HP Fortifies OpenView with Business-Level Insight

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is adding business-level insight into IT functions and root-cause analysis of network behavior to its OpenView lineup. The new HP OpenView Business Process Insight and HP OpenView Route Analytics Management System products will be unveiled at the company's HP Software Forum in Montreal this week.

The company will also relaunch its Enterprise Management Services partner program, which aims to fortify the relationship between HP and its ISV partners. It will offer a new Elite classification for certain ISVs willing to commit resources to joint HP go-to-market strategies.

Virtually all tech powers from Microsoft to Oracle to IBM are going to ISVs as key partners in their quests to grow market share.

"The Adaptive Enterprise, simply put, is business and IT synchronized to capitalize on change," said Bill Emmett, chief solutions manager for HP's management software organization. "And if you want to do this, what becomes extremely critical is management and management software."

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Now, the new Business Process Insight will help "dynamically link business and IT by being able to take a business process, like order entry to shipment, model it very quickly, and then associate what components of the IT environment need to work in order to support the business process," Emmett said. "So if IT fails to perform its function, you are able to see what step in the business process failed to happen."

Rather than simply mapping the IT network from server to router to storage, Business Process Insight maps the realtime business workflow across these and other network components, correlating information directly from order-entry systems and ERP-type systems, and utilizing data ranging from JMX to XML to create an image of how business performance pinballs through a network.

"Now we can combine information about how many orders we have, what are the total dollar value of those orders, and what the customer value of those orders are," said Emmett.

The job of maintaining the most efficient network routing can be assisted by HP OpenView Route Analytics Management System (RAMS). "When [RAMS] sees changes in the way traffic is being routed, it can conclude if those are desirable changes, if they are undesirable changes that are minor irritants, or if they are major service disruptions," said Emmett.

Both new OpenView offerings can be purchased a la carte, but Emmett said they are "best optimized when running with other HP OpenView products," a sticking point for VARs such as Jennifer Shine, marketing director at eMazzanti Technologies, an HP partner in Hoboken, N.J.

Shine applauded HP's vision of OpenView unifying business processes with IT but said OpenView, as well as competing Tivoli offerings from IBM, still tend to lock users into a single-vendor path lest performance be sacrificed. "When you have a multifaceted vendor, inherently their network management offerings are best suited to their own products," she said.

Meanwhile, HP's Enterprise Management Services program looks to provide a means for HP to better facilitate integration of ISV products with its own. The new Elite tier is for ISVs "willing to put a little skin in the game" by way of a "modest marketing investment," said Emmett. Program details are being finalized, but ISVs aiming for Elite status can count on HP for joint marketing of integrated products, lead generation and other "account-level activities," he said.

The Enterprise Management Services program interests Glenn Johnson, director of marketing at Magic Software, an ISV in Irvine, Calif. Johnson said that while Magic Software has enjoyed a good relationship with HP in the technical arena over the years, the company is anxious to do more.

"We have not enjoyed a direct, working relationship with HP in the way we have with IBM," said Johnson. "IBM has worked with us directly to do exactly what [HP's Enterprise Management Services] program offers. And I think those kinds of programs are extremely beneficial."

For HP, matching rival IBM in the area of partnering will require more than just a refreshed partnering program"it needs an overall cultural change, said Mary Johnson Turner, vice president and practice director at Summit Strategies, Boston.

"I think there are some cultural changes that have to happen within HP before they can claim an IBM-like success in partnering," Turner said. "The thing that IBM has figured out about partnering is you have to be very specific about what you want partners to do, be it commitment to certain platforms, etc. And in return, IBM gives people money and they give them leads and help them close deals. HP hasn't usually gone that way. They have traditionally done a 'sell with' rather than a 'sell through' model. So this will be the litmus test for what it means to be an HP partner."