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‘Would you Shweeb to work?’

The HP Software Solutions Community has a lot to offer.  If you haven’t visited the new community lately, you will find a number of items of interest to you.  More important, you can find others in positions similar to yours who are meeting challenges much like yours.  In the community you can read and participate in forum discussions, read about issues that the community has solved and pursue a wealth of information not available anywhere else.

The Coder, Episode 3, and other fun and games in the HPSS Community!

Things begin to get uncomfortable for software engineer David Wheeler in Episode 3 of The Coder. Check out the action in our new graphic novel in the HP Software Solutions Community. Plus new fun and games in the Fun Zone.

How Goldie, the midsize company IT director, found just-right solutions for her midsize data center challenges

Once upon a time there was an IT director named Goldie.  As the IT director for a midsize company, Goldie dealt with the same problems as her peers at large enterprise companies.   Goldie's challenges included managing heterogeneous virtualized environments, protecting and securing business critical data, and understanding how to take advantage of cloud-based solutions.  


Goldie went looking for technology she could use to keep her business up and running with less capital, not as many employees and fewer technology resources. Because Goldie's budget was smaller, financing was harder to get.  Small business solutions often weren't robust enough, while large enterprise solutions offered more complexity than her data center needed. 


One day Goldie happened upon the HP ten.to.one portfolio designed especially to meet the needs of global companies with 1,000 to 10,000 employees. Goldie tried out the new solutions.  She discovered that they were just right for midsize enterprises like hers.  The portfolio offered products with just-right pricing, just-right financing options, just-right delivery models and packaging.  And all had innovation from technology leader HP to help Goldie simply her IT value chain.


For example, Goldie found that HP LoadRunner, a market leading performance testing solution, is now available as a low-cost Cloud-based solution to help her test her mission critical applications and websites.  HP LoadRunner in the Cloud, available via the Amazon EC2 platform, is a performance testing solution that will provide Goldie with an affordable, pay as you go approach for optimizing website performance.


For risk management, Goldie discovered that HP ten.to.one could help her save 30 to 70 percent on backup and recovery with its HP Data Protector software.  She learned that more than 37,000 customers worldwide use Data Protector to protect their physical and virtual servers.  And that Data Protector can help her simplify her virtual server backup challenges. 


For infrastructure management, Goldie found the HP SiteScope Operations Manager was just-right to help her quickly and easily verify the status of IT operations, identify issues and initiate corrective actions - which eliminates customer downtime, making IT more responsive and efficient.  Goldie thought this product would help her and her company do a better job.


Finally, because Goldie has limited resources and staff, she prefers to source software and services from value-added resellers and systems integrators. The HP ten.to.one initiative includes a key focus on enabling and supporting Goldie's key resellers, so they are in turn equipped to serve customers, like Goldie, even better. Goldie can continue to work with the vendors she trusts and who know her technology needs.


If you would like to try on these special midsize software solutions for yourself, visit www.hp.com/go/software/midsize. There you can download product trials, read new research about the challenges of midsize IT directors, and find easy access to the HP partner community.  You'll also find special offers and promotions. 


Let us know what you think about these new just-right solutions for midsize enterprises. 

Because you asked … HP Software hosts new Interactive Tech Talks in May, June and July

During the testing and building phase of our new community we spoke in-depth to our customers.  We discovered that IT Staff are looking for more information like tools and FAQs to make their jobs easier.   Middle managers told us while they relate to technical challenges, they also are interested in resource management and cost reduction.  Both groups want to learn how to gain the full benefits of HP software for the end results of performance improvements, higher efficiency, integration, migration and security.


In response to these needs, HP Software & Solutions is hosting a new series of Interactive Tech Talks during May, June and July.   Sessions are 60 minutes long and are live, presented by an HP Software Solution architect.  All sessions start at 10:00am PT/ 1:00pm ET.  Each Tech Talk will help you gain technical understanding of HP Software products and will include a presentation, a product demonstration and a Q&A session. 


