Adapting to Change

Getting business processes, IT in sync is key.

Ann livermore may have the toughest job at Hewlett-Packard Co. As the head of the companys Services division, she must rapidly grow the business, while at the same time compete head-on with IBMs Global Services juggernaut. Livermore sat down with eWEEK Editor in Chief Eric Lundquist and Senior Editor Jeffrey Burt this month at HP World in Atlanta.

HP has pinned a lot of its future on the adaptive enterprise. What is it?

The adaptive enterprise is where the ultimate data sits in the corporation. It is when youve got your business processes and IT in synchronization with each other. If you look at most corporations today, one of the biggest problems is that their business processes and underlying IT infrastructure cant change. The adaptive enterprise is HPs approach to how you manage your infrastructure, software and the business processes to make them work together.

How has HP adapted?

One of the things that HP has done over the last 18 months is make a lot of changes to our corporation that we are now offering to our customers. HP created something called the adaptive network architecture. We did this for ourselves; now we are offering it as a service to our customers. When we completed the merger with Compaq, on that first day, we were able to have all the Compaq employees and all the HP employees access the same network. Everyone was on e-mail the first day, and everyone could access the employee portal the first day. Thats an example of how we started with the network level and enabled a business to respond to change more quickly.

How is the adaptive network more efficient than IBM using WebSphere?

They are focused on different value propositions. Our value proposition is around building business agility for our customers. IBMs on-demand computing is a different value proposition than that.

How big a trend is outsourcing?

Almost every company we talk to is thinking about outsourcing some part of their IT department. ... There are a lot of corporations that are realizing that a service provider like HP can manage the IT infrastructure at a lower cost, at a higher quality and at less risk.

HP had a big consumer product introduction recently. Is HP stretched too thin right now?

We think that today, HP has a portfolio that a lot of our competitors are envious of.