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HP Sets Out To Help IT Re-invent Itself

HP unveils financial planning and analysis solutions designed to both optimize and modernize IT operations

LAS VEGAS -- Hewlett-Packard (HP) today unveiled its new HP Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) solutions, aimed at recession-beleaguered IT executives who need to cut costs, prepare for a service-based future, and run their departments like a business -- all at the same time.

FP&A is part of HP’s expanding IT Financial Management (ITFM) portfolio designed to help chief information officers (CIOs) and IT managers create comprehensive financial transparency, optimize costs deeply but prudently, and newly demonstrate the business value of IT services.

In a related announcement here at the HP Software Universe conference this week, HP unveiled enhancements to its project and portfolio management (PPM) solution for planning and organizing IT investments.

HP also opened its related Tech Forum conference here this week. For the second year in a row, BriefingsDirect will cover the HP Software Universe 2009 conference through a series of podcasts, blogs, transcripts and Twitter entries. [Disclosure: HP is sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Follow the HP Software Universe 2009 conference on Twitter by searching on #HPSU09.

HP Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Center 8.0 arrives as a key component in ITFM, providing integrated capabilities for IT portfolio investment management, global resource efficiencies and IT financial transparency.

“PPM popularity is on the rise as organizations align planned business investments with IT project portfolios,” said Daniel Stang, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a release.

Analysts in addition to myself are hearing consistently from IT executives that cost-optimization, cost-containment, and cost-reduction initiatives are the top priorities being driven from the business side onto IT.

The business leaders are demanding a clear understanding of all IT costs and benefits as the global recession lingers, if no longer still steeply deepening. HP’s enhanced IT planning and analysis solutions are designed to help IT executives reduce costs without jeopardizing IT's ability to support future growth when it's called for.

The recession therefore accelerates the need to reduce total IT cost through identification and elimination of wasteful operations and practices. But at the same time, IT departments need to better define and implement streamlined processes for operations -- and to show the near and far business value of any new projects.

As part of the opening keynote address here today, Andy Isherwood, Vice President and General Manager of HP Software and Solutions, said the recession compels better management of IT. CIOs need to reduce costs, yes, but they should do so without jeopardizing future growth.

Consolidating IT cut costs and saves energy by focusing on the operational inefficiencies up front. "It's about getting down and dirty, not pie in the sky solutions," said Isherwood.

Along with consolidation, IT leaders can increasingly automate and virtualize infrastructure and data centers. Combined with greater financial management, IT performance analytics, and IT resources optimization, enterprises can cut their IT operations bills while setting the stage for the new phases of advancement.

And those new benefits, said Isherwood, include using flexible sourcing, from on-house premises data centers to outsourcers like HP's EDS, as well as clouds, both on or via off premises partners like Amazon Web Services. As Ann Livermore of HP said yesterday: Everything as a service.

HP is already preparing to better manage and govern the cloud transitions with its Cloud Assure, which joins IT financial management, IT performance analytics, resource management as next major focuses for the HP Software and Solutions group.

To sum up, Isherwood said that HP's major solutions drives are around IT Management Software, Information Management Software, BI Solutions, and Communications and Media Solutions.

HP expects that after a 12-month period of operational optimization initiatives that CIOs will also seek more transformative IT functional delivery improvements, including such next-generation data center bulwarks as consolidation, automation, and virtualization.

Today's pressing IT management and architecture decisions, then, need to gain from better financial management tools, proffer IT performance analytics, and exploit IT resources optimization techniques -- for both near- and long-term benefits.

These financial performance indicator insights and disciplines for IT will also place CIOs in a better position to look at and pursue future flexible and cost-reducing sourcing options. Those are sure to include modernizing in-house legacy deployments, outsourcing to providers such as HP's EDS, and exploring a variety of burgeoning third-party cloud offerings (on premises, off premises, or managed hybrids).

Knowing the true costs and benefits of complex and often sprawling IT portfolios quickly helps improve the financial performance, while setting up the ability to meaningfully compare and contrast current with future IT deployment scenarios. Who knows if cloud computing will save money if we don't know the true costs of all-on-premises approaches?

Gaining real-time visibility into dynamic IT cost structures provides a powerful tool for reducing cost, while also maintaining and improving overall performance. Holistic visibility across an entire IT portfolio also develops the visual analytics that can help better probe for cost improvements and uncover waste.

This is where the HP planning, analysis and financial management solution comes to the rescue in terms of value, optimization priorities, and future planning comparisons.

The HP Financial Planning and Analysis product announced here today is designed to help organizations understand costs from a service-based perspective. It provides a common extract transform load (ETL) capability that can pull information from data sources, including HP PPM and asset management products as well as non-HP data sources.

Cost Explorer, a key component of FP&A, provides business intelligence (BI) capability for visualizing data that is applied to IT costs. Users are able to see data displays color-coded to help identify different dimensions and variants in costs.

HP FP&A can be run as a stand-alone or in conjunction with other HP software products such as HP Project Portfolio Management Center, HP Asset Manager and HP Configuration Management System as well as the newly enhanced version of HP Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Center 8.0.

Along with the software products, HP is also offering consulting services based on best practices, including:

  • Strategy and Advisory Services to help synthesize organizational requirements, data, process and technical gaps for developing detailed implementation roadmaps.
  • Implementation Services to provide BI services for strategic decision making including forecasting budgetary needs, quantifying the value of IT services delivered to the business, improving cost efficiency, and aligning IT resources with business needs.
  • Process Consulting and Solution Implementation Services based on the HP Service Management Reference Model help in deploying HP ITFM and HP PPM to get improved business results.
  • Best practices for Configuration Management Systems help accelerate deployment and provide a use model for customers to identify IT assets and relate them to the costs of the services delivered to the business.

Key enhancements to HP PPM Center 8.0 include:

  • IT portfolio investment management for improved alignment between IT and business with cash flow analysis that supports business reviews with actionable, real-time information.
  • HP PPM Center Mobility Access for governing IT expenditures through secure and automated checkpoints from mobile devices, which send email notifications and workflow actions to cell phones and PDAs.
  • Global resource efficiencies for managing human resources with reports and notifications in the recipient’s language.
  • Additional IT financial transparency and controls for decision support with a comprehensive financial summary that aggregates IT investment data and related analyses.
  • HP Universal Configuration Management Database (UCMDB) integration with HP PPM Center 8.0 provides advanced search capabilities for business and technical users.
  • HP Service Manager integration offers a single IT services access point, so users can access services by creating an HP PPM Center proposal from an HP Service Manager catalog item via Web services.

What's more, HP PPM is now available in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-delivered solution that offers accelerated deployment. Expect a lot more from me on this subject, via podcasts and interviews with the key leaders.

HP is also offering new Software Professional Services for HP PPM 8.0, including:

  • Solution Consulting Services for PPM 8.0 providing design and implementation consulting to help customers reduce IT costs by automating enterprise-wide portfolio management via services.
  • Fast Track Deployment and Upgrades to help speed deployment of the new software.

BriefingsDirect contributor Rich Seeley provided research and editorial assistance on this post. He can be reached at RichSeeley@aol.com.

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At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.