HP snaps up business software maker Autonomy for $10 billion

Hewlett-Packard Co. is buying Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion.

Why is HP doing this? HP wants to expand its lineup of business software products as it lowers its profile in consumer electronics. Buying Autonomy will give HP another lure in the business market, where its chief rivals are IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc.

HP is paying a steep price to acquire Autonomy. The $10 billion price tag is also 11 times greater than Autonomy’s annual revenue of $870 million and represents about one-sixth of HP’s current market value.

Autonomy develops a variety of enterprise search and knowledge management applications using adaptive pattern recognition techniques centered on Bayesian inference in conjunction with traditional methods.

Their main product is a knowledge management system ‘Intelligent Data Operating Layer’ (IDOL), allows search and processing of text taken from database, audio, video or text files or streams. The processing of such information by IDOL is referred to by Autonomy as Meaning-Based Computing.

Autonomy’s technology attempts to understand any form of unstructured information, whether text, voice, or video, and based on that understanding perform automatic operations such as but not limited to, “you like that, you’d like this” on the information.

Automony is best known for their enterprise content management product iManage, a system they aquired in 2009 when the purchased Interwoven. iManage is used by many law firms.


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