Software announcements today show how the acquisition this year of Mercury Interactive may be paying off for HP.

HP is unveiling new software products that are the results of its acquisition of business technology optimization (BTO) software vendor Mercury Interactive, introducing a portfolio that brings together Mercury's applications management software with HP's systems and network management software marketed under its Open View software family.

BTO is a software product category intended to help enterprises use technology to meet business goals.

The $4.5 billion (£2.3bn) acquisition of Mercury Interactive was completed on 6 November, becoming a HP subsidiary. But the BTO vendor will be absorbed completely into HP by 1 February 2007.

HP’s products are specifically focused on lifecycle management software for automating the process of network configuration, delivering IT services within the enterprise and maintaining the performance and availability of the data centre.

The Mercury acquisition should help HP better sell its software to the executive suite rather than just to the chief information officer (CIO) or the IT staff, said Stephen Elliot, an analyst with the research firm IDC.

"When you see a presentation by an HP sales manager they should be talking as much about the business problem being solved as the technology itself," said Elliot. "Historically, for HP it was much more of a technical sale."

The new HP-Mercury portfolio helps customers integrate key IT functions across business strategies, applications and operations. Taking lifecycle approach, customers can deliver better business outcomes by making the right spending decisions, delivering applications and services on time with the right quality and performance, and meeting business service-level agreements, said Magdy Assem, worldwide director of product marketing at HP Software.

"Our focus is to be able to actually...enable CIOs to optimise the business outcome of IT, not the IT outcome," said Assem.

HP also announced the development of nine "software centres" that cluster various software products around certain business processes, including project management, software quality assurance, or network management.

HP plans to make the product announcements at HP Software Universe, an annual gathering of an estimated 3,500 HP customers, partners and company officials, held in Vienna, Austria this week.