HP launches cloud service for the IT help desk

HP Service Anywhere offers IT service management capabilities not available in the on-premises software package

Hewlett-Packard has launched a hosted offering called HP Service Anywhere, providing IT service management (ITSM) software over the Internet.

"We believe that SaaS as a delivery model and as a business model makes sense for many of our customers," said Lee Nackman, who is HP's vice president and general manager for the company's service and portfolio management software.

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Like on-premise ITSM software, HP Service Anywhere provides a work area for help desk personnel to document and resolve IT problems within an enterprise. Typically, service desk personnel use ITSM software to document and help troubleshoot problems that occur in IT systems.

Unlike using on-premise ITSM software, however, customers will not have to worry about upgrading the software, nor applying patches. Scaling the software to handle additional users should be eased through the cloud approach as well.

This offering is a version of HP's IT Services Management ITSM software that has been redesigned for cloud usage.

The service doesn't have all the features of HP's IT Services Management software. Capabilities in change impact analysis or request management aren't available now on the cloud version, though HP will add these capabilities in time. The cloud version, however, will also feature a number of features not available in the on-premises software package. The service features a new Web user interface, and an easier way of customizing the service to individual use cases. The company claims that all configuration can be done through the user interface and users won't have to write their own scripts to execute some desired capability.

The service also has a number of social media features, including Internet chat with multiple users and a directory listing of expertise. It uses the taxonomy from the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to describe IT systems and problems, which will be essential for organizations standardizing on ITIL. The service can also draw on HP Universal Configuration Management Database (UCMDB) software, which can hold configuration information about IT assets.

The service can be connected to other IT management software through a Web services interfaces, email or HP's set of connectors for its IT Services Management software. It can also use data from an organization's LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directory for user names, permissions and other personnel information.

HP is marketing this service to organizations that have 25 to 500 user desk users. Pricing for HP Service Anywhere starts at US$89 per user per month.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com.

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