Posted by Tom Grant on April 30, 2010
Within 24 hours, InfoWorld published two seemingly unrelated articles. One covered HP's announcement of its intent to acquire Palm, which led people to speculate aloud, "What the heck were they thinking?" The first part of the article spent a couple of paragraphs musing about how this move might or might not help HP's interest in the slate computer market. The path from acquiring Palm to becoming an iPad competitor isn't very clear, however, so maybe the real point has nothing to do with slate computers. We can't get enough of talking about slate computers, but what if Palm's products have some potential connection to HP's existing portfolio? Crazy idea, I know.
The next day, InfoWorld published another article with the acidic headline, "Smartphone management becoming a nightmare":
Smartphones and mobile devices are becoming a nightmare for IT shops to manage, with users carrying multiple types of phones with different operating systems and expecting access to email, video-conferencing, and various types of corporate applications.
In other words, IT departments struggling with these standardization efforts might want to talk to a company that can help. Say, someone with a lot of products and services for solution areas like cloud computing, application transformation, portfolio and asset management. It'd be great if said vendor had mobile technology that factored into these larger IT infrastructure concerns.
UPDATE: Someone pointed out that, in this post, I may have been too subtle for my own good. So, just to clarify: It's entirely reasonable to miss the connection because, in all frankness, it's not altogether clear. HP might use the Palm acquisition to strengthen its value proposition as a vendor that can clean up a lot of infrastructure issues for its customers. That's not totally clear from HP's own public statements, such as the official press release, and it's an open question how well that strategy would work. But, heck, it's still early. While we wait for details, let's not cram this acquisition, which has huge implications across HP's portfolio, into some narrow but popular memes.