Tasktop at HP Discover – a trip report

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Energy, passion, Christmas markets, large beers and a crazy 80’s band are not what you would expect to associate with HP. But the annual HP Discover Europe event, which happened in Frankfurt, Germany from December 4th through 6th, included all that and more, and Tasktop was there… I am always blown away by the sheer size and scale of HP Discover. The event brings together the whole portfolio of software, hardware, and services into one integrated message. For many industry pundits, who predicted the demise of HP, the event is a showcase of why HP is far from dead. Yes, there are issues, complexities, contradictions, and even a few false starts, but HP has enough ideas and energy to continue to deliver customer value well into the 21st century. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to two innovations in software which have made me stop and think – and yes, Tasktop is involved in one of them. 🙂

HP Anywhere

Okay, vendors, even my Grandmother has a mobile solution, but I was surprised by the sheer scope of HP’s story. The first release of this technology has concentrated on allowing HP legacy software to be accessed from mobile devices. Cynics may say ‘lipstick on a pig,’ but HP, like its customers, has to somehow navigate its legacy and heavily used software into a mobile world. To solve its own problems, HP is building a platform that can also help solve many of its customers’ issues. But HP Anywhere has a much grander vision, providing a framework to enable applications you create to be written once but deployed to many platforms, service hosting for simple connections to legacy software and development tools to enable mobile development. An interesting move, and it will require a fundamental shift in focus for software teams, who traditionally have not worked with developers or been aligned to a particular platform.

Agile Manager

Speaking of developers, Agile was also a key focus for HP Software with the release of Agile Manager, a SaaS offering that provides support for Agile project management, planning, and execution. Tasktop worked closely with HP in developer tool support, updating the HP OEM’d version of Tasktop Dev to include Agile Project Manager artifacts such as stories, tasks, and epics. This means that the team can plan in Agile Project Manager, and developers can work in their IDE on the same work items, updating them and then having them flow into HP ALM. This provides an end to end Agile solution from HP and with ALM / ALI folds into development management supporting the connection to the subversion change set in ALM. As you can imagine, there were lots of interesting discussions on what future integrations would look like with both HP product management and customers, but this was a great start.

The buzz at the booth

Exciting HP strategy and technology discussions were only part of the fun. The Tasktop booth attracted numerous people who wanted to discuss how to connect HP ALM to other tools and extend the L of ALM for their company. Lots of conversations about Atlassian JIRA, IBM RTC and MS Visual Studio TFS, but also some interesting conversations about PPM tools, service desk automation and customer lifecycle management platforms. Software development seems to be moving up the stack, with ALM being connected into broader and broader business systems. As an advocate of ALM and its mission, it was very exciting to hear ALM mentioned in the same breath as other more traditional business processes. And, for many organizations, ALM is a key business process! An exciting three days, and I am already looking forward to HP Discover 2013 Europe, which will be held in Barcelona!