Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2011-08-31 12:49:32  The market is buzzing about the HP acquisition of Autonomy.  Any time there is a transaction for over $10 billion, people tend to stand up and take notice.  HP is essentially betting the farm on the continued success of Autonomy.  But, multiple sources have raised questions about the Autonomy business as it’s currently advertised.  Leslie Owens at Forrester points out that Autonomy’s IDOL (Intelligent Data Operating Layer) is not a true information management platform; Alan Pelz-Sharpe of RealStory Group calls Autonomy’s OEM business into question.  And, I’ve been flooded by anonymous sources that raise issues with the amount of revenue Autonomy is making in various business lines, specifically its OEM business.  David Cahill goes so far as to say HP should pay the $117 million penalty to call off the deal.The Autonomy OEM business is the heart of the issue because it’s such a high-margin business.  If those revenues are not what Autonomy says they are, then HP is getting the shaft.  My first instinct is to believe that HP conducted the right level of due diligence before plunking $10 billion down on Autonomy.  However, the sheer number of sources calling the business into question has forced us to investigate further.  We’ve also had many sources tell us about unhappy Autonomy customers.  This kind of thing is often a red herring, though.  I’ve yet to meet a software vendor that did not have a vocal component of unhappy customers – it’s the nature of the business.  At the same time, it’s our job to investigate further, and that’s what we plan to do.  Autonomy customers, we want to hear from you.The success of any acquisition depends on multiple factors all lining up together at the right time.  The technology has to be good; the financials have to work; the cultures have to mesh.  Can HP make this a successful acquisition?  Perhaps – and that’s just the type of analysis we are undertaking.  We’re going to line up the publicly available facts, compare those to the rumors, and then simply advise eDiscovery professionals of the right questions to ask.  Rumors are often just that – so there is no need to give them credence without the proper amount of investigation.  It’s also important to look at why certain folks say certain things.  To do a true analysis takes time; we can’t simply issue an opinion on this acquisition without doing our own due diligence.  I can tell you that, in theory, I think this acquisition makes logical sense, but there are so many other moving parts that will weigh on the outcome that it requires deeper analysis.To that end, we are hoping to talk to all kinds of folks – Autonomy executives, HP executives, Autonomy OEM customers, Autonomy application customers, etc – about their experiences and perspectives.  eDJ’s goal is to present a pragmatic go-forward plan for eDiscovery professionals and to list out what it might take for HP to make the Autonomy acquisition a successful one.  Email me if you’d be willing to chat about the subject.  Thanks! 

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