New HP Services Target Rapid Cloud Growth

With an eye toward the burgeoning growth of the cloud, Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday introduced new services designed to help enterprises better manage their IT resources.

The offering, called the HP Service Integration and Management, comes in response to what HP says are rapidly growing cloud services that are challenging businesses to govern and manage their IT environment, control costs and optimize delivery of their IT services internally and to their clients.

HP said service providers can participate in the service’s delivery to businesses, a prospect MSPs say they are ready to consider.

As enterprises increase their cloud capabilities, they are struggling to manage them efficiently along with other IT resources, said Michael Garrett, HP vice president and general manager for professional services. “What we are seeing is demand for cloud services management,” he said.

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HP will help enterprises adopt a new service-delivery model, Garrett said. “HP Service Integration and Management helps enterprises service, govern and manage their multi-vendor environments,” he said.

The services will track performance against budgets and goals, decrease service disruption, and offer real-time visibility of performance. It will also minimize disruptions by identifying suppliers responsible for service interruptions and reduce costs of integration of supplier services.

The new services will leverage the HP IT Performance Suite, which measures and optimizes IT performance.

The services can be offered by HP on-premise, outsourced in the U.S. to HP services, or be managed by a mixture of on-premise and outsourced operations. The initiative relies on HP’s long experience in services offerings, said Gard Little, IDC research director of IT consulting and systems integration strategies.

“It’s a repackaging of the know-how and some of their high-level professional services they’ve had for a long while, into an environment where cloud services are in the mix,” Little said. “HP has great experience in heterogeneous environments and getting people to play well together is not new for them. But packaging it and adapting it to the cloud is new.”

Little said there is a role for the channel to participate in HP’s service offering.

“If HP can standardize their integration services and use them in a way that makes it easy, it would spur the adoption by service providers,” he said. “Service providers could decide where they fit. If integrations became standardized it would help channel partners because it would become more clear who would provide the standardized integartion services and who would provide the customized integration services. Channel partners might focus on the customized integartion services and HP might retain the standardized components.”

Next: Cloud Service Providers Weigh In

Cloud service providers say they will check out the service with an eye toward getting involved if the business case is right for them.

“The issue is, how well does it work and at what cost?” said Jeremy Pryzgode, CEO of Stratalux, of Santa Monic, Calif., which works with cloud providers including Amazon and Opscode. “I’d consider partnering with HP. I would entertain talking with them and learning more about the service.”

The cost of an HP cloud partnership also was the foremost issue to Patrick Monahan, president and owner of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Iron Cove Solutions, which partners with Microsoft, You Send It, and Cisco.

“HP would have to be able to show leads and push business to the cloud,” Monahan said. “They would have to lay out a sales plan. If they are not showing results in revenue, I won’t have time for it.”

HP continues to move ahead with it cloud rollout on other fronts. In late November 2011, the company introduced new cloud certifications, which HP added to its HP ExpertONE Converged Infrastructure.

It also beefed up its cloud services and products, including the CloudAgile Service Provider Program, which broadens provider sales reach with an enhanced service portfolio; the HP Cloud Protection Program, which includes strategy, roadmap, design and implementation services to ensure security in hybrid cloud environments; and HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Compute Now, which automates distribution of application workloads across multiple servers.