HP Unveils Slew of Products, Services for Midmarket

HP rolled out a series of annoucements concerning new products and services designed to help midmarket companies during the economic crisis, including special financing offers and three new lines of printers.

Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest technology company, announced more than a dozen products, solutions and services designed to help small- to medium-size businesses manage, protect and grow their businesses, as part of the company's Total Care initiative aimed at midmarket companies.

In addition to announcing products such as cost (and energy) efficient inkjet printers, document scanners and digital signage displays, the company also unveiled new partner programs designed to help SMB customers quickly identify HP partners who can maximize their technology investments. "In today's economic climate, it's not just about making every dollar count, but about making fewer dollars do more," said HP's vice president of worldwide commercial sales Kathy Chou. "Today's announcements further demonstrate our commitment to SMB customers and exemplify how we are helping them get more results from their technology investments through HP Total Care."

HP unveiled three families of inkjet printers, designed to reduce SMBs cost per page by 50 percent. The HP Officejet Pro 8500 All-in-One series ($299-$499), the HP Officejet Pro 8000 Printer series ($149-$179), which offers embedded wired and wireless networking options and automatic two-sided printing and the HP Officejet 6500 All-in-One series ($149-$199) are complimented by new ink cartridges. All will be available for purchase later this month.

The company also beefed up its set of Total Care services and solutions with offerings such as Insight Remote Support software, which provides a direct link between SMBs and their HP solution providers, as well as generating service dispatches for hardware issues on HP servers and storage without active involvement of staff or support phone calls.

HP's Total Care Business Solutions will provide new discount purchase and financing offerings for HP ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers, HP StorageWorks storage and HP ProCurve networking, which the company said is structured to help SMBs lower investment costs and simplify deployment. In the United States, customers also can receive rebates on discounted server bundles with the new HP Total Care Access Card.

HP also unveiled special offers and free resources for SMBs in an effort to aid growth and technology management, including rebate programs and expanding Web-based resources to include the Small Business Marketing Guide, an online community focused on small business marketing.

In one such cash back offer, SMBs would receive up to $1,000 cash back and are eligible for a free Total Care Access card, a $49 value, when they purchase new HP LaserJet or HP Officejet Pro printers with the HP Trade-in and Save offering. Customers would also receive free recycling of their old printer for added cost savings and convenience.

In addressing the financial strain the credit freeze and global financial crisis has put on midmarket companies, HP announced several financing promotions, including a zero percent 12-month promotion and a 36-month lease that provides a fair market value purchase option at the end of the lease term.

IDC's vice president of SMB research Ray Boggs says while total worldwide technology spending will only grow by 0.5 percent in 2009, SMB technology spending will grow by 3.2 percent, despite the economic downturn. "SMBs are feeling the heat to optimize their technology investments by coordinating new purchases with existing resources while also ensuring that they have enough support and funding," he said. "Technology providers like HP are in the best position to benefit from this growing segment because they take a comprehensive approach to meeting the diverse needs of SMB customers."