From cybersecurity to tightening budgets, federal agencies are facing the task of doing more with less. Helping federal customers come up with a game plan to tackle these and other issues “” everything from green IT to data center transformation “” is Tom Hempfield, head of HP’s federal business organization. On the heels of HP’s recent acquisition of EDS, a global technology services provider, ExecutiveBiz recently caught up with Hempfield. Here Hempfield shares the latest on IT trends such as open source, as well as other emerging technologies to keep an eye on.
EB: What trends are you seeing in open source?
Tom Hempfield: The new administration is looking to IT leadership to do more with less. That's where open source comes in. A good example would be the public schools system; they've had large scale deployment of Linux, which dramatically helped them reduce costs and actually gain access to more IT resources. Beyond that, open source and, particularly Linux desktops, are being embraced as viable business solutions. OpenOffice is an example. A third trend is consolidation. Contracting in the server market is down 14 percent. Windows server sales are down about 17.7 percent, Linux about 7 percent.
EB: How are you approaching cybersecurity, specifically?
Tom Hempfield: HP's acquisition of EDS has provided us greater capability in cybersecurity. So, whether through new technologies or acquisition, we are well-positioned to align with the Obama administration's agenda in cybersecurity.
EB: What top solutions is HP assessing to help agencies transform their IT environments?
Tom Hempfield: We're focused on three things: green IT, data center transformation, and security. With green IT, we have focused on our supply chain, product development, and initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint and strengthen our recycling capability. With data center transformation we've undergone substantial transformation internal to HP. In terms of security, we have a broad portfolio capability and security considerations are engineered into all HP products; several of these secure solutions were created specifically with public sector customers in mind.
EB: Any examples?
Tom Hempfield: Our HP Imaging and Printing Group offers a Secure Print solution with a CAC card reader to control print, copy and scan functions using strongly authenticated identity management; the Secure Key Manager makes and securely manages digital encryption keys for large enterprises and has been submitted for FIPS140-2 certification ““ today everything is becoming encrypted and every encrypted device will need key management (a lost key=lost data); CHART is a project we have worked on with DARPA to enable accelerated and secure connectivity between remote users and applications whether they be at a government data center or a cloud service.
EB: CIOs are now facing pressure to upgrade IT infrastructures with fewer resources “” what emerging technologies can help CIOs meet that challenge?
Tom Hempfield: First, they're not just challenges, they're mandates. Emerging technologies “” things like data center transformation, virtualization, as well as cloud computing “” can help meet that mandate. On the software front, our recent acquisitions of Tower Software and Mercury leave us well-positioned to provide a broad suite of capabilities to help the government manage costs and strengthen security.
EB: What is HP currently doing in the local business community?
Tom Hempfield: HP is doing a lot to help support the community and support the environment with our technologies, services, and resources. Last summer, HP, Citrix and Intel public sector groups targeted the federal government with a creative outreach program called “Power IT Down Day.“ Part of HP's Green IT strategy, “Power IT Down Day“ challenged everyone to save money and energy by turning off PCs, workstations, printers, and monitors at the end of the day Aug. 27. In recognition of the event, HP, Intel, and Citrix donated $25,000 of the cost savings achieved to American Red Cross of the National Capitol Area. There are many other examples of how HP is making a difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Last summer, HP donated $100,000 for the construction of the Pentagon Memorial. This July, for the 11th consecutive year, HP is proud to serve as a national sponsor of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. HP will provide equipment and technical support for the event
EB: What's something most people don't know about you personally?
Tom Hempfield: Many people may not know that I have a little more than 20 years of experience in this industry. Prior to that, I was a pre-med and electrical engineering major so that's a little different. I have had the pleasure of enjoying about six or seven years in support of the federal business and I'm really excited about that. I really enjoy this market; it enables me to serve the people who serve the public good.
Interview conducted by JD Kathuria
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