HP targets BI space after Mercury Interactive buy

Business intelligence is a growth area, says Tom Hogan, HP's software chief

Little more than six months after its acquisition of Mercury Interactive propelled it into the business technology optimisation space, Hewlett-Packard’s software unit is preparing to go after the data warehousing and BI space with an integrated hardware and software platform.

Delivering the keynote address at the recent HP Software Universe conference in Brisbane, HP’s senior vice president for software, Tom Hogan, said BI is a hot topic for businesses as they attempt to extract more information out of existing systems.

“The HP NeoView platform is addressing BI and data warehouse issues [and] this is the market we are entering in a big way with an integrated hardware and software platform,” Hogan said.

The NeoView platform is available today but Hogan said HP will do a public launch in a few months time.

“It leverages the NonStop kernel that delivers massive improvements in availability for true five nines,” he said. “It uses true industry standard components so as you upgrade hardware components you can redeploy them throughout the enterprise.”

Software vendors may be clamouring for a share of the burgeoning BI market, but HP is confident its ambitious plans can make an impact against incumbent providers.

“Our goal is to provide the most scalable offering in the industry [and] because we are not the first to market we need deliver this at a fraction of the cost of existing data warehouse solutions,” Hogan said.

A successful launch and uptake of NeoView will bring HP into the league of data warehouse and BI infrastructure providers like IBM, Oracle and Teradata.

According to Hogan, a big opportunity for HP’s data warehousing play over the next few years will rest on the ability to manage the explosion in unstructured data.

HP’s vision for BI and datawarehousing with NeoView is part of the Business Intelligence Optimisation (BIO) section of its software business, alongside Business Technology Optimisation (BTO) resulting from the Mercury acquisition, and its OpenCall messaging and multimedia platform for carriers.

“BTO is optimising your spend on systems, networks and applications [and] BIO is designed to optimise the massive amount of information you are collecting all the time,” he said.

According to Hogan, some 65% of IT budgets is allocated to operations, 25% is allocated to migrations and upgrades and only 10% is being spent on new services and innovations.

“We can’t sacrifice service levels within the organisation but need to reallocate resources to that 10% for innovation,” he said. “Inside HP we claim 40% innovation. I’m not sure if it’s true, but we have a goal to drive that to 80% innovation over the next few years.”

Internally, HP has rationalised a lot of its infrastructure since ex-Wal-Mart and Dell CIO Randy Mott joined the company. HP has reduced 1200 active projects to 500, as many as 5000 applications to 1500, and went from 85 datacentres to six.

The company is also consolidating its 762 data marts into one integrated data warehouse.

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