HP may bump Oracle in software for verticals

Speculation abounds concerning the direction Hewlett-Packard will take under new CEO Léo Apotheker. Some analysts foresee the tech giant on an Oracle-like path, pursuing such vertical markets as life sciences or healthcare. Oracle's acquisitions of EDC/CTMS provider Phase Forward and drug safety and risk management software maker Relsys are examples of the company's tactics along these lines.

HP realized just 3 percent of its 2010 revenue from software, which Apotheker sees as fertile ground, says IDG News Service. He envisions acquisitions and internal investments driving a doubling or tripling of software revenues. An initial target is business intelligence, another Oracle priority.

Yet another possibility for HP's direction, from the analyst perspective, is a strategy involving collaborative, agile business networks, which prior to joining HP Apotheker called "the next big thing." He described the goal of such collaborations as optimizing inter-company processes rather than processes within a company.

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