|Founded||June 1996 (as Autonomy Corporation PLC)|
Cambridge, England, U.K.
|Founder||Michael Richard Lynch|
|Fate||Merged by Micro Focus|
|Headquarters||Cambridge, United Kingdom|
San Francisco, United States
|Robert Youngjohns (SVP & General Manager)|
|Products||Big data analytics, information governance, data protection and digital marketing|
|Autonomy Corporation headquarters at Cambridge Business Park.|
Originally, Autonomy specialised in analysis of large scale unstructured "big data", becoming the UK's largest and most successful software business by 2010. It used a combination of technologies born out of research at the University of Cambridge and developed a variety of enterprise search and knowledge management applications using adaptive pattern recognition techniques centered on Bayesian inference in conjunction with traditional methods. It maintained an aggressively entrepreneurial marketing approach, and sales controls described as a "rod of iron" - allegedly firing the weakest 5% of its sales force each quarter whilst cosseting the best sales staff "like rock stars".
Autonomy was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in October 2011. The deal valued Autonomy at $11.7 billion (£7.4 billion) with a premium of around 79% over market price that was widely criticized as "absurdly high", a "botched strategy shift" and a "chaotic" attempt to rapidly reposition HP and enhance earnings by expanding the high-margin software services sector. Within a year, HP had written off $8.8 billion of Autonomy's value, with major culture clashes being reported in the press. HP claims this resulted from "accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures" by the previous management. A successful fraud case was brought against the CFO Sushovan Hussain, with Hussain's appeal failing in Aug 2020. Previous management in turn accused HP of a "textbook example of defensive stalling" : 6 to conceal evidence of its own prior knowledge and gross mismanagement and undermining of the company, noting public awareness since 2009 of its financial reporting issues: 3 and that even HP's CFO disagreed with the price paid.: 3–6 External observers generally state that only a small part of the write-off appears to be due to accounting mis-statements, and that HP had overpaid for businesses previously.
HP recruited Robert Youngjohns, ex-Microsoft president of North America, to take over HP Autonomy in September 2012, who has worked towards a turnaround through expanding its information management and analytics software business. Though the company is integrating into HP Software, Autonomy remains a separate operational business.
Inception and expansion
Autonomy was founded in Cambridge, England by 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.
July 2007: Autonomy acquired Zantaz, an email archiving and litigation support company, for $375 million.
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.
In 2009 Paul Morland, a leading analyst, started raising concerns about Autonomy's exaggerated performance claims.
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. For the 2011–12 season Spurs' Premier League shirt featured Autonomy's Augmented Reality technology Aurasma.
18 August 2011: Hewlett-Packard announced that it would purchase Autonomy for US$42.11 per share. 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. On 3 October 2011 HP closed the deal, announcing that it had acquired around 87.3% of the shares for around $10.2 billion, and valuing the company at around $11.7 billion in total.
May 2012: Mike Lynch left his role as Autonomy CEO after a significant drop in revenue in the previous quarter.
September 2012: Robert Youngjohns was appointed SVP & GM of Autonomy/Information Management Business Unit.
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; its share price fell to a decades' low on the news. However, Mike Lynch counter-alleged that the problems were due to HP's running of Autonomy, citing "internecine warfare" within the organization. The Serious Fraud Office (United Kingdom), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission joined the FBI in investigating the potential anomalies. However, in January 2015 the SFO closed its investigation as the chance of successful prosecution was low. Three lawsuits were brought by shareholders against HP, for the fall in value of HP shares. In August 2014 a United States district court judge threw out a proposed settlement, which Autonomy's previous management had argued would be collusive and intended to divert scrutiny of HP executives' own responsibility and knowledge, for a fee of up to $48 million. In April 2018 Autonomy's ex-CFO Sushovan Hussain was charged in the US and found guilty in of accounting fraud, and is currently on bail after his appeal raised a "substantial question over his conviction." From his evidence Lynch was charged with fraud in November. Lynch will contest extradition having said that he "vigorously rejects all the allegations against him."
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.
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.
31 October 2015: Autonomy's software products are divided between HP Inc (HPQ) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) as a result of the Hewlett-Packard Co separation. HP Inc is assigned ownership largely consisting of Autonomy's content management software components including TeamSite, Qfiniti, Qfiniti Managed Services, MediaBin, Optimost, and Explore. Hewlett Packard Enterprise retains ownership of the remaining software.
2 May 2016: OpenText acquires HP TeamSite, HP MediaBin, HP Qfiniti, HP Explore, HP Aurasma, and HP Optimost from HP Inc for $170 million.
Products and services
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. The processing of such information by IDOL is referred to by Autonomy as Meaning-Based Computing.
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
- Haven OnDemand
- The API platform for building data rich applications. Haven OnDemanduk features a wide range of APIs for indexing and performing analytics on a range of information from plain text and office documents through to audio and video.
- Haven Search OnDemand
- A easy to use and quick to deploy Enterprise Search solution built onto of the Haven OnDemand API Platform.
The Autonomy business has primary offices in Cambridge and Sunnyvale, California, as well as other major offices in the UK, the US, Canada, France, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Germany, and smaller offices in India and throughout Europe and Latin America.
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