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HP says staying fresh maintains influence

Lynn Anderson came to the HP Technology Forum to spread influence, but she did it using utensils forged in early HP 3000 work. She’s an HP Vice President, but started her career working on an HP 3000 in the mill town where she grew up. A Series II system displayed her first MPE colon prompt.

Later on in programming and system engineering for HP, She was a network specialist for MPE, a job that included a high point of bringing up the first HP 1000-HP 3000 local area network: Two platforms HP no longer sells. Anderson laughed at the wonder of such a connection everyone felt then. “Real time meets all-the-time,” she said

With that kind of in-the-tech-trenches background, HP sends Anderson to briefings like the ones at the Technology Forum to make contact with influencers whose roots are like hers: at the byte level from years ago. Apparently I was such an influencer, even if the byte level is removed from my skill set. HP offered up Anderson for me to interview at the Forum, and we spent a half-hour talking about what has been in the 3000 customer’s community, and what HP hopes it will include in the future.

Your title says that you’re a VP whose job is Influencer Marketing. What does that mean in the HP of 2008?

   My team is responsible for media relations across the Technical Support Group, executive communications both internal and external. We bring pieces of our portfolio to deliver a solution to market, and we do some strategy and planning. That’s my team. We focus on those groups of individuals who ultimately influence end-user customers.

HP’s head of TSG Ann Livermore led off with an HP-UX question in her keynote today, assuring customers that the OS would be at HP a long time. What can you say to assure the 3000 customers HP-UX won’t meet the MPE/iX fate? Is Linux a safer long-term play?

    We sit down with our customers and help them select the best route, whether it’s into HP-UX, whether it’s into Linux, or whether it’s Microsoft. We’re the only vendor who can provide a single hardware platform that can run multiple operating systems.

    There are opportunities to move from the 3000 platform to all three of these operating systems. The goal is “what’s your business need? What kinds of high availability do you need?” In some cases, it’s picking the right operating system for an application. There are cases where companies do run multiple operating systems.
    It’s all about making the best the right one for the job at hand. We announced that our NonStop servers now have blade capability. NonStop is truly 24x7, where the mission is truly critical.

There’s another migration ongoing at HP. How are the customers taking to moving to Integrity from PA-RISC servers in the HP 9000 marketplace? Has Integrity’s domination become complete?

    In our latest quarter, Integrity revenues were up 35 percent.

So does Integrity represent more than three fourths of sales for what HP calls its Business Critical Servers which are not “Industry Standard Servers?”

    It’s not quite total dominance [for Integrity], but we don’t split up the revenues between our product lines. Integrity is still a healthy contributor to the top and bottom line for us.