Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.
Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect podcast series, coming to you from the HP Software Universe 2010 Conference in Barcelona.
We were here last week to explore some major enterprise software and solutions, trends and innovations, making news across HP’s ecosystem of customers, partners, and developers. [See more on HP's new ALM 11 offerings.]
I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and I’ll be your host throughout this series of Software Universe Live discussions. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
To better understand HP’s latest vision and strategy for software and solutions, we're now joined by Jonathan Priestley, Director of Marketing for HP Software and Solutions, Europe, Middle-East, and Africa (EMEA). Welcome, Jonathan.
Jonathan Priestley: Hi, Dana. Thank you.
Gardner: Well, we’ve had quite a few very interesting developments. We’ve had news. We’ve had presentations on the stage. Pulling this together from those main stage or keynote announcements, how would summarize? How would you put this together for those who didn’t have a chance to attend?
Priestley: Well, we’ve had two great results to start with. The first is the weather. We got very lucky this time of the year. We have sunshine and blue skies out there, which is very good. The second is that we’ve got 3,500 attendees here, which is a super result. We exceeded our goals. I'm absolutely delighted, and the whole team is really excited, as you can imagine.
But, let me tell you about main stage, because we had some really good presenters on main stage this year. We started out with Anton Knolmar. Now, Anton is a veteran of this event. For 10 years now, he has been presenting here. He started out with a traditional flamenco dance, and you really had to be there to see that, in all his glory, as he came out with a rose between his teeth. It was a super start to the event and very appropriate here in Barcelona.
We moved on to Robin Purohit, the Vice President and General Manager of the R&D organization within software, to take us through the new strategy and vision for HP software. This was a really big one for us, because it’s the first time that the whole strategy and vision has had a public airing. It was exciting to see customers’ reaction to that.
We followed Robin with Jonathan Rende, Vice President and General Manager of our Application Solutions. This was really the news point for our main stage, the launch of Application Lifecycle Management 11 (ALM 11). This is probably the biggest news point we’ve had in the last six months or so. And we saved it especially for the show.
Gardner: Now, you mentioned the new strategy that Robin aired. Maybe you can encapsulate that for our listeners. What is this new strategy and why is it so important?
Priestley: It’s really important for us because, for the first time, we've got a really good story that ties together the history of our organically built technology, as well as the acquisitions that we’ve made. We’ve constructed this around those areas that we see our customers working with in their IT organizations today, as they deliver the solutions that drive their businesses. We see that breaking out into these areas.
Build -- how you actually put the applications that support the services out there. Operate -- how you supply the infrastructure that supports those applications. Secure -- how you make sure that you’ve got the right kind of security in place. Store -- how you make sure that this enormous information explosion we're all dealing with today is capable and managed. Finally, analyze -- how you take the business data that you're collecting in real-time and get decision-making data and information out of it.
Gardner: And, ALM 11 consists of a number of parts. How does that aid and abet that vision? How does it fit in? Is it a hub, a spoke, the foundation? How would you relate ALM 11 to this larger strategy?
Priestley: This is the culmination of two years worth of engineering time. This is a massive innovation for the marketplace and for us.
For the first time, you’ve got something that goes not just across the traditional software lifecycle, as we know it -- develop, test, deploy, and manage -- but across the entire lifecycle of an application.
This includes one of those things that we don’t like to talk about in IT, which is retirement, when we actually get rid of something, because we are not real good at that in this industry. Of course, it is a key part as we go forward. One of the fundamental reasons organizations can’t reduce their data or application load is because they never get to the point of being able to retire anything.
One of the key benefits of ALM is that we’ve unified a complete view, a single view, of that whole process. Now, the people who are responsible for each of those siloed areas -- the business analysts, developers, testers, and operational people -- who have to support and maintain the applications can actually see, from one place, how each of those areas hand off to each other to ensure that they can manage it effectively.
And, of course, the final piece is how I make sure I’ve got security engineered into the application before I deploy it. That whole piece fits together under ALM. So, you can see why we're so excited about it.
Gardner: Obviously, yes. Every day we're hearing about new impacts on the enterprise and governments. We’ve got cloud computing, mobile computing, social networks, and social mobility.
You’ve just come out recently with some Instant-On Enterprise initiatives, and I understand that we need to try to factor how IT can get involved and help the business better serve this imperative around Instant-On. So, maybe we could come back around full circle. How does ALM 11 help IT provide an Instant-On Enterprise?
Priestley: If we go back to the strategy and vision I just described, we talked about that in terms of the areas in which we see the IT people within an organization working. But, if you take that up a level and think about the challenges that these large enterprising business and government are facing, we see that breaking down into five core areas, something we call Converged Infrastructure. This is all of the elements of the infrastructure working together.
