From the first quarter of next year, the companies will jointly sell and support hosted services including e-mail, instant messaging, wireless access, group scheduling and file storage.
The offering will be based on Critical Path's messaging software and hosted on HP servers at its data centres in Europe, North America and Asia.
The services will target carriers and other service providers, corporations looking to replace existing e-mail systems or extend them to workers in factories or remote locations, and small business/home office users.
HP already offers hosted messaging services based on Microsoft's Exchange software and will continue to do so. It chose to add Critical Path to its roster in part because its software is popular among carriers, and the deal will help HP to compete more effectively in that market against Sun Microsystems and IBM, said Joe Hogan, vice-president of marketing for HP's managed services group.
Critical Path has a suite of messaging products that it has licensed to some 200 carriers and 750 enterprises globally for deployment in-house. It also hosts Web-based e-mail services for 500 carriers, service providers and large corporations.
With the HP deal, its hosted offerings will expand to include other capabilities in its software platform such as instant messaging, wireless access and file storage.
Outsourcing its data centre operations to HP will also allow Critical Path to focus its resources on developing the messaging products it sells. With the help of HP's sales and support teams, the deal should also help Critical Path reach more customers and provide better service, said Critical Path chief executive officer Bill McGlashan.