Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

What the man behind HP's new internal IT plan has in mind

Bob Brown | April 24, 2013
Longtime HP customer John Hinshaw embracing cloud and SDN as he calls shots for vendor's IT team

This is where HP's aggressive adoption of cloud computing comes in. The company has bought into cloud services from, among others, DocuSign, Fieldglass, and Workday.

Hinshaw speaks highly of CEO Marc Benioff ("a great thinker") and says HP holds the title of's "largest and fastest implementation" by rolling out the software-as-a-service offering to 30,000 sales reps over eight months. has boosted productivity while cutting costs at HP, he says. [Here's a link to a video of Hinshaw speaking with Benioff at a event]

And by using DocuSign, an electronic signature technology, HP has sliced the time taken to sign up new partners from five weeks to five days, Hinshaw says, adding that HP is DocuSign's biggest customer.

"There have been efficiencies that require fewer people to execute processes," Hinshaw says. "We said we were going to let 29,000 people go ... well you have to invest in automation and process in order to do that."

Naturally, HP is using its own cloud products -- in combination with its ballyhooed Moonshot server technology. "A lot of marketing collateral and things of that nature in the past has been hosted in the public cloud in places like Amazon and Rackspace because HP didn't have its own public cloud. We're now moving those workloads into HP's cloud as well. Then we have our internal cloud for a lot of apps we run that's based on HP CloudSystem," he says.

HP, which is a big supporter of the OpenStack cloud technology, is also optimistic about using and delivering hybrid cloud technologies.

Trust is key before HP moves anything into a public cloud service, and the company conducts exhaustive security reviews. "This is a broad statement, but the cloud is often more secure than an individual company where you have many access points, many data centers, many servers, a very distributed environment, whereas with the cloud you know exactly where it is, what your controls are," Hinshaw says.

However, some core financial systems, such as SAP enterprise resource planning apps, and certain manufacturing apps aren't quite there in the cloud yet, Hinshaw says.

On the networking front, HP is a dedicated user of its own products (including the former 3Com gear) and is beginning to use software-defined networking technology.

"Having spent my whole life building data centers and network environments in one methodology and now thinking wow, you can actually separate the control plane from the data plane and have specific applications optimized for certain network paths all through software, that's amazing ... I wish I had that 20 years ago," Hinshaw says. "Now we're going application by application to figure out how to prove that out. We've done some work already on using SDN and we're now lining up the next applications to go there."


Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.