HP Searches for a Meaningful Relationship

By Stuart Johnston

HP has been searching for meaning and it may have just found it -- at least as far as analyzing corporate data goes.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) this week announced it has gone in search of a new profitable strategy for the future, and one aspect of that is the purchase of enterprise information management software firm Autonomy.

The computing giant said it will pay Autonomy's shareholders $42.11 per share to take over the company, which has some 2,700 employees worldwide, according to an HP statement. HP's offer has already been given the green light by both firms' boards of directors and Autonomy's board unanimously recommended shareholders vote in favor of the buyout.

"Together with Autonomy, we plan to reinvent how both unstructured and structured data is processed, analyzed, optimized, automated and protected," Léo Apotheker, HP president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the deal.

Autonomy, which was founded in 1996, has a family of enterprise products based on a technology it calls its Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) platform.

"[IDOL] allows computers to harness the richness of information, forming a conceptual and contextual understanding of any piece of electronic data, including unstructured information, such as text, email, web pages, voice and video," the statement said.

Applications of the technology include pan-enterprise search, customer interaction solutions, information governance, end-to-end eDiscovery, records management, archiving, business process management, web content management, web optimization, rich media management and video and audio analysis," the statement said.

That suits Apotheker's vision of the future for HP.

"Autonomy has an attractive business model, including a strong cloud based solution set, which is aligned with HP’s efforts to improve our portfolio mix," he said.

"We believe this bold action will squarely position HP in software and information to create the next-generation information platform, and thereby, create significant value for our shareholders," Apotheker added.

Autonomy claims to have over 30 petabytes of customer information under management.

The companies said they expect the acquisition to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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This article was originally published on August 20, 2011