HP Stays Faithful to Management, Services

Despite its new leadership and restructuring, the company continues to focus on creating a unified resource management platform.

ORLANDO, Fla.—For anyone expecting Hewlett-Packard Co. to undergo any drastic changes now that its under new management, Ann Livermore said it could be a long wait.

"Were not going to do a sudden shift in our strategy," Livermore, executive vice president of HPs Technology Solutions Group, said Monday morning during her opening keynote here at the HP Technology Forum. "Frankly, were happy with our current direction."

In July, HP, under new CEO Mark Hurd, underwent a restructuring designed to bring the Palo Alto, Calif., companys expenses in line with its businesses.

However, HP wont be spinning off any of its business groups, Livermore said, a move that some industry analysts have been pushing for several years.

Instead, "our approach will continue to be consistent," she said.

That approach includes its software and services businesses, which are the focus of the HP Technology Forum. Livermore and other executives who addressed the 4,000 or so HP users on Monday said HP will continue to build out its OpenView and Systems Insight Manager management software, both through acquisitions and in-house development.

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In addition, HP Services will continue to be a tool the company uses to help businesses with their technology needs, they said.

"Many of the acquisitions youve seen us make … have been around management," Livermore said.

HP this fall announced the acquisition of three companies—AppIQ Inc. for storage management, RLX Technologies Inc. for open-source blade server management and Peregrine Systems Inc. for asset tracking—whose software either has been or will be integrated into HPs management software portfolio.

These are the latest steps in HPs push toward a unified management platform that encompasses not only hardware but all IT resources, including applications and operating systems, Livermore said.

Resource management, along with such technologies as virtualization and SOA (service-oriented architecture), will be keys for businesses looking to make their IT infrastructure more adaptable to their business needs, said Russell Daniels, vice president and chief technology officer for HPs software business.

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Both Daniels and Livermore said such issues as regulatory compliance—both regarding financial information and privacy issues—collaboration and business continuity are key drivers behind the need for better management software, not only for servers but for resources such as storage.

"Its not just about storing [the data], but about search and retrieval," Livermore said. "These are the reasons why storage is so important."

HPs storage business, which struggled to meet revenue goals during the tenure of former President and CEO Carly Fiorina, has been a top priority of Hurds.

Livermore pointed to the companys expansion of the storage portfolio in May as an example of HP making moves to grow its business while keeping true to its overall business strategy. That also was illustrated in the AppIQ acquisition, which focused on the management side of storage.

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