Standards adoption will help to create customer value. That is one of the core principals behind Hewlett-Packard's creation of a dedicated Web services management team. HP's Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina announced the official launch of the team at the 8th Annual BEA eWorld Conference being held this week in Orlando, FL.
By focusing on the creation of Web services management standards for platforms like J2EE and .NET, HP is hoping to improve its OpenView software suite to offer a way for partners to improve what they can offer to their customers. As a hardware and software vendor HP can straddle the fence and support both platforms with native implementations built into the software. In supporting other Web standards, such as XML, WSML, and UDDI, HP should be able to offer services on virtually any platform with Web capabilities.
According to Al Smith, CTO of HP Web Services Management Organization, the creation of the Web-services management team is both an offensive and defensive move for HP.
"Defensively," says Smith, "we've got a lot of good products that sell really well. But you've got to keep on top of everything going on in the current market. If you're not the 800-pound gorilla, then you open up your market share to your competitors."
Offensively Smith feels that the use of Web services management tools will help new business opportunities open up. Allowing an HP partner's customers to see what's happening to the partner's network or product lines remotely opens the door for two-way communication between management and customers.
Ultimately Smith sees HP's decision to focus on Web services management as a smart move for the company, allowing it to both defend the current marketplace and help partners see opportunities to go to market with a product and bring new value to customers.
As much as this announcement and others like it will draw attention to Web services management and the adoption of standards, Smith explains that there is still a great deal of work to be done to effectively integrate even friendly Web-based management systems.
"How to build and deploy Web services has been the hype for the past two years," Smith says. "Now we're beginning to focus on managing and running these services."