HPE), headed by president and CEO Meg Whitman, is the $53 billion back-end infrastructure business, which includes the company's cloud efforts, security, big data, infrastructure, and workplace productivity.

[ See what's in store for another tech giant. Read SAP CEO Bill McDermott Talks Cloud, Being Cool. ]

"The winners in today's market will be those who apply the power of technology to fuel the power of ideas, and the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise is built to accelerate this journey for customers," said HPE CEO Meg Whitman in a prepared statement. "Hewlett Packard Enterprise has the vision, financial resources, and flexibility to help customers win while generating growth and long-term value for our shareholders."

Financial analyst firm Bernstein Research said in a report issued Tuesday that HPE is an on-premises vendor in an increasingly off-premises world. The analyst firm said that in spite of promises from management, it's unclear if HPE can deliver revenue growth going forward, particularly in the near term. That's because its largest business -- services -- is currently undergoing a restructuring to improve margins, and its second largest business – x86 servers – is in a market that is slowing down.

HPE has work ahead to build revenues, increase market share, and find new relevance in an era in which IT dollars are shifting to the cloud, especially since it has effectively unplugged its own public cloud efforts.

"The IT spending landscape is undergoing massive changes, chief among them is the migration from on-premises infrastructure to off-premises solutions," Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in one of the Bernstein reports today. "Increasingly, CIOs are telling us that their priority for workloads is SaaS, IaaS, then -- at last resort -- on premises. This transition is affecting all traditional IT vendors, whose growth rates have stagnated -- think IBM, EMC ex-VMware, NetApp, Cisco, Oracle ... and HPE. By contrast, SaaS and IaaS companies such as AWS, Google, CRM, and Workday are booming."

In the wake of HP's split into two companies this week -- perhaps the biggest milestone in the company's history -- we thought it was worth taking a look back at some other significant milestones for HP through the years.

Join us for this walk down memory lane, then tell us in the comments section below which HP corporate moves throughout the years you find most notable. And let us know how you expect the two companies to fare in the wake of the split.

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
11/7/2015 | 1:34:53 AM
Re: no software, please
Printer is definitely needed. But I think another concern is profit margin - the stakeholder always want to see more profiting business and hot area: cloud, internet, IoT...
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2015 | 12:22:48 PM
Re: no software, please
@soozgy,

To further add to your comment, I read this article about HP and Nokia comes to my mind. What arguable led to there fall was when they tried to push there own OS, versus simply adopting an existing one like Samsung, Sony and so many others have.

Even when they partnered with Windows, it was too little too late (granted, the windows mobile OS didn't obtained the traction they hoped for).

So with HP, hopefully they'll seek ventures and partnerships to strenghten there position, versus tryign to go there own path (unless they can affort it, which very few companies can)
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2015 | 12:19:56 PM
Re: no software, please
@soozyg,

Very true, specially from SaaS is now what most enterprises are looking for in efforts to be have more lean operations.

I can't help to thinkg that the companies mentioned in the article are playing catch-up versus actually leading the industry. But this is what happens when you fall asleep when new trends show up and you don't have business strategies in place to be able to quickly adapt to the changing tides
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2015 | 11:48:37 AM
Re: no software, please
@Mejiac,

I hear your optimism, but unless they unveil some game-changing phenomenon or person,  I think HP entering the software world is akin to Gerber making adult food.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2015 | 11:16:59 AM
Re: no software, please
@sooryg,

Although I do agree that HP should stick with the business strategy that still works for them, you can't blame them from trying. It's highly likely that the printing business has evolved as well as everything else, and might not be as profitable as it was once before (I used to work for a company that took the initiative to only have one printer with limited access.... they urged employees to be as green as possible, utiizing tablets more).

Hopefully HP has learned from its mistakes and from others as well and is tryign to be lean and change it's business model geared towards adapted to environment changes.

I think only time will tell
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/5/2015 | 11:51:39 AM
no software, please
With two big write-downs, shouldn't HP stick to it's printer business? People will always need printers, regardless of what's happening with the cloud. HP history shows they don't do as well in the IT world.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/5/2015 | 11:42:18 AM
Apollo computer
You can imagine the head-banging that went on from frustration at trying to get this machine to do something that it either couldn't do or was too slow.....
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/5/2015 | 11:38:18 AM
being vague
"The winners in today's market will be those who apply the power of technology to fuel the power of ideas...."

As a PR professional I find this statement odd. It's obvious and simple. It's akin to saying "we believe popsicles are cool and refreshing and provide a great summer treat." Well, yes, and again, why are you different?
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