Hewlett-Packard Co. Executive Vice President Ann Livermore, who most recently had led the Palo Alto, Calif., companys services division, this spring was tasked with heading a new, consolidated Technology Solutions Group, which combines HP services, servers, storage and software. On the eve of her keynote presentation at this weeks HP World conference in Chicago, Livermore talked with eWEEK senior editors Jeffrey Burt and Paula Musich about the mission, challenges and expectations for the new organization. The following is an excerpt:
How is the reorganization effort going, and what direction will it take from here?
Were already seeing several benefits in our strategy to bring to customers solutions that are more integrated. ... It enables us, as we develop product offerings, to do a better job of integrating them in the labs before they come to market. We [also] have leadership with HP OpenView [infrastructure management] offerings, and weve made acquisitions to strengthen functionality dramatically in addressing applications and business service management levels. We have tremendous synergy between outsourcing and the software business. With new technology and tools developed in HP Labs, we can introduce those first into our outsourcing business and give clients the advantages of using more sophisticated and the best tools possible. Then we can decide when to make that technology part of the standard HP OpenView offerings.
There is also synergy between the software and consulting business. We can ensure OpenView always has thousands of consultants ready to be involved in implementations. Its great for the software and services business and ensures the muscle is always there.
Were also working on capabilities we built into our servers so that you can automate a lot of things customers in the past had to do with their own labor or with HP Services labor. One offering is around the ProLiant servers. With our Lights-Out and Integrated Lights-Out Management, weve taken a set of technologies we can build in—we started at an option card, now we have it integrated on the system board—so that you can manage all servers from a network client. That provides the lowest cost of ownership and shows our ability to use technology, as opposed to people, to deliver a powerful service.
Have any new services come out of the merger of the groups?
There is great leverage with R&D [research and development] and intellectual capital that we can use as a tool for services or [to create] functionality for software, or both. In servers, were building in tremendous capability to do remote monitoring and diagnostics for great uptime on different environments like Linux, where that used to only exist on the mainframe.
What do customers get with HPs Adaptive Enterprise initiative? What still needs to be done?
We start with a reference architecture. As we create this architecture, we have to help them transition from stable and robust to adaptive to change.
Then there are four steps to our adaptive enterprise. Simplification is one. Thats about reducing the number of data centers, or different applications that all do finance. The next step is standardization. When you are consolidating, you are doing that typically to a standard environment, processes and technology elements. Here, we add IT services management. The next step is modularity, and that is when virtualization technology comes in. The final thing is, Can you integrate the parts that need to be integrated? Web services comes in here.
With services, servers and software in one group, how will HP Services be technology-agnostic?
Every customer would know we have a bias toward HP technology because were most familiar with it. Every systems integrator is biased toward the technology theyre most used to based on their expertise. And customers want that. The discussion about bias is a red herring in the services industry.