HP talks up SaaS

HP today asserted its commitment to its continuing and expanding its SaaS offerings in the systems management arena. It says it sees growing demand from CIOs for SaaS options.
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

When HP bought the former Mercury Interactive last year, it acquired a longstanding SaaS provider with a venerable tradition of providing on-demand software services dating back more than seven years. In its early days as a niche provider of test software and web application availability testing, as much as 50 percent of Mercury's revenues came from on-demand services. More recently, its expanded suite of so-called Business Technology Optimization products has had more of an on-premises slant, but the services offerings have continued to thrive and today HP issued a press release to assert its commitment to this part of its business, specifically the following (as quoted from the press release):

  • Business Availability Center — Manages the health of business services and applications and optimizes their availability, performance and effectiveness.
  • Quality Center — Governs quality processes, automates software testing across application environments and manages the release process to enable better informed decisions.
  • Performance Center — Assists with the analysis and validation of application performance against business requirements and mitigates the risk associated with application deployment and upgrades.
  • Project and Portfolio Management Center — Standardizes, manages and captures the execution of project and operational activities, and provides critical information to assist real-time decision making.

Despite a pedigree dating back to the bad old ASP days, this is none of your father's SoSaaS, HP's VP of SaaS Marc Olesen assured me in a briefing last week. "It's primarily multi-tenant. The vast majority of solutions are multi-tenant top to bottom, and a few that are shared tenancy."

HP is committed to extending SaaS to other elements of its product line, including its IT service management products — which could pose a threat to SaaS pureplays who've hithero had that niche to themselves, such as Service-Now.com and Austrian provider SolveDirect. But progress on that front may be slow, Olesen conceded, depending on how ready the product is to make the transition. "Some of our products are ready from a tech perspective and some have more work to do," he said. In the conversation, I certainly got the impression he was downplaying the prospects for an early SaaS implementation of products such as the SOA governance product, which Mercury acquired when it bought Systinet — despite hinting to Computer Business Review that "SaaSization" was on the roadmap.

HP certainly sees the market for SaaS waking up, even from traditionally conservative IT departments. "We're really seeing strong demand in the market for SaaS delivery options," Olesen told me. "We're seeing demand from IT departments being asked to do more with less when the business is seeing growth." In such circumstances, the fact that HP can get customers up-and-running with these solutions in as little as three weeks has its appeal.

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