HP user group to be renamed in the wake of Mercury acquisition

Changes impact more than 700 Australian members

The future of Hewlett Packard (HP) user group, OpenView Forum International (OVFI), is under review as HP moves ahead with plans to retire its OpenView product suite following its $US4.5 billion acquisition of Mercury.

The OVFI, which has more than 700 members in Australia and 8,000 worldwide, is currently in discussions about re-naming the group to accommodate HP's plans to introduce a unified HP software brand that includes products from IT systems management software and services vendor Mercury.

Under the new branding OpenView will be ditched to combine the suite with Mercury technologies. The overlap of Mercury and HP OpenView customers is fairly high due to enterprises adopting Mercury's performance and quality testing software.

OVFI global marketing manager Andrew Ford said the acquisition means an expanded role for the user group as Mercury customers come on board and utilise the group's resources.

The user group's board of directors will be meeting before year's end and Ford said renaming the forum could be be on the agenda.

"Discussions are continuing but I cannot say when a decision is likely to be made," he added.

Ford is excited about the expansion of the group and initiatives are already underway to extend services to Mercury users.

For example, the keynote at this week's OVFI virtual tradeshow is on Mercury products and plans are underway to stage a combined event for HP and Mercury users in Australia in early 2007.

Ford said OVFI is helping HP stage HP Software Universe (Asia Pacific) in Brisbane from March 5-9, 2007.

The event will examine business technology optimization (BTO) and the expanded HP software portfolio.

Mercury has an estimated 14,000 customers worldwide while HP OpenView has about 15,000 users.

HP's vice president of software, Tom Hogan, said the Mercury acquisition means HP has a stronger presence in application management along with application delivery and performance and service oriented architecture governance.

"We'll take the best of our technology and the best of theirs [Mercury's] and bring them together," Hogan said.

Earlier this month HP officially absorbed all 3,000 Mercury staff.

Mercury's 64 staff in Australia have joined HP Software's 40 employees.

This brings local headcount to over 100 in HP's software division.

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