HP World 2000 Opens with a Whimper

With an army of press amassed in New York to inspect Hewlett-Packard's much-hyped "Superdome" server on Tuesday, the company's user and partner conference happening simultaneously in Philadelphia played second fiddle.

Company officials at HP World 2000 admitted that the Superdome unveiling served as the centerpiece for HP's self-touted "always-on infrastructure" and reinvention initiative, while vendors and events at the user conference were designed to support that concept with live examples and demos.

One company that attempted to drum up notice at HP World 2000 was Solution.com. Based in Malvern, Pa., Solution.com Inc. introduced software products and services designed to streamline e-commerce processes in hosted and nonhosted environments.

Solution.com's "e-Frastructure" technology addresses online purchasing from the buyer's perspective, said Sam Damico, co-founder and vice president of product development. Damico said the technology will allow customers to submit problem definitions for their specific business needs, which are calculated and answered in real-time through three engines and related toolsets within Solution.com.

Damico said that today's users either lack the time to investigate or don't possess the introspective to use Internet-based products to solve their e-business concerns without detailed explanation of how to use those tools.

"When it comes to solutions that require more hand-holding, the Internet isn't well equipped from a tool perspective," Damico said. "What we're offering is to raise the [online customer] dialogue form a commodity-centric dialogue to a solution-oriented dialogue."

The components behind Solution.com's e-Frastructure engine include the Solution Discovery Engine, for optimizing dialogue between buyers and sellers; the Solution Selling Engine, offering different online buying processes, and a personalized online buying environment, the Customer Experience Engine, Damico added.

Solution.com's first and at present only customer, HP, will use the technology as a layer in its infrastructure for AsktheDepot portal, the intelligent marketplace aspect of HP's Channels on Tap e-services ecosystem due in early 2001.

Channels on Tap will operate from a supply-chain perspective in the business-to-business hosted landscape, bringing together service providers and resellers to facilitate sales and cost savings, HP officials said.

Veritas Software Corp., based in Mountain View, Calif., also made news at HP World 2000. The company announced that its server uptime and disaster recovery offering has been extended to HP-UX platforms. Version 1.0 of Veritas Global Cluster Manager and Version 3.0 of Veritas Volume Replicator is now available for HP-UX customers, enabling them to build upon Veritas Cluster Server to move an entire cluster to a geographically remote secondary site with replicated data, company officials said in a statement.

Veritas Volume Replicator for HP-UX and Sun Microsystems Inc. Solaris starts at $US9,000. Veritas Global Cluster Manager for HP-UX and Sun Solaris starts at $US10,000 per managed Veritas Cluster Server, officials said.

Also, Level 8 Systems, based in Cary, N.C., introduced two components of its Geneva High Performance Integration Platform: Geneva Enterprise Integrator and Geneva Business Process Automator. The products will enable HP users to build an e-business infrastructure that integrates Web-based front office and back office systems and company partners. Additionally, business processes can be automated to process high-volume transactions with a real-time response, according to Richard Phelps, senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Level 8 Systems.

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