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HP buys management help

The company expands its management software tools by nabbing Prolin, an Amsterdam-based help desk company.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) expanded its line of management software tools by nabbing Prolin, an Amsterdam-based help desk company.

The acquisition represents the latest move in a continued emphasis by HP's OpenView network management division in recent months to update and expand one of the leading enterprise platforms on the market. The Prolin purchase follows the recent announcement of a new Web strategy and the February buyout of Symantec's desktop management software assets for $30 million.

Details of the acquisition were not disclosed. The companies said they expected to finalize the deal in two to three months.

Analysts have said that management platforms such as OpenView will need to incorporate help desk features into their systems to allow administrators and personnel to read network problems more accurately. HP previously partnered with help desk software vendors such as Remedy for that purpose, but HP said the continuity between the OpenView architecture and the Prolin IT Service Manager suite made the deal an easy match.

"This is more than a road map or a strategy," said Olivier Helleboid, general manager of HP's Network and Systems Management division. "People can use existing products today."

Prolin, which has about 125 employees, has seen 100 percent revenue growth from 1995 to 1996, according to president and CEO Jerome Mol, who will direct a new business unit within HP covering help desk software. Headquarters for the unit will remain in Amsterdam.

Prolin's products run on several versions of Unix, as well as Microsoft's Windows NT. Mol said Java-based help desk tools are forthcoming from the company.