I believe technology can be exploited to greater levels than we have allowed. We are constrained by 20th century business models and ideas. Collectively, we need to move past technology for the sake of technology and truly focus on moving markets beyond the status quo!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All We Know Are the Facts – the HP Acquisition of Mercury is Complete

Since I am in Los Angeles this week, I am in a Dragnet kind of a mood, and as Sgt. Joe Friday would say – “All we know are the facts, ma'am"

The facts are:
• The HP acquisition of Mercury is completed
• The cost to HP $4.5 billion in cash
• The acquisition was announced on July 25, 2006
• The acquisition was closed on November 7, 2006

All we know are the facts – all we know for certain.

The more important issues around this acquisition are about what is not seen or heard. On HP.com, banner ads for HP and Mercury, HP printers and toner, HP storage, and HP laptops rotate. The position of “Business outcome. The next big thing in IT” swaps places with HP’s VoodooPC acquisition. What is wrong with a headline screaming that the $4.5 billion acquisition of Mercury is complete?

Instead of boldly announcing a successfully completed acquisition in a reasonably short time, viewers are left to watch quirky ads with upside down people and upside down fonts. Perhaps Dramamine (motion sickness medication) should be offered on the site as well.

The ads also appear to confuse internal issues with customer issues. Do customers or potential customers really need to be reminded that HP paid $4.5 billion for Mercury? Every time an enterprise customer sees that number they think of what they are going to have to pay so that HP can deliver a positive ROI number.

At Mercury World, Las Vegas in October attendees were promised more detail upon the completion of the acquisition. We still do not know:
• The organizational structure - who is running what?
• The branding – does the Mercury name stay or go?
• Roadmaps – who needs HP integration and why?
• How the culture clash will be managed?

We do know that the combined sales force will meet in February of 2007! That is three months away. And, they are meeting in Boston! Boston, in the dead of winter, now there is a reward worth waiting for! Watch for former Mercury sales executives to take their Q4 commissions and head for warmer climates.

We also know the main focus of the HP CEO is to be able to invoice customers around the world! Yikes! Just a month ago, we were told the ultimate goal was to “delight” the customer. I suppose a customer can be delighted to receive an invoice.

Meanwhile, as HP tries to figure out what should be communicated internally and what is for public consumption, the battle lines are being drawn. Both Empirix and IBM have offered Mercury customers incentives to switch allegiances to their software provider…and people are not only listening, they are acting.

Empirix, with its modern technology architecture and creative approach is forcing a market disruption around testing. This vendor has been diligent at carving out a market niche for themselves in areas where Mercury did not compete. Now, Empirix has plenty of opportunities to add new customers and to satisfy their application testing needs.

IBM, the industry’s stalwart vendor, is taking advantage of its lifecycle solution and market opportunity. IBM can attract lifecycle customers with its Rational and Tivoli brands.

Now that Mercury is history, what do we know? All we know are the facts!

For more detailed analysis around the HP / Mercury acquisition, IBM and their application lifecycle strategy subscribe to vokeStream Prime at www.vokestream.com

What’s next?...the only thing for sure is change.

VMWorld 2006 – VMWare – Software Innovator with a Social Conscience

Along with 7,000 others, I am attending VMWare’s third annual conference! Let me reiterate that number – seven thousand attendees at a conference in its third year!

VMWare is the new cool! The company is so cool they are not only creating industry changing technology, they are also helping in the global movement to conserve energy!

A software company helping with energy conservation – how 21st century is that? At the opening session of VMWorld, PG&E (electric and natural gas provider to northern and central California) announced an energy conservation plan around server consolidation and virtualization. Businesses can receive a credit from PG&E for $750 - $1350 for every server removed. The program caps at $4 million per company!

VMWare is making software that will change the way we use technology. VMWare’s philosophy is to take control of the resources and use what you need, when you need it, and where you need it. VMWare CEO, Diane Greene emphasized the need to change the way the operating system is viewed. She advocated the licensing of software to resources, thus making it more virtual. An example of virtualization for those of us on the pre-deployment side is that of VMWare’s Lab Manager. Lab Manager allows testers to virtually create an environment as close to production as possible and marshal complex software configurations across the lifecycle. This means the days of building and maintaining expensive test labs are gone. The tester can send the developer a URL to pinpoint a problem. The developer can then instantiate an instance of the tester’s environment and work on either solving or deferring the defect.

With their virtual appliances, virtual infrastructure, virtual desktops, and virtual software lifecycle management VMWare is pushing the industry beyond its comfort zone. VMWare is advocating standards established and controlled by third parties and are truly breaking down geographic barriers. And, this technology is just getting started.

If VMWare is a new name to you, put them on your watch list. VMWare is proving that virtualization is not just for the data center.

What’s next?...What do we know for certain?

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