Tech Talks begin this week and weekly through July with a new live session for each product.  More than a dozen HP Software products and solutions will be covered in these sessions.  They include: 



  • HP Asset Manager: Managing the IT asset life-cycle

  • HP Business Availability Center (BAC) and HP SiteScope: Maintain the availability and performance of your distributed IT infrastructure

  • HP Client Automation: Improve efficiency, security & end user satisfaction

  • HP Data Protector: automate high performance backup and recovery

  • HP LoadRunner: Take control of application performance and scalability challenges

  • HP Network Automation: Automate and control your network

  • HP Network Node Manager: Improve network operational efficiency

  • HP Operations Manager: Consolidate infrastructure monitoring and reduce IT management costs

  • HP Project & Portfolio Management: Strategic management of your business

  • HP Quality Center: Taking Quality Management to a New Level

  • HP QuickTest Professional: Simplify the automation of functional and regression testing with HP Functional Testing

  • HP Server Automation: Managing physical & virtual servers in your data center

  • HP Service Manager: Improve service quality, visibility and efficiencies

  • HP Service Test Management and Service Test: Capabilities of HP Service Test Management and Service Test


Related link: Tech Talks information and registration page


We'd like to know what you think of these sessions.  Are there other Talk Talks you would like HP to present?  Let us hear from you!


Until next time ...

Our new leader brings proven track record and a focus on customers

I'm looking forward to introducing our community to Bill Veghte, our new executive vice president of the HP Software & Solutions organization. For those of you coming to SW Universe  you might get the opportunity to meet Bill face-to-face.  For the rest of you, let me tell you a little about our new leader. 


Bill is a Harvard educated marketing professional.  Before coming to HP, he worked at Microsoft for nearly two decades.  Most recently he ran the company's $15 billion global Windows® business including the launch of Windows 7 and Small Business Server 2003 product lines. 


While it's only natural for those of us at HP to be excited about our new leader, it's great to see that the IT press and analyst community are embracing the announcement as well.   Here are just a few snippets:


"'I'm a software guy,' Veghte said today in an interview. 'I've spent a lot of time with customers. They'd like to see H-P do more.'" - Bloomberg/BusinessWeek


"In choosing HP, Veghte said he looked at how software buying is changing and the emergence of cloud computing and other trends. 'We're still in the early stages of what is, in my opinion, the biggest change since client-server in how businesses use technology,' Veghte said. 'It's a great opportunity given where the market is going.'" - CNET


"HP has built a strong reputation as a technology powerhouse with a respected global brand and deep client relationships," said Veghte. "Software is a strategic part of driving greater innovation to our clients, and I look forward to leading the HP software team to continue to build a world-class business."-HP Press Release

As you can see, Bill has a commitment to putting the customer first.  He promises to listen and work with customers to grow the software business at HP.  I hope you share my enthusiasm as we begin a new chapter with new leadership.


For more information on HP Software and Solution, visit www.hp.com/software.


Until next time....


Happy Earth Day!

Hello everyone -


I wanted to take a moment to reflect a bit on Earth Day.  I know it is a bit of a departure from talking about the HP Software Solutions Community but if you think about it - we are all a member of the Earth's community and just as we nourish and care for the software community, we can also take a step back and think about how we can do the same for the planet. 


But before I do so, I wanted to share a bit about how my 2 1/2 year has "gotten" the message of the importance of taking care of the planet.  Last night, before bedtime, we were chatting about Earth Day and what it means to us: recycling, turning off the lights, and be careful of how much water we use.  So this morning, as she is brushing her teeth she turned off the water for the first time without any prompting!  And I said, "Good job!  Why did you do that?" and she said, "Because I no make the Earth sad!"  While it gave me a sense of pride and little laugh, it got me to thinking that if a 2 year old can get the message that fast then certainly we can too!  :smileyhappy:


So with that, I have some ideas for you in terms of how you could take action.  I encourage you to learn how to reuse or recycle electronic equipment or calculate your printer or PC’s carbon footprint.  You can do that all right on HP's site.  Take a look and take action now!


Until next time...


 

Customers, like you, help HP get agile

We often have customers ask us if we practice what we preach and if we use our own technology within HP.  For agile development, the answer is a resounding yes! Most of our R&D teams use agile methodology, and customers, like you, help us get it right.


