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Hewlett-Packard Makes Its Move Against IBM in Big Data

The troubled PC maker tries to push its way into Big Data
Attendees at the HP Discover 2013 conference in Las Vegas
Attendees at the HP Discover 2013 conference in Las VegasPhotograph by Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

As demand for personal computers continues to slump, Hewlett-Packard is trying to make itself more attractive to businesses. On June 11 the company unveiled HAVEn, a software package that knits together technology from its data analysis units. The move pits HP against IBM, a leader in mining corporate data. While HP long succeeded with consumer-friendly design and printing features, it now aims to offer corporate clients a more complete package, says Chief Operating Officer Bill Veghte. “Customers want solutions,” Veghte says. “They don’t want simply a piece of hardware or a piece of software.”

HAVEn combines tools from recent HP acquisitions Autonomy, Vertica Systems, and ArcSight to help customers sift through vast amounts of data, the company says. The Big Data analytics strategy is Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman’s attempt to avoid an eighth straight quarter of declining sales and wring some value from those deals, made before she took over in 2011. HP spent about $12 billion on the acquisitions, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. It’s facing a shareholder lawsuit over its $10.3 billion purchase of British software maker Autonomy. In November, HP took an $8.8 billion writedown on the deal, of which it attributed $5 billion to Autonomy’s accounting practices. HP says the company’s financial reports were manipulated. Autonomy denies any wrongdoing.