HP creates new Web services unit

Hewlett-Packard is realigning its corporate structure to help push Web services within the organization and the industry, said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer at HP, during a Monday speech at an industry conference.

Fiorina announced the formation of a Web Services Management team at HP that will oversee the company's work with both J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) applications and Microsoft Corp.'s .Net-based software. One of the major goals for the new group will be making sure HP's OpenView management software works well with J2EE and .Net software from various vendors, Fiorina said, speaking at BEA Systems Inc.'s eWorld conference in Orlando, Florida.

"HP is committed to working with BEA, other partners and many of you to make Web services a reality," Fiorina said, during her speech, which was also webcast. "It is not something we are doing because it's the next big thing. It's something we are doing because it will help our customers achieve more cost-effcient IT, more responsive IT and more integrated IT."

HP, along with a host of other vendors, is backing Web services technology that helps link various kinds of software via widely agreed-upon standards. The idea is to make it easier for various types of applications to communicate with each other and pass along information using common channels.

There are two large Web services camps made up of J2EE backers and .Net advocates. HP has conveniently aligned itself with both groups and wants to make it possible for both J2EE-based applications and .Net-based applications to work together, Fiorina said. The company shelved much of its own Internet infrastructure software or middleware last year, deciding that partnerships with BEA and Microsoft would be a better way to go.

To help support its plan, HP created the Web Services Management team, which will be run by Nora Denzel, senior vice president of software at HP. Denzel will lead HP's efforts to create a common management interface for both J2EE and .Net software, according to a statement. HP is looking to manage both sets of software with its OpenView product line.

HP has also created a services practice dedicated to J2EE-based software, Fiorina said. This services body will be staffed by 1,000 people by year-end.

On the technology side of the house, HP has developed the OpenView Web Services Management Engine, which will let the OpenView software manage applications directly, according to the statement. HP has rolled out this software to handle and manage Web services requests directly instead of relying on other management applications.

HP has joined Sun Microsystems Inc. as one of BEA's biggest hardware partners.

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