Computer giant HP has announced it will set up a Shanghai-based Software Solution Center by the end of this year to conduct R&D and serve enterprise customers on the Mainland and the rest of Asia.
The new Software Solution Center will be HP’s fourth in the world; three others can be found in India, Japan and Germany, concentrating solely on developing software for a range of applications and operating environments.
According to Ron Eckhardt, general manager for HP’s e-Solutions Division, the company’s decision to set up a Software Solution Center in Shanghai resulted from a three-pronged strategy to:
* conduct research and development of HP software by tapping on China’s strong base of computer science talent
* build solutions by partnering with local independent software vendors (ISVs), who are familiar with specific industries on the Mainland, as well as with global ISVs entering the Chinese market
* work for HP’s enterprise customers who want to overhaul their IT infrastructures to better compete in the tough global market
“We’ve also had good sessions with the universities in China and are very encouraged by the levels of [technical] excellence achieved by them,” Eckhardt said in a telephone interview with asia.internet.com.
“It will be a good development for HP and for the local market because HP will build relationships with professors in different departments and will work with the universities for joint programs as well.”
With this new facility, HP is positioning itself to capture a portion of the rapidly growing Chinese IT market (including software and services), which IDC forecasts as hitting the US$50 billion mark by 2005.
Within the next three to five years the Shanghai Software Solution Center will hire about 1,500 professionals across the Mainland to focus on producing business solutions for the Chinese market. Initial solutions include a mobile advertising platform, and integrated service management solutions for the telecom industry.
Eckhardt added that the Software Solution Center will cater to China’s financial services industry as well, initially importing IT infrastructure solutions such as its OpenView suite of management software and its various security offerings, then developing software products and solutions more tailored to the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, the general manager of HP’s four Software Solution Centers worldwide will focus his efforts in the next few weeks on setting up the management team for the Shanghai addition, which is scheduled for launch by end-2001.
“We will use management talent from our India Software Solution Center to get started, and a couple more from the U.S.,” he said, adding that management-level personnel will progressively be recruited from within China even though the initial majority of Chinese staff will comprise computer science and mathematics engineers.
“It needs to be a local workforce – local people with local skills; it will be a good match for the Chinese Government, the technical community and HP,” Eckhardt said.