Opening Up on OpenView

Network management frameworks began as tools for monitoring and managing mainframe and minicomputer environments. Windows NT/2000, however, has gained enough leverage to become a crucial market for framework vendors, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP,, the company behind OpenView.

Reporter Jean Nattkemper spoke with Patty Azzarello, general manager of the OpenView software business unit at HP, to discuss trends in the NT/2000 enterprise environment.

ENT: Are you targeting new customers or primarily the installed base?

Azzarello: Our installed base is not using all of our products. It has more network management software than anything else, and OpenView has a whole new portfolio of software. So, the installed base continues to be a main target. Making sure we're aggressive in selling our new value propositions and our new products into our installed base, I think, gives us a jump up on some of the new competitors that are starting from scratch.

There's a lot of new NT business as well, both in the enterprise and in the midmarket. ... The midmarket is underserved. Smaller companies have IT organizations that have one guy or a small group of people. Until recently, IT was just managing the company's print and e-mail and having a reasonably happy life. Then the CEO goes on an airplane and reads an article about e-commerce. Suddenly IT management becomes a huge new set of challenges -- keeping the Web page up and running and reliable, and those kinds of things. Our OpenView Express is targeted at fulfilling that niche.

And then NT in the enterprise is another growing market.

One of my first initiatives is to embark on a business planning process across all of OpenView. We're going to assess the whole portfolio of opportunities and be very specific about the winning plays we're going to go after.

ENT: E-commerce has dramatically affected IT management overall. Can you talk a bit about these effects and the way OpenView fits in?

Azzarello: The most major effect is that IT is no longer in the back room. IT used to support the business behind the scenes. As you start turning yourself into a business with an Internet presence, and your interaction with your customers is over the Internet, IT becomes business-fundamental. If you're a service provider, IT is your business.

It used to be that you managed systems that sat in your own network, that you had control over. The fact that the Internet now causes your business and your services to reach outside to domains and systems that you don't have control over is an excellent opportunity for OpenView to start driving in the direction of following those transactions around the Internet and measuring them. And we've got a head start.

ENT: How has the rise of service providers changed the landscape?

Azzarello: One of the issues service providers address is that there simply isn't enough people on the planet to do all of the IT work....At one time, IT feared that their jobs were going to be outsourced, but these people are in such demand now that that's just really changed.

What I see is that IT organizations within enterprises are becoming service providers. You just can't be an IT organization going about your business and telling the business people, "Everything is working OK, just keep giving us money." It's very much a service provider model, where the enterprise organization has to deliver on service-level agreements just as a service provider would. And again, for OpenView this is an interesting dynamic because we've already started making progress in abstracting the information of not just managing all of the components and the systems and the devices but what does it add up to in terms of the service you're delivering. And the recent release of VantagePoint delivers even more functionality for service-level management.

ENT: Another change that will affect system management is wireless. What are you planning in this area?

Azzarello: Wireless is regarded as the huge growth opportunity by everybody. One of the three vectors in HP's strategy is information appliances. [The other two vectors are infrastructure and e-services.] So, in terms of OpenView, there are a lot of reasons to look into the wireless opportunity -- both the basic growth of wireless and the alignment with HP strategy.

I see a couple of things. One is that applications that serve wireless information appliances need to be managed, but in that sense, it's pretty much like application management. It just happens to be an application that's a wireless application.

Then there's a whole concept of provisioning and things that are specific to managing the information appliances and devices themselves. And I think again this is a really interesting opportunity for OpenView. Strategically that's right in line with my direction. So in terms of users interacting with their wireless information appliances and the transactions that are routed across the Internet, I would like to see OpenView be recognized as the management package able to manage that whole transaction.