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24 September, 2015 - 10:21 By Tony Quested

HP sidesteps specifics on Autonomy’s Cambridge future

Mike Lynch exchanged writs with HP

HP insiders are insisting that Autonomy’s software operations in Cambridge remain an integral part of group plans despite a fresh global jobs cull.

A spokesperson for the US technology giant told Business Weekly that Autonomy would form part of the newly-fashioned Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) division when the group splits into two listed companies on November 1.

HP is still advertising software engineering vacancies in Cambridge although that may cover leavers rather than representing new hires.

The company says it will not drill down to local specifics after announcing that up to 30,000 extra jobs may be axed worldwide. That is on top of the 55,000 redundancies previously announced.

It is being reported that most of the fresh cuts will be in the company's faster-growing corporate hardware and services operations, to be spun off as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, or HPE, on Nov. 1.

This includes Autonomy at Cambridge Business Park. HP’s Enterprise Software business revenue is declining by about $4 billion a year.

The other company following the split will be HP Inc and will comprise the computer and printer businesses, which have been hammered by plummeting demand for PCs.

HP chief executive Meg Whitman said: “We've done a significant amount of work over the past few years to take costs out and simplify processes and these final actions will eliminate the need for any future corporate restructuring.”

The cuts are designed to save the company around $2.7bn a year. Part of the strategy is to move more staff to lower-cost locations around the world.

HP Autonomy products include Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL), which allows for search and processing of text taken from both structured data and unstructured human information – including e-mail and mobile data– whether it originates in a database, audio, video, text files or streams.

The processing of such information by IDOL is referred to by Autonomy as Meaning-Based Computing.

Last year, HP released a new version of HP IDOL that strengthens integration with several key components of the group’s HAVEn platform by expanding upon IDOL’s analytics, reliability and ease of use. CMSWire reported that the new release has “a lot under the hood here that will catapult IDOL firmly into the centre of the big data fray.”

HP is still pursuing former Autonomy management, including Mike Lynch, for recompense – claiming accounting anomalies in its $11.7bn takeover of the Cambridge business. The claims are denied by Dr Lynch and colleagues.

The Serious Fraud Office dropped its investigations citing a lack of evidence but HP says fraud authorities in the US are still reviewing the information it has provided.

A number of deadlines are approaching in a widespread litigation process. HP is being sued by disgruntled shareholders who blame them for write-downs following the acquisition of Autonomy. Writs have also been exchanged between HP and Dr Lynch, as previously reported here.

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