HP unveiled the services at its Technology@Work conference in Berlin this week. They include:
- So-called "reference architectures" are best practices on how to create an IT environment for a specific application. The new reference architectures are available for Microsoft Exchange 2007, Oracle and SAP.
- The HP Adaptive Infrastructure Maturity Model, helps data centers gauge their current IT environment with various HP data center metrics and determines how to reduce downtime.
- Expanded IT Shared Services provides hands-on training at HP sites on how to run IT as a business, as well as services to help data centers run more efficiently and expand.
"I think these are really all in logical progression for HP," said Tom Kucharvy, senior vice president at analyst firm Ovum Summit. "It continues to enhance its service offering model to deliver that business value. It's been a hot topic for the last couple years, and I think HP has been a bit slow on the uptake, to tell the truth."
Kucharvy added that IBM is clearly the leader in IT services, but that HP has made headway with the help of service partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.
"It wants to provide the services that lead into a material advantage for HP and tying those services up the business level," he said.
The reference architectures are like step-by-step guides to help data center managers determine what infrastructure best suits a given application. For Microsoft Exchange, HP is focusing on helping customers move to Exchange 2007, according to Thomas Goepel, manager for HP Adaptive Infrastructure. For Oracle, HP will try to convince customers that Oracle can be run well on its BladeSystem blade servers. Finally with SAP, HP said it will help customers determine what hardware is best when they're migrating to new SAP applications.
The Maturity Model, which the company said takes two to three weeks to complete, looks at four major areas in the data center: technology, process management, staff and IT governance. HP then makes suggestions for how to improve each of those areas.
Shared services training takes place at centers worldwide, including the U. S. and will offer workshops and demonstrations on IT infrastructure.
According to a recent HP study, 99% of CEOs think technology is crucial to business success, but only 32% of their CIOs are involved in strategic planning from the beginning. The study, done by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates and commissioned by HP, was based on 150 interviews with 75 CEOs and 75 CIOs worldwide during March and April.
Meanwhile, HP is taking its own medicine. According to a report yesterday from Forrester Research Inc. analyst Laurie Orlov, HP CEO Mark Hurd recently told a group of analysts that his company is working on improving maintenance of the IT department and tying IT processes into HP's business model.
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer.