HP unveils data management platform

25 Apr 2007

BERLIN: HP announced yesterday, at their Technology@Work press event in Berlin, a new suite of products and services aimed at improving business through better IT infrastructure and applications.

Ann Livermore, executive vice-president of HP’s Technology Solutions Group, said that HP is “focused on technology and technology solutions to drive better business outcomes”.

She said that that the success of most technologies are now judged by the business outcome they create, claiming that IT powers over 80pc of most businesses, whether it is taking care of inventory or supply chains, or managing security systems.

“The age of information technology as we know it is over. The new reality is that technology doesn’t just support the business – technology powers the business and helps drive growth,” she said.

The main focus was on the launch of NeoView, HP’s next-generation data management platform. This product is an integrated software and hardware engine which HP Labs developed after what it said was considerable investment in the area of advanced business intelligence.

Greg Battas, distinguished technologist with HP’s Business Intelligence Group, commented: “Data warehousing was a handful of mathematicians in old days. Today, business intelligence has become part of the business. It’s mission critical.”

He said that given the industry’s move towards centralisation, the “single vendor provider service” is becoming a popular choice for businesses looking to save money and keep their IT infrastructure in one place. Currently, HP itself is consolidating over 700 warehouses within its own business.

Battas said that IT has moved out of the backroom and into the front office. He said databases have become huge shared resources and have to be able to balance many different user groups.

If everyone is sharing this system, then it cannot afford to go offline, and NeoView, he said, is designed to be online 24 hours a day, unlike the traditional data warehouse.

The NeoView data warehouse is already up and running in some businesses worldwide. Among users are the Bank of Baroda and US retail chain, Bon Ton.

“So far, Neoview has exceeded our expectations – helping us to first summarise and transform large amounts of data, and then leverage those insights to ultimately make merchandising and marketing efforts much more effective,” said Jim Lance, chief information officer, Bon-Ton Stores.

Terry Ryan, HP services worldwide information management leader CIO and delivery operations leader, speaking about NeoView and business intelligence, said that businesses want a software and hardware platform where they can take a huge databank, such as previous customer purchases, and get speedy results of useful marketing information.

“NeoView is good for taking data and running,” he said, where businesses “don’t have time to analyse data anymore”.

One out of every three servers shipped toady is a HP server and it has the largest group of Microsoft certified architects outside of Microsoft, according to Ryan.

As part of its new services, HP has also been busy building up its software sector.

Most recently it has been building relationships with large business intelligence software vendors to enhance the capabilities of its Neoview platform. Partners already engaged include Ab Initio, Business Objects, Cognos, Informatica, MicroStrategy and SAS.

By Marie Boran