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HP Wins $100 Million Contract to Help Deliver World's Biggest e-Learning Project

HP Adaptive Infrastructure to Allow up to 350,000 Users Access Internet and Virtual Classrooms in Northern Ireland
PALO ALTO, Calif., March 26, 2003

HP (NYSE:HPQ) today was awarded a $100 million (Euro107 million) contract to provide and manage the technology infrastructure for the groundbreaking Classroom 2000 (C2K) education project in Northern Ireland. The 10-year government initiative, designed to connect the largest number of pupils, teachers and administrators in the world, will enable every child from primary school through university throughout Northern Ireland to have an Internet address and to access virtual classrooms.

HP plans to provide a single adaptive infrastructure connecting up to 350,000 users from the 1,200 schools across Northern Ireland, making this one of the largest and most ambitious education projects in the world. An adaptive infrastructure will enable schools to seamlessly accommodate future technology requirements in response to evolving educational needs.

C2K's contract with HP is for the next five years with an option to extend for a further two years. C2K is also one of the largest installations of Microsoft® Exchange ever implemented.

"C2K is not just about the best use of technology for our schools, it's about the future of the education process," said Jimmy Stewart, director, C2K. "We chose HP for their innovative approach to developing and leveraging our technology infrastructure, their understanding of how our needs may evolve over time and their ability to leverage relationships with strategic partners to ensure smooth integration of tools. As a result, C2K sets a world-class benchmark for e-learning that other countries can look to as a model for their own education systems."

"C2K is a pioneering initiative and can act as a global example of e-learning best practice," said Jim Kent, vice president and general manager, HP Services UK and Ireland. "HP Services designed and implemented an adaptive infrastructure which will help C2K provide the entire educational community in Northern Ireland -- pupils, teachers, administrators and parents -- a more personalized, responsive and interactive educational experience. As the community's needs evolve, the infrastructure has been designed to adapt in response and anticipation of these changes. We are excited to watch the fruits of the Ministry of Education's vision translate to success for Northern Ireland's children, schools and communities."

HP Services has selected Amaze and Hyperwave as strategic partners to work on the C2K project. Hyperwave, a leading supplier of collaborative knowledge management and e-learning software, will provide its eKnowledge Infrastructure software. Amaze, an Internet technology services company specializing in the delivery of e-Learning services, will be responsible for all visual and functional design, and for the integration of the Hyperwave hub software.

Benefits to Transform IT and Education Throughout Northern Ireland

HP's solution for C2K is designed to adapt to long-term changes in technology, curriculum, teaching tools and other needs impacted by a changing school environment. By 2004, most children in the country will have actively experienced features such as video conferencing and posting contributions in the virtual classroom.

Other key benefits include:

  • Every teacher, student and family will be connected from their home or school to the Internet, and each child from his or her first day at primary school and older will have his or her own secure e-mail address.

  • A wider range of resources will be available for both teachers and pupils across Northern Ireland. Resources include digital materials from sources such as the BBC and Channel 4, as well as subscriptions to on-line libraries of curriculum content. This will particularly benefit schools with limited resources.

  • Collaboration (teacher-teacher, pupil-pupil or teacher-pupil) will now be possible through e-mail, text and video conferencing. Educators will be able to share best practices and monitor the pupils' progress more easily, while pupils will be able to work on joint projects across schools and education authorities.

  • Children will have easier access to learning resources inside and outside the school environment. This access will benefit children unable to attend school because of illness, severe weather conditions or prolonged absence. It will also enable parents to support and become more involved in their children's learning experience.

  • The support of an educational technology provider will free teachers to spend time on actual teaching rather than making the IT work.

Hyperwave offers Information Management software solutions to empower information distribution, team collaboration and continuous learning across the extended enterprise. More information about Hyperwave is available at www.hyperwave.com.

Amaze is an Internet technology services company specializing in the delivery of e-learning, Knowledge Management, Content Management and e-Marketing services. The company has an international, award-winning reputation for its expertise in these fields.

About HP

HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.


Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corp.


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About HP

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