HP launches information management as a service

The Australian Department of Defence is one of the first clients of HP's cloud-based information management service.

HP has released its cloud-based information management service, dubbed Next-Generation Information Worker (NGIW), which aggregates back-end information management systems and makes them accessible through a single user interface.

HP NGIW user-interface Image: HP

NGIW is accessed through a web browser, and is catered toward enterprises grappling with growing mobile workforces as well as government organisations. It was built in Australia through a co-design program with 13 local state and federal government agencies.

HP appears to have taken a page out of Microsoft's design manual, with the user interface similar to the tiled icons of Windows 8. But the whole point of NGIW isn't just to slap a pretty face on a web portal; the objective is to bring siloed information systems together and reduce inefficiencies when end users access disparate systems separately. Collaboration tools and an enterprise app store is also thrown into the mix.

The NGIW service is already being used by a number of enterprises and government agencies, according to the vendor. While HP was unable to reveal its full client list so far, the Australian Department of Defence is one agency already using NGIW.

NGIW is built upon .NET and can be integrated with a variety of different systems, although Microsoft SharePoint is a prerequisite for taking on the service. As part of the package, HP works closely with clients to map out how to mesh legacy systems with NGIW.

"We have combined architectural, technical, and business approaches into one offering that becomes a platform that can enable all forms of information and people-based work across an organisation," HP chief technologist and innovation leader for enterprise services across Asia-Pacific Debra Bordignon said.

NGIW has been described by HP as "business platform as a service".

"This is not a new invention, because that would be entirely inappropriate for our customers," Bordignon said. "We're not asking them to invest in a new level of platform and tools when they already have existing stuff they're just not leveraging well enough."

"What we have done is connect up the dots that already exist in a fresh way that creates a breakthrough for our customers in terms of some business challenges they have struggled with."

Companies do not have to adopt HP's electronic records management system, HP TRIM, to use the new service. NGIW consists of four main components, including records and documents management, which can be taken up separately. This is to aid with easing an organisation into NGIW gradually.

HP is in the process of exporting NGIW to other countries, and is looking to set up a node for the service in the UK, according to Bordignon.


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