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HP rolls out data center services aimed at boosting IT ROI for global SMBs

|Includes: DELL, HP Inc. (HPQ), IBM, MSFT, ORCL
In a move to tap into the small- to mid-sized business (NYSEARCA:SMB) data center market, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HP) just rolled out a set of services aimed at helping smaller outfits drive the same IT efficiencies as larger enterprises.

The portfolio is designed to improve efficiency and increase IT budget flexibility, while mitigating risks and maximizing return on investment (NYSE:ROI) from existing IT skills and assets. The services also target dealing with rapid change and the simplifying of management of multi-vendor environments. HP also launched procurement options for custom integration operations and improvement services. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

“Our new services are based on drivers that impact owners of small- to mid-sized data centers,” said Ian Jagger, worldwide marketing manager of Infrastructure and Operations for HP’s Technology Services Group. “These services help our customers deal with the challenge of managing IT complexity and sprawl, space and infrastructure limitations, and limited IT budgets and staff.”

Improving operational efficiency

Recognizing the SMB organization's requirements around speed, efficiency and 24/7 resource accessibility with shared virtual IT services, HP is delivering four new services designed to help clients gain tighter environment-wide control and broader, deeper visibility into support-related functions.

HP Multivendor Support Services works to help clients increase service levels and reduce the complexity and costs of managing heterogeneous IT environments. By exercising global buying power among vendors and suppliers, HP said it can effectively lower the cost of support contracts.

“We have been offering multi-vendor support solutions to our customers,” says Dionne Morgan, worldwide solutions marketing manager for HP’s Technology Services group. “In addition to IBM and Dell servers, we also now support Sun servers and Sun Solaris 10 for HP ProLiant servers. And for HP Integrity servers we’re now supporting Novell, SUSE Linux and Microsoft Windows Server 2008.”

On the operational efficiency front, HP also announced HP Insight Remote Support to monitor a customer’s environment around the clock and provide remote diagnostics, troubleshooting and a support solution. HP added support for VMware virtual environments. Meanwhile, HP Active Chat offers real-time Web chat support for problem and the HP Data Center Training Symposium will move to help companies develop a custom training plan to increase the effectiveness of IT staff.

Increasing computing capacity

HP also announced value assessment services structured for data centers up to 5,000 square feet in size. The services work to help SMBs find ways to increase computing capacity and cut energy costs.

The new services include Basic Capacity Analysis for Smaller Footprints Assessment, Infrastructure Condition and Capacity Analysis for Smaller Footprints Assessment, and Energy Efficiency Analysis for Smaller Footprints Assessment.

“These services are entirely differentiated because only licensed engineers can deliver these services and HP’s competitors don’t have licensed engineers,” Jagger says. “Our competitors have to partner with specialist companies to deliver these services. We’re also restructuring these services to be sold by our channel partners.”

Offering flexible purchase options

Finally, HP promises to make it easier for SMBs to procure value services that will help them better manage limited resources and drive business value from their technology infrastructure through HP Units of Service and HP Proactive Select Services.

“We’ve taken the customized services available from our technical services portfolio and converted them into what we call Units of Service,” Jagger says. “A Unit of Service is a deliverable at a highly granular level. Any given custom service could be made up of multiple Units of Service.”

HP Units of Service gives SMBs access to value services from HP through channel partners that aim to maximize ROI and set the stage for business growth. For example, SMBs can tap into HP custom data center consulting services such as relocation, integration, operations and improvement.

HP Proactive Select Services let clients move to a variable budget model, acquiring expert resources on-demand to address changing data center needs. HP has included Server Firmware Update Installation Service, Technical Online Seminars, Virtual Tape Library Health Check and LeftHand SAN/iQ Update Service to its portfolio.

“With these services, companies can focus their IT staff on strategic IT investments that differentiate them in the marketplace,” Jagger says. “What you’re seeing here is more and more services brought to customers at a value level through the channel that allows them to focus where they can drive the greatest ROI from staff.”

The SMB IT services and support market is ripe for efficiency and lower total costs. And the SMB arena is also a prime user for upcoming cloud and hybrid-sourced services. So now everything as a service can go anywhere.
BriefingsDirect contributor Jennifer LeClaire provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached at and