HP extends cloud offering as customers slash spending

HP has said it will focus on providing software to help companies cut costs as they deploy ‘internal cloud’ computing or cloud services.

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HP has said it will focus on providing software to help companies cut costs as they deploy ‘internal cloud’ computing or cloud services.

Steen Lomholt-Thomsen, European VP software at HP, told delegates at last week’s HP Software Universe Event in Germany that internal cloud computing was a “major opportunity” for businesses to cut costs in the recession. It offered increased flexibility, he said, as well as predictable costs and better governance.

HP announced three cloud computing offerings at the event. It launched Communications as a Service, aimed at enabling telecoms firms to offer a “one stop shop” for interactive voice response, video surveillance and unified communications services.

It also updated Operations Orchestration, which automates manual and repeated processes, to better co-ordinate changes across siloed systems and shorten times for incident repair. The product’s automated provisioning and de-provisioning capabilities for virtualised systems have also been extended into the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Its CloudAssure for Cost Control software, which specifically addresses running costs of software as a service, was upgraded to improve resource usage monitoring and diagnostics. One feature of the product is that it tests the cloud provider's infrastructure, in order to ensure the application is configured for optimal performance.

But HP also said it did not want to “over-hype” cloud technology. “We never said cloud was a panacea”, Lomholt-Thomsen stated, adding that HP had sold SaaS management products as part of its software portfolio “for over 10 years”.

He told Computerworld UK that better management of cloud computing was one of a number of opportunities for businesses to cut costs. “Customers are looking for significant cost reduction in the recession, and they’re taking steps like virtualisation and process automation,” he said.

“They know they need to integrate their operations better, and that innovation will also be beneficial when the recession eases.”

Among large organisations, public sector institutions had the “most resilient” spending, he said. Banks and utility firms were also making “more radical” investments to improve their processes and consolidate the number of vendors they use.

“A shift to innovation, instead of spending most of your money keeping your lights on, is crucial,” he said. “But they have to be wise choices, because today’s innovation is tomorrow’s product to maintain.”

The EDS business, acquired by HP over a year ago, was broadening HP’s customer base and allowing for joint sales of services, hardware and software, he said.

Next year HP will make a more concerted effort to sell its software to the mid-market, Lomholt-Thomsen said. The software will be tailored to suit their “critical need” for “quick time from installation to delivering value”, he said.

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