HP looks to gain greater stake in IT automation market

HP is pushing new suite of IT automation software.

HP has announced a suite of software aimed at capturing a stronger stake in the burgeoning IT automation market.

The suite, dubbed Automated Operations 1.0, includes HP Business Service Automation, which incorporates the datacentre automation technology HP acquired from buying Opsware earlier this year. With it, users can manage IT processes and generate automated workflows that span a number of systems and teams, according to HP. The product allows customers to record all configuration and change activities.

The suite also includes Service Manager 7.0 and Decision Center 2.0. HP also announced Blueprint and Training for Service Manager 7.0, and IT Service Management Assessment Services.

"It's looking like a very good first step toward an integrated product suite," an analyst with Forrester Research, Chip Gliedman, said. Another Forrester analyst, Evelyn Hubbert, said Opsware's technology amounted to the blue ribbon on HP's automation product lineup. HP is battling BMC, CA and IBM within the IT automation space.

"You've got four companies in basically a catfight. [HP has] as good a set of solutions and set of chances as everybody," Gliedman said.

But the market is big enough for multiple large players, according to the analyst.

"The footprint for these types of solutions is a lot broader than just the help desk," he said.

Broad IT automation suites like HP's entry may have most appeal among larger enterprises with more than 5000 employees, Gliedman said: "You're also talking about fairly distributed IT staffs [in those organizations]. Putting in frameworks so that nothing falls through the cracks? It'll pay itself back."

Hubbert said IT automation makes sense in general, because it saves manpower from getting bogged down in simple tasks, such as removing an employee profile from the system following their departure from the firm.

"The people who are coding theses things today have much more advanced degrees. This is a chance for those people to do much more important things," she said.

HP did not provide pricing information or details on availability.

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Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service

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