Enterprise security -- not just thinking about the individual components, but looking at it from across the entire delivery mechanism.
Application transformation -- something that all our customers are telling us they are facing today, and obviously, that’s one of the key areas where ALM fits in.
Information optimization -- another key, when we talk about the information explosion and the challenges with that. This ensures that you can manage not just data, but the information you want to get out of that hybrid delivery.
It addresses probably the hottest topic in the industry, if I want to put my enterprise resources on premise, running locally, versus putting it somewhere in a cloud, which I am running privately, or putting it in a public cloud. Our expectation is that all large enterprises will be facing those kinds of sourcing decisions and we call that "hybrid delivery."
Gardner: We understand that you're hearing some new and interesting things here from the users. We're in EMEA, so they are from far and wide, many different cultures and languages, many different types of markets. You created a new executive track. Tell me a little bit about that and what you're hearing from this large and varied audience?
Priestley: We put a lot of effort into the program and I am calling it a program, versus a track, this year, because instead of thinking as a single standalone event, we're thinking of it as a program that runs across the entire year. The launch point has been here at Software Universe.
We started out by taking an agenda from what our CIOs have told us are the key things that they are looking to try and get some help with.
The first is innovation, how they actually put innovation into their own organizations and how can they remove the barriers to that innovation. This is a key one, because it’s very difficult for them to figure out how to put innovation into their own organizations, but particularly how to remove the barriers to innovation. We’ve done a lot of work around showing them how to go through a discovery exercise to look for those opportunities.
The second thing is that the CIOs themselves are always measuring themselves against their peer groups, and that’s something else we’ve helped them with today. We're bringing in some expertise from outside to look at what are the skill-sets that make the perfect CIO, because we see that role changing.
We talked a bit about hybrid delivery and sourcing options. The actual skill-set roles of a CIO could very well change, and that’s one of the things we’ve tried to explore with them today.
CIO annual report
And as we go across the rest of the year, we'll be looking at something like an annual report. Every company or business today delivers an annual report on how they perform. CIOs are looking for the same kind of the thing themselves. How do they produce an annual report that shows how IT is performing and what kind of service it’s delivering back to the business? That’s something we will be taking that journey with them through the whole year.
So we're really excited about that program, and we’ve had some great feedback from the CIOs, that this is really hitting the hot spots for them, particularly on innovation and how they plan themselves going forward.
Gardner: Moving back to the main stage and some of the themes we’ve heard, we saw a great vibrancy around the follow-through for many years now on this fictitious enterprise. It encapsulates a lot of the issues the folks are dealing with. So being in EMEA, being inclusive in many markets, tell me about this presentation and why, in a sense, it illustrates a lot of what we've been talking about so far?
Priestley: This is our live-action main stage event. It’s just fabulous. It’s been running for 10 years and it’s a great showcase for us. It’s built by our own pre-sales organization, and over the 10 years we have taken our solutions and we demo'd them live. That takes pretty serious confidence in your own technology to demonstrate anything live on a main stage.
But, today, we were celebrating our ten-year anniversary by showing just how the HP software solutions can help with ALM, of course -- that was our focus for the show -- but also how to use the solutions in a cloud environment, which is also a big message we're trying to get across today.
Ulrich Pfeiffer, our CTO in EMEA, who sets up the whole main stage event, pulled together pre-sales people from across the region. You could hear all the different accents and nationalities working together, and it was the perfect example of what our customer organizations face in working with multi nationalities across the geography.
We even had a bouncing Volkswagen Beetle out there today, Dana, which was pretty interesting for us, because in rehearsals last night, if I can share a little backstage secret with you, it managed to smash through the main stage. So, we were up until quite late last night repairing the main stage, but, as ever, the show went perfectly on the day.
Gardner: Very good. We've been hearing more about the vision and strategy for software and solutions here in Barcelona. I want to thank our guest Jonathan Priestley, Director of Marketing for HP Software and Solutions, EMEA. Thank you Jonathan.
Priestley: Thanks very much indeed, Dana.
Gardner: I want to thank also our listeners for joining the special BriefingsDirect podcast, coming to you from the HP Software Universe 2010 Conference in Barcelona.
Look for other podcasts from this event on the hp.com website, as well as via the BriefingsDirect network.
I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this series of Software Universe Live discussions. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.
Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.
Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast, part of a series on application lifecycle management and HP ALM 11 from the HP Software Universe 2010 conference in Barcelona, Spain. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.
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