Nerval's Lobster writes: After defeating a shareholder insurrection that largely stemmed from how it handled the Autonomy acquisition, Hewlett-Packard is trying to resuscitate the fortunes of that troubled analytics-software unit. In an interview, Robert Youngjohns, General Manager of the Autonomy division for HP, conceded that the controversy surrounding the acquisition and its aftermath has proven a significant distraction for the company. But he also suggested that HP management has gone to great pains to isolate the management of Autonomy from the actual litigation. “It’s a noise factor that’s obviously hard to ignore,” he said. “But it has been a noise factor.” HP's ambitious turnaround plan involves focusing Autonomy technology, which can help find the right data in huge datasets, on areas such as Web content management and information governance. But it's a big question whether HP can overcome all the negative publicity swirling around Autonomy, widely seen as a poor acquisition: Back in November 2012, HP accused Autonomy’s management team of using “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company.” It alerted the SEC’s Enforcement Division and the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (Autonomy is based in the U.K.), and announced it would take an $8.8 billion write-down on Autonomy’s value. That sort of thing could make Autonomy a tough sell to companies still trying to figure out if they even need so-called "Big Data" tools.
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