"Value Propositions for eBusiness 2.0," the theme of this year’s IT briefing given by IDC, embraced a number of topics central to HP’s e-services strategy. It also gave HP Professional a chance to sit down with Frank Gens, IDC’s Senior Vice President of Internet Research, on March 6 in San Jose, Calif., and ask him for his views on HP’s attempt to become a major player in the new Internet economy.
Gens believes HP is on the right track with its e-services strategy, but says the company still has a lot of work to do. The concept of e-services, he points out, is not as easy for the average businessperson to understand as e-business is. "I think e-business is pretty simple," he explains. "It’s doing what you’re doing, and doing it on the Internet. E-services are really talking about new business models. You have to work a little harder to sell and educate the market on that, but I think potentially the payoff is much greater, because you’re helping to create a new way of doing business."
Gens has a reason for focusing on the businessperson rather than the technology professional. IDC recently asked a panel of Internet executives to identify the people running the Internet initiative in their companies. Of the titles identified, 94 percent were business titles. HP has "a great reputation" in technology user circles, Gens says, but its challenge is to reach the business executives – the CEOs, VPs of marketing and general managers in line of business – who are leading the Internet initiatives.
One way for HP to do that is to "walk the walk themselves." Building a reputation as an e-business worked extremely well for IBM, Dell and Cisco, Gens points out. "Carly Fiorina [HP’s CEO] needs to be able to walk, either literally or figuratively, into the domain of the CEO and up to customers and prospects, and say, ‘We’re experts in this new era of Internet use because we’re doing it ourselves.’"
The analyst sees much that HP is doing right. He gives the company high marks for partnering with Internet-centric technology players and integrators, and for actually making investments in some of these companies. "They’ve put skin in the game," he says.
Gens is also impressed by HP’s willingness to embrace a risk-sharing business model. "HP is reaching out to dotcom start-ups – not just technology dotcoms, but start-ups in retailing, manufacturing, travel services, financial services, and anywhere you can imagine … ." Admitting that HP will find some "duds" along the way, Gens says it will also find some "stars." "That will be exciting, because HP will be helping to incubate new players in the Internet economy."
Gens has some words of caution. HP has laid out a vision that will probably take five years to fulfill, he says, and there are no guarantees of success. Nevertheless, the analyst praises the company for "being energetic, innovative, and [for] making the right alliances and associations." – Jean Nattkemper
QLogic Supports Open SAN Initiative
QLogic Corp. has joined HP in support of its Open Storage Area Network (SAN) Initiative. The complexity of SAN configurations has brought together both companies to ensure interoperability and manageability in multi-platform, heterogeneous SAN environments. As part of the program, HP will test its SAN solutions for interoperability with QLogic’s Fibre Channel host bus adapters.
The SAN Interoperability Program is a component of HP’s Open SAN Initiative that supports multi-vendor interoperability in heterogeneous SAN environments for seamless integration and optimizations in total cost of ownership. QLogic has made it a primary objective to participate vigorously in all of the industry’s SAN interoperability programs, including the SANMark program administered by the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA).
For more information about QLogic, visit their Web site at www.qlc.com.
Many Companies Outsourcing IT
According to preliminary results from an outsourcing study conducted by Cutter Consortium, 73 percent of companies surveyed outsource some part of their IT services. When asked which aspects of IT are outsourced, the top five areas were:
Application development: 52%
Hardware maintenance: 47%
Web design: 40%
Application maintenance: 35%
When asked to compare the amount of IT activities outsourced one year ago to the current amount, 50 percent said their companies are currently outsourcing more than they did a year ago. The top two reasons for increases in outsourcing were satisfaction with a previous outsourcing experience (21 percent), and scarcity of qualified personnel (20 percent).
Michael Mah, a Senior Consultant on Cutter Consortium’s Sourcing Advisory Service says, "Companies want to reduce costs on legacy maintenance and re-deploy assets to new applications development to enter new markets. Many companies are looking to access skills by buying them instead of ‘growing them organically.’ In many cases, companies also see an outsource provider as being able to help them speed process improvement. Whether this is the case ultimately depends on if an organization executes an effective metrics strategy to manage the contract and the service levels via a balanced scorecard."
Mah continues, "Speed to market also seems to be a critical factor. The need to have an e-commerce offering, take advantage of deregulation or capitalize on the reduced trade barriers all require speed to market as a key ingredient. Companies cannot grow or transform their IT capabilities to support changing business needs. Therefore, the strategy of outsourcing is very effective in achieving the speed to market many organizations need. If you cannot operate at Internet speed you get left behind!"
For more information, visit the Cutter Web site at www.cutter.com/consortium.
