HP to acquire Novadigm, Consera

HP to acquire Novadigm, Consera

HP has continued its strategy of using acquisitions to augment the HP OpenView management software, announcing an agreement to buy two management software companies: Novadigm and Consera Software.

HP intends to combine technologies from the two companies with OpenView, blending technology from Consera that lets businesses map IT resources with automated system configuration management features from Novadigm.

The exact cost of the merger has yet to be disclosed, but HP said it would pay $US6.10 for each outstanding share of Novadigm common stock, putting the purchase price for that company at around $US122 million.

The acquisition was expected to close in the first half of 2004, senior vice-president of HP Adaptive Enterprise, Nora Denzel, said.

HP declined to disclose the price it would pay for privately-held Consera, but said the acquisition was expected to close within 30 days, and that more details would be available at that time, Denzel said.

Both acquisitions were subject to shareholder approval, HP said.

The two acquisitions follow a string of recent purchases, including Web-based user identity management software from Baltimore Technologies in September 2003 and information lifecycle management company, Persist Technologies. in November 2003. Denzel called management software the next battleground for IT.

He said that the Consera and Novadigm acquisitions would give OpenView customers the ability to put IT management on cruise control. Consera's IT service-modelling technology would analyse how different IT components interacted, then call on the Novadigm module to make the appropriate configuration changes.

The purchases underscore HP's focus on turning OpenView customers into what Denzel termed "adaptive enterprises" by adding automated management features to replace tedious, manual processes such as applying software patches to systems, she said.

With most IT changes handled by automated processes in OpenView, IT administrators could focus on high-priority items such as unusual configuration changes or software updates that must be performed manually, she said.

Both the Consera and Novadigm technologies will adopt the OpenView brand, but be sold as separate modules. Customers would be able to buy just the Consera or Novadigm technologies or any combination of the two with the rest of the OpenView suite, Denzel said.

All the OpenView products would continue to support other management products, she said.

The announcement of the acquisitions cast a shadow over HP's long-time relationship with IT lifecycle management software company, Altiris. The companies have a partnership that involves joint marketing and sales as well as technology development.

HP currently resells Altiris' entire line of IT lifecycle management products and uses Altiris tools in its professional services organization. At the same time, Altiris is a recommended partner for HP OpenView customers, with native support for a variety of HP OpenView modules including Network Node Manager, Operations and Service Desk, according to Altiris.

Asked about the seeming conflict between its purchases and the Altiris relationship, Denzel said that the acquisitions wouldn't change its relationship with Altiris.

The company was a valued part of HP's Professional Services Group, which would continue to use Altiris products, she said. HP service representatives would continue to install and configure Altiris products for customers who wanted it, Denzel said.

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