A Look at the HPE, Micro Focus Deal
In one of those complex transactions that don't seem to have much immediate impact on product strategy, Hewlett Packard Enterprise revealed it has a majority stake in a new Micro Focus entity that combines the existing assets of Micro Focus with what HPE designated as non-core software assets.
As part of this deal, HPE software assets, such as an application lifecycle management (ALM) portfolio based mainly on technologies HP first gained when it acquired Mercury Interactive, the security information and event management (SIEM) platform HP gained by acquiring ArcSight, the Vertica columnar database and, of course, the now-infamous Autonomy search-engine technology that is the subject of a long-running lawsuit.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Micro Focus brings to the party its own portfolio of ALM tools along with a venerable set of tools used to build COBOL applications. In addition, Micro Focus is the parent company of SUSE, which it gained when it acquired Attachmate, a longtime provider of application modernization tools that also controls the remaining software assets of Novell.
As a majority owner of Micro Focus, HPE continues to have a vested interested in the products and services offered by Micro Focus. That explains why HPE as part of these deals announced that SUSE is now its preferred Linux distribution partner.
The implications for the channel remain to be seen. It's not like HPE or its channel partners will suddenly ignore Linux distributions that have much greater market share than SUSE. In fact, while IT organizations tend to acquire new hardware every time they embrace a new application, the transactions are not often all that unified.
There's an old maxim about marrying software vendors but only dating hardware ones. As such, the vast majority of HPE hardware runs software developed by somebody other than HPE.
Naturally, the new Micro Focus entity will have to develop its own channel, but it may take a while to get the actual systems and programs in place.
In the meantime, it will be business as usual for most HPE partners—at least until somebody explains to them why they should care more for what HPE describes as non-core software assets now that they are part of a Micro Focus organization very few of them know much about.
Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications, including InfoWorld, CRN and eWEEK. He currently blogs daily for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, Channel Insider and Baseline.