More Thoughts on HP and Knightsbridge

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More Thoughts on HP and Knightsbridge

Having worked in a high-tech company that was a competitor
to HP I’ve got some thoughts to add after reading Andy’s post “Santa
Comes Early for HP
.”  Similar to HP,
this company was driven by hardware but also sold software and had a
professional services organization. Software and services were always poor
step-children to hardware.

Just look at HP’s
BI/DW offerings
and what you see from HP is hardware and software to manage
the infrastructure. But everything specific to BI/DW is from partners – software and systems
integrators.

I was at PwC Consulting when IBM announced it was acquiring
it, and based on my previous experience, I left before the acquisition was completed.
I did so because I wanted to provide objective and independent consulting (not
that IBM Services doesn’t, but that’s not how I felt personally).

I am sure
most consultants who moved into IBM Services have enjoyed working there. At the time of the acquisition, with the US economy in a recession and many H-1Bs not really having viable options, the
overwhelming majority of consultants became IBM employees. But I know many who
left, if not right away like I did, then when the economy recovered. There was
a perceived cultural difference felt by some of the former PwC consultants and
they eventually walked.

It is certainly understandable why Knightsbridge sold itself
to HP and why HP bought them. But buying something for the right reasons may
not always translate into knowing what to do with it. The consultants at
Knightsbridge certainly won’t feel any impact at first – they’ll stay on their
current client projects and be just as successful on those projects regardless
of whether they were independent or part of a high tech titan.

HP has a huge partner network.  Their “About HP
Services
” states:

"Complemented by a global network of partners, HP Services
helps bolster your business agility with an experienced team of more than
69,000 professionals that includes:

23,000 Microsoft specialists
18,000 UNIX specialists
4,500 Cisco specialists
3,000 Linux specialists
7,500 network & systems management specialists
5,000 storage specialists
6,300 OpenVMS engineers"

Will the 700 Knightsbridge employees feel a culture shock?
Will the difference in culture matter to the new HP employees? It will take a
little time to see how well the acquisition really works and if the real asset
– the consultants – stay for the long-term or move on to more independent (at
least perceived by them) consulting organizations.

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