Come on, Leo, do the right thing

Opinion

Come on, Leo, do the right thing

Dear Leo,

So, you're back in the game. Seven months after a vote of no confidence ended your brief reign at SAP?

That strikes me as odd, but then the manner of Mark Hurd's departure was less than orthodox as well, I guess, and he's found work already.

Still, what's done is done, and like those who backed David Miliband against Ed, John McCain against Barack Obama, and even Dave Donatelli against, well, you, it's time to unite behind you and offer our congratulations and support.

But I have just one request to make of you, Leo, and that's that you keep the network at the front of your mind.

Mark Hurd worked hard at turning HP into a viable force in this game, and it's really paying off.

Above all, Leo, please never forget that the network is the point in the ICT stack around which all the major innovation in the industry is occuring today.

Let's not kid ourselves, nobody is about to invent a new PC, or a magical new way of printing things. Oh sure, you've had a look at the figures and we all know that printers and desktops are a goldmine for HP.

But they're not going to change the world. That time is past.

Software and applications, however, will play a huge role in the network over the coming years, on both smartphones and tablets and a plethora of devices yet to be thought of.

You know we don't just need a few switches any more.

We need security software to keep out the nasties, apps to work efficiently, virtualisation to keep the data centre ticking over. Ideally, all of this will be presented in a nice fluffy cloud.

I have no doubt that your experience in the software industry will help HP bring both sectors closer together, as long as you play your cards right.

You could be very good for us, so come on Leo, do the right thing, send us a signal of your commitment, and help the software nerds and networking geeks work together.

Good luck from all of us.

This was first published in October 2010

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