Critical Path, HP Ink Global Messaging Pact

Critical Path
and HP
got cozy Thursday when the two inked a pact to provide the
enterprise with managed messaging services.

The global alliance — spanning the corporate sector from small business to
large outfits — is valued at more than $100 million, according to the
firms. In this deal, Critical Path will pair its messaging platform with
HP’s HP-UX and Linux-based servers to entice businesses to buy services
running the gamut of messaging, including: e-mail, wireless access, instant
messaging (IM), group scheduling, personal address book, registered mail,
Internet file storage and anti-spam & anti-virus protection.

Critical Path’s messaging interoperates with Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail
client, and is designed to integrate and coexist with Microsoft Exchange.

The service will be run jointly, with San Francisco-based Critical Path
outsourcing its data center operations to Palo Alto’s HP. However, Critical
Path will continue to provide applications management services and product
development. In turn, HP will provide systems integration services for
Critical Path’s packaged software.

Critical Path and HP, are developing their managed service “at a fraction of
the cost” for firms seeking to better manage costs, tailor messaging
applications to different groups of employees or customers, and free up IT
resources. Critical Path and HP envisions luring Fortune 2000 companies will
want to upgrade, extend or replace legacy e-mail systems and offer e-mail to
workers in factories or remote locations, service providers want to offer
customers bundled or a la carte messaging services and the SOHO and SME

Maurene Caplan Grey, a research director at Gartner, said the pact was a good fit for the firms.

“Their alliance reflects the change occurring in service delivery for e-mail and
collaboration,” Grey told “Increasingly, the IS organization will find itself unable to deliver the myriad of e-mail and collaborative services required by
different workgroups within the enterprise and will look to outsourcers to
fill the gap. To that end, the IS organization has started turning itself
into an internal service provider – hosting some services while “reselling”
others hosted by one or more outsourcers.”

The partnership will first take root in Europe, North America and Asia,
where HP will deploy Critical Path’s software in its data centers.

The market for messaging applications, according to market research firm
IDC, is expected to top $4.2 billion by 2006. Analysts believe that as IT
departments evolve to become service aggregators, managed messaging must
support several distinct workgroups with different feature sets to succeed.

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