Carly who? Just don't mess with our supply

Carly who? These two words sum up the attitude of many Australian IT managers to the ousting of Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

More concerned about product roadmaps and the continuing supply of their product, IT managers said last week they don't care who runs the ship as long as it doesn't sink.

IT services purchasing officer at Macquarie University, Michael Laves, said to be honest he has no idea who Carly Fiorina is and really isn't concerned with the ousting of the former HP CEO.

"Just as long as they don't mess with their supply chain," he said.

"As far as we are concerned we are very happy - we did notice a few hiccups when HP first amalgamated Compaq, but they were due to invoicing problems.

"We don't expect problems in the near future; HP has been very amicable in certain areas - we deal directly with two people at HP Australia and have had no trouble and good service." Dell holds almost 90 percent of the desktop and server usage within Macquarie University.

Business systems manager with mining giant Zinifex, Phil Palmer, said he expects no impact from the ousting of CEO Carly Fiorina and wants everything at HP to stay just as it should be.

"We were a big Compaq user and from our perspective the merger went very well. When a merger impacts one of your major suppliers it is always a concern, but the transition went seamlessly," Palmer said.

"The services we get from HP are in an outsourced data centre and helpdesk which they understand how to do and are making good money out of it. "They [HP] might make some strategic changes but Melbourne Australia is a long way from the US - I don't think her leaving will have an impact on our business."

Zinifex currently has an outsourcing and helpdesk contract with HP.

Future product roadmaps for existing technology are of greater concern to users, with IT managers claiming they would like the vendor to focus on price, features and ease of implementation instead of putting out boardroom fires.

HP users seeking to Reinvent

Carly Fiorina's departure came as no big surprise to HP's local user group Encompass. In fact the group's chairman Michael Klein said members were not shocked because the "main feeling was that it was expected".

"It was a difficult time going through the Compaq merger and she did as good a job as she could," he said. "I'm not sure that the merger went as well as they were hoping it would." Klein believes the merger resulted in less choice for buyers in the PC market and that Unix systems, particularly Tru64, was "another casualty".

"Encompass members are waiting to see HP's strategy going forward and many are probably treating HP as just another vendor," he said. "Today pricing and support differentiates vendors and users go with what they feel is value for money." Encompass, which had its origins as the DEC users' group Decus, has challenges of its own. Much like the vendor, Klein said, it is trying to re-invent itself. "In the days of Decus one supplied everything but now users buy from multiple vendors," he said. "We are looking at ways of re-inventing ourselves which is something we have been struggling with for years. Maybe Encompass has to take the home user into the fold..."

-- Rodney Gedda

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