Hewlett-Packard will unveil its ecommerce strategy this week, with Microsoft as a partner.
Not to be outdone, in two weeks time Compaq will follow with a sweeping ecommerce announcement involving software partnerships plus products from its Tandem unit and soon to be acquired Digital Equipment.
According to US sources, HP's ecommerce offering will be dubbed Electronic World and will incorporate elements from its hardware, sofware and services ranges. To be announced in Las Vegas tomorrow, it will also include a bundling agreement with Microsoft for its ecommerce software.
Like IBM, HP will provide different customer groups with different bundles of products. These will include the Extended Enterprise Infrastructure for online service providers, the E-consumer framework for information appliances and Ecommerce, which handles Internet payments.
On the server front, HP will merge its Unix/Risc and NT/Intel ranges under a common brand, tipped to be Domain Server.
Compaq's strategy is expected to centre on Tandem servers, which are well established in banking and are starting to penetrate the NT market, and Digital's professional services portfolio.
HP, Compaq and Microsoft all refused to comment on the rumours.
Although the companies are clearly aiming to shave off some of IBM's headstart in the overall ecommerce solutions space, analysts believe it should not worry yet. ?HP seem to be setting itself up as a solutions provider by using other people's software,? said Mark Stevenson, an analyst at Ovum. ?The products are all very similar and fit into a middle class of portfolio of products. They?ll pose no threat to IBM.?
A representative for IBM said they it be announcing a fresh ecommerce initiative later in the week.
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