Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Talking Blocks Inc., a move HP said will boost its Adaptive Enterprise (AE) strategy initiative.

San Francisco-based Talking Blocks provides Web services management systems that integrate and manage Web services environments through the company’s applications. The foundation for integrating a Web services environment is Talking Blocks’ standards-based service oriented architecture, which HP says will be fundamental in building upon its own work in developing Web services. The key feature of Talking Blocks’ technology is the ability to connect and integrate Web and legacy services.

Al Smith, CTO for the Web services management division at HP in Mount Laurel, N.J., said the primary reason HP is looking to acquire Talking Blocks is the services-oriented architecture, which fits well with HP’s own plans of building on its AE strategy.

“We’re really looking to deploy a service-oriented architecture as a way to create an enterprise management integration platform,” he said.

In addition, the acquisition will foster HP’s AE strategy by creating more of a link between business and IT. HP described AE as a combination of software and services which enable businesses to gauge how their IT architectures could affect business functions and also as a way of managing IT costs. Much of AE surrounds the idea of a utility computing environment – the notion of turning service levels up or down as needed – and competes with IBM Corp.’s Business On-Demand service offering.

HP recently began its own Web services march by releasing its Web Services Management Framework – a domain and management platform interface. Talking Blocks’ technology will be used to help support HP’s Web services initiative, the company said.

The deal is expected to close later this month whereby Talking Blocks technology will be available through HP’s OpenView software by year’s end. However, Smith added that it will take several years for the company to fully develop and deploy its AE strategy.

In Mississauga, Ont., HP Canada is at www.hp.com/country/ca/eng/.

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