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Liveblog: Whitman makes her case at HP Discover

December 4, 2012
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Live coverage of HP CEO Meg Whitman’s keynote from HP Discover in Frankfurt, Germany

Meg Whitman

HP CEO Meg Whitman

FRANKFURT, GERMANY – HP CEO Meg Whitman takes to the stage at the Messe here Tuesday morning to make the case for her company as the right choice for business’ needs when it comes to data analysis, cloud, and security.

Whitman kicks off the company’s Discover 2012 European event here, and as the company heads towards 2013, it’s a key crossroads for HP.

On the one hand, the company’s efforts to reposition its Enterprise Group around those three key pillars, and with a deeper focus on solutions rather than infrastructure, appears to be gaining maturity. On the other hand, it’s one of Whitman’s first high-profile public presentations since the company took a massive hit on its recent quarterly results as a result of the lack of performance from its Autonomy group, the darling of its Big Data efforts.

It should be an interesting presentation from the Whitman, an I’ll be liveblogging the event as it happens. Join me after the jump for the liveblog, starting just before 2:00 PM Central European Time (8:00 AM Eastern, 5:00 AM Pacific) right here.

07:58

Guten tag from the Messe in Frankfurt!

Some 9,000 customers and partners from around the world are making their way toward their seats in the keynote… sorry, plenary hall… and the announcements insist things will be getting under way promptly at 2:00 PM Central European Time, in about three minutes.

08:02

Peter Ryan, SVP for ’s Enterprise Group for EMEA is out for introductions.

At 9,000 delegates, Ryan says this Discover is a record for HP in EMEA.

08:10

comes out and welcomes attendees to Frankfurt.

There are three things Whitman says she’s like to accomplish with her keynote:

  1. Share how can make customers more successful
  2. Leave customers “with a hands on feel” for the latest products, solutions and services
  3. Update the crowd on HP’s strategy.

“I’ve been at HP just over a year, and it’s been a quiet year, not much going on,” Whitman quips. “There have been a lot of challenges, but also a lot of good stuff going on.”

Whitman proclaims her love for the company, its customers, its partners, and its technologies.

“First and foremost amongst our strengths are our customers and partners,” she says.

“You want us to win … and you want us to continue to bring us solutions that solve real problems, and win in the marketplace.”

“It’s hard to kill founder DNA,” Whitman says, and Hewlett and Packard’s culture of customer service remains alive. She then thanks customers for “sticking with us”.

08:11

“In spite of what you may have heard, innovation is alive and well at ,” Whitman says. The company has plenty of innovation, but needs to “work hard” on commercializing that innovation and bringing it to market faster. That’s a priority for over the next 12 months, she says.

08:14

has “tremendous foundational assets” including a strong brand, and “talented and resilient” employees “who will do anything for you.”

Whitman walking attendees through HP’s financials, with a focus on the company’s cash flow generation and reduction of net debt (down .6 billion U.S. over the last year.)

“Together, we truly make it matter,” she says. “What we do brings value to all of you, and the world.”

08:16

Whitman says she always gets asked “What is ?,” which she takes to mean “What is ’s role in the changing industry?”

“We are living in a period of enormous change,” Whitman says, with “tectonic plate shifts” changing the way IT consumerd, delivered, paid for, and accessed.

“I’ve seen this happen a couple of times — once every five to ten to fifteen years,” she says — mainframe to client server, to Web 1.0, to Web 2.0. “I saw one of these shifts up close and person when I was CEO of eBay, and when one of these shifts happens, everything changes.”

The changes make IT “even more important as the “engine that powers and redefines the enterprise as these changes take place.”

08:19

Today “IT is poised to shake up industries even more — an entirely new style of IT, driven by , by mobility, and by — it’s changing how technology is consumed and delivered, and how end users engage. Greater simplicity, agility and speed, while cost declines. It levels the playing field and means that tomorrow’s competitors (for customers) may not even exist today.

At eBay, Whitman says, she used to “have to build the church for Sunday” — build the data centre to support the busiest days. “And boy, did we pay for that flexibility.” But that’s not the case today, she says, offering the examples of Salesforce.com and Wokrday.

“This new style of IT is going to demand a foundation that will support greater agility, lower cost, and a higher degree of accessibility.”

