HP Unveils Its SaaS Strategy

HP is offering its Business Technology Optimization solutions as both an on-premises installed solution and as a hosted solution delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS). The SaaS option is not well known, perhaps, but it's a growing part of HP's general software strategy.

"It's a core strategy for us to have software-as-a-service delivery capability for the products that make sense," explained Marc Olesen, vice president of SaaS for HP Software.

Either way, the purpose of the company's Business Technology Optimization software is to align a company's IT support with its business goals. In the case of SaaS, HP got into that technology in a big way when it purchased Mercury Interactive for $4.5 billion in a deal that closed last November.

One of the components that Mercury Interactive brought to the table was a very mature software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, Olesen said. Mercury Interactive operated its SaaS business for six years. HP has been operating its SaaS strategy for one year on top of that, and it currently has 670 SaaS customers.

And there's more to come, if analysts are correct about SaaS.

"We are clearly seeing increased demand at the marketplace for software-as-a-service solutions, Olesen said. In fact, [research firm] IDC says that the software-as-a-service market is growing at a little bit north of 30 percent per year as opposed to the enterprise software business, which is growing at 10 percent."

Olesen said that HP's SaaS solutions currently encompass the following IT functions:

  • Project and portfolio management;
  • Functional testing;
  • Load or stress testing (via HP's Performance Center); and
  • Stress performance monitoring (via HP's Business Availability Center).

SaaS has the advantage of letting CIOs concentrate on their core competencies and gain efficiencies by having someone else run the solution, Olesen said.

SaaS can reduce upfront costs because it's offered on a subscription basis. The customer doesn't have to purchase the infrastructure for the system to run on, as well as the perpetual licensing.

HP's SaaS option can drive business value in less than three weeks' time, according to Olesen. Such was the case for HP customer Lafarge Canada, a manufacturer of construction materials. Lafarge used HP's SaaS-delivered solutions at the beginning of a major ERP project, allowing it to avoid spending the time and resources building an in-house solution.

HP's SaaS solutions are offered via a globally installed base, with 24x7 operations. As for security, HP's SaaS has undergone ISO 27001 security audit certification by a third party.

HP works with partners on its SaaS-delivered Business Technology Optimization solutions. However, the partnership model is little different compared with the traditional installed approach. With SaaS, it depends more on the partner offering complementary services to HP's, Olesen said. Partners typically help with change management or integrations with third-party applications at the customer's premises.

More info on HP's SaaS-delivered solutions is available here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.