In the midst of a companywide restructuring effort, Hewlett-Packard has taken the next step in an ongoing reorganization of its software operation. The vendor has established a new unit to bring together its business intelligence (BI) and information management expertise, which is currently spread out across the company.Announced Wednesday, the new business information optimization (BIO) unit will consist of two groups, according to David Gee, vice president of marketing for HP Software. The first group will focus on BI, particularly data warehousing and analytics, while the second group will concentrate on information management as defined by data archiving and management.One important piece of the BI group is HP\u2019s Neoview data warehouse software, server and storage product family, which the vendor started shipping to early customers in October. Another key segment are the BI services capabilities HP gained with its acquisition of 700-person consultancy Knightsbridge Solutions, which closed earlier this month.With its headquarters in Chicago, Knightsbridge had a strong presence in the United States\u00a0and Canada and in Western Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, and focused on providing BI, data warehousing, data integration and information quality services to Fortune 500 customers.Heading the new BI group is Ben Barnes. HP expects to name a general manager for the information management group within a few weeks. Barnes was previously chief executive officer of ActivIdentity, a provider of authentication and digital identity software.Barnes said he expects HP\u2019s renewed focus on BI to go down well with the company\u2019s partners, including business intelligence pure-play vendors like Business Objects, Cognos, Hyperion Solutions, MicroStrategy and other BI partners including IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. It\u2019s not HP\u2019s intention to try and enter the BI market already occupied by those firms, but instead to strengthen existing partnerships, Barnes added.One of HP\u2019s prime competitors in data warehousing will be Teradata, which is in the process of splitting off from parent NCR. Barnes\u2019 resume includes a stint at NCR working at Teradata while NCR was also home to HP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd. Other likely data warehousing rivals are Netezza and Data Allegro, Barnes said.Last month, following the completion of its US$4.5 billion acquisition of Mercury Interactive, HP created a business technology optimization (BTO) unit as part of its software business to unite Mercury\u2019s application management software with HP\u2019s OpenView systems and network management technologies. The newly announced BIO unit is best seen working in parallel to the BTO unit, Gee said. The goal of both of the optimization units is to better group together HP\u2019s software assets so as to position HP as more of a "trusted adviser" to chief information officers, he added.HP will likely continue growing its overall software business through a combination of homegrown technologies and acquisitions, Gee said. -China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.