For example, the R&D team that develops HP Quality Center software first adopted the agile approach in 2006.  And step-by-step they have been adopting new concepts through agile's iterative approach-using our very own HP Quality Center software. 


What's cool is that our Quality Center development team can test and gather feedback on enhancements from the two major groups who use our software-employees and external customers.  The team uses four-week long iterations with extensive testing.  Along with the testing at every phase, there is constant feedback on performance and enhancements. The end result is better software that has been more thoroughly tested and is able to be modified quickly to meet customer requirements.  


Rather than regurgitating the entire case study here, I encourage you to download the white paper and learn more about how HP is using agile.  What experiences have you had with agile development?  Are there tips and tricks that you can share with others?  Are you one of the customers who helped with the agile development?


If you haven't checked out Agile in the new HP Software Solutions Community, please take a moment to do.  We can continue the discussion there or add new ideas as well.

Community has launched!

Last week was a big one for HP Software & Solutions.  First, the HP Software Solutions Community officially launched publicly on April 8.  As the Community Manager, I can't tell you how exciting and rewarding it is to have this new community live.  It's a big, big milestone in our goal to make 2010 the year of the community. 


The pride I have for the many people who made this new community a reality is enormous. But, I am most proud of you, our customers, who stepped up to contribute your ideas and passion, first in the alpha stage and then in the beta phase.  Now all customers, like you, have a place to exchange ideas, best practices, find solutions and connect peer-to-peer. 


A big thanks, also, to all who stopped by to check out the new community.  No registration is necessary if all you desire is to look around and read the threads.  If you want to post a thread yourself or answer a post, you'll need to register.  But registration is very easy, and we promise to guard your privacy.  We only ask a few quick questions and you'll be all set.


Another important achievement of last week was the publication of HP's annual Global Citizenship Report.    The report highlights how HP is using IT to solve critical problems for people everywhere.  You can't help but feel good when the company you work for is making the world a better place right now and in the future.


It is especially gratifying to see how HP Software & Solutions is contributing to HP's programs for the betterment of society.  For example, healthcare and education are two of the five issues HP designates as critical to worldwide socioeconomic progress. Because of my work with so many customers, I know first-hand how our software has helped in these two fields.  


So, I invite you to not only check out the new community, but also to read the HP Global Citizenship report.  Please share your thoughts about HP's social betterment programs with us.  We'd like to know how well is HP living up to its goal to be an exemplary global citizen.  What programs, projects or policies did you find especially compelling? 

Our New Community Must Meet Many Customer Needs

It’s been fascinating working with our Alpha community and learning what most concerns you, our customers. Our Alpha team, a select group of approximately 200 customers, is composed of three main roles: IT Staff, Middle Managers and Execs.


We’ve had an opportunity to speak in-depth to all three groups participating in the test stages of our new community. We’ve learned that each type has diverse motivations and will need our community to meet different needs.


The IT Staff have a specific job and tend to need an answer to a problem right away as they are under intense pressure to solve problems quickly. They want the new community to offer solutions to tech problems and provide tools to make their jobs easier, such as FAQs, instant answers, improved support.


Middle managers, while concerned with tech problems, are more focused on resource management and cost reduction in the data center. Because this is the group who bridges the tech team and upper management, they are most interested in the strategy and application of the software they buy from HP. They want to learn how to use our software for the end results of performance improvements, higher efficiency, integration, migration and security. This group of customers is also interested in time-saving tools and want to know about low-overhead products that work well out of the box.


The smallest group of Alpha Project customers are executives, who are concerned with strategy and anticipating IT and business trends. They want HP and their peers in the community to help them identify the next big shifts so that they can use IT to help their businesses compete more effectively.


If you have feedback to these conclusions, we would like to hear from you. Are we missing anything? Is there a particular need you have that you would like our community to meet? What are you hoping the new community will do for you?


Until next time...

What do you think?

 


Hello,  as you know we have been working with a group of customers (we call them the Alpha Group) to get important feedback on the type of content, topics and concerns that you, our customers, would like to have addressed in the new HP Software Solutions community set to launch in April. 


