HP To Launch Services For Retailers

The services are designed to help retailers with point-of-sale systems, Webcasting, and pharmaceutical and health-care logistics.
Hewlett-Packard & Co. on Monday is scheduled to introduce three services for retailers, the company said Friday.

Retail became a $3 billion market for HP in 2005. The emphasis to support companies is transitioning to include services, along side hardware, to create a more structured approach. "The services are priced from a book, so any HP sales person or partner will know how much it will take to maintain the retailer's infrastructure," said Robert Corbitt, director for retail industry solutions at HP. "We also have a service we'll launch with Microsoft."

The services aim to help retailers design, deploy and manage their in-store or store-to-store IT infrastructure. There are three offerings. HP Retail Agility Services will provide in-store, on-site and maintenance of point-of-sale (POS) systems for either HP or legacy devices.

Then there is the HP Retail Webcasting Platform. It will enable retailers to deliver media e-learning, corporate communications and product information across the enterprise or to suppliers. The service is hosted or managed internally.

For pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare companies attempting to meet radio frequency identification ((RFID) compliance, HP has partnered with Cyclone Commerce to deliver a solution to closely track and authenticate drugs as they travel from the manufacturer to the consumer.

HP will integrate Cyclone Commerce software on HP ProLiant and HP Integrity server platforms at retail pharmacies to provide real-time information and visibility of pharmaceuticals in transit. "A typical store will have a server, two to four workstations, and maybe two to four POS devices, but they are completely separate from the system in the rest of the store," Corbitt said.

Retailers from 7-Eleven to Albertson's to Starbucks to Chico to Staples have turned to HP to help them migrate from propriety systems to lower cost open- and industry-standard platforms from Windows to Linux. For example, more than 150,000 of the HP rp5000 point-of-sale solution have been deployed at retail businesses since its introduction two years ago.

HP is expected to announce the services and milestones at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Convention & Expo on Monday.

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