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Monday, 26 November 2007 22:49

HP targets automation to boost software sales

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HP has launched a new software bundle that integrates many of its technology optimisation and management tools as part of a bid to increase its enterprise software market share.

At its Software Universe Conference in Barcelona this week, HP will formally roll out HP Automated Operations 1.0, which combines existing IT service managment, business service management and service automation packages.

By HP's own reckoning, it has market leadership in five of the seven categories where it sells operational management software. The two laggard categories are network management systems, and helpdesk and service management software.

Its launch of Automated Operations is in part a calculated strategy to boost its share in those markets, and one which HP Software senior vice president Tom Hogan predicts will be more effective than simply enhancing individual products.

"If we were number five or six in those categories, it might be a different question," Hogan told iTWire. "But customers tell us there's much more value in aligning all those elements than in beefing up that functionality in a silo."

The top-selling software companies in the world are Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP and Symantec, Hogan suggested, based on IDC data.

Even if it can't displace one of those companies to enter the top five, software was now a crucial element in HP's profitability, Hogan said. "HP Software is now the fastest-growing and most profitable division in HP."

In its recent annual results, software revenues were up 79% and profits up 306%. Those figures were boosted by HP's acquisitions of Mercury and Opsware, but even excluding them, profitability grew by more than 30%, Hogan said.

Within the Asia-Pacific, Australia is the company's largest market. "Australia is doing extremely well," said Darryl Dickens, head of marketing for HP Software Asia Pacific. "We're seeing a number of multi-million dollar deals."

Disclosure: Angus Kidman travelled to Barcelona as a guest of HP.


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