HP is 80 per cent closer to breaking up. Now, about the IT estate...

2,800 applications and 75,000 APIs? Ah, that'll be a doddle


The majority of the work to split HP in two is behind the organisation, according to chief ops and tech man John Hinshaw. Now there’s just the small matter of separating the not-insubstantial IT estate.

Talking at HP Discover in Las Vegas, the COO said 80 per cent of the groundwork to become HP Inc (PCs and printers) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (the rest of the portfolio) is complete.

“We're going to start operating these companies 1 August to get ready for 1 November,” he told an audience at HP Discover in Las Vegas.

The global and regional execs are in place, local reps for the wider workforce are liaising with unions over roles in the new-look company, and HP has launched Partner Navigator to try to make sure the division is done as smoothly as can be expected.

All of this work started in October when HP CEO Meg Whitman confirmed the intent to create two publicly traded Fortune 50 organisations – a U-turn on HP’s "better together" mantra.

But Hinshaw, veep of technology and operations, said it needs to allocate 2,800 applications and 75,000 application interfaces, the networks and the “global spread of data centres”.

Hiving off the bit barns was made easier by former CIO Randy Mott, who shrank infrastructure of 85 data centres globally to just six.

“What we've done over the past couple of years is consolidate our infrastructure, consolidate our data centres, consolidate our applications to get ready for something like this," he said.

"The reason is we want to ensure that we fully test the environment for three months before we separate. This will be one of the largest separations ever," Hinshaw said. 5,000 staff are working on the demerger – they are being managed by Jim Murrin, senior veep and COO for the Enterprise Group and Corporate Separation Management Officer leader.

He described the split as "the biggest of its kind”, and reckons the lessons HP learns will help it deal with any customers that are going through a similar process, or will do so in future. The business employs 300,000 staff worldwide.

“We're documenting everything we're doing throughout this process, so we can share that with all of you who might have to go through the same thing down the road," said Hinshaw.

HP already told us the corporate bifurcation will get “bumpy”, but by operating as two companies from August, it has some months to clean up any lingering issues.

The cost of breaking up the business runs into hundreds of millions of dollars, the company confirmed in recent Q2 results, and it is trying to offset this by cutting $2bn in costs across the services operation. ®

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