Mike Lynch hits out at Oracle as HP/Autonomy deal bears fruit

By Derek du Preez
30 Nov 2011 View Comments
Autonomy founder and CEO Mike Lynch

HP has unveiled its first set of product releases integrated with Autonomy's software, following the $10bn (£6.3bn) acquisition of the Cambridge-based company in August.

IDOL 10 is a single processing layer that uses Autonomy's ability to analyse audio, video, social, email and web content and Vertica's ability to analyse structured data.

Further reading

HP acquired Vertica in February of this year.

HP has said that IDOL 10 will allow companies to understand and process 100 per cent of enterprise information in real time.

Mike Lynch, founder and CEO of Autonomy, spoke to Computing about the release.

"Until now the database has generally done the thinking in IT – and it handles all the structured information; about 15 per cent of the total," said Lynch.

"For the first time with IDOL 10, companies have one platform that handles structured and human-friendly information (unstructured data) in one go. You don't have to worry about the difference anymore, you can formulate queries that are a mix of the two," he added.

"Companies often need to look into both the structured and unstructured buckets now to answer problems. Originally, you had two completely different systems with custom code linking them. IDOL 10 solves that."

HP has also released a number of Autonomy appliances, which can be used by organisations that need a simpler tool to "plug and go" with.

Lynch also took the release as an opportunity to have a dig at Oracle's recent acquisition of Endeca, a software company that analyses unstructured data. The acquisition was compared with HP's acquisition of Autonomy.

"When HP acquired Autonomy, Oracle said it could do it all without an acquisition and that Autonomy was too expensive," said Lynch.

"It then rushed and bought the only other similar asset on the market, and so clearly it couldn't do it all," he added.

"It is also going to be difficult for Oracle to explain to its customers and investors why it is moving away from the traditional database, to a new model that relies on unstructured data, when its cash flow relies so much on the old model," he added.

HP's acquisition of Autonomy means that it can now branch into markets that were unobtainable before, argued Lynch.

"We have lots of leads. Autonomy was in straight software, and it got to the point where it didn't have much competition. However, some customers wanted all the servers and services from one place, and with HP we can do that now. We have access to expertise and hardware," he said.

"HP also has great access to SMEs, which we didn't have before. There were also large regions of the world, such as Russia, that we didn't have access to prior to the acquisition."

Mike Davis, senior analyst at Ovum, argued that Oracle's acquisition of Endeca should not be dismissed so easily.

"When HP bought Autonomy it didn't really seem to have a game plan for it.

"Compare this with Oracle's purchase of Endeca, when the analyst community was provided with information on what Oracle was going to do three days before the announcement. There was a clear roadmap there," he said.

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