HP-Hara Partnership Turns Up Heat in Carbon Management Market

HP-Hara Partnership Turns Up Heat in Carbon Management Market

The already-busy market for enterprise carbon and energy management (ECEM) software is getting a little bit busier today, as Hewlett-Packard announces a new suite of services and software that will help large enterprises get a hold on their environmental impacts and develop a plan for reducing them.

HP's Energy and Sustainability Management (ESM) suite harnesses the company's own experience in implementing sustainability efforts

"This is a strategic imperative to help companies go from a fragmented approach to energy and make it integrated," Jay Allardyce, HP's Worldwide Director of  Growth Initiatives, Energy and Sustainability Management, said in an interview. "Historically, organizations have looked at energy efficiency, sustainability, and the environment as individual programs, as ways of managing the information set relative to energy. But as you start to string these fragmented view together, you get an integrated view that can be transformational in an organization."

To that end, HP has created a three-phase approach that makes the most of HP's in-house expertise as well as bringing in trusted partners.

The first phase is a strategic consulting service, focused on getting senior management on the same page in terms of opportunities for increased sustainability. HP has developed an "Energy and Sustainability Discovery Workshop," to help business leaders set goals and strategic objectives for sustainability initiatives. After taking part in the discovery workshop, HP will help customers create a sustainability roadmap to achieve those goals.

Phase two of the ESM offering is the development of what Allardyce called a "partner ecosystem," which will build on what HP has conceived as a consulting-focused program that will bring in the best and brightest among HP's own staff and carefully chosen partners to help companies achieve their goals.

The first partner in this ecosystem is Hara, a well established company in the ECEM field, and one that stands to get quite a boost from its partnership with HP.

"HP's entrance into this market validates the growing need at large companies for better products and services to manage and reduce carbon and energy," said Paul Baier, the Vice President of Sustainability Consulting at Groom Energy and a senior contributor to GreenBiz.com. "Smaller companies like Hara and ENXSuite have seen this opportunity and now large companies like HP are investing as well"

Where the first phase applies HP's organizational and leadership skills to corporate sustainability, and the second phase harnesses the power of its partnerships across industries, the third and final phase puts HP's technical experience to work.

A holistic corporate sustainability initiative will encompass everything from facility management to supply chain to project finance, and HP can apply its experiences in all of those areas and more to helping companies think and act in the most effective ways possible.

HP has put together nine distinct services in the ESM, and the third phase of the phase of the project allows companies to look at overall energy efficiency at any type of facility, water use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, and data center design and operation.

Although HP is still decidedly a technology company, the process of measuring, monitoring and managing environmental impacts has become so data-intensive that only a company with deep roots in technology will be able to make the process manageable for its customers.

"The fact is that energy and sustainability are top-of-mind issues with the CXO suite," Ken Hamilton, HP's Worldwide Director of Energy and Sustainability Management, said in an interview. "We've hit a critical juncture of the energy and IT space where the complexity and the data involved really make it important for people to manage large and highly complex environments in a near-real-time way -- and that's a core competency of HP."

What's notable about HP's ESM approach is that, unlike its peers in the upper echelons of IT, like IBM and SAP, HP is bringing in outside expertise from the carbon management software arena to help beef up its overall offering.

Hara has made a name for itself over the last few years, applying its carbon management and reporting tools to a number of high-profile clients, including Diebold, Safeway, Hasbro and U.S. Bank, among others, within the last year.

But that momentum is picking up as more and more companies go ever deeper on their sustainability initiatives, according to Amit Chatterjee, Hara's CEO. "It comes down to the notion that traditionally there's been transparency around sustainability for a number of years," he said, "but the reduction part has been difficult to achieve without the help of the kind of people who come out of HP, and the kind of software that comes out of Hara."

Hara's Vice President of Marketing, Joel Riciputi, also sees the momentum, and explained how HP's ESM helps to harness it: "It goes back to how do you look at sustainability [holistically], what components play into it, and scanning the whole spectrum, not just the data center. It's not just about reporting, it's not just about stakeholder communications, it's about what matters at the very end, the bottom line, and determining what are the most effective policies to affect the bottom line."

Paul Baier, who researched and wrote the just-published 2011 Enterprise Energy and Carbon Accounting Buyers Guide, which analyzes the offerings of 32 different vendors in the ECEM space, says HP's ESM is a sign of things to come.

"HP's entrance into this market follows investment at other services companies like Deloitte Consulting," Baier said. "Look other large services organizations to bolster their offerings as well in the future."

Want to move beyond spreadsheets to manage carbon data but are confused by the large number of vendors? Groom Energy and Greenbiz.com have teamed up for the 2011 Enterprise Energy and Carbon Accounting Buyers Guide to give you a clear understanding and analysis of this rapidly expanding market based on meetings, demos, and analysis with 32 software vendors.