Hewlett-Packard has formed a new unit to go after the business intelligence and information management markets.

The Business Information Optimisation unit's flagship product will be internally developed data warehousing technology, said Ben Barnes, the newly appointed vice president and general manager of the group.

Previously, Barnes has been chief executive at ActivIdentity, an IT security vendor, and Intraspect Software, a collaboration and content management company. He has also been general manager of IBM's global business intelligence solutions division, and general manager for marketing at Teradata.

As well as BI, the new unit will include an information management focus, with an emphasis on data archiving and data management.

HP began in October to ship its new data warehousing technology, NeoView. NeoView is made up of an HP fault-tolerant server and storage and database software, said John Miller, director of NeoView marketing at HP. It was developed to be used as part of an ongoing internal HP effort to consolidate more than 700 data marts into an enterprise data warehouse. Officials on Tuesday declined to name what companies other than HP itself are using NeoView.

NeoView is not only "a large, very scalable, very-high-performance data warehouse," said Barnes, noting that it also has "a very exciting price that puts it in the marketplace of some of the data warehousing appliance vendors."

Data warehouse appliances are dedicated devices that include varying combinations of high-performance hardware with database, storage and other types of software. They are usually preconfigured for specific tasks, such as strategic analysis.

Tapping the BI and information management market will allow HP to boost revenue by expanding its foothold in existing accounts, Barnes added.

"Often when you are [with a client] talking about how to leverage the information an organization has, it becomes a very strategic decision and one that can help HP move up the food chain in many accounts," Barnes said.

HP declined to provide additional details about its BI and information management product or strategy plans, noting that it will be providing more details in the coming months. HP said it plans to hire someone to head the information management part of the new unit in the coming weeks.