HP Targets SMBs with BladeSystem Platform

The company's new configuration offers a smaller and more affordable power enclosure. HP is giving more training and marketing tools to channel partners in an effort to help them sell and service the systems.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is moving to make it easier for small and midsize businesses to adopt its BladeSystem platform.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company on Thursday unveiled a new BladeSystem configuration with a smaller and more affordable power enclosure.

Through its services unit, HP also wants to make it easier to install and deploy the blade server platform.

In addition, HP is making more training and marketing tools available to channel partners to help them sell and service BladeSystems.

The moves are part of an initiative unveiled by HP in March to drive BladeSystem adoption among SMBs, said Vince Gayman, director of worldwide SMB product programs at HP.

"Most of the success weve had [with BladeSystem] has been in the enterprise or real sophisticated medium businesses … that have an IT focus to them," Gayman said.

"What were looking for is the more commercial medium business. … What were trying to enable is for that customer that might only have 10 or 20 servers today, blades will be an alternative that they might not have considered before."

HPs Blades for Business—part of an expansion of its Smart Office initiative—will use a combination of products and services to make blade systems more accessible to SMBs, he said.

HP is offering a smaller, more affordable 1U (1.75-inch) power enclosure with up to six power supplies.

The power enclosure also is included as part of a bundled offering that includes a single ProLiant blade server, a BladeSystem enclosure and management software, starting at $3,099.

In addition, HP is offering a new "care package" to customers—the Installation and Startup for BladeSystem Infrastructure—through its services group to help get the blade platform up and running.

Through its BladeSystem Partner Sales Kit, HP is helping channel partners with tools to help them sell, service and support BladeSystem platforms.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead more here about IBMs efforts to improve information management for SMBs.

Later this month, HP will include links in its Americas Partner Portal to the Blades for Business Solution Guide, offering a host of training and marketing collateral to partners.

"Because blades [installations] are typically a fairly involved process, weve had the most success with very knowledgeable, very local pre- and post-sales support," Gayman said.

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