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HP inks $100 million pact with BEA

Hewlett-Packard and BEA Systems announce a joint development deal expected to be worth $100 million over three years.

Hewlett-Packard and BEA Systems today announced a joint development deal expected to be worth $100 million over three years.

The deal, intended to further HP's "e-services" initiative, will result in new software infrastructure to support online transactions.

BEA makes software, usually referred to as middleware, for integrating enterprise applications and for processing electronic transactions.

The two companies will develop, sell, and support products for large enterprise customers, including BEA's eLink for enterprise application integration, and planned component-based e-commerce software built on BEA's WebLogic application server and the BEA Tuxedo transaction processing monitor.

For HP's e-services initiative, the companies will build new versions of eLink and component software on HP's operating systems, and integrate the software with HP's OpenView, Praesidium, MC/Service Guard, WebQoS, and ChangeEngine management and security software.

BEA also said it is investing $50 million and dedicating 200 employees to form a business unit called BEA eSolutions, which will build products to further e-commerce applications as well as help customers preserve their investments in older technologies.

The company added that its partnership with Hewlett-Packard is the first of several alliances it expects to form to deliver products into strategic markets.

As previously reported the investment comes as the Palo Alto, California-based computing giant is trying to reinvent itself. In a momentous move, Hewlett-Packard recently said it will spin off its testing and measurement division in an effort to become "more aggressive."

Chief executive Lewis Platt has launched the company on an effort to develop "e-services," personalized navigation and search tools to make e-commerce easier.

Of late, the company has made a cash investment in Security First Technology, which provides technology for online banking, and struck an agreement with online procurement firm Ariba Technologies to use HP technologies to for its procurement site. Under the deal, HP gets paid not just for hardware and software but also gets a share of the site's revenues and profits.

Meanwhile, like a number of large PC companies, HP has been talking about devices beyond the personal computer. Platt has joined IBM CEO Lou Gerstner in declaring the "end of the PC era" and suggesting that more consumer-friendly devices will grow in popularity as Net access becomes more ubiquitous.

The company is rumored to be looking into super-low-cost access devices.