HP Japan, NTT Multimedia Firms Announce Tie-Up

Hewlett-Packard Japan (HP Japan) and two Nippon
Telegraph and Telephone group companies, NTT-ME and NTT-X, this week
announced formation of a wide-ranging strategic alliance to provide
Internet- and multimedia-focused corporate systems and services.

The three companies will develop a variety of package solutions related to
electronic commerce, multimedia applications, and systems maintenance and
support.

HP Japan will provide the hardware and software and systems integration
expertise while the two NTT firms will take charge of development, supply
their electronic commerce and multimedia technologies, and provide marketing
and sales, customer support, and maintenance services.

NTT-ME (Multimedia Engineering) Corp., with some 18,000 employees, was
created in April through the merger of three NTT telecommunications
engineering units.

NTT-X (NTT-ME Information Xing Inc.) is a wholly-owned NTT-ME subsidiary
with a staff of about 200.

The announced corporate solutions will utilize a network based on the
Internet and digital satellites to provide a wide range of
multimedia-related business solutions to both domestic and foreign
corporations.

“The Internet is still a first-generation infrastructure, and services are
poor,” said NTT-ME President Shigeru Ikeda. “The second generation [of the
Internet], however, will bring services that can alter the structure of work
and daily life. Through this tie-up, I want to create a business model that
takes leadership [for this evolution].”

The partners intend to develop integrated electronic currency and enterprise
resource planning (ERP) systems based on NTT-X’s NCIS electronic currency
system and HP’s hardware and software.

They will also market an Internet-based inventory management and
distribution solution targeted at large retailers, as well as a business
regulation/taxation information Internet portal service that links small
and midsize firms with law offices, financial institutions, and accounting
firms.

Systems are also planned for enhancing supervision of construction sites and
for managing the accident site photo storage needs of non-life insurance
companies.

In addition, the partners will cooperate in providing corporate purchasers
with long-term system maintenance and equipment upgrades to help them keep
pace with technological change.

As yet, no target dates have been announced.

A variety of hardware rental/lease programs will be offered through both
NTT-ME and NTT-X.

With the ME WAVE “total solution service from consulting to system
construction and aftercare,” customers will have access to the services of
computer engineers at NTT-ME’s 380 business centers in the Kanto (Tokyo)
area and Niigata and Nagano prefectures.

HP Japan signed a similar cooperative deal with KDD Corp just last month,
but according to Masaki Iizuki, head of HP Japan’s enterprise business
section, “Our tie-up with KDD is confined to the distribution industry. This
venture with NTT-ME and NTT-X involves a more extensive offering of services
to a wide range of industries.”

HP sees “E-Services” — intelligent, modular services that collaborate
automatically to perform a variety of specific tasks and transactions — as
being “the next chapter of the Internet.”

The company hopes that these tie-ups will help to speed the acceptance and
spread of its E-Services in Japan.

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