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HP offers $2bn fund for cloud customers

HP offers $2bn fund for cloud customers - The Irish Times - Fri, Jun 10, 2011

HP IS to make up to $2 billion (€1.4 billion) in financing available to its customers to encourage them to invest in the company’s cloud computing portfolio.

The company will offer the funds through its HP Financial Services subsidiary and will give customers a range of options including leasing and deferred payment plans.

The financing announcement was a key attraction of HP’s Discover event, which showcased some of the company’s latest products to 10,000 visitors in Las Vegas this week.

The cloud was a big talking point for much of the week-long event, with executives repeatedly stating its importance for the industry in the future. In his keynote address, chief executive Léo Apotheker said cloud computing was “the most disruptive event since the advent of the personal computer”.

Mr Apotheker said consumer expectations were shifting rapidly and it was up to companies to use technology to respond to that. “Customers now want a seamless, secure . . . experience whether they are at home, at work or at play,” he said. “And there is no patience for any legacy issues.”

HP Discover marked the first time the firm had combined its software and hardware events under one banner, signalling a shift towards a consolidated approach to its products. This week also marked the first time Mr Apotheker addressed such a large HP event as chief executive, a post he took in late September 2010.

One of the company’s other big announcements was the “ecoPOD”, a modular data centre that can house large amounts of IT infrastructure in its metal shell. HP will build the centre to individual requirements and claims it cuts the cost and time required for a bricks and mortar build.

The ecoPOD will go on general availability in Europe from early next year with cost depending on the equipment housed within it.

However the product that attracted the most attention was the Touchpad, HP’s tablet computer based on the WebOS platform the company gained as part of its Palm acquisition.

While most of what was on display painted HP in a positive light, there was one dissenting voice visible to those who ventured outside the hotel. Oracle, which has increasingly been clashing with HP lately, went to the trouble of hiring numerous billboards and taxi advert spots to claim its servers were faster than those of its rivals.