HP buys two firms to bolster services offer

Hewlett-Packard has acquired two companies to boost its staff and offerings in the area of IT service management.

Hewlett-Packard has acquired two companies to boost its staff and offerings in the area of IT service management.

HP acquired IT Infrastructure Management, better known as ManageOne, and CEC Europe Service Management to strengthen its ability to train clients on how to best manage their IT resources.

The acquisitions, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, were finalised last week, said Brian Brouillette, vice-president of education services at HP Services.

ManageOne and CEC Europe Service Management will become part of HP Service's customer support unit, he said.

The concept of training IT professionals in proven best practices for management of their companies' IT operations is not new, but interest in it has increased significantly over the past 12 months, said Robert McNeill, an analyst at Forrester Research.

In particular, there is rising interest in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a methodology which was developed by the UK government and provides a documented set of best practices for the delivery and support of IT services, McNeill said.

"With these two acquisitions, HP is buying a deep level of expertise, in particular in the UK and US markets, to go in and train end-user organisations on ITIL," he said.

By doing this, HP is further strengthening its position in this area of IT service management, in which it is viewed as a leader among large IT services suppliers, such as IBM and Electronic Data Systems.

IT departments are, increasingly, interested in the topic of managing IT resources because they are under pressure from top executives to make sure that money spent on IT directly supports business initiatives, McNeill said.

The ManageOne website defines IT service management as a set of 10 core processes that are essential to maintaining high levels of IT service quality within a company.

ManageOne breaks the 10 processes into two areas: Service delivery, which includes management of service levels, costs, capacity, availability and contingency, and Support processes, such as help desk, software control and distribution and management of changes, configurations and problems.

ManageOne provides courses and workshops to IT professionals interested in learning about this methodology.

CEC Europe offers consulting and training in similar areas as ManageOne, such as managing IT services, recruitment, projects and changes in business and IT.

Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service

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