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February 20, 2007

HP extends its lifecycle management reach

HP recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire Bristol Technology, a privately held provider of technologies that monitor business transactions. This acquisition is further evidence of the increase in ambition and momentum that HP's software division now seems to have, and should prove beneficial to the company's corporate customers.

By CBR Staff Writer

Bristol was already a partner of Mercury, at the time that HP acquired Mercury last year. Bristol Technology had an OEM partnership with Mercury dating from 2005, and so the software’s integration, with what is now HP Business Availability Center, and the native HP Universal CMDB, is already well advanced.

It will extend HP’s transaction monitoring and management capabilities to include middleware and mainframe technologies, enabling customers to have end-to-end views, and control of transaction performance that includes batch, or other asynchronous, transactions as well as online systems.

Unifying these technology areas is very important for customers such as banks and other large enterprises, which use technologies such as CICS, MQ, or even SAP, as these products’ transaction diagnostics are usually not integrated with the in-depth analysis that many transaction management tools can provide for applications based on J2EE or .NET.

Apart from the vital importance of maintaining performance levels within their business systems, and meeting performance targets that can be the basis of commercial partnerships as well as customer relationships, enterprises’ compliance considerations also necessitate insight right across and within what’s going on inside business transactions.

Our discussions with HP about this incremental step forward have also been revealing in terms of its larger-scale plans, including the ongoing integration of Mercury and HP technology management products. As the smart money would have bet, the alignment of product groups will be along the lines of Mercury’s ‘Centers’ approach, refined to meet customer needs in three high-level areas of strategy, applications, and operations management, and combining to comprise a greater scope of what will still be branded business technology optimization.

HP’s former in-house portfolio populates mainly the latter of those three areas, with the disparate capabilities of the OpenView family, and the particular strengths in data center management, network management, and of course service desk capability (which HP acquired from Peregrine), providing a firm technology foundation for the more business-facing capabilities that Mercury brought to last year’s deal.

This acquisition, and the product plans HP has discussed with Butler Group, is further evidence of the increase in ambition and momentum that HP’s software division now seems to have. At the time of the announcement of HP’s acquisition of Mercury, it was expected that there would be a difference in cultures between the owning and acquired organizations. It seems that Mercury’s go-getting, market-winning spirit is very much in the vanguard, and blowing a gale through HP’s software business. It appears to be propelling benefits the way of HP’s corporate customers, so long may it continue.

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Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)

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