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April 10, 2012

Autonomy 'King of the Cloud'

Years ago, my friend Jerry Gross in PR at HP related a funny story about how companies work with the press. He met with an editor of some electronics magazine to announce the new, improved memory chips that HP had created that actually provided 4K on a single chip! (This was a while ago!) 

Way back then this *was* news; but to Jerry and the reporter, it was yet another memory product to announce and the meeting was just specs and details. Jerry, a prankster at heart, decided to throw in a twist: he said that HP decided to use ROUND chips in this new product, rather than conventional rectangular ones. 

This piqued the reporter's interest: round chips? Yes, when you think about it, in rectangular chips, some of the bits are in a corner, so it takes longer for those bits to be accessed. By making the chip round, all chips were equidistant from the center so all could be accessed at the same speed!

The reporter was eating this up - something new and exciting! He wrote a quick paragraph for his publication before Jerry broke out laughing.  Luckily, their relationship was a good one and both had a great laugh about it. The round memory chip never made it to the world media.

Today I read an article in the London Business Weekly, reporting that Autonomy now has "world’s largest private cloud", more than "50 petabytes of data including web content, video, email and multimedia data". Granted Autonomy has a great service business in hosting and search-enabling all sorts of multimedia content. But ... I wonder if the reporter ever wondered out loud about some other rather large 'private clouds' - perhaps Google? Or Microsoft? Amazon? 

Maybe none of these robust competitors are as big as Autonomy; maybe HP really became the cloud giant by acquiring Autonomy last year. Or maybe a round memory chip made it past a reporter today. What do you think?




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