HP has unveiled updated versions of its IT service management software and its configuration management suite of products in an effort to help enterprise IT departments handle incidents more quickly and operate more efficiently. In particular, by architecting tighter integrations between some of its management tools, HP is enabling end-to-end automation of certain processes, which can increase IT staff's productivity and improve service levels.

"Having great point solutions isn't the end-all solution for customers," says David Flesh, director of IT service management and configuration management solutions at HP. "What they really want is that integrated portfolio of solutions so that those things are working together, helping them drive automation across processes, helping them drive the sharing of information across the IT organisation, and helping them provide a consolidated view of IT performance to the business stakeholders so that they can validate the services they're providing and justify the budget that's going into the IT organisation."

For starters, HP updated its Configuration Management System (CMS), which includes its Universal Configuration Management Database (UCMDB) and Discovery & Dependency Mapping (DDM) software. New to CMS 9.0 is a module called Integration Studio, which is designed to make integration and federation easier.

Integration Studio is the next step in the evolution of HP's modelling environment, which customers use to model the services and applications they're supporting, Flesh says. "It makes it much easier to define new services and new applications, get them modeled, get them up and running, and get the benefits of the Configuration Management System much more quickly," he says.

HP also expanded the discovery capabilities in DDM 9.0, specifically for virtualised environments. The software can perform event-driven discovery for VMware environments and detect when new virtual machines are created or when virtual machines are moved with technologies such as VMware VMotion. These changes are then automatically updated in HP's UCMDB.

Also in CMS 9.0, HP announced new ties to third-party tools, including Troux, an enterprise architecture tool, and Aperture Vista, a data center planning and management tool.

"Those [integrations] give us extended capabilities within the configuration management environment to help customers manage their services all the way from the top-level enterprise architecture down into the details, including the infrastructure layer and down to the data centre-level power and cooling systems and racks," Flesh says.

HP also announced Service Manager 9.20, with enhancements that are intended to streamline operations for users and strengthen links to other applications in HP's management software portfolio.

A redesigned web user interface in Service Manager 9.20 is cleaner and more intuitive, and it requires fewer clicks to accomplish tasks, HP says. Service desk agents can customise their own MySM dashboards so they can view role-specific summary data at a glance.

In addition, SM is more tightly integrated with the new releases of HP Universal CMDB 9.0, Release Control Analysis 9.0, and other products in the HP's business technology optimisation (BTO) portfolio.

HP Service Manager 9.20 and CMS 9.0 will begin shipping by mid-June. UCMDB 9.0 is included with purchases of DDM 9.0, Service Manager 9.20 and Asset Manager 9.0.