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HP and IPC Magazines Forge Strategic E-Services Alliance to Launch Women's Internet Network.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

PALO ALTO, Calif., and LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2000

Hewlett-Packard Company and IPC Magazines, Europe's leading publisher of women's magazines, have formed an alliance to deliver to BEME.COM the most comprehensive Internet destination for women. BEME.COM is a lifestyle digital brand that draws on IPC's experience as the No. 1 publisher of women's magazines in the UK, with 52 percent of UK women, or 12.5 million, reading an IPC title every week.

This is the third brand to be unveiled by IPC Electric, the digital trading arm of IPC Magazines, and follows IPC Electric's recent announcement that it will be partnering with HP to deliver a raft of global digital ventures. Late last year, IPC Magazines announced a $10 million, three-year alliance with HP, whereby HP provides the infrastructure, business and technology consultancy, development and delivery of an e-services strategy to underpin IPC's Internet operations.

HP WAP Enables BEME.COM to Deliver Editorial, Advice, Inspiration

to Women on the Move

IPC Electric and HP will closely collaborate on new Internet technologies, building on IPC Electric's stated business strategy of using emerging technology to transfer content to new technology platforms as they come to market. At a European press launch today, IPC and HP demonstrated how BEME.COM has been enabled for mobile e-services via a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) solution.

BEME.COM currently features several hundred news items and specially commissioned articles. It comprises six channels, including the &uot;MY BEME&uot; channel, which can be personalized, and approximately 7 or 8 subchannels. A selection of relevant articles and features drawn from BEME.COM's online editorial content has been &uot;wapped&uot; so that women on the move can access BEME.COM from their WAP-enabled mobile phones.

&uot;We know what women in our target market require,&uot; said Sly Bailey, chief executive officer of IPC Magazines. &uot;On the whole, they're time poor but money rich. They want an Internet destination that is relevant, informative and entertaining. BEME.COM will provide easy access to a wealth of expertise across every aspect of women's lives.&uot;

&uot;The business mantra used to be that if it was mission-critical or business-critical, then that operation had to be kept in-house,&uot; said Kevin Kerrigan, managing director of IPC Electric. &uot;That's old-world thinking. My team needs to focus on the business at hand -- the business we do well. We've insourced our intellectual strengths, our experience of building and managing brands, and outsourced our business technology operations. HP and IPC have created an ideas factory where our two companies work side by side, exchanging information and expertise.&uot;

&uot;This is a perfect example of a well-established enterprise understanding that its heritage is not necessarily its future -- an enterprise that has readily grasped the potential of the Net to generate new revenue streams,&uot; said Nick Earle, head of HP's E-services.Solutions business. &uot;IPC has a clear picture of its destination. It's a sophisticated operator with a consistent track record managing consumer brands. By transferring this expertise online and working with HP, it is building an e-services path through to Chapter 2 of the Internet.&uot;

Technology Background
-- sits on the BRINX infrastructure, a secure e-services
 environment designed and managed by HP and driven by HP 9000
 N-Class servers.

-- HP has provided a range of technical and business consultancy
 covering all stages of the e-commerce life cycle, from security
 and legal expertise through to payment processing, data integrity
 and transaction fulfillment.

-- HP has designed and built an e-commerce engine for IPC Electric
 that is transferable across the stable of IPC Web sites.

-- A key benefit of this managed infrastructure is the ability to
 deliver bandwidth on tap -- highly available, scalable bandwidth
 using an SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) backbone.

About IPC

BEME.COM is the women's network brand from IPC Electric, IPC's newly-formed Internet business. In September 1999, IPC announced an initial investment of (pound)25 million in e-commerce developments and BEME.COM represents the second launch within this portfolio following the unveiling of unmissable tv, the most comprehensive tv listings and entertainment website on the Web.

IPC is Europe's largest publisher of magazines for women. IPC publishes three of the UK's top five women's weeklies in Woman, Woman's Own and Woman's Weekly, Britain's number two fashion monthly Marie Claire, and is the market leader in the home interest sector with Ideal Home being the biggest-selling title at UK newstrade. Its portfolio covers the full range of lifestyle interests that appeal to modern women, from health to fashion, parenting to home.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services for business and home -- is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services.

HP plans to launch Agilent Technologies as an independent company by mid-calendar 2000. Agilent consists of HP's test and measurement, semiconductor products, chemical analysis and healthcare solutions businesses, and has leading positions in multiple market segments.

HP has 83,200 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $42.4 billion in its 1999 fiscal year. Information about HP, its products and the company's Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 4, 2000
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