HP kicks off $100m E-services campaign

SAN FRANCISCO - Hewlett Packard is putting $100 million behind a global advertising campaign to launch its new e-business venture, E-services.

- Hewlett Packard is putting $100 million behind a global advertising campaign to launch its new e-business venture, E-services.

HP is billing the new company, based in Palo Alto California, as "the future of business on the internet".

Partners signed up to the initiative include BT, BroadVision, Fedex, Nokia, Intel and the Internet Travel Network.

Lewis Platt, the Hewlett-Packard chairman and chief executive, said: "With the foundations of e-business and e-commerce now in place, we believe that businesses and consumers are ready to extract full value from the net with e-services.

Companies are now looking for ways to extend their reach beyond websites and internet store fronts. E-services offer companies new ways to reach customers, new ways to make money and new ways to manage IT."

The E-Services strategy is based around three core internet developments that HP believes will transform business on the internet: the rise of applications on tap; an explosion of next generation portals and the emergence of a dynamically brokered e-services market place.

The first, "apps on taps", is already happening as business services are offered to customers on a pay-as-you-go basis. This includes both services and products and at one level it allows companies to pay for products -- or rent them -- only when they need them.

Dubbed rentware, HP is predicting that one of the biggest markets for the apps on tap types of business is going to be software.

Companies can rent software packages, download them from their supplier for a limited period.

In a bid to build this market, HP is to invest $500 million in a development with Qwest Communications to create what it calls an applications hosting service, that will make software applications available to buisnesses on a pay as you go basis.

Next generation portals will be the next step for industry specific sites taking the levels of services and integration to the next level, according to HP.

A spokesperson explained: "For example, where a travel site at the moment might offer the ability to book an entire trip from flight, car rental and hotel, a next generational portal would update all arrangements from car to hotel is for instance the flight was cancelled as it also tries to rebook on another plane.

"A banking portal would offer bill payment, tax and accounting services in addition to bank account information. While an internet calendar service could be linked to a pager to let the customer know when appointments are changed or updated."

The third element, the emergence of a brokered e-services market place, predicts another new kind of business emerging whereby requests for particular kinds of services go through a web broker which deals with the top 20 businesses in a particular category. The broker then gets the deal that closest matches the particular request.