Today's focus: HP announces key improvements to OpenView
management software and services

By Lisa Erickson-Harris

Not long ago, HP announced that it intended to acquire Peregrine
Systems <http://www.networkworld.com/nlnsm8703> - news that took
many by surprise and caused some jitters about how the
integration of Peregrine may deflect HP from other goals. News
of a different sort was released last week when HP announced a
stellar, profitable fourth-quarter of $27 million for HP
OpenView - the first time in many quarters that profit has been
in the black. Also last week, HP unveiled the latest products
<http://www.networkworld.com/nlnsm13260> that form its OpenView
management software and services offering.

The product announcement touched on a number of areas - HP
OpenView Business Process Insight (BPI), HP Service Desk, and
Information Technology Infrastructure Library professional
services. This multifaceted release should serve to soothe any
anxiety about software investment by HP.

HP OpenView BPI was first released in 2004 and is now in Version
2.0. The aim of this product is to broaden the service view from
infrastructure to true business processes. BPI is an easy-to-use
diagram-based process-mapping tool for defining business
processes, but also allows the definition and inclusion of
business metrics, such as total number of orders affected or a
list of the customers whose orders are affected. Exception
processes can be triggered when thresholds are violated, and a
count of the orders moving through exception processes can
signal the health of the business process.

Since not all infrastructure events or downtime actually impact
the delivery of business services, different thresholds can be
defined for monitoring the infrastructure that underlies the
automated business processes. This is different from true
business process management (BPM) in that instead of controlling
the business process, only the critical parts of the process and
links to business metrics are modeled and monitored. Version 2.0
includes more out-of-the-box process definitions and simplified
business metric definition.

The next aspect of the announcement is HP Service Desk 5.0
featuring upgraded capabilities across the board. HP Service
Desk includes functionality for incident, problem, change and
configuration management from the service support side of ITIL;
service-level management from the service delivery side; as well
as knowledge and project management.

HP's configuration management database (CMDB) was initially
developed outside of the service desk application but has been
moving toward tighter integration and a fully-federated or
unified approach over the past few years. The CMDB now ships
with HP Service Desk and can initiate change requests, manage
change projects and automatically update the CMDB for "closed
loop operations." Broad integration capabilities also form the
foundation for the unified CMDB.

HP OpenView BPI has been broadly incorporated into HP Service
Desk to enable the modeling and monitoring of ITIL processes.
Better reporting capabilities for the service-level management
module and better graphics for developing service-level
agreements and modeling underpinning contracts round out the

Lastly, several new services have been rolled out to help
customers take better advantage of HP's offerings. There are
low-cost "short engagement services" that can be completed in
one to two weeks so that value can be achieved quickly. Several
ITIL training courses have also been added to help spread the
message that HP is basing its Service Desk strategy and
implementation services on the ITIL processes.

EMA views this as a big announcement for HP. We were
particularly happy to see its added investment in OpenView BPI -
a product we believe has not seen the credit it is due. BPI
really streamlines an enterprise's ability to manage business
processes. It was designed by a team with technical expertise in
business process management and was intentionally created to
simplify the details in order to get to the parts of the process
that are crucial for business success. HP has an opportunity to
gain a competitive edge with BPI. However, significant,
additional investment is needed to market and educate potential

The HP OpenView Executive Dashboard 1.0 also stands out in this
announcement. While HP has had the ability to create dashboards
through its professional services team, it has not addressed the
need for role-based reporting and visibility through dashboards.
It has now filled the gap with this release. The one word of
caution here will be deployment. It is critical that the
dashboards are easy to deploy and can be built from components
provided by HP. Actual results will become evident with

In the end, this announcement reflects the trend of business
alignment and transparency from CEOs and CIOs who need to get
more out of their IT expenditures. On all accounts, HP is paying
attention to this and making its investments accordingly.

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2005

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Copyright 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008