HP touts BI services growth, Neoview success

Hewlett-Packard's business intelligence services business grew by 50 percent this year

Hewlett-Packard's BI (business intelligence) services business saw its customer base grow 50 percent in fiscal 2007, the company said this week, while also trumpeting the success of its Neoview data warehousing appliance.

The company made the announcements nearly one year after a reorganization within its software division, which created the current BI group.

HP also said what it termed "megadeals" for BI -- amounting to $1 million or more -- grew by 32 percent. The rise follows HP's acquisition of Knightsbridge Solutions, a 700-employee BI consultancy.

Terrence Ryan, information management leader in HP's services division, declined to provide specific numbers, but placed the total revenue for BI services in the hundreds of millions. "Our biggest challenge in services is keeping up with the Neoview platform," Ryan said.

HP executives said Neoview is ideal for operational BI, the point of which is to disseminate useful business process-related information to workers on the fly, as opposed to collecting large batches of data and then generating analytical reports.

"Operational BI gives nuts-and-bolts metrics to lots of managers [such as], 'The average person in an eight-hour shift sells this much stuff at Circuit City,'" said David O'Connell, a senior analyst at Nucleus Research in Wellesley, Mass. "What I like about it is, companies are always trying to increase ROI, and the greatest way to increase ROI of an application is to get more people using it."

Also this week, HP said it has landed the New York-based private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners as a Neoview customer. It is another in a string of high-profile clients -- such as Wal-Mart -- to use the product.

However, HP executives declined to say how much revenue Neoview has grossed since its launch in April, instead stressing its overall importance to the company.

"It's a major part of our IT transformation, it's a major part of our growth strategy," said Ben Barnes, general manager of HP's BI division, which launched in January. "We're highly committed to it any way you can think about it." The company has also been working to consolidate its own datacenters around Neoview, he noted.

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