HP to unveil dashboard tool

HP to unveil dashboard tool

Hewlett-Packard is set to unveil OpenView Dashboard, which is expected to include the ability to quickly create views of complex systems to monitor the health of business services.

The new offering is being announced at HP's Software Universe in Nice, France, along with a new version of OpenView Business Process Insight and other tool revisions. The dashboard, priced from US$60,000, will start shipping in the next quarter, HP said.

Bill Emmett, manager of OpenView Advocacy at HP, said the product allows IT managers to create views of systems based on a variety of criteria within a matter of minutes instead of days or weeks.

A major financial services firm based in the U.S. has been using a prerelease version of the dashboard for a pilot project over the past two months, said the company's vice president of architecture and engineering, who asked not to be identified. The project will be fully deployed next year, he said.

The dashboard has been flexible in providing information about systems used to support online trading, he said. "It's been quick and adaptive," he said, pointing to one case where a view of a process was revamped to reveal other information in only a day -- far less time than in the past.

"We support 70 different business units and deal with 30 of them daily, and not all 30 are going to want a plain vanilla dashboard view that I put out," he said.

For some time, the company's internal developers have built dashboards to get comprehensive views of parts of the business, a process that can take months. "Dashboards are important to us to take that summary in a usable format, but creating them has been one of [our] biggest challenges," he said. "But now we have something with scalability and flexibility."

The financial services company executive said he was initially concerned about the cost of packaged systems, estimating the value of his firm's configuration of the HP dashboard tool at about US$250,000. However, he said, the packaged system was "far more cost-effective," taking only a month to set up, compared with the six-month efforts to create dashboards internally.

A dashboard can be used to offer a real-time view into critical business and IT services, said Emmett. For example, an e-mail service might handle several business units and servers in many locations, all of which could be depicted in the dashboard.

The idea of having all that information under a "single pane of glass" is not commonplace now, said Jean-Pierre Garbani, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.

It's especially difficult to integrate different types of information from different sources and products, he said.

HP Monday also plans to bring out OpenView Service Desk 5.0 and OpenView Business Process Insight 2.0, which can monitor and report on predefined business processes.

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Tags enterprise softwareHP openviewHP software

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