Lawsuit Alleges HP Tried To Kill Autonomy Deal


"HP's position is the same as it has been from the beginning. We have handed over our information of serious misrepresentations in Autonomy's accounting to the proper authorities, namely the SEC and the Department of Justice and in the U.K., the Serious Fraud Office. We continue to cooperate and provide requested information to the relevant authorities on an ongoing basis."

The lawsuit is being brought by successful San Francisco attorney Ramzi Abadou of Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer & Check LLP. Abadou has won a number of significant class-action settlements, including a $925.5 million settlement with United Healthcare Group and a $100 million settlement with AT&T.

Several HP solution provider partners, for their part, said they still see a great opportunity to bring game-changing big data solutions to customers with what they see as superior HP-Autonomy technology.

"I believe the Autonomy technology is important technology that will help NWN customers solve problems," said Mont Phelps, the CEO of NWN, a $266 million HP enterprise partner headquartered in Waltham, Mass. "The issue with regard to the lawsuit as to whether they paid too much or not is frankly not an important issue for me. I can understand shareholders being concerned about it. No one wants to pay too much. But at the end of the day, this is technology that will be beneficial to our customers. It's still early for [big data solutions], but what happened with the acquisition is not relevant to whether we carry the technology or what we do with it to help our customers' solve business problems. That is a shareholder and Wall Street issue that is not going to affect us."

Another top solution provider CEO, who did not want to be identified, said he is anxious to see HP, which is just rolling out a major Autonomy channel initiative, aggressively offer the software through channel partners. "We are anxious to learn about Autonomy and get involved with the product," said the CEO. "Who doesn't want to have services related to a software product like Autonomy? That's the dream for us and for HP when they bought them. We are looking for to channel engagement with Autonomy."

HP Software Executive Vice President George Kadifa recently told solution providers on a partner webcast that HP is "definitely" recruiting partners to sell the Autonomy iManage product line focused on document management in the legal profession. "In that area we are actually the No. 1 player," he told solution providers. "We basically service about 80 percent of the large law firms. And now what we are doing is going to the enterprise and offering that kind of service to the enterprises. That is an area where we welcome channel participation because the set of opportunities is much larger, and we are very, very focused on expanding that set of opportunities."

Whitman, for her part, has repeatedly stressed that HP is firmly committed to the Autonomy product line. "I still get questions about our commitment to Autonomy, and we are 100 percent committed to Autonomy," she told partners during the recent webcast. "And Autonomy actually is doing quite well this quarter. Of course it is a smaller business than we had been led to believe. But the good news is it is growing. Everywhere you go, people talk about the magic of the Autonomy business and the Autonomy technology. So just in case anyone is wondering: are we committed? 150 percent committed. This could be a big business for HP. So we are delighted."

PUBLISHED MAY 8, 2013