HP Completes Acquisition of Autonomy, Will Boost Enterprise Software, Cloud Offerings

Hewlett-Packard has completed its acquisition of Autonomy Corporation plc for $11.7 billion. Autonomy, which is based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom, is a provider of software and data analytics for large enterprise businesses. HP’s acquisition is part of an HP plan announced in August to move from the lower-margin PC  business to higher-margin software, workflow management, and cloud computing for enterprises.

Autonomy will operate independently as a separate business unit. Its founder and CEO, Dr. Mike Lynch, will continue to lead Autonomy, and will report to new HP CEO Meg Whitman. Whitman appears to have embraced the HP enterprise strategy, and recently said HP is seeking “to make a series of acquisitions over the next five to 10 years to become a full-fledged, one-stop I.T. shop.”

Autonomy was founded in 1996, and says its technology is developed from research conducted at Cambridge University. It has more than 20,000 customers worldwide, including Avis, the BBC, BMW, CNN, Oracle, Shell, T-Mobile, The European Commission, U.K. Houses of Parliament, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm has been profitable in every quarter for the last five years, and has no net debt. It has dual headquarters in Cambridge in the U.K. and in San Francisco in the United States, and other offices throughout the world, including North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It has over 400 OEM partners and more than 400 value added resellers and integrators.

Autonomy has focused on software that helps enterprises make better use of and more easily access information. For instance, it’s helped develop Meaning Based Computing (MBC). MBC promises to enable faster and more accurate data retrieval. For instance, with traditional keyword-based searches, only a specified word can be used to retrieve documents and data – documents containing a word that means the same as the specified keyword are overlooked. With Means Based Computing, the meaning of the keyword is actually understand, so that more relevant documents are found. 

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