HP services beyond ‘break-fix'

Hewlett-Packard has no intention of taking on the big services players operating in the management consulting and mainframe outsourcing niches.

These areas, says Pathy Pathmanaban, general manager HP services, Hewlett-Packard, are outside the merged (HP + Compaq) company's core competency.

Pathmanaban believes that Australia's largest "25 or 30 companies with glasshouse environments" were already well served and there was no point in HP trying to "go head on" in that market.

HP's services activity will be packaged within five areas of activity -- IT and business governance services, agile and mission-critical infrastructure services, extended enterprise services, open environment and multitechnology services and next-generation technology services.

A number of ‘solutions briefs' are listed for each of these areas, including security, storage on demand, hardware and software support, enterprise application integration (.Net), server consolidation, outsourcing, infrastructure management, and enterprise mobility.

While the company's media statement says "The combined [service] organisations will help clients realise measurable business value from existing IT investment as well as implement new technologies", Pathmanaban has a more down to earth explanation of value: "I would challenge anyone who says that outsourcing doesn't save money."

He figures that by buying IT assets, selling them, and leasing them back from outsourcers (with expertise and economies of scale), IT customers are just doing what has been happening with building and vehicle leasing for some 30 years.

He lists server and storage consolidation and integration services as areas of likely high growth.

According to Pathmanaban, until the new solution packages are rolled out the company will run a parallel set of HP/Compaq offerings. Current contracts will be honoured but may become part of broader services offerings.

"I've seen many customers in the last 45 to 55 days and most of the feedback is that we're seen as focused with our eyes on the ball and have not dropped anything," he said.

Pathmanaban says that any impending staff cuts will largely impact on duplicated middle management roles and not customer-facing positions. He estimates that the process of establishing the new services teams from the merged entity is 70 per cent complete.

According to an HP statement, the Australia and NZ HP services staff count of 1200 includes Unix, Microsoft, Cisco, Novell, and OpenVMS and project management specialists.

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