HP to retire OpenView, Mercury brands over time

HP to retire OpenView, Mercury brands over time

A single HP software brand to replace OpenView and Mercury

Hewlett-Packard (HP) plans to gradually retire OpenView and newly acquired Mercury brands in favor of a unified HP Software brand and a single business technology optimization (BTO) categorization.

"The direction's been set. It's a new game. You should see the Mercury and OpenView brands fade away over time," said Tom Hogan, senior vice president of software at HP, Tuesday. HP has just officially closed its US$4.5 billion purchase of IT systems management software and services vendor Mercury Interactive.

HP plans to retain most of the existing individual product names under the planned HP Software BTO umbrella, including Mercury's Systinet and LoadRunner, he added.

The change in branding is HP's way to "elevate" its conversations with customers' chief information officers (CIOs) above specific point management products to reflect an over-arching BTO strategy, according to Hogan. HP defines BTO as a way for users to better understand the impact of IT on their operations and to use technology to improve their business processes.

Mercury brings HP much more of a presence in application management along with application delivery and performance and IT and SOA (service-oriented architecture) governance. "There's a minimal area of overlap in the application management space," Hogan said. "We'll take the best of our technology and the best of theirs [Mercury's] and bring them together."

As of Tuesday, all 3,000 Mercury staff became HP employees, Hogan said. HP doesn't plan to do anything to disrupt Mercury's operations during Mercury's fourth fiscal quarter, which closes Dec. 31, he added. Come January or February, HP will announce some "extremely modest" redundancies in support and back-office operations, Hogan said, with likely layoffs involving a handful of former Mercury staff.

HP's interest in Mercury predates Hogan's arrival, he said. He joined HP in February after heading up enterprise content management software vendor Vignette. HP waited for Mercury to resolve its financial filing issues in the wake of an accounting scandal before bidding to acquire the company in July.

Adding Mercury to HP does more than reinforce the company's continued investment in its OpenView systems management software as HP brings together Mercury and OpenView technologies, Hogan said. The move also signals HP's commitment to its software business as a whole and to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd's vision of HP's role in providing software and services to CIOs.

Mercury has about 14,000 customers, while HP OpenView has about 15,000 users. Hogan said the overlap of Mercury and HP OpenView customers is "fairly high," due to many enterprises previously adopting Mercury's performance and quality testing software. HP hopes to continue Mercury's existing OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partnerships and looks to extend those relationships, he added.

HP's competitors in the management software space include IBM's Tivoli offerings and CA's Unicenter products.

IBM wasted no time trying to lure away HP and Mercury customers, launching software migration programs Tuesday offering those users a maximum 25 percent discount to move over to its Tivoli software and its Rational developer tools.

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