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Cable & Wireless, Compaq Unveil E-Business Strategy

Cable and Wireless PLC and Compaq Computer Corp. Thursday formed a $500 million global alliance to bring e-business applications to small- and medium-sized businesses as soon as Jan. 1.

The partnership will essentially build upon Cable & Wireless's Application Service Provider (ASP) offerings using Compaq technology. The two companies' new ASP system integrates all components of an ASP model, which Compaq (CPQ) and C&W (CWP) call a complete renovation of the previous norm of monthly access fees, partial solutions, and limited software access.

The applications will be run on Compaq platforms and hosted at C&W centers. C&W's IP network connectivity will also be included in the package. In return, Compaq will offer wireless access devices to the offerings, Compaq NonStop eBusiness consulting and professional services, and multilingual customer support.

Compaq will also provide server platforms and storage architecture, systems integration and managed services, and skilled personnel for the application hosting centers and support systems.

The initial service rollout will be available in the UK, Europe, and the US. The new portfolio will hit the Asia Pacific region within the next year. Investments from both companies will be made over the course of the next five years.

Forrester Research projects that this market will be a $10.1 billion sector by 2001.

"We are bringing together Cable & Wireless' leading global IP network and hosting infrastructure with Compaq's strengths in technology and professional services," said Graham Wallace, C&W's group chief executive. "This move reinforces our strategy to provide business customers with IP solutions that create real competitive advantage."

The two companies expects the new services to gain interest from businesses requiring rapid e-commerce solution deployment, unified messaging services, remote-managed network services, and IP service companies such as streaming media and voice-over-IP service providers.