Adapting to HP’s hype

HP’s “Adaptive Enterprise” doesn’t appear to amount to all that much in the minds of its customers or industry watchers.

TrustPower IT manager Steve Appleford says the term adaptive enterprise isn’t much mentioned at his workplace.

Appleford, who was referenced at HP’s recent Adaptive Enterprise Roadshow as an adaptive enterprise user, says the power generator and retailer’s relationship with HP “is more about tangibles, such as having high storage utilisation and being able to manage our storage re growth and productivity”.

Early in 2000 TrustPower went to the market for new hardware, following energy reforms which allowed it to get into retailing.

A three-year roadmap from Compaq won the tender and the relationship continued after HP acquired Compaq.

The words adaptive enterprise first came to his attention in 2003, after the path and gear laid out in the roadmap was in place, but he says “we don’t really use that term, it’s more HP’s”.

Some industry commentators have pointed out that the term’s definition is somewhat elusive.

A search of the company’s website reveals that “HP Adaptive Enterprise solutions are based on four principles: simplification, standardisation, modularity and integration”, and that with “today’s businesses facing unrelenting pressure to do more with less in an environment of constant change, the HP Adaptive Enterprise journey for enterprise customers is designed specifically to address that balancing act”.

According to the website, “the HP Adaptive Enterprise Vision leverages IT to not only support change but embrace and assert change”.

HP global chief executive Carly Fiorina acknowledged, at an event put on last October by analyst firm Gartner, that there was “some confusion” as to the exact meaning of Adaptive Enterprise, but put it down to the fact “we only recently began our marketing”.

HP’s website elaborates on the meaning, noting “it’s about driving business strategy and business processes into the underlying application and infrastructure to fuel business success”.

US commentator Charles Cooper offers this explanation: “Boil down Adaptive Enterprise and you find it’s largely about selling management middleware.”

Regardless of the varying definitions of Adaptive Enterprise, TrustPower’s Appleford says having HP as its preferred hardware supplier and provider of associated software and middleware has been valuable, but the company will shortly tender for another three-year technology re-fresh.

“It’s important to go to the market and not to be wedded to a single supplier — you need to go and look at what other vendors are offering.”

TrustPower has legacy Compaq Alpha servers which are “getting near the end of their life and we need to look at what’s available.”

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