Some time ago HP decided to stop the further development and sales of their IAM products, even while they will support existing customers. Since then, Novell announced an agreement with HP with a special cross-upgrade offer. And, since then, there are a lot of rumours about other partnerships in the market. What is the reason for this?

To understand this one first has to first understand the structures of HP. HP is a pretty big and diversified company. There is the consumer business, there are printers. In the enterprise IT area, we still have three different divisions:

  • Software (by far the smallest division)
  • Hardware
  • Services (consulting, integration,...)
These divisions have different strategies. And they have different partner strategies. The agreement between Novell and HP is from the software division. The services have, also depending on the regions, sometimes another view. Thus, none of the partnership announcements of HP around IAM should be overestimated.

From my perspective, it is much more important for existing HP customers to rethink the IAM strategy. Will you use HP software - and until when? And what are your vision, your strategy, your operational requirements for IAM? Thus - which way will you go? Which software vendor fits best? Which integrators suite best for your targets? Given the fact, that IAM becomes more and more business driven, integrated into the GRC and/or BSM context, you should first redefine and update your IAM strategy and afterwards select the best vendors and partners for you. That might be Novell, Oracle, or someone else.

And you can bet on that your IAM strategy has to be updated compared to what you had in mind some years ago when deciding for the HP solution - because there has been a lot of progress in IAM since then.

The costs of software licenses are a small percentage of the overall costs of IAM projects. Thus, these costs have to be considered but aren't the main criterion for a decision. The main criterion is that what you're doing there fits to your IT strategy and is aligned to the business requirements.

One thing to add: HP isn't out of IAM - at least not the services division. Again - there are several divisions at HP doing their one thing, and HP still provides and will continue to provide services for IAM, based on software of other vendors.