OpenView Key to HP's Software Strategy

ORLANDO (06/21/2000) - Central to all of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Internet software plans is OpenView, according to none other than the firm's chief, Carly Fiorina.

The head of HP Tuesday afternoon addressed via videoconference a group of 2,000 plus users at OpenView 2000, a trade show held at the Orange County Convention Center. Although known primarily as a hardware firm, HP has recognized the importance of its software business, she says, OpenView in particular. The network management platform has been one of HP's most solid success stories, with its 120,000 installations and inclusion in some of the largest networks and ISPs in the world.

Of late, the company has been bolstering its software lineup, adding Web quality of service and security products to its roster. Like Tivoli or Computer Associates, HP claims it is trying to accommodate its users who are moving to a Web-based business model and offering some type of "e-service," such as an application or service delivered over the Web.

In this strategy, the OpenView management brand is going to be the centerpiece of the firm's plans, say HP executives, providing centralized security, application, and service-level agreement (SLA) management to enterprises and service providers. The company is emphasizing it will enable IS staff to monitor and manage Internet transaction processes from beginning to end.

Indeed, while some observers claim the network platform vendors are in decline, losing out market share to individual product firms, HP executives were upbeat about OpenView. Newly installed General Manager Patty Azzarello assured users in her Tuesday morning keynote that OpenView was actually seeing accelerated growth. However, she does want to make some changes.

For instance, she said she wants to see OpenView recognized as a premier product in its own right, not just an adjunct to HP's hardware business. This will require a lot of publicity. In addition, she wants to exploit the parent company in various ways; one example could include sending OpenView reps on sales calls with regular HP salespersons. Formerly, they worked separately.

Azzarello added that HP's work to make the separate applications under the OpenView umbrella inter-operate with one another is still continuing. There also is a need to make some changes in how it delivers mainframe management capabilities. The company relies on Sterling Software's Big Iron management software; however, rival Computer Associates acquired that company, so it's time to come up with a new plan.

The Internet has made things more competitive - most potential online customers look at a Web site for only about 6 seconds before clicking on to someone else's. So, Azzarello urged her listeners to be wary: "Somewhere in the world in some garage there is a bullet being forged with your company's name on it," she said. Once shot, your company will be destroyed, and the only way to overcome this is to shoot first. She claims OpenView is a tool that will let customers do this. www.hp.com.

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