Monday, July 23, 2007

HP Acquires Opsware... don't they have Novadigm?

I heard the ground rumbling all the way from the valley today.. The blast of emails about HP and Opsware where my tsunami. Major props to Opsware for growing and executing on the business plan. More consolidation in this space is never surprising, but it does seem like we have an oligopoly in this market. So much so it is controlled by the 'Big Four' as they market refers to them.

But what surprises me is a few years back HP acquired Novadigm and in this article even questioned how would the relationship with Opsware and Altiris (acquired by Symantec) continue. The question I wonder is why couldn't HP/Novadigm execute in the space.

* Maybe the answer is the target markets are different and they are complementary and now they could take on the market.
* Maybe HP made the wrong bet, and 120+M for Novadigm is an excusable rounding error.
* Maybe it was the leadership/execution and now there is different leadership from the top through their software division.

Short term I think this is a good move for HP, they keep shaking up the software organization enough no one will ever figure out if they executing well or just keep falling forward. But they have enough of the forward momentum they have solidified their spot in the Big Four for some time.

So.. WHO, really WHO, is left in the mid market do anything unique?


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