Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

DEMOFall: HP Explains CEO-less M&A Strategy...

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 14, 2010

I popped into the DEMO Fall conference in Santa Clara. DEMO is in SIlicon Valley for the first time as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. More than 800 people turned up, about 300 more than last year.

The turnout was good and the content was top notch. VentureBeat is co-producing the show and also all the media coverage. It's interesting to see a publication also reporting on its own show. The coverage is excellent but it doesn't leave much for other media organizations, and looking at Google news, it is all dominated by VentureBeat - the organizer of the show.

Here is my report on DEMO Fall in Pearltrees format. It includes the following stories:
(Pearltrees is an SVW consulting client.)

DEMO: HP's Phil McKinney explains company's multibillion-dollar acquisition spree | VentureBeat
By Dean Takahashi

Hewlett-Packard has been on a huge acquisition spree, spending almost $5 billion on companies such asArcsight, Palm, Fortify and 3Par. It's difficult to see any rhyme or reason to the collection of new assets. ButPhil McKinney, vice president and chief technology officer for HP's Personal Systems Group, said today at the DEMO Fall 2010 conference that the aim is to create a one-stop shop for customers to buy complete systems that are already integrated and working together.

"You integrate them and take the burden off the customers of doing that," he said in a conversation with VentureBeat Editor-in-Chief and DEMO emcee Matt Marshall. "I understand what it takes to take disparate parts and stitch them together. It's hard. We can reduce the total cost in their spend. That's value for everyone."

..."We have scale in size, supply chain, procurement, and distribution," McKinney said. "We are seeing a shift in the market where customers are picking the best two or three products they want to carry."

As for research and development budgets at HP, McKinney said he was happy with the funding and the payoff from R&D. He said that Wall Street's measure of using R&D expenditures as a percentage of revenue as a benchmark for a company's commitment to R&D is a "bogus" benchmark. HP is such a large company in revenues, he said, that its percentage spending looks small even though its absolute dollars dwarf many other companies. He said that the past five years of improving financial results have shown that R&D at HP is paying off, as "inventing a better mousetrap" allows you to charge a premium for products and improve your bottom line.

... As for futuristic cool stuff, HP is also working on things like huge displays that let people see an entire basketball court at the same time.

DEMO: Qualcomm Ventures doubles down on startups with its second startup competition | VentureBeat

HP's WebOS slate confirmed for early 2011 | Web Crawler - CNET News

DEMOFall 2010


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