HP acquires two software management firms

Hewlett Packard continued its acquisition strategy yesterday by striking a deal to buy management software companies Novadigm ...

Hewlett Packard continued its acquisition strategy yesterday by striking a deal to buy management software companies Novadigm  and Consera Software.

HP intends to combine technologies from the two companies with OpenView, blending technology from Consera that lets businesses map IT resources with automated system configuration management features from Novadigm.

The exact cost of the merger was not disclosed, but HP said it will pay $6.10 for each outstanding share of Novadigm common stock, putting the purchase price for that company at around $122m. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of this year.

HP declined to disclose the price it will pay for privately held Consera, but said the acquisition is expected to close within 30 days, and that more details would be available at that time.

Both acquisitions are subject to shareholder approval.

HP's two acquisitions follow a string of recent purchases, including web-based user identity management software from Baltimore Technologies and information lifecycle management company Persist Technologies in 2003.

Both the Consera and Novadigm technologies will adopt the OpenView brand, but be sold as separate modules. Customers will be able to buy just the Consera or Novadigm technologies or any combination of the two with the rest of the OpenView suite.

The announcement of the acquisitions cast a shadow over HP's long-time relationship with IT lifecycle management software company Altiris. The companies have a partnership that involves joint marketing and sales as well as technology development.

HP resells Altiris' entire line of IT lifecycle management products and uses Altiris tools in its professional services organisation. At the same time, Altiris is a recommended partner for HP OpenView customers, with native support for a variety of  HP OpenView modules including Network Node Manager, Operations and Service Desk.

HP Adaptive Enterprise senior vice president Nora Denzel insisted the acquisitions will not change HP's relationship with Altiris. The company is a valued part of HP's Professional Services Group, which will continue to use Altiris products, she added.

HP service representatives will continue to install and configure Altiris products for "customers who want it", Denzel said.  

Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service

Read more on Business applications