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Leo Apotheker on HP's new cloud vision and company's strategy

Leo Apotheker has been in the hot seat at Hewlett Packard for four months. He spoke to Business Today's Kushan Mitra the day after he unveiled his new 'cloud' strategy for the company in San Francisco.

Kushan Mitra | April 13, 2011 | Updated 08:19 IST

Leo Apotheker has been in the hot seat at Hewlett Packard for four months. He spoke to Business Today's Kushan Mitra the day after he unveiled his new 'cloud' strategy for the company in San Francisco. Edited excerpts.

HP intends to move into the cloud without giving up on its existing businesses.
We are not jettisoning the other stuff, we are building on the assets we have. We will offer all of the cloud services. Not just infrastructure, not just platform, not just SaaS (software as a service): all of it. The open marketplace that we talked about will service in its own right both the consumer and the enterprise. And last but not least, we will layer in the connectivity and provide a secure, managed environment.
 
TCS, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro are HP partners as well.
We work together for the benefit of our mutual customers and we do this really, really well. But we compete on service provisioning, technology services, sometimes in the cloud. Sometimes you're partners and sometimes you compete, what is astonishing about that?
 
We can jump immediately into the forefront of technology which we have done with Vertica. We do not have a legacy to protect. We have managed to deliver a product in record time, which is something I have been stressing ever since I joined HP, that is making sure that we deliver technologies quicker and faster to customers. We have in HP a few thousand people who are really good at analytics which we can combine with Vertica by offering analytics as a service. The next step is to move into specific industry verticals and provide specific industry analytics.
 
I was asked to articulate by the board what could be my strategy for HP. I told that them that HP had a very unique opportunity to bring a vision to the cloud, and that is the vision that I have articulated over the past few days with the help of my team.
 
HP is still the world's largest PC maker, so we are able to still convince a few people to use our PCs (laughs) and the same is true for the printing business.

The reason we are in the consumer business is not only because of the consumer but because there is a lot of innovation happening in the consumer side of the business that you want to bring back to the enterprise. That is a strategic advantage that HP has over all the other enterprise vendors who don't do this. One of the innovations we will bring to consumers is WebOS. We have PCs with 3D technology, several of our desktops have touch technology with unbelievably good screens. I am very excited about our web-enabled printers. We will ensure that every printer above $99 will be web-enabled, so you can print from anywhere including your smart phone.
 
The world is very hungry to have an alternative to the established operating systems.
We can create an immense platform with WebOS, we are attracting developers and our latest development toolkit and has received an enthusiastic response from developers.
 
You don't need all of the developers. In the applications world, it is the 80-20 rule. If you have 300,000 apps, do you use 300,000 apps? Of course you don't. We will surprise many people by the richness of our content. We will have many apps and many relevant apps and many enterprise apps as well.

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