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August 24, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

The Hewlett-Packard Co has added eight new partners to its Covision program, an initiative designed to match independent software vendors (ISVs) with HP hardware and internet-savvy channel partners. In general, HP moves its boxes in one of three ways ways: directly, through its Enterprise Accounts Organization (EAO); direct to consumers or retail outlets; or indirectly through resellers and systems integrators. More than half of HP’s total business goes through these indirect channels. About a year ago, Greg Mihran, manager of internet business development for HP’s Commercial Channels Organization, started looking at how to protect the channel from the threat of disintermediation presented by the internet. Unambitious box- movers were obviously about to lose out to VARs that could offer high-margin, high-value consulting services. As a result of this insight, Mihran says, HP developed its Covision program. The idea is to identify leading software in particular niches, marry it with HP hardware, software and services and move it out into the enterprise through appropriately skilled resellers. For example, HP’s ISV partners include BackWeb, a push pioneer which now sells its software as knowledge distribution, Icat and Open Market with their ecommerce solutions and BroadVision, SilkNet and Lucent Technologies in the collaboration software space. All that, when blended with HP stuff, can create a bundle to be sold through a channel of resellers, VARs, systems integrators and even ISPs, Mihran says. Covision is an enabling program, a catalyst. We are building a consortium around specific application areas. To Mihran’s pleasant surprise, after the initial announcement of Covision in June, several HP software units spoke up saying they would like to work with the chosen ISVs – or announcing that they already were. Accordingly, this latest announcement sees HP’s Firehunter, OpenView and VeriFone signed up as part of the Covision business model. The other new partners are BackWeb, Apexx Technology Inc, F5 Labs, Elemental Software, Resonate Inc, Trend Micro Inc, Web Trends Corp and WebManage Technologies Inc.

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