Major oems Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM are offering upgraded systems, software and services targeted at the increasingly coveted small- and midsize-business customers.
HP this week will roll out the second round of offerings in its Smart Office campaign targeting SMBs. The products are part of a $750 million development effort announced in the fall.
At the heart of Smart Office are so-called Infrastructure Solutions that the Palo Alto, Calif., company will provide in conjunction with VAR partners. The hardware, software and installation packages will address four key business issues—file and print, communications and collaboration, document management, and business continuity—officials said.
The products will also include new printers with document management capabilities, the new NX 5000 laptop with a bigger screen, the low-priced DX 2000 MicroTower desktop PC and Serial ATA additions to HPs Modular Smart Array line of clustered storage devices. The product blitz also will include the ProLiant ML110, which is designed to give SMBs server functionality for the cost of a desktop computer. It is priced at $499.
Mike Tillges, president of OneSource Logistics, said the key attribute he was looking for in a server for his seven-employee business was reliability. His 6-month-old company, which provides third-party logistics, has been using converted PCs for its server needs while generating 2.7GB of data on a monthly basis.
"Using a PC as a server has kept me up at night," said Tillges in Minneapolis. "Im crunching, for a small business, a lot of data, and if I lose any of it, Im dead. I cant lose that data."
IBM this month unveiled upgraded single-processor tower and rack-optimized servers for SMBs. These included such standard features as simple-swap Serial ATA drives, enhanced RAID capabilities for mirroring the hard drive and the ability to power on and power off the systems remotely.
IBMs eServer xSeries 206 tower configuration and 306 rack-optimized server will offer the latest 3.2GHz Pentium 4 chip, which includes an 800MHz front-side bus, said IBM officials in Raleigh, N.C.