SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The wait is over, for today came the announcement of new test and measurement company to be called Keysight Technologies. The new $2.9 billion company will spin off from Agilent Technologies before the end of 2014. Keysight technologies will be based in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Of course, this isn't the first time the business started by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in 1939 has gone through a split. On September 19, 2013, Agilent announced that it was splitting off its electronic test and measurement business into a new company.
In 1999, HP rocked the T&M community with the announcement that it was splitting off all of its measurement and life sciences businesses into Agilent Technologies. Since then, Agilent has spun off several companies. Most notable was the "big iron" ATE business, which became Verigy (now Advantest). Today's announcement, however, is more meaningful because electronics test and measurement was the original HP business. To find out what today's announcement means, I spoke with Jay Alexander, vice president and general manager, Oscilloscope & Protocol Division of Agilent Technologies.
Martin Rowe: What was the process involved in choosing the name?
Jay Alexander: Naming a company, product, or technology is quite challenging, because there are so many names out there used for branding. It's all but impossible to name a multinational company using a word in the English dictionary because they're all taken in some way. So, you have to create a name made from coined words or new compounds of existing words that carry some value. Names must be easy to pronounce and not carry negative connotations in any language. A company name must indicate the company's attributes on some way.
We started with over 4,000 potential names and went through a series of availability checks, legal checks, and checks for hidden meanings. The name Keysight takes two existing words and combines them in a new way. Key has two meanings. It refers to something that is critical and indispensible. It's also the object that unlocks things. We feel that we will be the company that unlocks insights through measurement and will bring a unique vision and perception to electronic measurements for our customers. The final decision was made by Ron Nersesian, who will become the CEO of Keysight Technologies.
Martin Rowe: Did you take into account domain registration when choosing the company name?
Jay Alexander: Absolutely. Electronic presence is very important. It's so much how you reach your intended customer. We wanted to make sure we could register the address www.keysight.com. We also had to check around on social media to see if anyone was using the name.
To Page 2: The logo, location, and labs.