HP buys two more firms in automation drive

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In a continuing effort to add automation capabilities to its OpenView enterprise management software suite, HP has signed definitive agreements to acquire two US management software companies.

The companies, publicly-traded Novadigm and closely-held Consera Software, provide technologies that HP staff called ' powerful' additions to its drive for utility computing.

'Management software is the next big frontier for IT,' said Nora Denzel, senior vice-president of HP Adaptive Enterprise. ' Together, these companies put repetitive, error-prone IT management tasks on cruise control and free up IT time to focus on innovation.'

Denzel said HP's sales channel will have access to both technologies within a few months. Software from Novadigm will enable OpenView to handle automatic change and configuration management.

Specifically, Novadigm's technology automates the standardised deployment of IT changes in a mixed environment to achieve a desired end state. It also automates configuration management, allowing IT resources to deliver services according to established business policies.

Consera's service-modelling software is supposed to help customers design a standardised IT environment that automatically adapts to changing business demands.

Russ Daniels, CTO of HP's software business unit, said technology from Consera should enable OpenView customers to create models that represent their business services, which then map to underlying IT components.

'Models are the best way to capture best practices,' Daniels said. 'This kind of technology provides customers with a way to adopt best practices like they've never done before.'

Under the terms of the Novadigm agreement, HP will pay US$6.10 per outstanding Novadigm share. While the exact cost of the Novadigm acquisition was not disclosed, the share price for the public company could put the Novadigm price tag at around US$ 121 million.

Financial terms of the Consera deal were not released, although Consera CEO Frank Artale has claimed he expected HP to keep his team intact in the assimilation.

These deals are not HP's first moves to add adaptive technologies to its OpenView suite.

In the past six months, HP has acquired various software products intended to streamline IT resource management for the enterprise.

In November, the firm acquired life-cycle management company Persist Technologies. Two months earlier, HP acquired web services developer Talking Blocks and the Select Access business of Baltimore Technologies, a company that focuses on identity management.

An HP spokesman said Novadigm and Consera products would initially be branded as OpenView and sold as part of the modular software suite. HP would further integrate the products later.

At press-time, it was unclear how the acquisitions and potential product integration would affect HP's relationships with vendors Altiris and Opsware, which compete with Novadigm's automated configuration and change management software.

Both Denzel and Daniels said there were no intentions to change partnerships at this time.

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