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李艾科为惠普设定道路:向云服务挺进

Michael V. Copeland 2011年03月21日

惠普首席执行官李艾科计划,通过新的“公共云”销售应用和服务,希望借此使该公司及其疲软的股价重获活力。

惠普首席执行官李艾科

    八个月前,前惠普(HP)首席执行官马克•赫德因性骚扰丑闻被迫辞职。至今惠普的股价已经下滑了10%。投资者们都想知道这家世界上最大的科技公司何时,以及怎样才能重回正轨。

    去年9月份,李艾科被任命接替赫德担任惠普首席执行官。本周一下午,李艾科发表了自任命以来的首次大型公开演讲,在旧金山向新闻媒体及分析师们抛出了自己为惠普制定的复兴方案。在30多分钟的演说中,李艾科概述了惠普未来将着重发展的三大方向:云计算;一系列面向个人消费者和企业的互联网接入硬件;以及软件,包括将惠普webOS(之前属于Palm)推向数亿PC机、平板电脑、打印机和智能手机。这三大战略将如何提升惠普的财务状况?该公司首席财务官凯茜•莱斯加克预计,到2014年,公司将会获得每股7美元的盈利[根据非公认会计准则(non-GAAP)计算]。

    在挤满金融分析师的走廊里,大家对此的反应基本是正面的。最引人关注的是李艾科公布的云战略。借助云战略,李艾科将带领惠普脱离高端市场的竞争,避免与IBM和甲骨文(Oracle)等公司在此领域正面交锋,而将重心转移至为大型公司和政府客户提供非关键应用,以及为全球的中小型企业提供近乎完备的服务。对此,Cowen & Co的分析师皮特•葛德马彻表示,“这是明智之举。高端市场的增长非常有限,仅仅是个位数级别,并且这片市场的争夺已经结束。而惠普瞄准了市场真正的增长点。”

    但这并不意味着惠普能独步云领域。惠普的云战略将使得这家全球最大的个人电脑制造商直接与亚马逊(Amazon)、微软(Microsoft)以及Salesforce.com等公司竞争,而后者已经在提供计算、存储以及其它基于网络的基础设施,各公司可以在这些基础设施上运行自己的业务。

    李艾科勾勒出的云服务将为软件开发者提供一个一站式“商店”,使后者能测试、保护并销售各类应用,从企业资源计划(ERP)系统到为平板电脑设计的游戏,都被囊括其中。它将成为一个在线市场,消费者和企业都能在此购买软件。假如你开发出了下一款《愤怒的小鸟》(Angry Birds)游戏或是在线日历,那么惠普将提供基础设施,在全世界或是仅仅在某家公司内销售并分发你开发的产品。惠普计划力推自行开发的应用,李艾科将业务分析和安全这两个领域列为该公司关注的重心。在服务领域,你可以想象规模高达350亿美元的惠普服务业务将努力把顾客推向(同时自己也将被拉向)惠普云服务。

    李艾科承诺,惠普云将真正做到开放。为了举例,他假设了某家德国公司的企业资源计划软件在惠普的云上运行的情况(不过,考虑到李艾科曾经是德国企业资源计划软件公司SAP的首席执行官,上述情况可能很快就将成为现实)。李艾科说道:“我们只会审查应用的安全性和互通性。”

    李艾科希望看到惠普设备与惠普云互动。假如对于某款设备以及手头某项任务而言,在本地完成更合适,那么就在本地完成,而假如更聪明的方法是通过某项基于云的服务,那么不妨通过云服务完成。webOS将所有设备都“捆绑”在一起,你可以用一种设备去操作另外一种——从平板电脑到个人电脑,从智能手机到打印机,webOS将你的工作和生活紧密联系在一起。惠普每秒钟就卖出两部个人电脑、两台打印机。自2012年起,(除了智能手机和平板电脑外,)上述设备也将搭载webOS。显然,惠普是真的打算将webOS推向市场,该公司将其视为未来的Windows,或者更确切的说,是未来的Windows、iOS和Android。它就好比惠普云中的结缔组织。

