HP OpenView initiative takes management to next level

Hewlett-Packard has upgraded 11 OpenView products in an effort to make infrastructure management,well, easier to manage
Written by Paula Musich, Contributor

Hewlett-Packard, as expected , took the wraps off of its new service provider strategy this week -- and backed up the initiative with enhancements in 11 different OpenView products.

The £700m-plus OpenView unit hopes to be a leader in taking the industry to the next level of infrastructure management with its new integrated service management strategy, and it wants to define integrated service management for the industry.

"It's really an education effort to help customers understand what integrated services management means, and how it can be achieved using a publish-and-subscribe message bus architecture," said Bill Sudlow, general manager of OpenView R&D, speaking at HP's OpenView conference in Orlando.

The 11 enhanced offerings underscore the breadth of the OpenView product family and set the stage for attracting new service provider customers to it.

Among the highlights:

Service Information Portal V 2.0 now enables service providers to deliver views to individual end customers of the managed services they're receiving, according to Bill Emmett, senior solutions manager for OpenView.

"The portal now integrates with the OpenView Service Navigator and OpenView Internet Services to deliver that information to customers -- even on a wireless device," he said.

The OpenView Service Desk V 4.0 release, meanwhile, has been enhanced to allow service providers to take incidents and relate them to an individual customer's service-level agreement.

OpenView Internet Services V 3.5 has been made more scalable and now has the ability to measure customers' experience of Java applets.

OpenView Network Node Manager V 6.2 features new flexibility in reporting and adds management of new networking technologies, such as frame relay, SONET and ATM.

Smart Plug-Ins, or SPIs, which extend management functions to specific applications or devices, have been expanded to support the OS/390 and AS/400 host environments, Cisco networking devices, and BlueStone and BEA Weblogic Web application servers.

The OpenView support services group has also enhanced its eCare customer support program to double the number of knowledge documents available on the eCare Web site to 20,000.

In another promising growth area for the business unit, HP enhanced its OMNIback II storage manager to support Sun Microsystems Inc. platforms and provide more flexibility in how backups occur.

Although the industry has promoted the idea of service-level management within IT for some time, it is just now being recognized as an important approach to managing IT resources, said Patty Azzarello, vice president and general manager for the OpenView unit.

"For the last 20 enterprise customers I talked to, this was top of mind," said Azzarello. "It's not everyone, but it is a topic of interest."

Since taking over the business unit just over a year ago, Azzarello has worked to unify the organization -- creating a single development organization (under Sudlow), a single marketing organization and setting a strategy for the unit as a whole.

"OpenView grew up with many different product businesses," she said. "I heard we became a bit confusing to work with. Over the past year, we've created a more aligned, integrated approach to technology and the marketplace."

Despite the spending cutbacks in IT, OpenView has continued to see double-digit growth. In the second quarter, the unit experienced 24 percent revenue growth year over year.

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