HP Kicks Off Strategy To Expand In Mobile Market - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

HP Kicks Off Strategy To Expand In Mobile Market

Hewlett-Packard backs its claim that 2005 is the year of mobility with plans to roll out new notebook PCs, smart phones, wireless services, and more.

Declaring 2005 "the year of mobility," Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday revealed a strategy to expand its opportunities in the mobile market that focuses primarily in the business sector but also targets the consumer market.

The strategy was unveiled at the HP Mobility Summit in San Jose, Calif., the first this year in a series of events and announcements that HP will use to showcase its technology in a "digital, mobile, virtual, and personal" perspective, says Ted Clark, senior VP and general manager of HP's mobile-computing global business unit. "We believe no other company spans the mobility segment like HP," Clark said during the opening keynote of the summit. "HP is working to help adapt technology to the way we really work, live, and interact. We believe that mobility is absolutely top of mind [for businesses]. If you're not putting a mobile strategy in place today, you're going to be left behind."

Among this week's announcements, several were aimed at small and midsize businesses. The company says it's expanding its Smart Office portfolio with mobile and wireless services, including:

• An HP-hosted Microsoft Exchange E-mail service designed for companies that Clark says have found Exchange too costly or complicated to manage internally

• An assessment service to help small and midsize businesses plan and deploy wireless LANs in their plants and offices

• Mobile printing for Pocket PC, a wireless printing system that enables walk-up printing from a handheld computer, such as HP's iPaq

In addition, Clark says HP is making its most impressive notebook-computer introduction in the company's history. HP is adding five series of thin, lightweight business notebooks and tablet PCs. The company also plans to introduce later this year a smart phone that integrates a cell phone with PDA technology, he says. Clark declined to comment on whether that phone will be strictly an HP offering or co-branded.

HP and Nokia Corp. said they will deliver a jointly developed product for the processing of forms using mobile technology. The Mobile Forms Initiative will let users create forms, collect associated data via a mobile device, and transmit the information to a company's IT infrastructure, where it can be saved, shared, and printed, Clark says. The initiative will combine HP's print-on-demand technology and Forms Automation Solution with Nokia's breadth of experience with mobility devices and its Digital Pen technology. Products from the Mobile Forms Initiative are expected to be sold by systems integrators in North America and Western Europe.

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