HP completes consolidation services offering

HP completes consolidation services offering

HP believes it now has a complete consolidation strategy in place to offer customers, with the unveiling of the final networking component.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) believes it now has a complete consolidation strategy in place to offer customers, according to a company executive. HP has just unveiled the final piece in that strategy, a networking component.

"We had server, storage, printer and desktop consolidation and now we have network consolidation," Tracy Lynne Dedore, global practice lead for enterprise networking with HP consulting and integration, said in an interview Tuesday. "As IT consolidation becomes more strategic, the network has become more critical. It's no longer a separate thing, but an integral part of the data center."

HP was due to make the announcement Monday of this week at its Technology Forum in New Orleans. In the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, HP has been issuing show news throughout this week while it decides what to do about the conference. The company is expected to announce new plans for the forum Friday.

HP's Network Consolidation Solution, is a new component of the company's IT Consolidation Solution. It's a grouping of services HP can offer in conjunction with its networking partners to design, deploy and support network consolidation for customers, according to Dedore. Services include implementation and migration planning strategies, data-center WANs (wide area networks), LANs and interconnectivity, networking security and voice/data convergence. The major reason for network consolidation is to cut costs, but HP has yet to release metrics indicating money saved by customers it has already worked with. The company has carried out such a study internally and hopes to produce it soon, Dedore said.

The network consolidation services include HP's patent-pending Adaptive Network Architecture (ANA). ANA is a methodology HP developed for its own internal requirements to model networks based on business requirements, according to Dedore. An ANA network consists of networking components, a virtual backbone linking those compartments and a centralized policy management tool, according to information on HP's Web site.

"It's probably taken six to nine months to bring the Networking Consolidation Solution to market," Dedore said, in terms of building the core capabilities. HP has also validated with customers the correct service components to include as well as how to "get worldwide readiness in place," she added.

While the networking bundle of services will be available in most countries, HP is not yet offering it in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Dedore. The company does intend to deploy the Networking Consolidation Solution in those regions during the next fiscal year, she added. "We're not seeing as much need there to prioritize such consolidation," she said.

HP will initially be targeting its top 700 customer accounts as likely takers for the Networking Consolidation Solution, Dedore said. "We're really seeing a lot of demand for network consolidation in the financial services industry, some in manufacturing, and a small amount in health care and government," she added. The company also hopes to win new business with its consolidation services offerings.

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