Hewlett Packard and Code Reviews: Micro Focus Policy Shift

October 12, 2017

I noted that Hewlett Packard Enterprise allowed Russia to perform a code review. The software under “review” performs some security related functions. HPE is no longer in the software business after its sale of Autonomy to Micro Focus earlier this year and the somewhat interesting hiving of the HPE Micro Focus stake to the creatively named Seattle SpinCo in August 2017.

Micro Focus, according to Reuters, announced on October 9, 2017, that it would no longer permit code reviews by what Reuters called “high risk” governments. Prompt action for a giant roll up of different companies and their technologies. Somebody at Micro Focus mashed the pedal to metal for this policy change. Maybe Micro Focus’ UK customers were less than enthusiastic about the code review than US officials?

I am not sure what to make of HPE’s action, but on the surface, it seems that Micro Focus appears to be scrambling to contain the issue.

I did a quick look at Micro Focus and turned up a number of pointers to a company called Entit Software. This is a company with which I am not familiar. Entit has a number of offices, including one which looks pretty close to Hewlett Packard in Silicon Valley.

What’s amusing about this story is that HPE seems to be executing a complex combination of the paso double combined with a down home square dance. CNBC reported that “a White House cyber official called Russian review of Pentagon software problematic.” That seems like a criticism of HPE from my vantage point in Harrod’s Creek.

Interesting executive decision making plus footprints from corporate intermediaries. Perhaps Autonomy was not the challenge for Hewlett Packard. HP may be its own storm system? Seattle SpinCo? Really? MBAs and lawyers should be more creative in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, October 12, 2017

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