HP Offers New Suite of I.T. Automation Tools
HP announced this week a suite of I.T. automation tools to simplify a range of administrative tasks, from the desktop to the data center. The offering is a "key pillar," the company said, of its strategy to integrate technology acquired during an aggressive buying spree.
HP's Business Optimization Portfolio pulls together assets from the acquisitions of Peregrine, Mercury, and Opsware. Automated Operations 1.0 combines solutions for I.T. service management, business service management, and business service automation.
"We have been aggressively expanding our software portfolio in the last two years to broaden and deepen our capabilities to help customers improve their top and bottom lines," said Tom Hogan, a senior vice president with HP Software, in a statement.
Not Sexy, Still Necessary
While business automation solutions might not be the sexiest part of the industry, it is an area where companies -- especially midsize and enterprise organizations -- feel real pain, and if HP can help with that, customers will appreciate it, Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said in a telephone interview.
"It's something they've been working up to and it's a natural offering with the acquisitions they've been making," King said. The space includes such tasks as managing and updating software and software licenses.
Dell has moved in a "similar direction," King said, with the recent acquisition of Everdream, which provided service management and help-desk solutions for desktop and mobile devices. While not a big deal for smaller companies, update and license management for organizations with hundreds of thousands of desktops and servers "can be a logistical nightmare," King said. "There's a broad understanding that tools like these are a real benefit."
Mission of Support
HP now competes with IBM, Computer Associates, and BMC in automation. Each vendor will approach this space in a slightly different way, King said. "The expertise that a vendor brings to customers, beyond delivering a product, comes in the way vendors can help customers manage those products," King said.
The spectrum ranges from "very granular, practical issues like software updates to much more complex data center management issues," King said. "The really broad lesson is there are responsibilities and opportunities in all those spaces."
King also said it's clear HP is "really on a mission" to build the assets and expertise it needs to give customers precisely the kind of support they want. "I expect to see more similar offerings over time," he added.
Eventually, HP is expected to deliver a full suite of offerings to improve management of everything from desktops to complex data centers.