Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) plans to consolidate its 762 data marts around the world into a single enterprise data warehouse, according to the head of the company. The move is a way for HP to both get a better sense of its own business and how best to serve its customers. HP also intends to reduce its more than 85 data centers in 29 countries down to six global facilities.
Mark Hurd, HP's president and chief executive, laid out the plans as part of his presentation at the company's securities analyst meeting in New York on Tuesday. The event was also webcast. Hurd didn't provide any specifics on HP's plans in terms of whether the consolidation of facilities might result in further layoffs or any details on the locations of the enterprise data warehouse and the six global data centers.
"What happened in HP is not uncommon," Hurd said during a question-and-answer session with analysts. There was a "thirst for analytic data" inside the company which led to the creation of many data marts, he added. However, those islands of data are very expensive to architect and maintain and don't produce the enterprise-wide view of internal and customer information that HP needs, according to Hurd.
"Sometime in the middle of 2006 we'll begin to be better at all this," he said. HP will need to spend significant capital on information technology during 2006 to build the new data warehouse and six data centers as it collapses the existing data marts and data centers, according to Hurd. "This is what leadership is meant to do," he said. "Get the processes right and [bring in] the technology to support it."
Since joining HP in March, Hurd has stressed the need for the company to restructure to simplify its operations and its IT infrastructure. Last month, during the company's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Bob Wayman, HP's chief financial officer, increased the estimate for layoffs resulting from Hurd's proposed restructuring to 15,300 staff, up from the original 14,500.