HP Partners to Bring Printing to the Net
If HP’s e-services strategy sometimes seems synonymous with "e-partnerships," the company’s recent print and imaging announcement only reinforces the notion that it intends to drive its internet strategy through alliances. The announcement also reveals a trend that’s gaining momentum at hp – the company has either invested in its new allies, or will share in their revenues.
The new initiatives, designed to elevate "HP’s printing and imaging business to a new level," according to company President and CEO Carly Fiorina, fall into three main categories: services, infrastructure and print appliances. Of these, the services area seems most fleshed out. Hp is partnering to give users the ability to print plane or theater tickets, manuals, coupons, insurance policies and international newspapers. While that may save time for users, it means profits for HP.
HP’s new partners include FedEx, NewspaperDirect.com, ImageTag, PrintCafe, Mimeo.com, Stamps.com and Encryptix.com. The alliance with FedEx makes HP their printer of choice for printing electronic mailing labels with inkjet printers. Imagetag software allows users to store, retrieve and send documents using uniquely bar-coded labels called post-it eflags. Printcafe, an online exchange for bidding on large print jobs, will use HP’s e-speak brokering technology. NewspaperDirect.com prints international newspapers locally. Mimeo.com is offering a printing service that allows users to send print jobs electronically to its printing facility in Tennessee, from which FedEx ships the completed jobs to their destinations. Stamps.com and Encryptix.com will allow users to print theater tickets, boarding passes and other such items.
On the infrastructure front, HP and its subsidiary Dazel have developed a document router that ensures delivery of important business documents.
HP’s new print appliances are the HP JetDirect 4000 and the HP Jornada 540 series color pocket PC. The JetDirect 4000 is the first in what will be a family of network appliances that allow it managers to manage print queues with a browser. The Jornada 540 series color pocket pc can beam color images to color printers with the tap of a stylus.
HP Bets Big on Portals
In a much-publicized announcement presided over by Nick Earle, President of HP’s E.Services.Solutions organization, HP unveiled new solutions and a bevy of new partners in the Web portal space. The portal solutions break down into four main areas: the HP Enterprise Business Portal Solution, developed in conjunction with BroadVision and intended to bring personalization to portals; a Trading Community Architecture, designed by HP; expanded HP consulting services, including implementation of a portal pilot in 45 to 100 days; and HP Channels on Tap, a "marketplace" portal ecosystem.
HP’s Enterprise Business Portal Solution hinges on a partnership with BroadVision, a provider of personalized e-business applications, and includes a package of hardware, software, services and support that allows companies to build portals for customers, partners and employees. "Stickiness" – the ability to retain customers – is essential to portal success, according to BroadVision CEO Pehong Chen, whose company’s software is intended to facilitate customer retention. The HP Enterprise Business Portal Solution offers a pre-integrated gateway for business content, commerce and collaboration, and includes components for specific customer needs. The solution, including consulting, support and services, will be delivered through the HP E-Services Support Center.
The Trading Community Architecture hinges on HP’s relationship with Moai Technologies, a company in which HP has just invested. Moai’s LiveExchange technology, which will be integrated into HP trading community solutions and the HP Enterprise Business Portal Solution, facilitates interaction between networks of trading exchanges. Ann Perlman, Moai’s CEO, explains what her company’s technology brings to the party, by pointing out that it’s easier for businesses to gather buyers and sellers from a vertical industry or sub-segment, rather than make a completely new entrance into the portal space.
HP’s consulting services offer a portal roadmap, an ROI plan and a project blueprint. HP also promises rapid implementation – development of a portal pilot that’s up and running in 45 to 100 days. HP consulting services for enterprise information portals are already available. Services for trading communities and e-commerce are scheduled for availability in the next two months.
HP Channels on Tap allows customers to purchase hosted services through a local agent – a reseller or integrator – who has access to a pre-qualified set of service providers. Touted by HP as a new business model, the solution is being offered in conjunction with CSDev and Solution.com.
Why is HP so high on portals? In a conversation with HP Professional, Keith Melbourne, General Manager of HP’s Trading Community Business Unit, came up with some numbers. "The overall technology market in North America today is $400 billion, of which $300 billion is the traditional IT market and $100 billion the Internet-related market," Melbourne points out. By 2003, however, not only will the number change but so will the percentages. By then, the total IT market will climb to $600 billion, and 50 percent of that, or $300 billion, will be Internet- related. Of that $300 billion, two-thirds will be portal-related. "That makes the portal market in excess of $75 billion and as high as $200 billion by 2003," Melbourne says. "The portal space will be a huge driver of consulting services, hardware, networking software, and so on," Melbourne notes.
HP has unveiled PrintAdvantage, a procurement and service plan that delivers printers, toner supplies and support to departments, sites or entire companies looking for a print management solution.
