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Xpedior allies with HP in Net consulting move

The two companies join forces for consulting engagements, primarily projects that help customers implement BroadVision software, which customizes Web sites according to a visitor's behavior.

Faced with a dismal Internet consulting sector, Xpedior on Tuesday signed an agreement with computing giant Hewlett-Packard to jointly provide consulting services.

Under the agreement, Xpedior and HP will work together on consulting engagements, primarily projects that help customers implement BroadVision software. The deal makes both companies preferred service providers for BroadVision products.

The news helped lift Xpedior's sagging shares. In early trading Tuesday, Xpedior jumped 38 cents, or 50 percent, to $1.13. In recent weeks, shares of the company have been trading below $1 a share.

HP is an investor in BroadVision, whose software customizes Web sites according to each visitor's behavior. BroadVision recently joined the craze to help build online marketplaces with the release of MarketMaker, a new software suite that includes reverse auction and accounting tools that manage order status and tracking.

HP, which has partnered with Chicago-based Xpedior before, also plans to invest capital and technical resources into its relationship with the Internet consultant to develop and market a core BroadVision service suited for the retail industry.

The move comes amid tough times at Xpedior, which, like other companies in its sector, has recently taken a beating over weakened demand for Internet-related services.

Many Web consultancies are turning their focus away from chasing ever-scarcer dot-com dollars to landing more lucrative clients in the Fortune 500 pool. Xpedior and others are also dipping back into more traditional types of consulting and systems integration jobs such as the one outlined in its HP alliance.

Other strategic initiatives of the HP partnership may include efforts in the wireless market, online marketplaces and application hosting, the companies said.

A marketing campaign to support the Xpedior-HP partnership has already begun.