Hurd: IT Is an HP Asset

The CEO of Hewlett-Packard wants the company to set an example of how to improve energy and management efficiency within the infrastructure of the data center.

LAS VEGAS—When it comes to technology, Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packards president and CEO, believes his company should set the ultimate example of how best to develop an IT infrastructure.

Speaking here at the HP Technology Forum & Expo June 18, Hurd offered an audience of HP customers and partners a glimpse of how the company is transforming its own data centers through research and development, as well as implementation of its own technology.

"IT is an HP asset," Hurd told the audience of roughly 7,000 people who attended the conference to hear how the company plans to begin combining its hardware, software and services into a series of comprehensive offerings that will address a number of problems, from infrastructure to management to business intelligence.

Within the data center, Hurd said HP will begin reducing its power and cooling costs by 50 percent, which he claimed will provide enough electricity to Palo Alto, Calif., where the company is headquartered, for an entire year.

In May 2006, HP announced that it was consolidating its 85 data centers worldwide into six centers in the United States, a move officials said will save $1 billion in IT costs over the next few years and give it a chance to showcase its adaptive infrastructure capabilities.

"Its not just about green, it is also about efficiency," Hurd said. "Its not only great for the environment, its also great for our customers. It will also allow us to spend more on innovation as opposed to maintenance."

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here to read more about HPs acquisition of Mercury Interactive.

HP is also focusing on virtualizing a large portion of its data center infrastructure, which will include a revamping of the hardware that will include HPs own BladeSystem c-Class blade servers and its line of high-end Integrity systems that use Intels Itanium processors. In addition, the company is relying on its own management software, such as its OpenView enterprise management software portfolio, to integrate all hardware and mission-critical applications.

When this transformation is complete across HPs own infrastructure, Hurd wants the company to be spending about 80 percent of its IT operating budget on innovations and new technology and methods, while only 20 percent is spent on the maintenance of the equipment.

Part of HPs difficulty in managing its own infrastructure, Hurd told the audience, is the sheer size of the company and the complexity that its software acquisitions, like Mercury Interactive and Knightsbridge Solutions, have added in the past few years. While HP started out as primarily a producer of hardware, its core businesses now include a heavy emphasis on software, services and IT consulting.

In addition, analysts now predict that for the 2007 fiscal year, HP will pull in more than $100 billion in revenue, which also adds to an already complex picture, he said.

Now, Hurd said, the key to HPs success is to bring its own infrastructure revamp—hardware, software and services—to a wider audience, while pointing to its own model as a template for what other companies can accomplish. The most visible example the company has rolled out so far is the use of Dynamic Smart Cooling at its HP Labs data centers.

"This is a company strategy, not just an HP strategy," Hurd said. "We will bring these technologies to the market and we will bring the benefits to its customers."

On the technology side, Hurd said HP is working to bridge the gap between consumer technology, which currently is driving innovation in the industry, and enterprise technology. He pointed out that nearly 70 percent of all the components in HPs servers are exact replicas or derivatives of those found in the companys PCs.

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here to read more about HPs technology forum.

Hurd added that HP "is the only IT company" able to leverage both consumer and enterprise technologies.

Finally, he said the company is working toward making it easier to work with HP despite its size. A key to that strategy is to work with HPs partners, a push that Hurd has been stressing since coming to the company in 2005.

"We want to take that complexity, as big as we are, and turn that into an asset for you," Hurd said.

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