HP outlines public-sector strategy

Combining Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. product lines is allowing the new HP to offer more complete IT solutions, HP officials said during a company conference held in Washington June 11.

Debbie Dunnam, vice president for HP services, said the merger allows the company to combine Compaq's strong offering in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT operating systems with HP's strength in the Unix operating system.

Jim Weynand, vice president and general manager for HP's public-sector unit, said Compaq's Proliant line of servers "will cross over into the mainstay" of HP's product lines. He also said Compaq's "iPAC" pocket PC and the AlphaServer will retain their nameplates.

Both Dunnam and Weynand stressed the company's research and development efforts as a way to distinguish it from competitors.

"Anybody can put tops on bottoms," Weynand said. He said organizations would find it more beneficial to partner with a company that can incorporate emerging technologies into workflow. As an example, Dunnam referred to a $100 million contract HP signed with Starbucks Corp. in February to offer wireless Internet access to its customers.

The two-day conference, which continues June 12, is being held to brief both HP employees and public-sector customers on the direction the merged company is taking in terms of its products and services. The Palo Alto, Calif., company expects the public-sector market to be worth more than $5 billion in sales.

As a result of this broader expertise, the company seeks to offer complete IT outsourcing solutions, a tactic both companies pursued before the merger.

In an August 2001 story in Washington Technology, Ron Ross, then head of Compaq's federal unit, emphasized the company's service thrust would focus on offering one-stop IT infrastructure, hardware procurement and support for agencies and integrators.

Dunnam, who was a vice president in Compaq's global solutions unit before the merger, voiced a similar message.

"We can offer a complete IT outsourcing solution," she said, noting the company is providing IT functions for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan association and Bank of America Corp., as well as for public-sector clients, such as the Boston police force.

In services, the company now ranks No. 3 in sales, following EDS Corp. and IBM Corp., with an expected $1.3 billion in annual sales for both commercial and government work, according to Weynand.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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