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HP wants greater stake in IT automation market

HP has announced a suite of software aimed at capturing a stronger stake in the burgeoning IT automation market.

The suite, dubbed Automated Operations 1.0, includes HP Business Service Automation, which incorporates the data-centre automation technology HP acquired from buying Opsware earlier this year. With it, users can manage IT processes and generate automated workflows that span a number of systems and teams, according to HP. The product allows customers to record all configuration and change activities.

The suite also includes Service Manager 7.0 and Decision Center 2.0. In addition, HP announced Blueprint and Training for Service Manager 7.0, and IT Service Management Assessment Services.

"It's looking like a very good first step toward an integrated product suite," said Chip Gliedman, an analyst with Forrester Research.

Evelyn Hubbert, another Forrester analyst, said Opsware's technology amounted to the "blue ribbon" on HP's automation product lineup.

HP is battling BMC, CA and IBM within the IT automation space. "You've got four companies in basically a catfight. [HP has] as good a set of solutions and set of chances as everybody," Gliedman said.

But the market is big enough for multiple large players, according to the analyst. "The footprint for these types of solutions is a lot broader than just the help desk," he said.

Broad IT automation suites like HP's entry may have most appeal among larger enterprises with more than 5000 employees, Gliedman said: "You're also talking about fairly distributed IT staffs [in those organisations]. Putting in frameworks so that nothing falls through the cracks? It'll pay itself back."

HP did not provide pricing information or details on availability.

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