By Rob Corder
HP's CEO wants to help ISPs & ASPs get up and running fast with Service Provider in a Box solution.
The deal to acquire PricewaterhouseCoopers' management consulting unit may be dead, but Hewlett-Packard continues to move forward with its service offerings. HP has introduced Service Provider-in-a-Box for the Microsoft Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000 server.
This latest SP-in-a-Box is an integrated package of hardware, software, and services designed to help application and Internet service provider and telecommunications carriers more efficiently offer their clients Windows 2000- and Exchange 2000-based applications and services.
The simplified integration and pricing structure of the solution should appeal to emerging service providers in the Middle East where compact markets do not warrant multi-million-dollar investments in infrastructure.
The package includes HP NetServer systems and storage hardware as well as Cisco networking equipment. Priced between $300,000 and $1 million, depending on the size of the implementation, the offering also includes HP WebQoS for prioritizing Web traffic, HP Smart Internet Usage for monitoring Internet traffic, Portal Software's Infranet for client billing, and HP OpenView and Agilent Technologies' Firehunter for managing services.
HP developed SP-in-a-Box to let service providers offer their customers packaged offerings that are comprehensive and quickly implemented. SP-in-a-Box debuted in March to help service providers create and deliver services around Windows NT Server and Windows 2000 Server.
Future SP-in-a-Box offerings will use Avaya Inc. software to facilitate the integration of unified voice and text messaging into Exchange.
While the effects of SP-in-a-Box may not be obvious to IT users, the packaging of the technology required to deliver services will have some indirect benefits, says Amy Levy, an analyst for Summit Strategies. She says that the future of ASPs, for example, is the development and hosting of applications that focus on the needs of specific vertical industries, not the hosting of billing or monitoring software.