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Mon 1 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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HP Software Universe 06

For the world’s largest information technology corporation, letting its customers know exactly what it can do for them remains top of the corporate agenda.

The IT giant’s annual Software Universe event, which it has hosted since 2001, provides HP with the perfect opportunity to detail its latest software offerings and explain how it is ahead of the technology curve. This year’s event, held in Vienna, was no different.

The main focus was placed firmly on OpenView, a suite of management solutions that HP says helps CIOs transform their IT departments into more efficient, effective and responsive business organisations.

OpenView is a complete portfolio of service-driven software, including business, application, IT service and infrastructure management functionality. By tightly aligning IT priorities with business requirements, HP believes IT departments can deliver greater value while optimising performance, reducing risk and increasing agility.

Representatives from the company put significant emphasis on HP’s business technology optimisation offering, a category of software and services that addresses the key challenges CIOs face every day, such as reducing costs, aligning IT for business value and the fast delivery of new services.

The software event opened with a performance by various musical types, including a small orchestra, a jazz band, and an opera singer. HP’s point being that although each was of a different musical genre they could be combined to create an impressive end result, which is what it claims to be able to do for businesses by aligning the different parts of their information technology infrastructure.

HP’s launch of a significantly broadened software portfolio is clearly positive progress towards this objective. The vendor says it is a portfolio that leverages the power of its management software, including the recently acquired software assets from the purchase of Mercury Interactive, to help customers align business and IT, manage IT services and automate end-to-end change.

HP also went on to explain its approach to transforming the way CIOs can optimise the business outcomes of IT investments. Built around three ‘lifecycles’ – change and configuration, IT service, and performance and availability – the company’s expanded portfolio is designed to help customers integrate key IT functions across strategy, applications and operations.

Using the lifecycle approach, HP argues that customers can deliver better business outcomes by making the right technology spending decisions, delivering applications and services on time with the right quality and performance, and meeting business service-level agreements.

To enable organisations to easily implement this approach, the company has launched nine software centres, which are suites of integrated software, services and best practices..

Thomas Hogan, senior vice president for software at HP, claims the vendor is an industry leader in business technology optimisation, a category of software and services that addresses the key challenges CIOs face every day. This includes cutting IT costs, speeding delivery of new services and aligning IT for business value, all to enable profitable growth.

The new software portfolio integrates Mercury’s leading application management and delivery and IT governance capabilities with HP’s extensive management solutions to help CIOs drive towards business technology optimisation.

“Building bridges between IT strategy, applications and operations is essential for every CIO who wants to run IT as a business and evolve from the function of IT to the business of IT,” says Hogan. “Through a lifecycle approach, HP Software is a strategic partner to CIOs to help them collapse silos in IT, leaving no broken links in the value chain. For every IT organisation, delivering quality, reliability and visibility across all functions of IT is essential. We partner with our customers to address their toughest challenge – transforming IT to deliver tangible business outcomes.

Running IT like a business is the real goal for the CIO of the future.”

Hogan went on to explain that HP’s lifecycles could take the guesswork out of creating an integrated infrastructure. When the silos of IT strategy, applications and operations are collapsed, he says, CIOs can directly link functional initiatives to broader strategic initiatives, both within and beyond IT.

HP’s lifecycle approach can help customers do this by controlling costs while keeping services up and running and providing better information to speed decisions, drive growth and reduce financial, compliance and business risk – all with the aim of delivering better business outcomes.

Jan Zadak, vice president and managing director for Central–Eastern European, Middle East, & Africa at HP, says this approach and the software that facilitates it forms part of the company’s strategic plan.

“It is important. It has become a two billion dollar business for HP.

The software HP has developed has been very significant in terms of the development of the company. It’s also obviously strategic for CIOs as part of their IT infrastructure. So this is where the software can really play a part,” he says.

Anton Schlachter, director of software SGBU, EMEA, adds: “I think it’s not quite our software complimenting our hardware. I think the best description is software working alongside hardware, because in the software game you need to be hardware agnostic in order to be successful. So our software plays the game alongside the hardware.”

Elsewhere at the event, during an EMEA roundtable, HP representatives explained how the company has been keen to develop in the Middle East and is now looking to expand rapidly within the region.

Zadak adds: “We operate now in 99 countries and we are very interested to know what will be the 100th country.

We bought out companies in Kuwait and Bahrain and we incorporated both of them into the company in September, so today we operate HP services in Kuwait and Bahrain. They’ve become part of the HP structure. We also hope to set up offices in Algeria.

“We have also restructured in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and have developed significantly in that country in the last 12 months. We bought over the remaining part of a services company that is now fully integrated with HP. We now have 350 employees in Saudi Arabia. So we’ve extended our presence within the Middle East to most countries. It’s important and we are now looking at Qatar at this point in time. We are just trying to figure out the best way to extend our presence there.”

CIO cheat sheet

Project lifecycle

Software development projects that are undertaken using the principles of software engineering are planned, controlled and monitored using a project lifecycle.

Over the years, a number of diff erent models have been developed and tested, beginning with the oldest and simplest of the all - the Waterfall Model.

However, as software has become larger and more complex, this method of development has been found to be counter productive, especially when large teams are involved. Models that are iterative have evolved and the use of these models was for the most part confined to the overall management of the project, however projects are now considered better controlled if the model best suited to them controls the individual aspects of the project.

The level of formality and complexity of the lifecycle for each project is constrained by any number of factors, including budgetary constraints, experience and size and complexity of the project and development team.

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