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Hewlett-Packard Rolls Out Security Software From Acquisitions

(Bloomberg) — Hewlett-Packard Co. unveiled a range of new computer-security software today, part of an effort to tap about $14 billion in acquisitions during the past year to help customers manage their data centers.

ArcSight Express 3.0, a package of computer hardware and software, combs through logs of network activity and users’ actions to look for cyber attacks, Hewlett-Packard said today in a statement. It also introduced a new Fortify Software Security Center product, which can test applications for vulnerabilities to attack, and Tipping Point Web Application Digital Vaccine software that identifies malicious network traffic.

Chief Executive Officer Léo Apotheker is under pressure to make acquisitions pay off and expand the company’s foothold in data-center equipment and software. Hewlett-Packard has cut sales forecasts three times and reversed course on a plan to produce smartphones and tablets with its WebOS software, rankling investors. The company also said on Aug. 18 it would explore a spinoff of its $41 billion personal systems group.

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest personal-computer maker, has made a run of acquisitions to lessen its dependence on PCs. Last September, it completed a $2.1 billion acquisition of data-storage company 3Par Inc. It also acquired security companies ArcSight Inc. and Fortify Software Inc. in the past year. On Aug. 18, the company announced plans to pay $10.3 billion for search software company Autonomy Corp. Hewlett-Packard expects that deal to close by the end of this year.

‘Substantial Overlap’

Jan Zadak, executive vice president of global sales, said there’s “substantial overlap” between customers who buy Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard’s software and data-center hardware and PCs. That means the company could use its computer dominance to sell the newer software products.

Hewlett-Packard’s plan to spin off its PC business has raised concerns about the company’s long-range strategy. The stock has fallen 28 percent since Aug. 17, the day before the news of the shakeup. The shares dropped $1.22, or 5.1 percent, to $22.65 on Sept. 9 in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Zadak, speaking from Switzerland, said he’s been traveling the world the past three weeks trying to explain the company’s decisions to businesses that buy its products.

“We are of course spending a lot of time with customers,” he said in an interview.

Ricadela is a reporter for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek in Frankfurt.

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