HP bottles up "Smart Office" initiative

HP bottles up "Smart Office" initiative

HP is reorganising its reseller channel around new SMB-specific products and services.

The company has launched its Smart Office marketing initiative, which it hopes will strengthen its position as market leader in the SMB IT sector. Smart Office includes the bundling of other vendor products with HP offerings.

“It isn’t a specific product launch, it’s an approach to SMBs,” channel and customer marketing manager, Paul Robson, said. "We have realigned the organisation to focus on SMBs.'

HP claims to offer Australia’s largest customer support network, with 80 service locations, 100 certified channel partners and 3500 HP services personnel countrywide. They include 3000 specialists in Microsoft, Unix, and Cisco.

“Three-thousand partners in Australia providing local support and expertise [that are] really crucial to the success of HP Smart Office,” medium business marketing manager, Wilma Walsh, said.

Globally, HP has spent $US750 million on its Smart Office initiative.

The company said it had worked with customers, the channel and its staff, including the use of focus groups, to see how it could improve its products, services and customer care in the small business market.

The new products and services include Smart Solutions, billed as a solutions framework for SMBs.

HP's Smart Infrastructure Solutions include bundles of file and print management products, communications and collaboration products, document management products and storage products.

HP's Smart Business Application Solutions include SAP Business One and mySAP All-in-One software, plus IP telephony hardware called IP-Office from HP and Avaya.

New SMB-ready products also include ProLiant servers, HP StorageWorks, HP Compaq notebooks and HP Officejet and Laserjet model printers. HP is also extending its Care Pack services, finance and buy-back options.

Researchers AMI--Partners estimates the IT needs of SMB firms in Australia will grow from $20.3 billion in 2003 to $25.7 billion in 2008.

"We will be driving that [growth] mainly through the channel," Walsh said. "The channel is they key to the success of the SMB initiative."

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