HP In Talks With C&W HKT on Apps Outsourcing

Following Hewlett-Packard Co.'s announcement in May that it is joining the application outsourcing fray, HP's Hong Kong office is planning to partner with a major communications provider to manage and deliver application capabilities to corporations in Hong Kong, according to a company official.

"We are having talks with (Cable & Wireless) HKT on providing software hiring in Hong Kong," said Steve Au-Yeung, general manager of HP Hong Kong's Enterprise Computing Sales Organization.

Though specifics of the plan are sparse, HP's enterprise management software product, OpenView, will be one of the products available for hiring, according to Au-Yeung. In the U.S., HP has announced its intent to host applications, storage, data mining and warehousing, and any number of IT services in what it calls "apps on tap."

Au-Yeung declined to confirm whether the application outsourcing service will be offered as part of the joint broadband project of Cable and Wireless HKT and Microsoft Corp., codenamed Zoom. That project aims to deliver video-on-demand, music-on-demand, software-on-demand, voice-over-IP, news updates and Internet gaming via HKT's broadband network before the end of the year.

Application service providers can help companies lower their total cost of ownership, predict costs of managing IT, as well as free them up to focus on their core business, analysts say.

Forrester Inc. Research projects that the application outsourcing market will be worth US$6.4 billion by 2001, up from zero just months ago.

Separately, Au-Yeung disclosed that HP Hong Kong will be making equity investments in Hong Kong Internet startups to help fuel their growth. The company is in the process of screening startups, however further details are not available.

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