Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) lifted the lid on a range of new communications products and services on Wednesday, including a system that unifies voice and data communications for business users, and an upgraded platform for mobile telecommunications operators.
A new offering in partnership with Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB to provide voice and data services for businesses will combine multiple communications systems including voice services, such as voicemail, and data services, such as e-mail and instant messaging, into a unified product. Mobile services will also be included, and employees will be able to reduce the number of devices they use and can have a single phone number for both mobile and fixed calling.
The HP unified communications product will use PBXs (private branch exchanges) with new Internet Protocol-based technologies. The product includes Ericsson communications applications, HP network management software and HP servers running Windows or Linux.
The HP/Ericsson offering is expected to be available in Europe during the second quarter and in the rest of the world by the end of the year. In a test deployment in HP's 20 offices in Sweden, the product linked mobile voice and data services with fixed office services, enabling a single, consolidated inbox for voicemail and e-mail. HP reduced communications costs by 38 percent, by reducing the number of PBXs, reduced end-user devices to one per employee and managed more efficiently its wireless airtime costs with the local operator.
HP also announced improvements in two mobile offerings, designed to help mobile network service providers bring new services to market. The offerings are designed to help mobile operators roll out dozens of personalized mobile services to niche customer groups, instead of "one-sized-fits-all" mobile plans, said Joy King, director of worldwide marketing for HP's network-services provider group.
"We are seeing a move away from the search for the big killer app," King added. "There isn't one. The next killer application is going to be hundreds of services targeted at small groups of consumers and enterprises."
HP's improved mobile offerings include version 2.0 of the HP mobile Service Delivery Platform (mSDP) and upgrades in elements of the HP Integrated Service Management (ISM) platform, featuring prepaid, real-time billing and enhanced fraud management. HP also announced new mobility support services to help companies support wireless local area networks and a new content billing system.
HP's flurry of announcements Wednesday come in advance of the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, from February 23 to 26.
Focused on the creation and delivery of mobile services, mSDP is an integrated framework of software and tools, partner solutions, carrier-grade hardware and consulting and integration services, according to HP. The new version of mSDP includes: a platform core that links all mSDP components; adaptors for network management; location and billing services; digital rights management; enhanced security controls; and an improved Web services creation environment.
HP ISM is focused on the usage and management of communications services. By automating systems such as billing, network management, customer care and fraud management, support system operators can reduce costs and improve the quality of service, according to the Palo Alto, California company.