One of the participants - Betty Smith from John Hancock Financial - emailed a summary of some of the challenges facing IT departments that helps break down the various groups and motivations and is worth including here. The following has been edited but is largely drawn from her email. The primary streams are: people, process, application and strategy.



  • People: the techs charged with implementing software are the ones that are looking for trouble-shooting and how to resolve current problems, i.e. with sharing of code snippets, how to make the application perform better, etc.

  • Process: about 50% of any successful application implementation is the process side. There are many communities devoted to disciplines (BPM, Service Mgmt, ITIL, Cobit, PMP, SQA etc). Process considerations are currently not integrated into the application community and it is a big opportunity.

  • Application: There are huge technical issues to implementation requiring peer support. Another area that needs to be considered is the integration between the products - they cannot be looked at as separate entities, they have to flow into the primary applications. With regards to life cycle, HP's site has to be more integrated and transparent to the customer on how things get fulfilled on the back end.

  • Strategy: There is a level of middle management out there that is becoming responsible for looking at the strategy. The organization's agenda is set by the CIO and other CxOs but the people under them are the ones helping to pitch the recommendations. It would be great if HP had some white papers with in-depth discussions around disciplines and topics-the strategies and how to implement.  There also needs to be an area where companies can discuss with each other at this level, organizations that are willing to share their strategies, approaches to implementations, lessons learned, etc.  not just at the individual techie level.  


I'd like to thank Betty for her willingness to share her opinions in this blog post.  And both Betty and I would like to hear from you.  Do you agree with Betty that the community can help in these areas?  Where do you disagree?  What's missing?  What would you like the community to provide?


Remember, we are building this soon-to-be-reborn peer-support community for you, our customers.  We want to hear from you on the goals, structure, form and function that would work best for you.


Until next time...


 

Initial results of Project Alpha conference calls

Last week marked a milestone in the launch of the HP Software Solutions Community.


The Project Alpha members – now several hundred strong – broke into into bite-sized chunks in order to kick things off with some smaller-group collaboration on the goals, structure, form and function of the soon-to-be-reborn peer-support community.


The initial group interaction was highly interactive and promising. Not only were there clearly identifiable themes that will make for excellent starting points for the community, there was a surprising amount of consensus on where the fault-lines exist in the current support paradigm – and some great ideas around how to fix it.


We've had some great discussions so far around the following:


·         Security was identified as a major issue for all. Increasing compliance constraints, corporate and personal data access and the growth of mobile and wireless have ensured that security will remain a pressing issue for all departments as new systems, applications and paradigms are rolled out.


·         Data management is closely intertwined with security, as every company grapples with who has access to what. This becomes particularly onerous as a company expands and has to deal with varying international laws governing privacy. Other key challenges involve the costs of large data transfer and the potential savings of de-duplication. 


·         Nearly all of the participants noted virtualization as having been a strategic thrust over the past couple of years, as IT shops searched for the cost savings promised with this emerging technology.


Considering the breadth and depth of the participants and the needs of their respective IT departments, the agreement around these top themes was notable. Also remarkable was the consensus around current peer-support challenges, namely nomenclature (product naming, accurately identifying problems etc), search capabilities, re-locating solutions and licensing issues.


These issues will be the focus of our next blog entry – stay tuned!


Until next time...

Project Alpha next steps and your digital habits

It's been over a month now since Software Universe, and plans for the HP Software Solutions Community are moving ahead rapidly!  Thanks to all of you who participated in the digital habits survey – we’ve received some excellent insights about what you'd be looking for from a community and what tools you use to access information about the industry. Some of the survey highlights:  




  • Email stands out as the preferred form of communications – ranking far above blogs, twitter and Facebook



  • Friends and colleagues are the preferred source for information with Internet search as the second favorite and ranking above getting on the phone to speak with a product expert.



  • Few respondents access the web via mobile devices 



In regards to Project Alpha - there were more than 200 people that applied to be part of Project Alpha.  We have reviewed the applications and for those of you that were selected you will be receiving an invite to join the first feedback session shortly.  We're looking to get to know all of you, your digital habits and community needs a little better. We're also really excited about sharing with you some of the work we've got underway on the community site, and getting your feedback!


