Promoting its role in the delivery of IT services, whether by internal systems departments or external providers, Hewlett-Packard last week used its OpenView channel partner event in Boston to detail a raft of product updates for network and applications management.
HP's sweeping OpenView releases included an upgrade of its Windows NT management software; new application management modules for enterprise resource planning applications; network management tools for network service providers; and other releases aimed at filling niches in the company's recently crafted service-oriented approach.
Also at the OpenView Channel Connections Conference '98, HP pitched new products and programs to its channel partners, including a more concerted effort in the Windows NT market and a year 2000 program for desktop systems.
The OpenView group has modified its message in recent months, getting away from exclusively touting product features, and emphasising end-to-end infrastructure and application management and the delivery of services.
"We've been evolving from a more product-oriented approach to more of an asset management and service-level management model," Olivier Helleboid, general manager of the OpenView software division, said.
Helleboid contrasted HP's approach with that of rival management platforms, such as those from Tivoli Systems and Computer Associates. He dismissed these companies' approaches as too monolithic and cumbersome to meet the needs of businesses strapped for time and resources and running to keep up with changing business conditions.
HP's emphasis on providing better means for businesses to gauge the performance of their systems and applications is a step in the right direction, one analyst said.
Return on investment
"Service-level management is critical for IT departments, which have to be able to demonstrate return on investment," said Judith Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz Group, a market research company. "The speed of deployment is also important in this regard."
Hurwitz also lauded HP's tighter focus on Windows NT, as well as its overall shift away from touting individual products to the exclusion of a greater strategic vision.
"[HP's end-to-end network and application man- agement orientation] is a more cohesive structure of offerings," Hurwitz said.
As a sign of the OpenView division's health, Helleboid noted that OpenView software, services, and related offerings are projected to generate more than $US1 billion in revenue in 1998.
OpenView expands horizons
Major OpenView updates include:
HP OpenView Predictive network performance management add-on for predictive analysis of network loads and service levels, slated for release in the first quarter of 1999.
HP OpenView Policy-based network management integration tool for mixed configurations.
HP OpenView NetMetrix Site Manager for Windows NT network performance monitoring and analysis tool for small networks and remote sites.
Year 2000 Rapid Deployment channel program, providing tools and services for Y2K analysis and remediation of desktop systems, available in December.
HP OpenView PerfView for Solaris, a management add-on for Sun's Solaris OS, slated for release in January.