HP is rolling out a host of hardware and software solutions, and a line of financing options, designed to give SMBs access to easy-to-manage and energy-efficient products that will help them as they take advantage of the economic recovery. Key among these are new SMB-targeted PCs, servers and storage devices, as well as collaboration tools.
Hewlett-Packard is looking to drive enterprise-class
capabilities to the SMB space.
HP on Nov. 9 unveiled a host of hardware and software
products and financing options designed to help smaller businesses get
technology that takes advantage of such trends as energy efficiency and
The new offerings acknowledge that while they may be
smaller in size, these businesses need technology for many of the same reasons
their larger brethren do, Kathy Chou, vice president of worldwide SMB strategy and
commercial sales for HP, said in an interview.
Issues such as performance and efficiency are
"ubiquitous no matter what size company you are or at what stage you are," Chou
said. "All of [these offerings] not only save costs, but make you more effective."
These will continue to become important as the
economic recovery continues, she said, adding that SMBs will be key drivers in
the recovery. A key aim of the new SMB offerings is to give these companies,
many of which have few if any IT employees of their own, similar technology
capabilities as larger enterprises, Chou said.
The offerings include the HP Pro 3000 Series business
desktop PCs, which Chou said are designed to be flexible and easy to manage.
They run Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system, which many in the industry
believe will help fuel a refresh of aging business PCs.
"There is a lot of interest around Windows 7," Chou
said. "A lot of customers stayed with [Windows] XP and did not migrate to Vista.
Now you have a lot of PCs that are six or seven years old."
HP also is adding to its Direct Connect collaboration
solutions, including the vendor's Virtual Rooms Web conferencing offering that
allows up to four connections in one conference. Other collaboration tools in
the Direct Connect portfolio include Virtual Support Room, which lets support
technicians access and control other computers online to fix problems for
customers and other offices; Huddle.net, which is a cloud computing environment
that gives users collaboration, project management and document sharing
capabilities without having to download software; and Norton Online Backup from
Symantec, which backs up data and media content to an online location.
In addition, HP is rolling out new ProLiant G6
servers. The ProLiant ML 110 is being offered as a first server for small
businesses that offers integrated management that makes it easy to use without
the need for in-house IT resources. The DL 120 has similar capabilities in a
rack-mount form factor, Pierce said.
On the networking side, HP is rolling out its ProCurve
2520 Switch Series designed to enable SMBs to more easily deploy voice, video
and wireless solutions, which can help increase collaboration and reduce power,
cooling and operational costs.
The standards-based switches can be fit into existing
IT environments, and setup is simplified because of a Web interface. The
switches also offer the choice of Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet
Businesses can connect IP phones directly to the
switches via support for PoE (Power over Ethernet), which eliminates the need
for another power supply.
"[The switches] are reliable, easy to use and can
scale," Pierce said.
HP also is rolling out three offerings in the storage
space, including the StorageWorks DAT 320 tape drive, which Pierce said doubles
the capacity of the previous offering and consumes half the power.
"You're getting more storage for less power with more
performance," she said.
HP also is unveiling the StorageWorks D2D backup
system and LeftHand P4000 SAN (storage-area network) solution, which offers new
HP's SimpleSave hard disk drives allow for the
automatic finding and backing up of data on the PC, with no software needed to
install or configure on the system. The hard disks come in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB
In addition, the vendor is offering bundles of
ProLiant servers, StorageWorks storage products and ProCurve networking devices
with Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2, which includes the software maker's
Hyper-V virtualization technology. The ProLiants offer SMBs a 100 percent
increase in overall performance over current HP servers available to them and a
95 percent reduction in power, cooling and management costs, said Kristin
Pierce, worldwide director of SMB solutions for HP's ProCurve networking
The bundles with Microsoft's server OS gives SMBs the
chance to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization, which is in demand
among the smaller businesses as well as larger enterprises.
"Across the board, virtualization is a trend that
we're seeing," Pierce said.
In the printing space, Instant-On technology enables
HP's compact LaserJet P2055 printers to save up to 50 percent more energy over
traditional fusing technology, and HP's Eco Solutions Print Console tool lets
SMBs manage a printer's energy and paper use.
HP Financial Services also offers a number of
financing solutions designed to help SMBs access HP products.
"We wanted to figure out how to make it simple [for
SMBs] to purchase our solutions," Chou said.