HP Keeps On Buying

It's acquiring software maker Persist Technologies, and says there will be more acquisitions to come.

Aaron Ricadela, Contributor

November 12, 2003

2 Min Read

Hewlett-Packard continued a spree of software acquisitions Tuesday, saying it would buy privately held Persist Technologies Inc., as an HP executive pledged "more to come."

Speaking at a conference in Hamburg, Germany, HP executives said they would buy Persist, which makes software that can help companies comply with new government regulation of their financial reports, by year's end. HP also said it would bring to market by early next year systems-management software products containing technology acquired in September when HP bought software company Talking Blocks, and assets from Baltimore Technologies plc. Hewlett said it wasn't done buying companies in the management market, which it considers fragmented. HP competes with Computer Associates, IBM, and others in this sector.

"We want to consolidate the market," says VP and general manager Todd DeLaughter. "We're going to go after it aggressively, and there's more to come." Unlike markets for operating systems, database software, and middleware, where HP likely won't "displace the leaders," he says, the No. 2 systems maker is investing in software that helps IT departments manage their information systems, deploy software, and report errors.

The Persist acquisition would give HP technology that can index and search E-mail messages and Office documents, and which could come to market as an HP product to help businesses comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires public companies and their auditors to report on the effectiveness of their financial controls.

HP also said it would bring to market in January software in its OpenView line that uses Talking Blocks technology to manage Web services, and Baltimore's SelectAccess technology for authorizing users' access to computers and files.

Separately, HP and No. 1 enterprise-applications maker SAP AG said they plan to develop products that would build HP management capabilities into SAP's apps.

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