HP launches 'Adaptive Enterprise'
- By John K. Waters
Hewlett-Packard (HP) officially launched its "Adaptive Enterprise" strategy last week at a press event held in San Jose, Calif. It was also the one-year anniversary of HP's $19 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. HP's Adaptive Enterprise is a set of hardware, software, tools and services designed to build IT infrastructures that are responsive to change and deliver a better return on IT investments, company officials said.
Speaking to analysts and reporters, HP chairperson and CEO Carly Fiorina said that the strategy has proved itself over the past 12 months within HP itself. The company employed the strategy during its integration of Compaq, which Fiorina characterized as a "mammoth job" of adapting a company to "almost seismic change."
"One year ago today we launched this [new combined] company," Fiorina said, "and the reason we can speak with such confidence about [the Adaptive Enterprise initiative] is because we used it. We have achieved what we have achieved in the last 12 months because [of this strategy]."
Central to the Adaptive Enterprise concept is HP's Darwin Reference Architecture. Darwin is a blueprint for creating a business process infrastructure that automatically adjusts to changes in the business. The company describes Darwin as "a standards-based framework that leverages best-of-breed components, creates a new level of integration between business and IT, and lowers IT acquisition and operating costs."
Fiorina said that some of the ideas behind Darwin were actually developed in reaction to HP's struggle to integrate the infrastructure of 1,200 networked sites, 7,000 applications and 21,671 servers that the merger created.
"This [strategy] is about evolution, not revolution," Fiorina said. "This does not require companies to throw everything out and start over. This is a state of fitness that can be achieved in a step-by-step, methodical way."
At the same time, HP's Enterprise Systems Group executive vice president, Peter Blackmore, outlined new capabilities in HP OpenView software to support the vendor's utility computing strategy. HP had extended its OpenView network management software to include a Unix-based virtual server environment to support real-time services allocation and a pay-per-capacity model for server resources in a network, Blackmore said. OpenView has been equipped with self-healing technology to provide real-time troubleshooting, automatic fault detection and other processes to automate system repairs, he said.
Saying that her company "embraces heterogeneity," Fiorina said HP would work to deliver Adaptive Enterprises with key partners, including Deloitte & Touche, BEA Systems, Oracle, Siebel Systems, SAP, Cap Gemini, Ernst & Young, Cisco and Red Hat.
HP isn't the first major IT vendor to announce an on-demand computing strategy. IBM recently unveiled plans to deliver a similar utility computing initiative with its e-business on-demand strategy. Sun Microsystems is delivering on-demand computing through its N1 Architecture as well as related hardware and software. And a week earlier, Computer Associates took the wraps off its plans to focus on its Unicenter network management products to deliver on-demand computing.
In a related move, Tibco Software said that it would be collaborating with HP to develop process management systems based on Web services as part of the Adaptive Enterprise strategy. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tibco said the new Web services solution would help both companies' customers to respond more quickly and effectively to changes in market conditions, to system and infrastructure alerts, and to business process alerts. The as-yet-unnamed solution would enable users to react to changes and to maintain established service levels, said Tibco reps.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached