HP gives networking, storage partners new tools to reach SMBs

Hewlett-Packard Co. says it’s trying to help its networking partners reduce their time to profitability and better serve the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market with the latest enhancements to its Just Right IT program.

The Just Right IT program, which is designed to help HP channel partners accelerate time-to-revenue by simplifying design and delivery of HP networking, server and storage solutions for SMBs, was launched at HP’s global partner conference in February. Lisa Wolfe, worldwide SMB marketing and strategy leader for HP, said the program is comprised of server, storage, networking and services solutions in soft bundled blocks tied to different customer maturity phases.

“For partners, as critical as solution blocks are for customers, (Just Right IT) creates a whole set of tools, resources and promotions designed to help them accelerate revenue and increase profitability,” said Wolfe.

The newest program under Just Right IT, launched this week, is NetworkIT. It’s designed to improve operational efficiencies for partners working with mobile-centric SMBs with limited IT resources trying to making employees more productive.

“It gets at all the challenges created as a result of the whole bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon,” said Wolfe.

The program provides partners with solution guides and blueprints to help them accelerate solution delivery, focused around business-grade wireless networks, unified communications and collaboration, and secure, unified access and infrastructure. To assist with marketing, there’s also co-branded lead-generation assets, training, guides and other materials.

“For partners, NetworkIT delivers tools to help them drive awareness, resources to generate demand, and solution blocks to help partners quickly access customer needs and get the right solution,” said Wolfe.

HP has also launched HP Wireless Network Solution, which includes both wired and wireless networking optimized for SMBs and, paired with HP Intelligent Management Center, allows SMB IT managers to manage both wired and wireless networks with the same console, instead of with two different tools.

Another component of Just Right IT – HP Simply StoreIT – was launched in May, and is designed to help customers (and partners)  tackle storage-specific issues as they grow, in areas such as server virtualization, file sharing and messaging. It includes training and sales tools also designed to provide best practice references to partners and help them get to profitability faster.

“We’re looking to enable and equip partners to design and deploy these solutions,” said Shannah Thompson, senior manager of worldwide channel sales enablement and marketing for HP storage.

New to the program are HP Small Business Solutions and HP Secure Access and Continuity Solutions. They’re networking, server and storage bundles designed to support IT and business functions such as email, print, file, networking and backup.

“Our goal is to have a … focused enablement methodology for partners, so they’re able to market, design and deploy solutions that address the most common needs of an SMB customer,” said Thompson.

While most of the programs under Just Right IT have been focused on the networking side of HP’s business, in the SMB market in particular customers, and partners, don’t delineate between networking, and the endpoint solutions from HP’s printing and personal systems group (PPS). Wolfe hinted PPS solutions could be coming to Just Right IT in the future.

“We’re definitely looking at integrating them; they’re not integrated into the program at this time,” said Wolfe. “We do have a roadmap. I won’t pre-announce the roadmap, but you’ll see a rolling set of announcements. This won’t be the last.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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