April 26, 1999 1:10 PM PDT

HP adds e-commerce hosting program

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Hewlett-Packard today said it will offer hosted e-commerce services for ISPs at no up-front cost in an effort to boost its services strategy.

HP said its new services, dubbed "Commerce for the Millennium," will enable ISPs to offer quick, e-commerce set-up and services to small- and midsized businesses.

Commerce for the Millennium is made up of services and software from companies such as Cisco Systems, VeriFone, and ClearCommerce, offering 24-hour turnaround of online merchants IDs, browser-based store building, and secure online payment processing, HP said. In addition, alliances were formed in several industries to complete the offering, including financial services from Vital Processing Services, which offers full-service merchant processing, and Cardservice International, a transaction service provider.

HP said it's creating "risk- and reward-sharing alliances" with its service providers' customers, which means HP will share service revenue with the service provider.

This business model, in turn, allows the service provider to match revenue with its costs, HP spokeswoman Hilary Jones said in a phone interview. Jones said service providers would pay HP based on its number of users. HP will share in the risk because the company would only make money when the service provider makes money, she said.

HP will deploy, support, and comarket the services in return for a portion of service-related revenue. This includes marketing support from HP, such as promotional campaigns, the company said in a statement.

As previously reported, HP and BroadVision will announce plans to invest $35 million to codevelop and market new applications for companies that set up "business portals" for their customers, according to HP executives. HP has been revamping its services strategy for a while.

Gartner Group analyst Geri Spieler said that she believes HP took a significant step toward the e-commerce space when they acquired VeriFone more than a year ago and that like most companies, HP essentially is working on repositioning itself in order to compete in e-commerce.


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