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Flashy UI For Telecoms

Hewlett-Packard said it is teaming with Macromedia to deliver a consistent user interface (UI) across all devices via Macromedia's Flash platform.

HP said it was looking for a platform that could deliver a consistent user interface for its service delivery platform (SDP), one that works just as well from a desktop as it does on a PDA or cell phone.

SDP is a service-oriented architecture framework for tying fixed, mobile and broadband communication devices. Carriers use it to conduct activities like field an order at a call desk workstation, contact the parts manager on the warehouse floor through their Blackberry and contact distribution workers on their walkie-talkies.

The problem wasn't finding a tool that lets them create services that work on a desktop, said Peter Dragunas, HP director of network solutions for network and service provider solutions. It was finding one that encompasses the same standards-based functionality on cell phones and other mobile devices.

"In the mobile device world, you really have a whole variety of operating systems, development and execution environments that sits on the different handset devices," he said. "We homed in on the Macromedia Flash environment as a way to take the services we were building and display them in a consistent way across a multitude of devices."

Macromedia's Flash platform fits the requirements HP was looking for -- the UI had to integrate with Web services and it had to be thin enough to work on mobile devices. What's more, the UI platform has the near-ubiquitous reach of the Flash Player found on most of the world's desktops.

With Flash, HP can deliver voice, data and video rich Internet applications on one platform, and with the Web services capability, provide access to the back-end data needed to run a networked business.

The two companies have spent the past several months integrating Flash with the SDP. The first Flash-based integrated application is Macromedia's Breeze, the company's Web conferencing product.

For Macromedia the partnership is a way to expand its products in the service provider market, according to Eric Weiss, Macromedia vice president of telecommunications solutions. Officials plan to initially market the integrated product to major carriers who already use SDP.

"It's a very complementary relationship, marrying the infrastructure from HP with the user interface and presentation layer from Macromedia," he said. "It really helps network carriers unlock their network resources that have been built up over the years, and make them available to end users in a very easy-to-use manner."

As part of the arrangement between the two companies HP will resell the Breeze application as well as Flex, the Macromedia application development tool.