HP World rocks and rolls

The 25th HP World conference last month got off to a rocking start, literally, in San Francisco.

An earthquake that hit 5.0 on the Richter scale shook up the more than 10,000 IT managers attending HP World. Interex, the International Association of Hewlett-Packard Computer Professionals, sponsored the event.

A keynote address by Ann Livermore, CEO and president of HP’s Enterprise Computing Group, was not quite as exciting as the earthquake, but did get the show moving. She suggested that the company’s e-services activities would make HP felt throughout the industry.

Livermore cited e-services as a way to reach customers, make money, create efficiencies in the business process and maximize a company’s current infrastructures. She defined e-services as any asset you can make available via the Internet.

HP’s new CEO Carly Fiorina also addressed the crowd. She said that HP owes its customers a clear vision of the company’s direction. She also said the company needs to pay more attention to customer service than its stock price.

Another HP executive, Nick Earle, spoke about some of the misunderstandings surrounding e-services. He said that following “the ‘dot com’ companies is not the right model” and creating portals are not generally successful unless you are the first to do it, like Amazon.com. Earle cited the success of Security First, a banking portal, where users can check their balances as well as buy tickets and other services on-line.

He also noted that in only six months Ariba.com has generated US$6 billion in purchases with more than 250,000 suppliers. HP gives Ariba free equipment in exchange for a percentage of Ariba’s on-line revenue.