HP launches new mobile e-services

Hewlett-Packard Co. last month got onboard the mobile electronic-commerce bandwagon with the introduction of new mobile e-services aimed at generating commerce on the go.

The HP Mobile Enterprise E-Commerce Solution, also dubbed the mobile e-services package, will add mobile e-commerce functionality to an enterprise’s existing e-commerce infrastructure, according to HP. Such functionality will help companies conduct business with their customers via mobile devices, including mobile phones, handhelds and laptops. The initiative will integrate BroadVision Inc.’s suite of wireless applications into HP’s network and systems management software OpenView Manager.

In addition to the software, HP will provide the middleware, system integration, consulting and appliances to enable a mobile e-commerce system. This mobile e-commerce solution will include selling and integrating HP servers with the software into a company’s existing e-commerce infrastructure as well as selling mobile devices like HP’s laptops or Jornada handhelds that transact with the HP server to conduct mobile e-commerce.

The Mobile Enterprise E-Commerce Solution initiative “will be a cross-company effort, touching all of HP’s product groups, back-end and front-end businesses,” said John Chapman, director of strategy and business development for HP’s E-Services Solutions division.

“If a company requests mobile printing, we would be selling HP’s printers as part of the mobile e-services package,” he said.

The insurance industry is a good example where HP’s mobile e-services package can be effectively implemented, according to Chapman.

“Insurance companies have billions of dollars worth of assets,” he said. “They have several thousand sales and service professionals who need on-the-go communication with the company, their customers and insurance service providers. The mobile e-commerce solution will centralize all that and also allow them to access legacy applications on corporate databases.”

Real-world applications of HP’s mobile enterprise e-services could be as simple as notifying a customer of changes in their flight schedules or giving them access to relevant information when in a new town, said Chapman. The mobile e-commerce system will also allow access to advanced applications such as banking and financial services, he added.

To allow for easy integration into a company’s existing e-commerce system, HP’s enterprise mobile e-commerce package has been developed based on open architectures and standards, such as WAP (wireless application protocol) and other generic technologies, Chapman said. “Proprietary technology takes a company nowhere. You can’t lock in one technology over the long term,” he added.

The mobile e-commerce initiative is an extension to HP’s Garage program, which was introduced earlier this year to assist Internet startups, including dot-coms and ASPs (application service providers) to exploit the power of e-commerce over wireline devices. This initiative will extend Garage’s focus to e-commerce over mobile devices.

– IDG News Service

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