    要做到以上这些并非易事。在前进的道路上会遇到全球其它科技巨头的阻挡,而后者目前大多是惠普的合作伙伴。不过,假如华尔街之前在等着看对于惠普怎样才能重获并保持动力,李艾科是否有清晰的认识,那么李艾科在本周一给了他们答案。现在,李艾科要做的就是成功实现自己的愿景。

    译者:项航

    It's been just over eight months since Mark Hurd left HP (HPQ) beneath an avalanche of tabloid covers. In that time, HP's stock has slid just over 10%, leaving investors wondering when and how the world's largest tech company can get back on course.

    Hurd's replacement, Leo Apotheker, in his first major public speech since being named to the top HP spot in September, gave his answer to a gathering of press and analysts in San Francisco Monday afternoon. During a presentation that lasted a bit over 30 minutes, Apotheker outlined three major areas of focus for HP in the coming months and years: Cloud computing, a wide variety of Internet-connected hardware for consumers and businesses alike, and software, including pushing HP's (formerly Palm) webOS to hundreds of millions of PCs, tablets, printers and smartphones. The financial upside of this three-pronged strategy, according to HP CFO Cathie Lesjak, will be $7 per share in earnings (non-GAAP) by 2014.

    The early word in the hallway filled with financial analysts was mostly good. What drew most of the attention was the public cloud Apotheker announced. With his cloud strategy Apotheker is steering the company away from direct competition at the high-end from the likes of IBM (IBM) and Oracle (ORCL), towards serving large companies and governments customers with less mission critical applications, and small and medium businesses all over the world with just about everything. "It's smart," says Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher, "The growth at the top is finite, it's single digits, and that game is over. HP is going where the growth is."

    That doesn't mean HP will have the field for itself. The HP cloud will put the world's largest PC maker in direct competition with the likes of Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), and Salesforce.com (CRM) that already offer compute, storage and other web-based infrastructure on which companies can run their businesses.

    The cloud service Apotheker outlined will offer a one-stop-shop for software developers to test, secure, and sell all sorts of applications ranging from enterprise resource planning (ERP) to games for a tablet. It will be an online marketplace for consumers and businesses alike to do their software shopping. Develop the next Angry Birds or online calendar and HP will offer the infrastructure to sell and distribute it either to the entire world, or just within a company. HP plans on pushing its own applications, and Apotheker singled out business analytics and security as two areas on which the company will focus. On the services end, you can imagine how the $35 billion HP services business will be pushing clients hard (and just as likely being pulled) toward the HP cloud.

    Apotheker promised that the HP cloud would truly be open. He offered the theoretical example of a certain German company's ERP software running on HP's cloud (considering Apotheker was formerly the CEO of that thinly-veiled German company, SAP (SAP), it might be soon much more than theoretical). "We will only vet applications for security and interoperability," Apotheker said.

    The vision Apotheker has is one where HP devices interact with an HP cloud. You get things done locally if that makes the most sense for the device and the task at hand, or via some cloud-based service if that is the smarter approach. The software that ties all the devices together, and hands off between your gadgets - tablet to PC, smartphone to printer – and between your work and home life will be webOS. HP sells two PCs and two printers every second. Starting in 2012, webOS will be shipping on all of them (in addition to smartphones and tablets). It's clear HP is serious about pushing webOS into the market, and talks about it like it's the Windows of the future, or more accurately the Windows, iOS and Android of the future. Think of it as the connective tissue for HP's cloud.

    Getting all that right is a tall order. The other biggest technology companies in world, most of them HP's current partners, stand in the way. Still, if Wall Street was waiting to see if Apotheker had a clear-eyed vision of how HP can get its momentum back and keep it, he laid it out Monday. Now he just has to pull it off.

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