Hewlett Packard Makes Multiple Moves in Middleware
On April 30, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) and TIBCO
Software Inc. (NASDAQ:TIBX) announced an agreement to jointly
develop products, solutions and marketing strategies for the service provider
and telecommunications markets. Through a three-year collaboration agreement,
the companies plan to support high-volume online transactions and to enhance
the performance, reliability and advanced middleware needs of global customers.
alliance will leverage HP OpenView management solutions to integrate TIBCO
Software's real-time e-business infrastructure software with the HP Netaction
Internet operating environment to help customers implement reliable, secure,
scalable and manageable e-business solutions. The HP Middleware Division
will lead HP's joint development activities using standards such as J2EE
and XML that will complement the current TIBCO products, providing a pathway
for future jointly developed products and services.
agreement is an important step in HP's software strategy," said Bill Russell,
vice president, HP Software Solutions Organization. "TIBCO is a leader
in business integration software and this agreement builds on HP and TIBCO's
shared vision of the evolution of e-business technologies, our joint development
plans and our collaborative market strategies."
on April 30, IONA Technologies announced that it had signed
an agreement with HP that will allow the incorporation of IONA's Orbix
2000 within HP Bluestone Total-e-Server, the application server of the
HP Netaction family of products to provide customers with an industry
standard Object Request Broker (ORB) rather than a proprietary ORB.
to P. Kevin Kilroy, vice president and general manager, HP Middleware
Division, "Our goal is to provide our customers with a flexible, reliable,
scalable and secure e-services infrastructure. IONA's Orbix 2000 offers
enhanced interoperability support, allowing us to continue to deliver
a truly integrated e-services solution, to stay flexible and to meet the
ever-changing requirements of the Internet."
selection of Orbix 2000 is an endorsement for IONA's technology and Total
Business Integration strategy," said Barry Morris, CEO of IONA. "I am
pleased that HP will be taking advantage of our extremely advanced Adaptive
Runtime Technology within their Internet Operating Environment."
May 1, HP and webMethods, Inc. (NASDAQ:WEBM) announced a strategic
alliance to co-develop software that improves the quality of customers'
Internet business interactions. The HP OpenView software business unit
will collaborate with webMethods to create software to help companies
efficiently monitor and manage the performance of their business IT environment
to meet their e-business needs.
offering from HP OpenView and webMethods is expected to help customers
discover and correct problems in application connectivity and enable better
management of application interactions throughout the extended supply
chain. While the current HP OpenView offering provides a dashboard for
viewing the performance of networks, systems, applications and services,
through collaboration with webMethods, HP expects to extend the management
capabilities of HP OpenView to include business process management.
the subject of the webMethods agreement, HP's Russell stated "webMethods
is a proven leader in providing companies with business process automation
software solutions. HP and webMethods' advanced technologies and consulting
expertise provide customers a solid foundation for building their e-businesses."
Hewlett Packard bought Bluestone Software and announced
agreements with these other vendors, the HP Middleware Division has been
moving to the forefront of Hewlett Packard's strategic initiatives. HP
has obviously realized that the concept of an "application server" is
becoming more accepted by customers, and has taken an increasingly critical
place in corporate web initiatives.
Packard is obviously a major force in the IT world. If it chooses to compete
head-to-head with initiatives from iPlanet (a Sun/Netscape alliance),
BEA Systems, IBM, and others, it is only a matter
of bringing the appropriate HP resources and dedication to bear. HP is
definitely a little late in joining the game, but as Microsoft
has proven many times, a virtually unlimited budget (HP's FY 2000 total
revenue from continuing operations was $48.8 billion) can do wonders in
making up for a late start.
important point is that HP intends to integrate OpenView up-front to help
monitor and manage these complex, bi-directional, multi-platform, multi-system
processes. This is an important distinction, and one that has, at least
to date, been largely ignored by the other major systems management vendors,
Computer Associates and BMC Software. Being
the first to place an emphasis on the control of these business-critical
processes may give HP an important edge in the market for total application
terms of purchasing an EAI vendor, the jury is still out. Some industry
sources have indicated that New Era of Networks
(NEON) was being considered, but Sybase has taken that vendor out
of play. Other possibilities, depending on exactly what functionalities
HP decides to shop for, may include Mercator Software, IONA,
Vitria, or TIBCO.
Over the course of the last two years, the Application Integration market
(loosely defined by TEC as including EAI, IAI, B2Bi, and A2A applications)
has become a confusing mass of vendor mergers, acquisitions, name changes,
strategic direction changes, marketing message changes, and more. A customer
evaluating these types of technologies is strongly advised to first decide
exactly what functionality is required to solve the current business problem(s)
and then require the vendors under consideration for technology selection
to speak directly to those issues. This should help to cut down on the
level of hype and "catch phrase" noise that the customer's evaluation
team will have to wade through.
terms of high-level functionality, strong emphasis should be placed on
a product or products' ability to provide management information. Whether
this is through some type of integrated "management console", SNMP alerts,
or some other method, it is critical that the "big picture" (actually
large, complex, distributed units of work) can be monitored and controlled.
is clear that Hewlett Packard will continue to make strategic moves in
the area of application integration, and companies evaluating application
integration technology should include HP on a long list of vendors to
be considered. Keep an eye on HP in the near future, there is obviously
more to come.