HP Says It's Working To Bring Autonomy Products To Channel


Hewlett-Packard has been slow to roll out Autonomy products to the channel, but with a dedicated channel chief now in place, that could be changing.

For the past six weeks, Stephen Reny, senior vice president of market development for Autonomy, has been working on the framework for a worldwide channel program for Autonomy, which HP acquired last October in a blockbuster $10.3 billion deal aimed at boosting its software portfolio.

Autonomy didn't previously have a channel chief, which is part of the reason HP partners haven't had a chance to sell products. But, there is good news: HP is planning to align Autonomy with PartnerONE and AllianceONE programs, Reny said in an interview last week.

[Related: CEO Lynch Joins Autonomy Executive Exodus From HP]

Reny declined to specify when this would happen, or if it would happen this year, noting that the breadth of Autonomy's product portfolio necessitates a strategic and measured approach.

"We have to define our own program [within HP's channel programs]. We need to make sure partners are enabled to sell the solution that is best for the customer's need," he told CRN.

Autonomy's Intelligent Data Operating Layer, a search and data processing technology built into many Autonomy products, is on the radar of many HP partners. IDOL, which also is available as a stand-alone server, analyzes streams of so-called unstructured data -- e.g., emails, voice, video and social media -- to identify patterns of meaning.

Joe Heinzen, senior vice president of sales at MicroTech, a Vienna, Va.-based solution provider that was an Autonomy partner prior to the HP acquisition, is seeing interest in the base IDOL search engine among federal government customers, some of which are building apps that run on top of IDOL conducting sophisticated analytics.

"We lead with the basic IDOL engine and explain how other technologies can be layered in, such as social media and analytics for intelligence apps," Heinzen told CRN last week. "IDOL is like the foundation for a house: It supports all the other apps and how they get integrated."

HP has not authorized all of its partners to sell Autonomy because not all products fit with their expertise, Reny said. In addition to IDOL, Autonomy also sells security and compliance, backup and recovery, content management, and online advertising products, among others.

Autonomy has more than 500 OEM partners that license IDOL for use in their products. Autonomy provides them with "connectors" they can use to build IDOL into their apps, and many vendors embed components of IDOL into their products, Reny said.

HP has already encountered plenty of turmoil with Autonomy, including the firing of co-founder and CEO Mike Lynch in May after second-quarter sales figures that HP CEO Meg Whitman described as "disappointing." Most of Autonomy's senior executive leaders have also left since the acquisition.

Getting Autonomy products into the hands of channel partners could amount to some much needed positive news for HP -- not to mention soothe lingering angst about the amount HP paid to acquire the company.

PUBLISHED JULY 11, 2012