HP touts customers, new products

The computing giant says new customers are putting its "adaptive enterprise" vision into practice. HP also is announcing new server, storage and services products.

Ed Frauenheim Former Staff Writer, News
Ed Frauenheim covers employment trends, specializing in outsourcing, training and pay issues.
Ed Frauenheim
3 min read
Hewlett-Packard says its "adaptive enterprise" strategy--called fuzzy by some--is coming into focus.

On Wednesday, the computing giant plans to announce new customers and a series of new products it says tie into its vision of information technology systems connecting more directly to business procedures.

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One of the new customers is Amadeus, a Madrid-based company that processes airline reservations. HP said it has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Amadeus through 2008 to provide servers, storage systems and services, where Amadeus will pay for technology power based on each reservation it processes.

"Adaptive Enterprise and utility computing are more than just buzzwords," Rudi Schmickl, HP vice president, said in a statement. "By closely linking IT (information technology) to business requirements and offering usage-based business models, we help companies stay flexible and able to react quickly to changing business needs--without having to worry about the capacity of their infrastructure or the financial impact on their business."

HP, IBM and others have been touting the concept of utility computing, where IT systems eventually become a pay-as-you-go service akin to electricity. HP has struggled at times to clarify what it means by "adaptive enterprise."

In addition to Amadeus, HP said another new adaptive enterprise client is Gates Corp., which makes automotive systems and components. Gates selected HP for a multimillion-dollar investment in hardware, software services and maintenance support, HP said. The deal also involves a pay-per-use pricing model, HP said.

HP also said its massive deal to manage printing for Ford is getting under way in Europe, and that it is now offering print management services in Europe.

The company's new products include a new component for its high-end Integrity servers that features two Intel Itanium 2 processors. The so-called dual-processor module allows for a larger number of processors in a single server and therefore greater capacity, according to Mark Hudson, HP vice president of marketing for enterprise storage and servers. The advance also translates into lower costs, thanks partly to lower power consumption, he said.

HP also is announcing a new data storage product designed to make it easy to archive and retrieve e-mail messages and other sorts of information. Dubbed the HP StorageWorks Reference Information Storage System, the product combines hardware and software and is likely to compete with products such as EMC's Centera device.

HP's new system, slated to be available this month, helps it catch up in the market for helping companies comply with data-handling requirements and prepare for possible litigation, suggested Brian Babineau, analyst with Enterprise Storage Group. "It's important for HP because they've been behind the curve to EMC's Centera and Network Appliance's SnapLock products," he said.

HP also announced services related to storage, including design and implementation assistance for the new storage system.

The company also said it would offer the same sort of premium "mission critical" services to customers with its "NonStop" servers that it provides to clients with other products.