Sun, WRQ Solutions for PC-UNIX Integration
Sun Microsystems has named WRQ to provide solutions and support to customers of Sun’s Solstice Network Client and Solstice NFS Client products through WRQ’s Reflection. Solstice Network Client customers wishing to continue integrating their Sun Solaris applications with their current and future PC desktops can purchase the WRQ Reflection Suite for X and get WRQ’s PC X server, in addition to Solaris file access from a PC desktop. WRQ also offers its Guide Services to meet the ongoing technical support and maintenance needs of Sun’s customers.
Both companies have also established a bundle agreement, which will increase the reach of the WRQ Reflection Suite for X and Reflection NFS Connection software, which provide integration between Windows-based PCs and UNIX host systems. In accordance with this agreement, HP will ship Reflection products both pre-installed and bundled with the new Windows NT-based VISUALIZE P600C, P650C and P700C Personal Workstations.
A local version of WRQ Reflection X software, which provides precise rendering and integration of UNIX graphical applications from a PC desktop, will be pre-installed on all new HP VISUALIZE P600C, P650C and P700C Personal Workstations. WRQ Reflection NFS Connection, a utility that provides critical printing and file transfer services between Windows-based PCs and UNIX host systems, will also be installed on the Workstations. In addition, the workstations will be bundled with a 60-day trial copy of WRQ Reflection Suite for X, which includes a full version of Reflection X able to run remote X clients plus VT, TN3270 and TN5250 emulations.
For more information, visit their Web site at www.wrq.com/sunsolstice.
HP’s INTEGRATED APPROACHTOWINDOWS 2000 Training
Many businesses are expecting Windows 2000 training challenges. HP offers an evolutionary process that started in a classroom when a team of HP consultants and Microsoft engineers, at labs in the United Kingdom, developed the first Windows 2000 (then NT 5.0) classes. In January 1998, using HP Education’s worldwide network of Certified Technical Education Centers (CTECs), these courses became the first to be offered in classrooms on a worldwide scale.
The HP/Microsoft relationship continues to progress as in-classroom courses like the soon-to-be released Integrating UNIX and Windows 2000 Key Technologies are developed and online courses are being introduced continuously.
HP’s education framework blends consulting and systems integration with a range of training delivery options, from group classes to interactive Web-based lecture-labs to seminars, mentoring and beyond.
For example, HP project-managed the rollout of 180 Exchange Servers and 45,000 desktops to Nokia’s global population. The firm’s end user and Information Management Professional population was comprised of multiple job roles, including administrators, account operators, server operators and helpdesk staff.
To find out more about the individual components of the Integrated Learning Approach, visit the HPWeb site at www.hp.com/education.
HP Donates $2M for IA-64 Teaching
HP is providing financial grants to four universities, totaling more than $2 million in cash and equipment. The money will be used to fund teaching of Explicitly Parallel Instruction-set Computing (EPIC).
EPIC is the foundation for IA-64 (Intel Architecture-64 bit), a next-generation computer architecture developed jointly by HP and Intel.
The grants will support the teaching of EPIC principles and have been awarded to:
• Professor Thomas M. Conte
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, for classroom and distance-learning course modules, classroom technology and textbook writing.
• Professor Wen-Mei W. Hwu
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for classroom and distance-learning course modules, classroom technology and textbook writing.
• Professor Krishna V. Palem
Center for Research in Embedded Systems and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, for classroom technology and modules, laboratory modules and manuals, and teacher-training materials.
• Professor Nancy J. Warter-Perez
School of Engineering and Technology, California State University, Los Angeles, for laboratory and classroom modules for dissemination via the Internet.
The HP EPIC Architectures Initiative in Computer Science, sponsored by HP’s University Grants Program, will fund curricula for training a new generation of computer engineers and software designers in EPIC-related concepts and will encourage the development of advanced technologies.
"MARRIED WITH CHILDREN" WRITER JOINS HP SPIN-OFF
With more than 15 years of experience writing and producing for television shows, including "Married with Children," "ALF," "Nine to Five" and a dozen prime-time pilots for ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, USA and Showtime, Jeanne Romano now joins recent HP spin-off company, DeepCanyon, as executive producer.
Romano will spearhead Internet strategic planning for DeepCanyon, a multidimensional Web resource for marketers, which provides guidance from industry analysts, tips from marketing experts, information on emerging trends, and more.
Romano began her work on the Internet as a senior producer for Microsoft’s MSN where she managed the development of interactive content and built bridges between conventional media technology and the Internet. Since then, she has worked as a promotions consultant to Amazon.com, where she was instrumental in fostering relationships between the online retail giant and the entertainment industry.
For more information, visit www.deepcanyon.com.