 


So watch your inbox as we’re sending out invites for Project Alpha members to join us in a conference or web session taking place in early this month where we’ll begin sharing some of the design elements of the community, details on how the community will roll out and some of the content and experiences we’re planning for as the community goes from alpha to beta to launch.



Remember, if you decided not to participate in Project Alpha you will have another opportunity to join the beta testing group in March.  Keeping watching this blog for more information.



Until next time!

What are YOUR digital habits?

We're making great progress on the community.  We'll be sending out a message to all those selected for Project Alpha shortly so stay tuned!


In the meantime, we'd like to align our new site with your needs and goals, so we've put together a short survey to help us better understand your online habits and preferences. Taking the survey will only take a moment, and will help us all shape the best enterprise software community on the web. Here's a the link to the survey.


We'll be sharing relevant insights from the survey on the Software Solutions blog in the next couple of weeks.


If you have already filled out the survey, thank you!


Until next time...

Highlights from HP Software Universe

It's time to take a step back from all the community setup work I've been doing lately to look at some of the highlights from last month's big HP Software Universe conference in Hamburg.


A couple of key themes emerged, notably the importance of flexible, scalable software and hardware solutions. Research conducted on behalf of HP shows that more than 90 percent of senior business decision makers believe business cycles will continue to be unpredictable in the next few years. It should come as no surprise therefore that cloud computing is getting a lot of attention.


Three recent announcements that came out of HP Software Universe highlight this:



Another highlight of the event (which attracted over 3200 attendees!) was the annual Live in Action demo. For the past 8 years, Ulrich Pfeiffer, CTO for IT Management in EMEA creates a demo showcasing the fictitious Full Throttle Company (FTC) on mainstage. Live in Action is a demonstration of HP Software integrated into a complete solution.


Here's how Michael Procopio described it:


This year, the Live in Action team recalled Hamburg of the early 1960s when this German city gave the Beatles a start before the group became a mainstream sensation. The demo featured the HP Performance Optimized Datacenter (“POD”), a datacenter in a container, along with music by the re-Beatles band and an on-stage yellow submarine in a disaster recovery scenario involving a flooded datacenter. BTO solutions demoed live on stage showed capabilities in three critical areas: 1) business and disaster recovery; 2) service recovery and web security; and 3) business improvements to avoid service disruptions and enhance capacity via virtualization management.

HP Software Universe also served as the kick off to our Project Alpha recruitment. We'll be reaching out to all Project Alpha applicants in the next two weeks to get our community building underway. As always, if you'd like to be notified when the new Software Solutions Community opens it's doors, click here to send us an email and we'll take care of the rest.


Until next time!

 


Happy New Year!

Happy new year! We're back after a restful and relaxing break, and ready to make 2010 the year of the community. The big news for the Software Solutions Community was the official announcement of the program at HP Software Universe in Hamburg late last month. The feedback we've had from your peers has been very strong, and we're ready to rise to the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. 


If you haven't signed up for Project Alpha yet, and are interested in playing a key role in shaping the new community, be sure to do so before end of day Friday, January 8th (Elvis' birthday). You can apply by clicking here to answer a short application. As a reminder, we are only taking a limited number of participants. If you are not chosen to participate in Project Alpha, you will certainly be invited in to the private beta phase. Application only takes a minute. 



If you have signed up for Project Alpha, then thank you!  We've had over 200 applicants so far, which exceeds our expectations.



We'll be getting in touch with all Project Alpha applicants in the next two weeks to get the process rolling which includes providing you choices of phone sessions to attend.



In other news, staging server for the new community platform is now up and running. We're busy preparing it for Project Alpha activities and getting to know the industry's leading community software front to back. In coming blog posts, I'll share more details about the platform and the features you can expect to see over the next couple of weeks.



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About the Author(s)
  • Brian is Senior Manager of the IT Experts Community for HP Software. Brian has 25 years of software industry expertise from roles as a developer, sales engineer, instructor, consultant and marketer.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Michael Deady is a Pr. Consultant & Solution Architect for HP Professional Service and HP's ALM Evangelist for IT Experts Community. He specializes in software development, testing, and security. He also loves science fiction movies and anything to do with Texas.
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