PrintAdvantage allows users to choose any combination of HP LaserJet printers (color or monochrome) and pay for the products on a monthly basis, according to estimated usage. The monthly fee includes service, support and supplies, and is fixed according to the customer’s toner usage model for 12 months. Contracts run for three, four or five years.
HP is touting PrintAdvantage as a usage-based program, one that offers significant advantages over traditional cost-per-page programs that set minimum monthly volumes. Through use of a sophisticated quotation tool that takes into account the type of hardware (desktop, network or multifunction printers) and total number of pages printed (adjusted for graphics), customers can estimate how many pages they print each month. They are then charged according to their usage.
PrintAdvantage is offered through qualified resellers and requires an initial order of $50,000.
HP, Everypath Ally on Mobile E-Services
HP and Everypath Inc. have forged a partnership to co-develop and co-market a new wireless net service that allows companies to deliver personalized e-services to mobile workers. The new service will let users of mobile devices, such as smart phones and Palm Inc.’s Palm VII organizer, connect at any time to the Web services most important to them – e-banking, stock trading, online auctions and so on. The service also enables users to conduct e-commerce transactions from their devices.
The wireless e-services solution will be provided by HP, which will integrate Everypath technology into a hosting environment that features HP’s UNIX and Windows NT hardware, along with HP network management services and firewall and intrusion protection software. The Everypath technology eliminates the need to reprogram existing sites in order to provide wireless access and enables mobile users to perform secure transactions in real time. HP and Everypath also are working on an e-speak adapter to Everypath’s rendering tool to accelerate the process for creating e-speak applications for mobile devices.
PA-8700 Chip Details Revealed
HP has revealed details of its 64-bit PA-8700 processor, designed for servers and workstations. The PA-8700, released to manufacturing in late March, is scheduled to ship in the first half of 2001. The chip, which will work with UNIX, Linux and the upcoming 64-bit version of Windows, will run at frequencies of 800 mhz and above.
The PA-8700 employs a .18 micron, silicon-on-insulator copper CMOS process. That process allows for 2.25 MB of on-chip cache, the largest of any microprocessor and a 50 percent increase over the PA-8600. HP says that the new .18 micron process reduces voltage, which significantly lowers power consumption when the chip operates at higher frequencies, and results in cooler operation. The process also enables the PA-8700 to calculate up to 3.2 billion operations per second.
HP is targeting the PA-8700 against Sun’s ultrasparc III. The PA-8700’s integer and floating point performance, HP claims, will be at least 64 percent and 14 percent better, respectively, than that for the Sun chip.
HP plans to introduce two new chips in the PA-RISC line – the PA-8800, probably sometime in 2002 – and the PA-8900, scheduled for delivery well beyond that. This means the company intends to maintain parallel product lines – PA-RISC and IA-64 – well beyond 2002.
Microsoft Presents Pocket PC
Microsoft’s new Pocket PC represents the company’s third strike at the handheld device market, which Dataquest predicts will increase from $7.2 billion in sales in 1998 to $32.5 billion in 2002. In two previous attempts, Microsoft has failed to nab a healthy share of the market, mainly because its Windows CE operating system proved too large and slow for handhelds.
The Pocket PC runs a revamped version of CE – version 3.0. The handheld features a personal information manager (PIM) that includes calendar, contacts, inbox, tasks and notes; a Web browser specially designed for handhelds; slimmed-down versions of Word and Excel; Windows Media Player; and Microsoft Reader, with Microsoft ClearType display technology. Those features pack some punch, allowing handheld users to keep appointments, play music files and surf the Web.
The hardware manufacturers have given the handhelds some clout – the Pocket PCs feature 32-bit processors and 16 to 32 MB of memory. The vendors also are giving them fairly reasonable price tags – $299 to $599.
HP’s new Jornada 540 Series Color Pocket PCs fall at the higher end of the price range. The Jornada 540 and 545, featuring 16 MB of RAM are priced at about $499. The Jornada 548, boasting 32 MB of RAM is priced at about $599.
HP also is offering two wireless bundles for the Jornada 540s, both from Socket Communications. The Socket Digital Phone Card and cable, available for about $150, connect a Pocket PC to a CDMA or GSM mobile phone to enable wireless internet access, e-mail, message service and remote access to organizational servers.
Oracle Ships Internet File System
Oracle’s Internet File System (IFS), a significant piece of the Oracle 8i database, has begun shipping. Touted by Oracle as "the first file system built for the internet," IFS is designed to give 8i users the ability to manage a wide range of information, including Web pages, e-mail and video. IFS allows developers to enhance simple file system capabilities through automatic version control, check-in/check-out, and advanced search. Oracle says that IFS can be used to create advanced Web applications, like corporate portals, that span over 150 file types. Ifs is designed to automate what developers now do in hand-coding file system capabilities, like version control.