HP Autonomy

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HP Autonomy
Industry Information technology
Fate Acquired by Hewlett-Packard
Founded 1996 (Cambridge)
Founder(s) Michael Richard Lynch
David Tabizel
Richard Gaunt
Headquarters Cambridge, United Kingdom
San Francisco, United States
Area served Global
Key people Robert Youngjohns (SVP & General Manager)
Products Big data analytics, information governance, data protection and digital marketing
Parent Hewlett-Packard Company
Website www.autonomy.com
Left frame 
Cambridge Business Park Autonomy RL.jpg
Autonomy Corporation headquarters at Cambridge Business Park.

HP Autonomy, previously Autonomy Corporation, is a multinational enterprise software company founded in Cambridge, United Kingdom in 1996.

The company used a combination of technologies born out of research at the University of Cambridge. It developed a variety of enterprise search and knowledge management applications using adaptive pattern recognition techniques centered on Bayesian inference in conjunction with traditional methods.

Autonomy was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in October 2011. The following year, HP wrote off $8.8 billion of Autonomy's value, claiming "accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures".

Following the hiring of Robert Youngjohns as senior vice president and general manager in September 2012, the company works towards a turnaround. Under new leadership, HP Autonomy aims to grow its information management and analytics software business. Though the company is integrating into HP Software, Autonomy remains a singular operational business.[1]


Inception and expansion: 1996–2011[edit]

Autonomy was founded in Cambridge, England by Dr. Michael Lynch, David Tabizel and Richard Gaunt in 1996 as a spin-off from Cambridge Neurodynamics, a firm specializing in computer-based finger print recognition.[2][3]

Autonomy floated in 1998 on the NASDAQ exchange at a share price of approximately £0.30. At the height of the "dot com bubble", the peak share price was £30.[4]

December 2005: Autonomy acquired Verity, Inc., one of its main competitors, for approximately US$500 million.[5] In 2005 Autonomy also acquired Neurodynamics.[6]

May 2007: After exercising an option to buy a stake in technology start up Blinkx Inc, and combining it with its consumer division, Autonomy floated Blinkx on a valuation of $250 million.[7]

July 2007: Autonomy acquired Zantaz, an email archiving and litigation support company, for $375 million.[8]

October 2007: Autonomy acquired Meridio Holdings Ltd, a UK company based in Northern Ireland that specialised in Records Management software, for £20 million.[9]

28 May 2008: Kainos extended its partnership with Autonomy for high-end information processing and Information Risk Management (IRM) to deliver information governance solutions to its customer base.[10]

January 2009: Autonomy acquired Interwoven, a niche provider of enterprise content management software, for $775 million.[11] Interwoven became Autonomy Interwoven and Autonomy iManage.

In 2009 Paul Morland, a leading analyst, started raising concerns about Autonomy's exaggerated performance claims.[12][13]

June 2010: Autonomy announced that it was to acquire the Information Governance business of CA Technologies. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.[14]

5 May 2011: The Mercedes Formula One team announced an $8 million sponsorship deal with Autonomy, and on 8 July 2010 Tottenham Hotspur FC announced a two year sponsorship deal with Autonomy for their Premier League kit.[15][16] For the 2011–12 season Spurs' Premier League shirt featured Autonomy's Augmented Reality technology Aurasma.[17]

16 May 2011: Autonomy acquired Iron Mountain Digital, a pioneer in E-discovery and online backup solutions provider, for $380 million from Iron Mountain Incorporated.[18]

As a Hewlett Packard business: 2011 – Present[edit]

18 August 2011: Hewlett Packard announced that it would purchase Autonomy for US$42.11 per share, around $10.2 billion. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both HP and Autonomy and the Autonomy board recommended that its shareholders accept the offer.[19] On 3 October 2011 HP closed the deal with over 87% of Autonomy shares acquired.[20]

May 2012: Mike Lynch left his role as Autonomy CEO after a significant drop in revenue in the previous quarter.[21]

September 2012: Robert Youngjohns was appointed SVP & GM of Autonomy/Information Management Business Unit.[1]

November 2012: Hewlett-Packard announced that it was taking an $8.8 billion accounting charge after claiming “serious accounting improprieties” and “outright misrepresentations” at Autonomy.[22][23] However, Mike Lynch counter-alleged that the problems were due to HP's running of Autonomy,[24] citing "internecine warfare" within the organization.[25] The FBI launched an investigation, followed by the Serious Fraud Office, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Subsequently three lawsuits were initiated by HP shareholders against the company.[26]

Model of 2010 Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team car at the Cambridge Business Park Autonomy building lobby.

