Boundaries blur between consumer and professional users

Boundaries blur between consumer and professional users

HP CEO Leo Apotheker unveils the TouchPad that, he says, will meet the needs of the mobile, ‘instant on’ enterprise.

Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker, in his keynote speech at Discover 2011 in Las Vegas, shared the stage with a gadget that he says will respond to the needs of the increasingly mobile and connected population. The old paradigm of one person as a separate consumer and professional is no longer true, he told the company’s annual user conference. He showed the audience a TouchPad, a “cool” device, which will be made available “shortly”. Apotheker says the TouchPad will deliver a “fantastic web experience”, allows the user to synch email and other data from multiple sources, and provides an “awesome game platform” while also acting as a “serious business device”. It is HP’s response to the iPad, which to date has more than 70 percent of market share in the tablet PC market. The gadget will be based on the webOS platform that HP acquired when it bought Palm last year. This year’s event at Las Vegas has more than 10,000 attendees as HP has merged its hardware and software conferences. In his keynote Apotheker reported on the challenges enterprises face, which includes protecting the privacy of customers and employees in a “fully connected cloud based world” and how to translate vast data, both structured and unstructured, into insights to drive growth. He says the CEO, a CIO, an IT director, a procurement manager, a developer, a project manager have a “collective challenge” – how to make technology a competitive advantage by spending less on keeping the lights on and developing an innovative system that is agile and dynamic and meet what he calls the needs of the ‘instant on enterprise’. “Agility comes from leveraging you have already made, while taking advantage of the cloud in all of its forms,” says Apotheker. Bill McDermott, SAP co-CEO, who also was a speaker, sums up the challenges enterprise face today: mobility, ‘big data’ and ‘big cloud’. The structured and unstructured data collected from customers is growing exponentially as well as the devices they use he says. There are terabytes of customer data in corporate vaults that have never even been analysed. He says in a number of industries, up to 70 percent of employees never even meet the customer. “Customer intimacy can not be ad hoc,” he says, “How do you engage with your customers to change the status quo and grow your business?” At the start of the conference on Monday, HP unveiled what it says are industry-first “converged infrastructure” solutions that aim to improve enterprise agility by simplifying deployment and speed up IT delivery. They include: · Converged Systems, new portfolio hardware, software, tailored consulting and HP Solution Support services that enable clients to be up and running with new applications in hours. They include real-time data analytics, database consolidation and data warehouse.

· Converged Storage architecture and portfolio, which integrates HP Store360 scale-out software with HP Blade System and HP ProLiant hardware to reduce storage administration, speed time to service delivery, increase energy efficiency and improve access for any data type or application workload.

· Converged Data Centre, a new class of HP Performance Optimised Data Centres (PODs) that can be deployed in 12 weeks – and at a quarter of the cost when compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar datacentre. The HP EcoPOD, which was exhibited at the conference, is said to use 95 percent less energy than traditional datacentres. David Scott, general manager and senior VP, storage, says the storage products were designed for current challenges. “Most storage deployed today was designed for the needs of 20 years ago, about the same time as the data browser. It was all about structured data. But now it is all about virtualisation, cloud and how you handle the unpredictable workload and security.” He says enhancements to the storage systems include content mining and finding value from massive unstructured data. * Divina Paredes attended Discover 2011 in Las Vegas as a guest of HP.

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