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HP's 'Index' Raises Customers' Game

HP released a new comparison tool for its Adaptive Enterprise customers it says can help top-level executives assess their own businesses by peering into the minds of the competition.

The Business Agility Indexes debuted today with a focus on four new vertical markets: financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications and IT services.

The new tool is being marketed to CIOs and other CXOs as a way to diagnose how their businesses are performing ahead of competitors and where performance is lagging.

More than 300 industry-related companies comprise the base of the Agility Indexes, the research for which was done in collaboration with INSEAD, an international business school based in Fontainebleau, France.

After a year's worth of interviews, the school identified how it measured three key criteria of business responsiveness:

  1. Time -- how rapidly can changes be made;
  2. Range -- how well change is cascaded throughout an organization;
  3. Ease -- how much organizational effort is required to make changes.

Nora Denzel, HP senior vice president and general manager of the Adaptive Enterprise and Software Global Business Unit, told internetnews.com that the company also used a wide selection of data from widely used third-party research firms like Merrill Research, think tanks like MIT, and its own proprietary research. The goal is to help bridge the company's Services Division into more of a "Trusted Advisor" relationship.

"We found that the average business changes seven times faster than its ability to adapt to that change," Denzel said. "These influences include competition, changes in the market, world events and regulatory requirements. You can make assumptions when it comes to these different verticals, but most companies start from someplace. What the index does is let them assess their own business processes."

Already, HP has scored a host of test companies with its new index, including Steelcase, which makes office equipment, and China Life Insurance Company Limited.

"What sets it apart from other assessment services is that it is designed explicitly to help companies define and measure both business and IT agility, to explore the links between the two, and use a methodology that is geared to a customer's specific vertical industry," John Madden, an analyst with research consultancy Summit Strategies said.

The indexes are part of HP's Agility Assessment Service, a facet of its "build it, not buy it" Adaptive Enterprise strategy. The platform uses a combination of Service Oriented Architectures , virtualization software and model-driven automation tools to help enterprises establish baselines to measure and assess the synchronization of business and IT. The new Agility Indexes can be used in conjunction with a company's Adaptive Enterprise contracts with HP, or it can be sold as an individual service.

Denzel said both new and current customers HP is working on adding more companies and more verticals to offer a broader picture.



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