After a quick visit from Bill Schlough, SVP and CIO of the San Francisco Giants, to talk about our visit to the big game tonight (who knew that the Giants even had a CIO? Or that they’re a TIBCO customer?), Mark Hurd of HP gave the opening keynote for today. He spent a lot of time talking about their own internal IT and how it supports their operations. They have a huge scale of operations, and their IT needs to support that: they ship 3 printers and 2 PCs each second, and a server every 10-11 seconds, across 179 countries. They have 800 million customer interactions per year. And they have one big constraint in their internal IT implementations: they have to eat their own dogfood. They’re in the process of moving from 87 data centres down to 3, reducing the number of applications, servers and data marts significantly as well, all to try and make their IT less expensive and provide a more efficient supply chain. It sounds like TIBCO’s ActiveMatrix is forming a pretty important part of HP’s IT consolidation strategy, since service virtualization is pretty important when reducing the number of servers.
As I sit here typing this post on my HP laptop — my 3rd one in a row, the older 2 of which are still in use because they just refuse to die — and with a printer back at my office that is just the latest in a long line of HP printer, I certainly agree that they know how to make hardware right. I’ve even had some reasonable experiences with their maintenance, when I had to send a laptop back to have a failed part replaced, although I’ve found their telephone support to be mostly frustrating and useless.
It’s interesting to hear Hurd’s perspective, since HP is a TIBCO customer, but is also a significant partner: they’re TIBCO’s preferred development platform, and also integrate TIBCO solutions for customers through their own services group.