HP launches back-end solutions and services

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced Tuesday a number of software and service products for wireless solution providers, developers, and consumers.

Chief among the new technologies is the HP Opencall Media Platform, which will give wireless network operators the ability to offer their consumer and business customers low-cost advanced voice services such as unified communications, voice-enabled portals, and outsourced messaging services.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company will announce HP Mobile Advertising Solution as the first proof-of-concept application based on the new Opencall platform. Still in the pilot stage, a Japanese network operator will test a version that allows its consumers to opt into low- or no-cost cellular service if they agree to hear an advertising message.

The message can be placed before or right after a call, with the Opencall Media Platform used as the underlying technology. The platform can manage millions of simultaneous calls and can interject the message at a predetermined time.

“At some point the same technology might be used by enterprises to broadcast simultaneous voice messages to employees when they turn on their phone,” said Andrew Bolwell, director, mobile e-Services for HP in Palo Alto.

Opencall is a set of HP value-added services that run on the SS-7 (Signaling System 7) protocol used by the telecommunications industry to manage the flow of voice traffic over the telephone network. Opencall currently has about 1,000 installations, according to Bolwell.

The HP Opencall Media Platform represents a unique technological breakthrough for the Opencall platform, according to officials. Up until this HP solution, voice-processing systems required a DSP (digital signal processing) chip. To deliver voice messaging for millions of users, for example, racks and racks of relatively expensive computers with DSP add-on boards were required.

The Opencall Media platform takes a radically different approach called softDSP, which performs the same functions as a DSP chip using only the processing power of a standard microprocessor.

“Opencall is harnessing the power of a commercial microprocessor to do signal processing. Using an HP 9000 with a PA RISC chip, we can process up to 2,000 users at one time on a single host computer without a DSP,” said Peter Dragunas, program manager for Media Platform in the telecommunications infrastructure division of HP in Piscataway, N.J.

Also available Tuesday is a mobile interface for HP’s OpenView Service Information Portal 2.0. The mobile version will allow an IT administrator to use a mobile device to access the management features of the service.

The system will allow administrators to monitor and manage both the internal network as well as give service providers the ability to monitor Web performance, according to Carol Kemp, OpenView marketing program manager in Palo Alto.

The mobile interface is available online at www.openview.hp.com/products/servinfoportal/seetrybuy and operates under both the Pocket PC and Palm operating systems.

The company is also expanding its “Bazaars” concept by adding new location in London and Milan, Italy. HP Bazaars bring together system integrators, e-services software developers, and HP technical staff to exchange ideas and create new products.

Finally, HP is introducing build-to-order online customization for HP notebooks. The service will allow end-users to mix and match display size, processor speed, hard drive size, memory, and operating systems, among other things.