Users wary of HP plans

HP is to add a new business unit in its Software division that will oversee the company's business intelligence and information management offerings.

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HP is to add a new business unit in its Software division that will oversee the company's business intelligence (BI) and information management offerings.

The BI arm of the new Business Information Optimisation unit will sell internally developed data warehousing technology, said Ben Barnes, the newly appointed vice president and general manager of the BI group.

But some HP users said they are dubious about buying key software products and services from a company that specialises in developing and supporting hardware products.

Ashok Bakhshi, IT director at US-based manufacturer Schindler Elevator said that his company "would not normally go to HP for that type of support. It is not their forte."

Over the next several years, Schindler plans to deploy an enterprise data warehouse from SAP, Bakhshi said. Schindler uses enterprise resource palnning (ERP) software from SAP and hardware from HP, he said.

He added that any proposal from HP to use its data warehouse software "would have to be extremely compelling from a performance and business-value standpoint before we would make the switch out of SAP."

Bill Kehoe, CIO of the US Washington Department of Licensing, said that the state agency has a BI project under way that is based on Microsoft's SQL Server database software. Although the department is a big user of HP server and desktop computers, it wouldn't seriously evaluate the vendor's software before taking the time to see how HP's services compare with those of other vendors "who have more [BI or information management] experience," he said.

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