HP has announced a brace of new programs, services and solution updates to help SMBs prepare for the explosion of mobile apps and devices hitting their IT departments.
The new strategies have been chiefly designed to simplify, secure and optimise the mobility needs of small and medium-sized businesses.
“Despite economic uncertainties, Australian SMBs are increasingly embracing mobility to improve employee productivity and drive business efficiency," Chris Spence, indirect manager, enterprise group, HP South Pacific told CRN.
"With these new solutions, HP is empowering SMBs to thrive in this mobile world by providing simple, reliable and economical computing to optimise existing IT investments.”
Five new services specific to SMB mobility needs have been announced by HP, scheduled to be rolled out between now and September.
First cab off the rank is HP's business protection solution, which provides businesses with customisable layers of protection to defend against data, application, network and system-based attacks.
"HP business protection solutions is tailored for SMBs faced with a growing mobile workforce," Spence told CRN. "[It provides] preconfigured reference architectures that guide SMBs in the design of a risk mitigation program."
HP's client virtualisation SMB, meanwhile, is a virtual desktop solution that provides an accelerated path to cloud computing.
"The solution includes reference architectures and client virtualisation software from Citrix, Microsoft or VMware," explained Spence.
The HP client virtualisation SMB reference architecture for Citrix VDI-in-a-Box and HP client virtualisation SMB reference architecture for VMware View are available today.
HP communications & collaboration (UC&C) is a collaborative solution from HP and Microsoft. The service integrates Microsoft Lync with VoIP phones, networking, servers and storage on an integrated platform.
"UC&C delivers secure, reliable communication and collaboration tools on tablets, smart phones and other mobile clients via a reliable network," Spence said of the new platform.
HP's transformation experience workshop for mobility helps organisations develop a mobile strategy for their existing infrastructure and compliance requirements.
"It aligns business and IT stakeholders to uncover potential inhibitors and opportunities pertaining to mobile technology and build a roadmap with tools that prioritise and implement policies to prevent security attacks," Spence said.
The mobility workshop is available globally through HP technology services and HP authorised partners. Pricing varies according to location and implementation.
On the hardware side, HP is offering the HP 1910 8G switch series; a range of smart managed fixed-configuration gigabit ethernet lite layer 3 switches designed for small businesses.
The 1910 8G switch series is powered by 802.3af PoE, enabling powering of client devices like IP phones, thin clients, wireless access points, and others, without additional wiring.
According to Spence, these deliver "simple, reliable and cost-effective network access for rich media applications, such as voice and video for mobile deployments".
The HP 1910 switch series is available worldwide starting at a list price of $A275.00. The switches come with a lifetime warranty covering unit, fans, and power supplies
Updates and expansions
In addition to the above products and services, HP has tweaked several pre-existing SMB solutions to help businesses address the changing technology landscape.
This includes X5000 G2 storage; an expansion of the X5000 portfolio designed to help SMBs manage unstructured data growth on Windows networks via seamless end-to-end integration, the HP MSR router series; an all-in-one, customisable platform that allows clients to combine a number of service modules to streamline deployment of networks, and the HP client virtualisation; analysis and modeling service; which analyses an existing IT environment and offers a data collection tool for developing a customised virtualisation implementation.
Pricing for the HP X5000 storage and HP MSR series start at $A35,749 and $A729, respectively.
HP has launched a number of training and educational services to assist its partners in understanding and deploying the updated products and services roadmap.
"HP provides its channel partners with a broad range of programs to help them drive growth, create new revenue streams and ensure collaboration," said HP's Spence.
"Specific to HP’s SMB partners is the enhanced coffee coaching program with Microsoft. This online community enables small business resellers to learn from and interact with experts from HP and Microsoft to become more knowledgeable about the key products and technologies that can help service customers better."
The coffee coaching program provides channel partners with specialised 5-10 minute sales and technical training videos.
"Each video provides actionable information to the viewer to enable them to increase reach across multiple geographies," said Spence.
A particular focus of the videos is how social media sites can be effectively leveraged to educate and engage resellers about Microsoft and HP products and technologies for small businesses.
Get more information about HP's coffee coaching in the video below:
HP also offers collaborative support through its foundation care services; a part of the company's new ServiceONE framework. Collaborative support helps channel partners address complex hardware and major independent software vendor (ISV) software issues.
"HP takes the lead on behalf of the customer to engage the ISV directly to work to solve the problem on the channel partner’s behalf," explained Spence.