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IBM blasts HP Autonomy acquisition

HP will struggle to integrate its purchase, Big Blue claims

IBM has said HP will "struggle" to integrate its newly acquired Autonomy information management business, and that the combined resources of the two companies will be no real extra competition for its own data management and business analytics offerings.

IBM is currently hosting its sixth annual Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas, which is being attended by over 10,000 customers, partners and IBM data management execs from every part of the globe.

When asked by Computerworld UK at the event whether Big Blue feared the impact of the combined global reach of HP and the well-regarded data analysis capabilities of Autonomy, Steve Mills, senior VP and group executive of the IBM software and systems group, was dismissive.

Mills said: "It's going to be tough for HP to leverage Autonomy and get a return on the investment, they paid a lot of money for it and there's no certainty of a return.

"We were already competing with Autonomy in the market before the acquisition and being part of HP may or may not make it difficult for them."

HP recently completed the $11.7 billion acquisition of Autonomy and likewise IBM recently acquired Canadian risk analytics firm Algorithmics - which has HSBC and Societe Generale in its portfolio - for a more modest $387m. Mills added: "We're a little more thoughtful as to how we spend shareholder money!"

That said, IBM has added about 20 acquisitions to its information management and data analytics business in recent years, and reckons it is on course to capture sales of around $16bn in those markets by 2015.

The competition with HP/Autonomy wasn't the only target for some mild trash talk from IBM, as Oracle also came into the equation.

When asked whether the IOD event was rather humble compared to the 45,000 that annually attend Oracleworld, Arvind Krishna, IBM general manager for information management dismissed comparisons.

He said: "While Oracle choose to have one big event we have five different events focusing on different areas: this IOD event, the Impact conference, Lotusphere, Rational and Tivoli, and we think this works much better."

Krishna's conference keynote also featured Curt Cotner, IBM fellow for information management, who knocked the data processing capabilities of Oracle's database offerings, claiming the amount of cores and processors used in Oracle's published database results was "uncertain".

Another IBM executive from New Hampshire, who preferred to go unamed, also knocked Oracle. He told ComputerworldUK: "We are good at integrating the technologies of companies we buy, just look at Oracle, they've been talking about "Fusion" for years since acquiring PeopleSoft and JD Edwards, and those technologies still aren't fully integrated."


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