HP to Acquire Bristol Technology - 1

Through the acquisition, Hewlett-Packard builds out its process monitoring and cross-platform development capabilities.

Hewlett-Packard is building out its software and solutions management capabilities with the Feb. 5 acquisition of Bristol Technology.

Bristol, based in Danbury, Conn., develops two separate software suites, TransactionVision and Cross-Platform Solutions. TransactionVision enables companies to track and trace business process transactions, similar to monitoring packages as they are sent through the overnight delivery process. Cross-Platform Solutions, on the other hand, is development-focused software that helps users port Windows applications to Unix and Linux platforms.

In February 2005 Bristol received a patent for tracking and correlating business transactions. Titled "Method and apparatus for correlation of events in a distributed multi-system computing environment," the patent has some 36 claims around the mechanics of collecting transactional event data and correlating the events into individual business transactions, and it serves as the basis for the Bristols TransactionVision product, according to Ramin Sayer, director of products at HP, in Palo Alto, Calif.

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Some of the key concepts involved in the patent include the use of middleware APIs as trace points for monitoring a distributed transaction across all tiers of the enterprise (a process that doesnt touch the underlying application), and inter-middleware trace point correlation to enable the assembly of trace point events from different middleware technologies into a transaction flow, according to the companys Web site.

Those capabilities, now in TransactionVision, are used to help companies monitor complex business transactions such as insurance claim processes or inventory management, and are already integrated with HPs Business Availability Center and Universal CMDB software applications. The technology also complements HPs recent acquisition of Mercury Interactive, a company whose software enables the end-to-end management of business transactions and extends HP Business Availability Center functionality to the mainframe, officials said.

"For the first time, customers will have a single software vendor that enables them to manage end-to-end business transactions, beginning with end users all the way through custom application and mainframe environments," said Deborah Traub, HPs vice president of products for Management Software.

Bristol is a privately held company that seems to employ much of the Blackwell family—the CEO, chief technology officer and senior vice president of business development are two brothers and a wife, respectively. They are also the companys co-founders. The team has built up an impressive customer roster in the financial services and insurance industries that includes companies the likes of IBM, Deutsche Telekom, American Honda Motor, JPMorgan Chase, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and Bank One.

Once the acquisition closes in early March, subject to standard regulatory considerations, Bristol will be integrated into the HP Software unit within the companys Technology Solutions Group, the company said. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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