HP admits strategic focus shift and targets software

HP is looking to make more acquisitions to bolster its global software business, a senior executive said last week.

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By  Peter Branton Published  December 11, 2005

HP is looking to make more acquisitions to bolster its global software business, a senior executive said last week. Todd DeLaughter, head of HP’s OpenView business unit, who step- ped in to run the software business following Nora Denzel’s surprise departure last month, said software is now an area of strategic focus for HP. HP’s acquisition of identity management firm TrustGenix last month was its eleventh software acquisition in just under two years. “You can expect to see from us continuing enhancements to our software business,” Delaughter told journalists at a press conference in Nice. The enhancements would include both acquisitions and developments of HP’s technology, he added. The press conference was held on the eve of Software Universe, the firm’s largest EMEA event for its software business, which attracted over 3000 delegates last week. HP’s software business has just reported operating profits after a long period of loss-making, DeLaughter said. While he claimed that HP chief executive Mark Hurd sees software as a key strategic area, and an area for growth, he admitted the software business has been under pressure to deliver results. Hurd reviewed the software business three times in the first two months after he took over HP’s helm, DeLaughter pointed out. “I’d love to say that it’s because Mark loves software, but it is [actually] because we were losing money,” he said. However, he said that Denzel’s decision to stand down as software head was because she felt that she needed to “address new challenges” and that her departure had “come as a surprise to HP’s leadership”. Andy Isherwood, vice president and general manager for HP EMEA Software Business, said that the technology HP had bought in through acquisitions had driven some of the biggest deals it has won in the Middle East.

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