Hewlett Packard (HP) continued its push into the hosting services market with a new global hosting programme aimed at enterprise customers.
The programme, called Managed Web Solutions, will include partnership opportunities for regional application service providers (ASPs), internet service providers (ISPs) and data hosting companies. It is a one-to-one dedicated hosting model for enterprises that want to web-enable their businesses, said David McSavaney, e-services marketing manager for the outsourcing services division at HP.
"We're instituting the programme with the aim of working with a small number of large enterprise customers that want to move their core business processes to the web," he said.
With its new hosting solution, HP is targeting enterprise customers that have outgrown their ISPs, offering integration, migration and management of complex and custom IT and web environments, he said.
Enterprise customers can work with HP to develop an infrastructure to support applications and databases from a variety of vendors, including custom applications the customers have developed for themselves.
"Managed Web Solutions is attracting customers because it is a flexible hosting solution," McSavaney said.
Autolink.com, for example, is a business-to-business website that targets the automotive industry, providing everything from online training to e-procurement of tools, equipment and office supplies. As a hosting partner, HP offers a secure hosting environment with global capabilities. This is an important feature because the site plans to expand to Asia and Europe in about six months, said Joe Miliziano, chief information officer at Autolink.com.
Managed Web Solutions also supports Autolink.com's mixed Oracle and Microsoft database environments, said Miliziano. "[HP has] experts in-house, which means that as we expand, I don't have to have someone sitting at the facility that knows the innards [of the infrastructure]. I see HP as an extension of my IT group," he said.
HP currently houses Autolink.com's 10 Unix and Windows NT-based servers and also plays the role of technical consultant, advising the company when it is necessary to add CPUs and disk space as its site scales, he said.
About seven enterprise clients are working with Managed Web Solutions, and the vendor hopes to add about 20 new customers over the next year, McSavaney said.
HP also plans to recruit regional ASPs, ISPs and large-scale data centres as partners. "We're rolling out relationships with those partners to extend our product offering in the next 12 months," said McSavaney.
The regional news
HP is also planning a co-location offering to work with prospective regional hosting partners, he said. Last month it unveiled Infrastructure-On-Tap, another hosted offering that includes standardised back-end infrastructure targeted at would-be ASPs and business-to-business portals. Unlike Managed Web Solution, Infrastructure-On-Tap is a standardised hosting service that is not customisable.
The infrastructure includes HP servers and OpenView management software, and technology from Nortel Networks, Cisco, Citrix and Lucent. It supports Windows NT and 2000 and Unix, and will support Linux, said Frank Barker, general manager of HP's Computing Utility Services Division.
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