HP acquires Talking Blocks

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced Wednesday that it has signed a deal to acquire San Francisco-based Talking Blocks Inc. for its Web services management technology. The deal is expected to close by the end of the month, and until that time, no financial details will be released, said Nora Denzel, senior vice president of HP's Software Global Business unit.

Denzel said Talking Block's Service Oriented Architecture helps integrate different internal systems with the systems of external business partners, serving as a communication pipe between IT infrastructure and business needs. The SOA software will support HP's Web Services Management Framework, which was announced earlier this year.

SOA will be sold as a separate product to HP customers and will be an integrated part of HP's OpenView software, said Al Smith, HP's chief technology officer.

Stephen Elliot, an analyst at market research firm IDC, said the new software will allow HP to "better collect management information from third-party products" made by IBM Corp.'s Tivoli unit and Computer Associates International Inc. The Talking Blocks acquisition "could potentially put them in a better spot" in the Web services management marketplace, Elliot said. "But to a certain extent, the Web services side of management is still a moving target," he added.

Talking Blocks was launched in 2000.

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