Hewlett Packard Trim 7

March 12, 2010

Hewlett Packard, a company that I continue to associate with low cost printers and high cost ink, lit up my radar with its acquisition of Lexington, Kentucky-based Exstream Software two years ago. Exstream (now Enterprise Document Automation), like IBM Ricoh Infoprints and Streamserve, generates outputs like invoices with warranty reminders and auto payment bills with coupons for oil change discounts. I learned that in February 2010, HP stepped up its footprint in document management. One of the source documents I examined is “HPTrim 7… How We Got Here?”. The gray  background and the dark blue highlights on text were a bit much for the addled goose’s eyes, however. For me, the most interesting segment in the history of Trim 7 was this passage:

Market consolidation meant that lots of little players were gobbled up, as the larger vendors strived to meet the ever challenging demands of the marketplace, picking up technology from these smaller companies and making them a part of their overall product line. Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest IT companies in the world, did the same, acquiring TOWER Software in 2008, but with one subtle difference. Rather than cannibalize the technology and abandon the product, they kept almost all of the staff from the TOWER acquisition and told them to build the next version of what is now known as HP TRIM. And – there were no other products that HP TRIM had to compete with internally unlike a lot of the other acquisitions: IBM/FileNet, OpenText/Hummingbird/Vignette, and utonomy/Zantaz/Interwoven/Meridio. HP wanted to concentrate on the product that was HP TRIM, and add the backing that only a company like HP can bring to a product. And so, HP TRIM 7 was born.

Digging through the text, HP bought an outfit called Tower and is rolling in other software to create the “new” document management business. You can locate the main page here. Three points jumped out:

First, I did not see any indication that HP’s dynamic document system integrates our “touches” the Trim 7 product. That’s strike me as an indication that HP is chasing revenues from silo sales, not integration.

Second, how does one find a document? I could not locate any information about the search and retrieval functions within Trim 7. I surmise that if I use Trim 7 for SharePoint, I in theory would be able to use the Microsoft Fast ESP system to search for content. That also seems to be quite a bit of work; that is, consulting revenue for HP or its partners. My query “search HP Trim” resulted in 10 hits but noting on point. One result was this page, which was heavy on marketing an light on locating information within the Trim 7 system. After a legal eagle drops a gift on a company named as a party in a legal matter, job one is answering the question, “What’s this about?” Trim 7 may not be able to answer that question.

Third, HP seems to be grabbing enterprise software companies that address really big information problems. With HP’s push into printers and ink, I saw a success that may have caught the firm’s hardware mavens by surprise. The trajectory in enterprise software is being driven from bit money acquisitions. I think that the surprise of printing consumables will be different from the surprise of acquisition-based growth. One was emergent; the latter is closer to MBA spreadsheet fever.

Big bets. Big win or big loss? I am leaning toward the loss option. Outlook: worth monitoring.

Stephen E Arnold, March 12, 2010

No one paid me to write this. Because HP derives significant revenue from ink, I think I have to report non payment to the US government’s printer, GPO.


2 Responses to “Hewlett Packard Trim 7”

  1. USB to Serial : on October 29th, 2010 2:15 pm

    oil change should be done depending on the characteristic of the machine-~”

  2. UV Paint on November 17th, 2010 11:10 am

    oil change needs to be done as often as possible to maintain the good performance of any kind of machinery “-`

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