HP Picks Executive To Lead Adaptive Enterprise Strategy

Nora Denzel, head of the company's software unit, will lead the company's push toward selling computing power the way a utility sells electricity.
Hewlett-Packard continues to put the pieces in place to further its Adaptive Enterprise strategy for closely linking its customers' IT environments with their business needs. The company said Monday it has bought a suite of identity-management apps called SelectAccess from U.K. software maker Baltimore Technologies plc. HP also appointed Nora Denzel to the role of senior VP overseeing the company's new Adaptive Enterprise Program Office.

In addition to the SelectAccess deal, HP said it has closed its acquisition of Talking Blocks, a privately held maker of service-oriented architecture and Web-services-management software. SelectAccess and Talking Blocks' software will be available by the beginning of November as part of HP's OpenView management software suite.

HP is competing with IBM and Sun Microsystems for its share of a budding market where these IT providers sell hardware, software, and services that let their customers' IT environments adjust automatically to changing business needs. Sometimes called utility or on-demand computing, this market is expected to remove costs from IT operations beyond efforts to consolidate servers or storage. HP established its Adaptive Enterprise Program Office to help guide the company's $2.5 billion investment in research and development for this breed of IT infrastructure.

Although Denzel is also senior VP of HP's Software Global Business Unit, she says that she and her team will be working with all areas of the company to further the Adaptive Enterprise strategy. Denzel would not say how many employees work for the Adaptive Enterprise Program Office, but did say most were chosen internally from HP's various business units.

There are three phases to the Adaptive Enterprise: infrastructure consolidation, converting IT into a service, and mapping IT capacity to changing business needs. "You have to understand how your technology fits into your company's business processes," Denzel says.

For example, IT departments today know when their storage or servers aren't performing properly. With an Adaptive Enterprise, the objective is to get them to understand immediately how these faults are affecting their service-level agreements and how much poor IT performance is costing their companies, Denzel says. IT systems will also, in theory, be able to automatically take corrective action. IBM's Project Symphony and Sun's N1 strategies make similar promises.