The contribution made by OpenView, Hewlett-Packard's (HP) network, systems and storage management suite of products, to the establishment of the company's overall software business cannot be overstated. While its software operation generated revenues of $2 billion in 2001, well over half of this came from sales of OpenView products, an amount that would make the operation a top 20 software company if spun out of HP.
That position is built on a long pedigree. First launched in the late 1980s as a tool for monitoring network faults at a device level, OpenView has since grown to encompass 40 separate products that cover all levels of network monitoring and management, key areas of systems management, back-up and recovery, application performance management and service level management. That breadth has allowed the company to orientate the suite towards the pressing requirement for the delivery of IT as an assured service – what HP labels ‘service-driven management'.
Despite this holistic approach, a few products stand out as top sellers. The most successful package, Network Node Manager (NNM), is arguably the de facto standard for monitoring and identifying network faults. For service-level management, meanwhile, OpenView Service Desk is HP's core product to help organisations analyse how individual network and systems management components impact their service level commitments. Service Desk comprises application configuration, help desk and change management capabilities.
That breadth of service management products is still growing. Most recently, in August 2001, HP addressed demand for network performance reporting by acquired privately held network performance management specialist Trinagy.
Despite fleshing out its product offering, HP still has some ground to make up in the areas of system and application management, says Debra Curtis, an analyst at Gartner. But the solid base on which it draws means that HP is one of the undisputed leaders of service management.