BARCELONA--Managed security services and cloud computing, particularly in managing "big data" and drawing real-time insight from these data sets, will be key in helping Hewlett-Packard's software group grow its Asia-Pacific market share in 2011, according to a company executive.
At a media briefing here Wednesday, Robin Purohit, HP's vice president and general manager of information management, said the software group's main goal for the Asia-Pacific region in 2011 will be to increase its market share. He was unable to disclose details of the targeted growth.
Purohit identified security and cloud computing as two areas that he said will help HP achieve its goal in Asia.
Elaborating on security, he pointed to the company's efforts in building up its core competency through the recent acquisitions of Arcsight and Fortify, which highlight the company's focus on securing its software from the core and security reporting mechanisms, rather than becoming "another security vendor that sells perimeter security products".
With these capabilities on hand, he said HP will be bringing managed security services to companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, the IT giant will be looking to offer services that support security operations which hedescribed as the monitoring and prevention of threats such as intrusions and hacking.
Purohit explained: "Many companies are looking to improve their core security capabilities but do not have the necessary skilled manpower to do so, which is why we see a clear opportunity for us to play in this space."
On cloud, more specifically, the management of disparate, virtualized datacenter systems which are the bedrock of cloud computing, he said HP is aiming to help companies manage their systems across the entire network infrastructure. This means, for instance, providing companies with tools that will help them manage their SLAs (service level managements) and ensuring their IT vendors are delivering the agreed service, he added.
"HP has a multiyear advantage over other cloud management competitors such as CA Technologies, which has acquired companies that were developing early-stage cloud technologies and is in a different field from where we are playing," Purohit noted.
"Huge" opportunity in app testing
Additionally, flourishing outsourcing markets such as China, India and the Philippines have also been identified as "huge opportunities" that HP plans to target with its newly-launched Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite, said Michael Sher, director of application quality sales and enterprise deals for HP Asia-Pacific and Japan's software and solutions.
At a separate press briefing here, he noted that as labor costs continue to rise in these markets, automated app quality and performance testing capabilities in HP's ALM offering will come in handy for companies looking to cut investment costs for their business apps.
Sher explained that it is not "sustainable" for companies to add more manual testers each time an app becomes more complex or its release time is shortened.
Citing India as an example, he said the country's IT industry is already "quite mature" in terms of its adoption of best practices to improve user productivity and companies there will hit a ceiling to the number of manual software testers they can employ.
To address this issue, Sher said HP's Sprinter software is aimed at alleviating these cost and labor challenges by automating certain application testing processes such as regression testing, which he described as the testing of mission-critical processes and functionalities that are added to an original app.
In addition, as cloud computing continues to grow in importance in the Asia-Pacific region, app testing will play a significant role in accelerating the adoption of cloud technologies, he said.
"SLAs between vendors and companies must be maintained, which is why software testing is needed," he added. "However, much finger-pointing [and latency] will occur if both parties [are not privy] to the process of moving apps into the cloud."
Mobile apps to benefit
Sher noted that HP's ALM focus will also extend beyond business apps to include mobile apps, which he said will also benefit handset and app store operators.
Currently, "many mobile apps" are manually tested, he said. However, if an app fails to function as it should, it is the handset and app store operators--not the app creators--that suffer from the "loss of face" and reputational damage, he said.
"Mobile apps make or break a brand, and HP is learning all it can about mobile apps through our partners to ensure that we get it right," Sher said.
He added that the testing capabilities introduced by the IT vendor for business apps will include HP's WebOS system and mobile strategy following its acquisition of Palm in July.
Kevin Kwang reported from the HP Software Universe conference in Barcelona, Spain.