Hewlett-Packard has invited journalists to an event March 14 where CEO Léo Apotheker is expected to lay out his plans for the company, including anticipated greater investments in enterprise software.
Hurd did a lot to cut costs at HP and improve its financial position, but he didn't build a strategy that distinguishes HP from big rivals like IBM, said analyst James Staten of Forrester Research. "That's what they're expecting Leo to do for them," he said.
"The management software they have -- Mercury and Opsware and the legacy HP software -- needs to become a far more integrated and significant part of the business," Staten said.
Analysts say business intelligence may also be a target area. Right now, HP is like a "BI sandwich without the middle," Forrester analyst James Kobielus said recently. "They've got the hardware, they've got the services, but they don't have the software."
Apotheker will also expand HP's investment in storage and networking, two other profitable areas that are becoming increasingly strategic in corporate data centers, according to , citing unnamed sources.
His plan may also include new duties for top HP executives including Ann Livermore, who runs HP's enterprise business, and executive vice presidents David Donatelli and Tom Hogan, the Journal reported.
HP also has a separate big event scheduled for Feb 9, also in San Francisco, where it's due to discuss its strategy for the webOS software it bought from Palm to use in smarphones, tablets, printers and other products.