A new conference on the horizon
Demise depends on point of view

Discount is departing for HP's Universe

Universelogo HP will wrap up its $400 discount this week off its Software Universe, a relatively new conference about even newer HP-branded software. The Universe is held at the same time as the HP Technology Forum; the Universe meeting is just down Las Vegas Boulevard at the Venetian Hotel. Register by the end of this week (April 4) and the cost is $1,495. (An HP e-mail from this morning has the price at $100 lower than the cost on HP's Web site.)

HP called this mid-June week the Trifecta last year while promoting the conference, because it takes place in the same city and week as the HP StorageWorks conference and the Technology Forum. Even with all available discounts, attending all the conferences — and therefore maximizing your travel training time — will cost about $3,000. (Of course, being in two places at once might require more than one IT staff member, unless you're nimble or cherry-picking agendas.)

The Software Universe sessions and keynotes can be important if your company is taking a step into a large installation of HP's Unix, or an HP-based Windows solution. A very high percentage of what's showcased at the Universe as a solution is HP-branded, or from a close HP partner such as Oracle or SAP. Big-site stuff, some of this architecture serves. The standards tools can be a good bedrock for midsize companies, too.

HP created the Software Universe by combining its own HP Software meeting with an existing Mercury Interactive conference. HP purchased Mercury in 2006, when it paid $4.5 billion for the company. The most significant offering from what has become known as HP Mercury can be found on the HP Business Technology Optimization site. This is where the HP intelligence in the ITIL standards resides and grows.

HP is calling the discount which ends this week Winter Pricing, and the price tag is $100 below what you will find on the Software Universe Web site.

The conference runs concurrent with the Technology Forum down at the Mandalay Bay, wrapping up with another Thursday night party. As for the specific content, it's still being firmed up, with details expected by mid-April. Official sales of the sponsorship spaces are only ending today. But even at $1,495, HP says the price is a bargain.

Our informative Mainstage sessions, educational track sessions, and invaluable Solution Center are alone valued at more than $5,000. We estimate that an IT professional would need to attend more than a dozen webinars to be exposed to the amount of product knowledge attendees have access to during HP Software Universe. Add in the Partner Showcase, HP Roundtables, and Product Roadmap sessions, and the numerous networking opportunities, and the value is high for any person or team working to optimize the business value of IT.

HP adds that the Universe is recommended for "technical staff supporting their organizations' implementation of HP Software products," and that's really the long and short of it. If your enterprise is planning to use HP's software along with the vendor's environment, this can be a useful meeting to attend.