HP hoping to change the conversation with big data push

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Having run for public office, HP (NYSE: HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman knows how important it is to control the conversation. Now, her company faces the same challenge as investors and business analysts focus on the company's financial and strategic challenges, rather than the new direction she would prefer to discuss. Whitman and company got some of that message across this week with something else the analysts like to talk about: big data.

Whitman delivered the keynote address at this week's HP Discover 2012 customer and partner event in Frankfurt, Germany, where she tried to convince the audience that despite $18 billion in write offs in the past two quarters, and all the questions about the soundness of its $11 billion acquisition of Autonomy, that HP is "on a very solid financial foundation."

Eventually, she got around to strategy and said HP had a new style focused on simplicity that is driven by cloud, mobility and big data.

To that end, HP introduced several product releases around big data. Whitman said the company is learning how to commercialize innovation. It has rebuilt its 3PAR StoreServ arrays and HP StoreOnce backup hardware products used for big data workloads, and has begun to leverage Autonomy's data management software for big data analytics.

The company also announced a series of upgrades to its analytics and data management, such as its AppSystem for Hadoop and AppSystem for Vertica. They are part of its Converged Infrastructure portfolio, which is intended to simplify and enhance management capabilities for customers dealing with growing amounts of data. This gives IT staff better insight into their Hadoop clusters.

HP also announced a Big Data Strategy Workshop consulting service that can help customers identify what they need to tackle, on issues around archiving strategies, security requirements and data protection.

For more:
- see The Register's coverage of Whitman's keynote

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