Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Everything as a Service (EaaS)

Some very exciting stuff going on at HP, as usual. I found this recent quote (March 19, 2010), from CEO Mark Hurd, "Services now account for 38% of Hewlett-Packard's total operating profit, more than any other segment of the firm's business. The news from one of the world's biggest PC manufacturers reflects a transition seen across the industry as computing firms away from their traditional business models. CEO Mark Hurd says the firm's acquisition of major business outsourcing firm EDS and developments in other parts of its operation have wrought significant changes. Hurd went on to say, "It's very different from how it was four or five years ago where imaging and printing group was over 80% of HP's profits," Hurd told HP's annual general meeting. "So it's a big change in the company's position and segments."

This might seem somewhat obvious, with the acquisition of EDS. And it also might seem very similar to the moves of other tech titans over the years and their services approach, notably IBM and their acquisition of PWC several years ago.

But unlike other technology or services companies, HP also owns a big piece of the imaging and printing space, an ecosystem in which they have been incredibly innovative and successful. The difference between what they are doing, and competitors, is that they have, and will continue to, move very "traditionally conducted" activities in this area to the cloud. This could be very disruptive over the next couple of years.

Visit HP's page dedicated to their Everything as a Service theme, here.

"There’s been a great deal of confusion in the industry about the cloud. In simplest terms, the cloud is the next stage in the evolution of the internet. Through the cloud, everything will be delivered as a service, from computing power to business processes to personal interactions.

At HP, over the past several years, we have executed a strategy that puts us in an ideal position to capitalize on this trend. We began with Compaq to establish ourselves as the leader in hardware, as that segment steadily moves toward open systems and architectures and always connected devices. To differentiate our hardware, we expanded our software portfolio and acquired 11 software companies in 4 years, including Mercury, Opsware and Peregrine. We then acquired EDS and put a services arm with global scale and expertise at the head of our enterprise business.

In short, we have laid the groundwork to offer an integrated cloud ecosystem — or any of its parts as discrete components — to all of our customers. At the same time, we have developed cloud services adjacent to our core businesses. From digital printing to IT infrastructure itself, we have offerings as broad and varied as HP's portfolio. "