08:20

Not surprisingly, Whitman says she believes “ is the perfect partner” for this transition, as the only company that can bring devices, software, hardware, and services, from the enterprise to the consumer.”

08:22

Having PPS is increasingly important “as users want a consumer experience at work,” while IT and management still need control and on those consumer-style devices.

Printers, meanwhile, remain “the bridge between the physical and virtual world,” and while mobility has been so enabling, it’s made things tough when it comes to printing.

08:25

Onto the enterprise group — and the converged infrastructure approach. IT, she says, must change to meet the changing needs of customers — can’t rely on a dedicated hardware-software connection.

“You need to think of servers, storage and networking not as silos, but a single resource pool that is flexible and scalable,” she says.

, she says, is “the only” company that can deliver across all categories in the infrastructure space.

Talking up the potential of Project Moonshot, which promises to reduce server cost by half and power consumption by 90 per cent, she says.

08:28

In networking, she says is “being disruptive and redifining how it works” with SDN strategy.

Onto software, which she describes as “the blue that holds it all together.”

Onto the contentious topic of Autonomy, where Whitman plays it safe.

“We remain 100 per cent committed to Autonomy’s amazing technology and its employees.”

08:31

has to aggregate its products into solutions, Whitman says, and the solutions customers want fall into , information optimization, and .

“My peers live in fear of security issues,” Whitman says — with more access rom more devices, and new and advanced tpes of attacks.

“You not only need an alarm on the door, you need cameras outside the house,” she says.

08:33

“Our strategy is to provide the solutions for the new style of IT,” she says. The goal is to engage with customers on their priorities over the next coming years — is it reduced operating cost? Is it getting to market before your cuspetitors? I

We will dco-cooprate with you to help you beat your business challenges,” she says, and wraps up her presentation.

That brings up Dave Donatelli, head of the Enterprise Group.

08:38

Donatelli says he has a limited amount of time, so he’s doing “enterprise product speed dating.”

Three major trends in the data centre: converged infrastrucutre, , and the software defined data centre.

Says his goal is to change the saw server, storage and networking are designed, and starts to show of new products, starting with servers.

Focus is on the Project Moonshot upcoming products, servers run on ARM or Atom processors. Compared to x86, 89 per cent less energy simmilar power on 89 per cent less power, 63 per cent less cost, 94 per cent less cost, and 97 per cent less complexity.

“You can put thousands of these things in a single rack,” Donatelli says.

08:39

Now onto its first -focused ProLiant servers, and Integrity servers based on Itanium and UNIX — in the latter category, Conatelli says 3x the performance, while dropping related costs 31 per cent.

08:41

Onto storage — 75 per cent growth for 3Par last year, with more than 1,000 new customers, now taking customers through yesterday’s introduction of the 7000 series.

08:46

And finally networking, talking about introducing greater simplicity through application awareness, flexibility and automatic management, all via SDN.

“We thought it would be better if you spent less time managing the infrastructure, and more time connecting your users to their applications,” Donatelli says.

08:49

On the , Donatelli says it’s everything from public to private to private/hybrid . Today, more than 850 customers for CloudSustem, he says.

08:51

Donatelli moves on to the new field of software defined data centre — a data centre made up software-defined servers, software-defined storage, and software-defined networking.

08:55

Donatelli wraps up, and hands the main strage over to Software chief George Kadifa.

“Our mission is driving innovation for you,” he says.

HP Software is the 6th largest software company in the world, with 50,000 worldwide customers, including 94 per cent of the Fortune 500.

08:58

Kadifa walking customers through the four main “suites” of products in the Software family, including IT management, , legal and compliance, and marketing — the final three suites are all new at Discover here.

09:01

Kadifa says the new 6.1 version of Vertica will be a “bulldozer” (its codename) in the marketplace, clearing out competitors, claims 100,00x improvement in searching of structured data vs. competition.

09:06

Whitman’s back up on stage, and she throws it over to uber-customer Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Animation, who has likely keynoted more events than the last two CEOs combined at this point.

I’m going to close down the liveblog at this point in time. Thanks for reading, and expect a lot more from Discover Frankfurt later today and Wednesday here on ChannelBuzz.ca

Thanks!

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