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HP's Acquisitions Fuel Its Software Ambitions

In addition to Mercury, Bristol, and Knightsbridge, HP has acquired at least 10 software companies since 2003, including Peregrine, OuterBay, Novadigm, and several identity management vendors.

Mary Hayes Weier

February 6, 2007

1 Min Read

Hewlett-Packard may be the world's largest PC vendor, but recent moves underscore its plans to become a software powerhouse. The latest is its acquisition Monday of Bristol Technology Inc., a maker of business technology optimization software.

Bristol's software is used primarily by financial services and insurance companies to monitor business transactions, such as insurance claim processes and product orders. HP sees Bristol as a good fit with Mercury Interactive, acquired last year for $4.5 billion. Financial details of the acquisition of privately held Bristol were not disclosed. Bristol will sit within the software unit of HP's Technology Solutions Group.

HP, meanwhile, also has been busy trying to build its reputation as provider of software for business intelligence and related types of data analysis. It announced last month its plans to open a research and development lab in St. Petersburg, Russia, to focus on information management, or more specifically, better ways to extract, analyze, and organize information within a business. Also last month, HP formed the business information optimization unit within its HP Software organization to sell companies intelligence and information management software, including HP NeoView and offerings from its newly acquired Knightsbridge Solutions.

HP CEO Mark Hurd has said software is a key component of the company's business strategy. It's become obvious that HP plans to get there primarily through acquisitions. In addition to Mercury, Bristol, and Knightsbridge, HP has acquired at least 10 software companies since 2003, including Peregrine (asset management), OuterBay (data management), Novadigm (change management), and several identity management vendors. Some analysts suspect HP is actively shopping for vendors to build up its new business intelligence unit.

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