Press Release: September 03, 2003

HP to Acquire Talking Blocks

Technology Cuts Cost and Simplifies Management of Heterogeneous Resources, Advances HP Adaptive Enterprise Strategy
PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 3, 2003

HP (NYSE:HPQ) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Talking Blocks, a privately held Service Oriented Architecture and Web services management software company based in San Francisco.

Acquiring Talking Blocks furthers the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy to help enterprises measure, architect and manage change by creating a tighter linkage between business and IT. Talking Blocks' standards-based Service Oriented Architecture helps companies integrate disparate internal systems and the systems of external business partners as well as manage Web services use in highly flexible environments.

Serving as a foundation for integrating management information, Talking Blocks' Service Oriented Architecture manages the relationships of services and their users and controls their interactions in a secure manner. Enterprises can use this technology to reduce the costs and complexity associated with managing their heterogeneous IT resources.

The acquisition also builds upon HP's leadership position in driving standards for, and the company's existing investment in, Web services management. HP recently helped eliminate a key barrier to the development and deployment of Web services with the release of its HP Web Services Management Framework, a domain-, platform- and vendor-neutral management interface jointly developed with industry partners. Talking Blocks' technology will enable HP to quickly deliver a proven, feature-rich Web services management platform that will support the HP Web Services Management Framework.

"Enterprise customers demand more flexibility from their technology investments, and HP is helping them move to an IT architecture in which all IT 'functions' are offered as services that expose management information about themselves - regardless of origin - and then interact with each other so that they can quickly adapt to change," said Nora Denzel, senior vice president, HP Software Global Business Unit. "Talking Blocks' proven Service Oriented Architecture and its expertise in the Web services management space accelerate HP's ability to deliver this agility to our customers and is the next step in helping our customers transform into adaptive enterprises through management software."

"Talking Blocks will be a perfect fit with HP," said Mark Potts, chief technology officer, Talking Blocks. "HP is the leader in delivering highly adaptive and cost-effective solutions for IT infrastructures, and Talking Blocks' combination of exceptional talent and technology bring a strong synergy to complement HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy. "

Among the strengths of the Talking Blocks Service Oriented Architecture is its ability to connect and integrate Web and legacy services, and, ultimately, the services and systems that comprise business processes. This makes the technology an ideal basis for the "infrastructure" design principle of the HP Darwin Reference Architecture, a standards-based framework for architecting and integrating a heterogeneous IT environment.

With the acquisition of Talking Blocks, HP plans to take advantage of a number of technology and market opportunities by enabling enterprise customers to:

  • Reduce the expense of custom integration development through Talking Blocks' platform-neutral, standards-based technology that supports plug-in integration with other services, including legacy services;

  • Quickly and cost-effectively eliminate the need for duplicate development by enabling reuse of services;

  • Seamlessly and securely integrate services both inside and outside the firewall for optimum compatibility and integration;

  • Accelerate enterprise customers' realization of the value of true enterprise-class Web services outside the firewall; and

  • Automatically register, catalogue and manage access to Web services; route, track and meter usage; and assure they meet defined service level agreements.

"A services oriented approach to application integration through Web services is a key component of Kaiser Permanente's Enterprise Collaboration Architecture, and Talking Blocks' Service Oriented Architecture is critical to the use of Web services to manage non-functional requirements such as scalability and reliability," said Steven Burke, senior manager, Web Services Oversight Group, Kaiser Permanente. "HP's acquisition of Talking Blocks, recognized for proven technology and standards contributions, is not only strategic to industry-wide adoption of Web services management standards, but also leads the way for the enterprise deployment and management of Web services at Kaiser Permanente."

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected later this month, Talking Blocks products will be available through HP OpenView software channels and will be leveraged by HP's Enterprise Systems Group and HP Consulting and Integration Services.

Today's announcement marks the latest in a series of milestones HP has achieved in charting a new generation of management software to manage and control an adaptive enterprise and keep IT supply perfectly synchronized with changing business demands, according to Denzel.

HP management software and services range from monitoring and alerting managers to system-level problems to providing a 360-degree view of the enterprise and capabilities to automatically optimize IT asset utilization.

More information about HP Adaptive Enterprise solutions is available at

About HP

HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing for consumers, enterprises and small and medium businesses. For the last four quarters, HP revenue totaled $71.8 billion. More information about HP is available at

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements related to the closing of the proposed acquisition; statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future product availability or functionality; and statements relating to the execution of integration plans. The risks, uncertainties and assumptions referred to above include the possibility that the proposed acquisition may not be completed on the terms, or within the timeframe, currently contemplated or at all; that the intended application of, and market for, these technologies and software products may not develop as expected; that development and performance of these technologies and software products may not proceed as planned; employee management issues; the challenges of integrating Talking Blocks into HP; the challenges of maintaining customers following the acquisition; and other risks that are described from time to time in HP's Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including but not limited to HP's annual report for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2002 and subsequently filed reports, including its quarterly report for the fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2003. HP assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at