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HP Starts Spending

Two acquisitions are part of $1 billion commitment to fill out automation strategy
A few more pieces fell into place last week in Hewlett-Packard's billion-dollar bid to create a comprehensive IT-automation environment, but the puzzle isn't complete.

HP plans to acquire Novadigm Inc. for about $115 million in cash and Consera Software for an undisclosed cash price. The companies make software for automated change and configuration management. HP bought two other companies last year, but much of the $1 billion war chest set aside to bolster its Adaptive Enterprise strategy remains. "Honestly, the industry isn't in a place to offer a one-shop product today, but increasingly we're building out the software portfolio to link the products together," says Todd DeLaughter, VP and general manager of HP's software-management group.

The initiative and similar programs from IBM and Sun Microsystems are four or more years away from comprehensive platforms, Gartner analyst Ronni Colville says. "That's not to say clients can't take advantage of the building blocks."

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