Although Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) Q2 2013 revenues fell 10 percent, CEO Meg Whitman sees progress in the software market -- where HP Vertica (for big data analytics) sales are accelerating and HP Autonomy business is stabilizing. Give credit to HP Autonomy leader Robert Youngjohns. He my have saved the Autonomy ship.

During an HP earnings call with investors (May 22, 2013), Whitman said:

"In software, we saw continued challenges in the traditional IT management business which was particularly weak in Europe. This was offset by momentum at Vertica and continuing stabilization at Autonomy. The industry shift to SaaS continued to be a headwind in the short term while we are embracing this transition in our portfolio with new products such as HP Anywhere and Agile Manager 1.1. We saw growth in both SaaS bookings and revenue. Overall, we drove improved operating leverage as margins increased by 1.4% to 19.1%. Our software business is well positioned with key products covering mobility, cloud, big data and security."

Then Whitman added: "I am encouraged by some of the customer wins we are seeing at Autonomy. For example, this quarter we announced All Nippon Airways, Japan's largest airline, is using Autonomy's Optimost product to increase revenues and improve its online customer experience."

Reality Check

Let's face it: HP has never been known as a software company, nor is HP known for successful software business acquisitions. In fact, the HP Autonomy business faces a $1 billion shareholder lawsuit.

Meanwhile, dozens of companies are competing in the big data and analytics markets -- which means Vertica and Autonomy face competition on all fronts.

But here's the refreshing thing: For the first time in a few months, HP is not talking about a serious business hiccup. Under the direction of Robert Youngjohns, Autonomy seems to be pulling out of a steep nosedive. 

Next up: Can Autonomy actually regain altitude? That story has yet to play out.