HP, PRIMUS to Deliver E-Commerce Services

HP has signed a deal with McLean, Va.-based service provider PRIMUS Telecommunications Group to deliver offerings to businesses looking to get into e-commerce. Under terms of the deal, HP is providing PRIMUS with up to $50 million, offered through a convertible debt arrangement. The service provider will use the financing to upgrade its global broadband network, designed for small to midsize companies developing Web-based businesses.

HP Infrastructure Plus PRIMUS Services

The partnership combines HP infrastructure and PRIMUS' services. PRIMUS will deliver its Internet, data and voice services through HP-powered data centers deployed through the service provider's existing worldwide facilities-based communications network. PRIMUS will spend much of the HP investment to expand its data centers in Western Europe, Australia, Japan, Brazil and other regions. The first of the 10,000-square-foot data centers based on HP technology is expected to open in the U.K. by June. PRIMUS intends to build another four data centers by the end of the year.

PRIMUS is deploying HP's UNIX and Windows NT servers, storage products and software in the data centers as well as relying on HP for technical support. Starting with the U.K. and Australia, and then expanding to other targeted countries, PRIMUS also will offer HP's Commerce for the Millenium solution on the PRIMUS global backbone network. Moreover, Primus intends to enhance the HP solution by bundling other communications services along with it.

HP's Commerce for Millenium solution, unveiled last May, allows service providers to offer their small to midsize customers a means of rapidly entering the e-commerce arena. A pre-integrated hosted e-commerce solution that can be deployed in 90 days, it includes store-building and maintenance software, network infrastructure, a merchant-care application and a payment processing engine.

Why Primus?

Explaining why HP chose PRIMUS as a partner, Craig White, president of HP Credit Corp., said, "Because PRIMUS has a great business model and we believe in its management team, the $50 million investment decision was an easy one to make."

It's not surprising that HP finds PRIMUS an attractive partner. The service provider has been aggressively pursuing its targeted markets by forming alliances, investing in start-ups, and even gobbling up a smaller company. This month, for example, PRIMUS and E*TRADE Canada inked a deal to jointly market products and services. And shortly after the announcement of its deal with HP, PRIMUS revealed that it has acquired Shore.Net, a New England-based Internet service provider with data center facilities in the Boston Area. The acquisition is designed to help PRIMUS launch ASP and e-business services targeted at small and midsize companies in the U.S.