November 2013: the HP Exstream customer communication management (CCM) business, formerly part of the HP LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions (LES) business, joined the HP Autonomy organization.[27]

30 January 2014: the company announced that one of its partners, Kainos, integrated HP IDOL 10.5, the new version of HP Autonomy’s information analytics engine, into Kainos's electronic medical record platform, Evolve.[28]

Offerings and Solutions[edit]

HP Autonomy products include Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL), which allows for search and processing of text taken from both structured data and unstructured human information -- including e-mail and mobile data -- whether it originates in a database, audio, video, text files or streams.[29] The processing of such information by IDOL is referred to by Autonomy as Meaning-Based Computing.[30]

HP Autonomy's offerings include:

Marketing Optimization
Web Experience Management, Web Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Contact Center Management, Rich Media Management
Information Analytics
Voice of the Customer, Media Intelligence, Video Surveillance, Big Data Analytics, SFA Intelligence
Unified Information Access
Enterprise Search, Knowledge Management, Content Access & Extraction
Information Archiving
Compliance Archiving, Litigation Readiness Archiving, Storage Optimization Archiving, Database & Application Archiving, Supervision & Policy Management
Legal Hold, Early Case Assessment, Review & Analytics, Investigations, Post-Review
Enterprise Content Management
Policy-driven Information Management, Records Management, Legal Content Management, Business Process Management, Document and Email Management
Data Protection
Server Data Protection, Virtual Server Data Protection, Remote & Branch Office Data Protection, Endpoint Device Data Protection
Customer Communications Management
Healthcare Communications, Transactional Communications, State, Local & Federal Communications, Utility & Smart Meter Communications, High Volume Communications


Automated Information Capture
Multichannel automated information capture:, Intelligent document recognition, Intelligent document classification, Remote capture, Validation[32]

HAVEn Big Data Platform[edit]

In June 2013, HP announced the HAVEn platform for analyzing and finding meaning from big data - petabytes of structured and unstructured information. HAVEn also aims to identify information that is not needed and can be placed in low cost storage or even dumped.[33]

Components of the platform include:

  • Hadoop: All leading Hadoop distributions are supported by HP's open strategy
  • Autonomy: HP IDOL allows seamless access to 100% of enterprise data - human- or machine-generated.
  • Vertica: A scalable database platform that is custom-built for real-time analytics on large datasets.
  • ArcSight: Provides real-time collection and analysis of logs and enterprise security events from an array of devices and data sources, leveraging Big Data to bridge operational intelligence and security intelligence.
  • Operations Management: HP is the world’s leading software vendor for operations management.[34]

In January 2014, HP released a new version of HP IDOL that strengthens integration with several key components of the HAVEn platform by expanding upon IDOL’s analytics, reliability and ease of use.[35] CMSWire reported that the new release has "a lot under the hood here that will catapult IDOL firmly into the center of the big data fray."[36]


The HP Autonomy business has primary offices in Cambridge, UK, and Sunnyvale, USA, as well as other major offices in the US, the UK, Canada, France, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Germany, and smaller offices in India and throughout Europe and Latin America.

Business leadership[edit]

Current HP Autonomy leadership:[37]

  • Robert Youngjohns, SVP & General Manager
  • Rohit de Souza, GM Information Analytics & Search
  • Rafiq Mohammadi, GM Marketing Optimization
  • Mike Sullivan, GM eDiscovery & Information Archiving
  • Neil Araujo, GM Enterprise Content Management
  • David Jones, GM Data Protection
  • Mike Salfity, GM Customer Communication Management

Many of Autonomy's senior executives left after the acquisition by Hewlett-Packard, "amid accusations that HP is too bureaucratic, and counterclaims that Lynch and his team failed to deliver on revenue targets".[38] Months after Lynch's departure, Robert Youngjohns was appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP Autonomy in September of 2012.[39]



