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HP pushes firms to Web with e-commerce site building

Hewlett-Packard is expected to announce a new offering to build e-commerce sites for corporations within 100 days and support them around the clock.

Hewlett-Packard today is expected to announce a new offering to build e-commerce sites for corporations within 100 days and support them around the clock.

The new offering is part of HP's "e-services" plan, which, like programs from its rivals Compaq and IBM, is intended to help businesses move their operations to the Internet.

With this offering, called Enterprise Commerce, HP is partnering with transaction processing software maker ClearCommerce and e-commerce software company BroadVision and bundling both companies' software with HP hardware and services.

BroadVision makes software that customizes Web sites according to each visitor's behavior. HP invested $35 million in BroadVision recently to help the company make sure its software works well on HP computers. By next March, HP and BroadVision plan to comarket a portal that customers can customize to access e-commerce applications and the Internet, among other information, from their desktops.

HP said it is targeting the Enterprise Commerce bundle toward retailers, catalog companies, and direct manufacturers. The company is seeking business from the Fortune 2000, as well as fast-growing dot com companies in the same league as, said Phil Mindigo, e-commerce alliance manager at HP.

Before taking new customers, HP is running week-long workshops to determine whether a business's project can be done within 100 days, according to Donnie Foster, general manager of HP's e-solutions.

"We'll manage it if we decide they fit the bill," he said.

Up-front pricing for hardware, software, services, and support needed to get the site up and running will range between $2 to $4 million per customer, depending on what a company already has installed, HP said.

Mission-critical support is also separately priced at between $300,000 and $500,000 a year. With mission critical support, HP has set up an e-services support center to answer customer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, worldwide, and guarantees support for all hardware and software provided by HP and its partners.

Customers also may opt to outsource their e-commerce sites through HP's partner, USinternetworking. Through an outsourcing deal, USi will manage the applications from a data center and customers access the software remotely.

Customers can sign up for HP's bundled Enterprise Commerce package now, but it won't be available until November 1.