Hewlett-Packard wants to show it’s serious about getting more business from small and medium-sized organizations.
One way is by putting on a glitzy show for about 150 customers and partners in San Francisco, which ends today and touts SMB customers using its hardware.
But channel partners might appreciate more the new products the company announced, particularly its lowest-priced single-processor x86 server.
The ProLiant ML115 comes in a version powered by an AMD Athlon 3500+ 2.2Ghz single core processor and priced at $649 under HP’s Smart Buy pre-configured program.
“This segment, the 1P tower, has traditionally been one in which HP hasn’t performed as well as some of our competition,” James Mack, ProLiant server manager for Hewlett-Packard Canada said in a telephone interview in explaining what he called “aggressive pricing.”
“This is putting us in a price point right in the middle of that battle. We see a lot of upside for our partners to leverage this solution into the small business space, where perhaps we haven’t been selling as much.”
James Stewart, national account manager of Insight Canada, at the show to watch one of the VAR’s Winnipeg customers give a presentation, said the server will have appeal.
“I have customers who will demand something in that price range,” he said, “not necessarily because they are a very small business, but because they have an application for a low-cost server for a few branches.”
The ML115 is an entry-level server, aimed at companies using a desktop computer for functions such as file and print serving, shared Internet access, LAN infrastructure or a small team server.
Under the Smart Buy deal the Athlon-powered ML115 comes with 512MB of ECC memory and a 160MB SATA hard drive. The chassis can hold up to four hard drives totaling 2TB.
The ML115 can also be ordered with an AMD dual core Opteron CPU. Also optional is an HP LightsOut 100 remote management card.
The previous lowest priced model in the line, the $699 Intel Celeron-powered ML110, will stay in the catalogue.
The server was one of a pile of new products announced by HP to show it can appeal to the technology needs of SMBs.
–Compaq 6515b and 6715b notebooks integrated with the latest mobile broadband, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies. They come with a choice of AMD Turion 64 X2 dual core processors;
–ProCurve 1400 Series and 1700 Series network switches said to be easy to install;
–the StorageWorks Media Vault Pro for expandable network storage;
–the Compaq dx2300, a business desktop PC with Intel Core 2 Duo processors;
–and the rp5700 Point of Sale system, which includes optional peripherals. It can be configured to run Microsoft’s Point of Sale 2.0 software.
Also in a bid to appeal to SMBs, HP said paperless leasing is now available in Canada, as well as special financing deal for small organizations — a zero per cent lease for 27 months. The offer is good until April 30.
Michael McAvoy, HP Canada’s director of small and medium businesses, said the San Francisco event was staged to show the company’s commitment to this market.
“This is not about technology for technology’s sake,” he said HP wanted to show, but that the company has “an understanding that small businesses have technology needs around running their businesses, protecting their data, mobilizing their employees.”