Hewlett-Packard last week nailed a few more boards into its e-services platform strategy by announcing plans to build two Internet portals where trading partners can meet online to share critical business data.
The first portal is being co-developed with i2 Technologies, the company that developed the supply-chain management application called Rhythm.
The plan calls for HP to host the Rhythm application so electronics distributors and other industries can store and retrieve supply-chain information from the application. These distributors would pay a transaction fee or monthly rental charge to HP, rather than purchase a site licence.
This concept is also being called "apps on tap", and HP's interest in building these applications with partners such as i2 Technologies is a key part of the HP e-services strategy.
Roberto Medrano, general manager of HP's e-services division, says the supply-chain portal will be up and running later this year, and HP will be managing the network and data flows in the supply chain.
The second HP e-services portal is for document and CAD/CAM file sharing by manufacturers such as auto-makers and their suppliers. The second portal, called e-Vis.com, is being constructed by Engineering Animation, an Iowa engineering firm.
"The rise of apps on tap is a new view of computing service," says Bill Russell, CEO and executive vice president of HP Enterprise Computing, adding that other HP portal ventures include one under development with Ariba for business-to-business catalogue buying.
Russell says HP expects to earn almost nothing this year in its portal ventures, but the company is counting on portal revenue in the years ahead.