Critical Path, HP Sign Managed Services Deal

The new service combines CriticalPath's messaging software with HP's IT infrastructure and data center management services.

Critical Path Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. announced an alliance earlier this week that calls for the two companies to offer a managed messaging service to small-to-medium-sized businesses as well as large enterprises, carriers and ISPs.

The new service combines CriticalPaths messaging software with HPs IT infrastructure and data center management services. The deal calls for Critical Path to outsource its own data center operations to HP, though it will still provide applications management services and product development.

Officials of the two companies valued the deal at more than $100 million.

Both companies will market and sell the new service. In addition, HP will provide system integration services for Critical Paths packaged messaging software.

"With this alliance, we are expanding our hosted messaging business, a business that we pioneered, to also provide a complete managed messaging offering leveraging HPs strong brand," said Critical Path Chairman and CEO William McGlashan Jr. in a statement. "We will jointly run the messaging service, with each company focusing on what it does best."

The managed messaging service will offer a suite of integrated applications that will include e-mail, wireless access, instant messaging, group scheduling, personal address book, registered mail, Internet file storage, and anti-spam and anti-virus protection.

HP will initially deploy Critical Paths solutions in its data centers in Europe, North America and Asia, and provide multilingual customer service for Critical Path, officials said.

Uli Holdenried, senior vice president at HP Services, said in a statement that Critical Path could increase its focus on product development and application management while leaving services like hosting, data center management and remote management to HP.

"This relationship allows HP to better help our customers decrease costs, adapt to change and provide a broader portfolio of messaging services to their employees and customers," said Holdenried.