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Wings for Web Services, Via HP

In a bid to extend its "adaptive enterprise" services strategy into the mobile arena, Hewlett-Packard is releasing a Web services tool and is hooking up with Ericsson on a mobile telecom platform.

HP disclosed the news within a blizzard of press releases it is releasing in advance of next week's 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France (Feb. 23-26). The systems vendor plans to emphasize its link with Ericsson during the event conference.

Though HP's scattershot announcements ranged from the Web services tool to a phone-management system, company officials said the releases are all part of its Web services story.

"HP's message is HP customers expect to see mobile services be personalized and be available anytime on any device," said Joy King, worldwide director of marketing for HP's network-services provider group.

"There's a greater emphasis on a need to build and deploy new services in a much broader way than before."

In that regard, HP unveiled mSDP 2.0, a software-tools framework aimed at mobile-phone network operators. Phil McKinney, chief technology officer for HP's network services group, said mSDP 2.0 will function as a web-services creation environment through which the operators can deploy mobile-aware apps. The tool will also enable developers to add in to their services features such as digital rights management and security control.

Such a tool is considered highly marketable because mobile operators are seeking new services as a way to bump up their revenues. "We are seeing a move away from the search for the 'killer app'-- there isn't one," explained King during a conference call to discuss the release. "The next killer app is hundreds of applications targeted at consumers and the enterprise."

King said many of these apps will be short-lived as network operators create new services that can provide incremental revenue while killing off outdated ones. "So you need to have an agile, flexible infrastructure," King explained. "That's what we see the enterprise architecture as serving."

The second leg of HP's array of announcements targeted the telecommunications platform. HP said it would bring to the GSM conference a "unified communications platform" with Ericsson. The platform comprises Ericsson's software and communications technologies fitted atop HP hardware and software. It's being marketed as a communications solution for the enterprise, running phones and supporting integrated voicemail.

HP also said it would offer support services for Wi-Fi hot spots in enterprise networks.

All the new offerings are tied into HP's adaptive enterprise strategy, which is HP's term for a providing utility-like computing services, including operating systems, management services and software products, in order to help customers manage their heterogeneous server rooms and data centers.

On the mobile front, the adaptive enterprise plan will ultimately morph into what McKinney characterized as a "virtualization" strategy. Here, a very broad set of tools and support services developed over the next five years will enable mobile operators "to partner with a complex set of content providers" to deliver voice, data, and multimedia-based services.