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HP Buys Some Mainframe Management

HP  agreed to acquire partner Bristol Technology Inc., which makes software that helps customers running transactions on mainframes, including insurance claim processes, product orders and inventory management.

The systems vendor said Bristol's TransactionVision software will complement its Mercury management software assets. Mercury's current software suite includes products that manage business processes and comply with corporate record retention policies, but does not support mainframe transactions.

In addition to technology cavity that Bristol fills for HP, the deal could be a good fit because Bristol is an HP partner. With that arrangement, the TransactionVision product is already integrated with the HP Business Availability Center and Universal Change Management Database (CMDB) software products.

Moreover, Bristol's software provides a high degree of flexibility, covering Windows, Linux and other operating systems, J2EE and .NET application servers, and various middleware, integration brokers and mainframes.

"For the first time, customers will have a single software vendor that enables them to manage end-to-end business transactions, beginning with end-users all the way through custom applications and mainframe environments," said Deborah Traub, vice president of products for HP's management software group.

Danbury, Conn.'s Bristol primarily serves customers in the financial services and insurance industries in the U.S. and the U.K.

Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in 30 days, were not disclosed.

HP acquired Mercury last year, envisioning it as a foundation for the company's business technology optimization (BTO) plan for aligning information technology with business assets.

With BTO, HP aims to eliminate the communication breakdowns and operational disparities that occur between business processes and the technology that supports them.

HP trotted out its revamped software division, including its existing OpenView system management software and the Mercury assets, in December.

HP competes with vendors like BMC , CA and IBM in the market for improving how the business side of an enterprise works with the technology side to promote better operations. IBM acquired MRO Software in a move seen as a competitive response to the HP-Mercury deal.