  1. ^ a b HP Names Microsoft Exec Robert Youngjohns to Run Autonomy
  2. ^ Security Group Seminar University of Cambridge
  3. ^ The Kindness of Strangers VNU Net
  4. ^ Loney, Matt (13 November 2008). ""What that £10k is worth now", 31st Dec 2001, zdnet.co.uk". News.zdnet.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  5. ^ ""Autonomy buys Verity", Information World Review". Iwr.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Autonomy's Board of Directors". Autonomy. 
  7. ^ 22 May 2007 by Pete Cashmore View Comments (22 May 2007). "Blinkx IPO goes ahead". Mashable.com. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Autonomy buys Zantaz". Law.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Autonomy announces an agreement to acquire Meridio Holdings Limited
  10. ^ "Kainos Embraces Additional Autonomy Group Technology". Kainos Software Limited. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Davey, James (22 January 2009). "Autonomy to buy Interwoven for $775 mln". Reuters. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  12. ^ Garside, Juliette (22 November 2012). "UBS and Goldman Sachs had access to negative Autonomy research". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Analysts warned that UK software giant Autonomy's finances were 'questionable' three years before disastrous Hewlett Packard deal". This is Money. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  14. ^ Autonomy to Acquire CA's Information Governance Business News article from InfoGrok
  15. ^ "Mercedes GP Petronas announce Autonomy sponsorship deal". Mercedes Benz. 
  16. ^ "Tottenham reveal new pounds 20m shirt sponsors". The Daily Mail (UK). 8 July 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Tottenham Hotspur shirts to feature Autonomy's Aurasma". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 
  18. ^ Autonomy buys Iron Mountain's digital archiving outfit Guardian, 16 May 2011
  19. ^ HP to acquire Autonomy HP Newsroom, 18 August 2011
  20. ^ "Hewlett-Packard completes Autonomy buyout". BBC News. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  21. ^ HP Autonomy co-founder Mike Lynch replaced Slashgear, 23 May 2012
  22. ^ H.P. Takes Big Hit on ‘Accounting Improprieties’ at Autonomy NY Times, 20 November 2012
  23. ^ "BBC News - Autonomy misled HP about finances, Hewlett Packard says". BBC Online. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012. "Computer maker Hewlett Packard has asked US and UK authorities to investigate alleged misrepresentations of Autonomy's finances before HP took over the UK software group last year." 
  24. ^ Mike Lynch defends Autonomy accounting methods The Telegraph, 21 November 2012
  25. ^ Autonomy’s Ex-Chief: H.P.’s Claims ‘Completely and Utterly Wrong’ Dealbook, 21 November 2012
  26. ^ "HP in serious talks to resolve shareholders lawsuits". Business Sun. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "HP Exstream & Autonomy". HP. 
  28. ^ "Kainos Harnesses HP IDOL for Next-generation Healthcare Analytics". HP Autonomy. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "HP's Autonomy Debuts End-to-End eDiscovery Solution, Appliance". Infostor.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  30. ^ "What is meaning-based computing". Computing.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  31. ^ "AU/: Stock Quote - Autonomy Corp Ltd". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  32. ^ HP Teleform - HP Autonomy, retrieved 2014-08-01 
  33. ^ David Roe. "HP Ups Big Data Play with HAVEn, Releases Autonomy Data Clean-up #HPDiscover". Cmswire.com. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  34. ^ "HAVEn: The HP platform for Big Data (Solution brief/4AA4-7102ENW.pdf)". H20195.www2.hp.com. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  35. ^ "HP Strengthens HAVEn Big Data Platform to Power New Class of Human Information Applications | HP Autonomy". Autonomy.com. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  36. ^ David Roe. "HP Autonomy Upgrade Gives IDOL Big Data Muscle". Cmswire.com. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  37. ^ "Autonomy Management & Business Leadership | HP Autonomy". Autonomy.com. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  38. ^ Guardian newspaper: Autonomy founder Mike Lynch to leave Hewlett-Packard, 24 May 2012
  39. ^ HP Names Microsoft Exec Robert Youngjohns to Run Autonomy

External links[edit]