HP to launch $US750m SMB campaign

HP will spend $US750 million on R&D, marketing, sales programs and services in a global campaign aimed at the SMB market.

HP CEO Carly Fiorina said the campaign, which includes more than 100 new products and programs, aims to consolidate the vendors’ hold on small business.

“HP is the worldwide leader in this customer segment today, generating more than $US21 billion in revenue annually, and we intend to extend our leadership as the preferred go-to partner and supplier of technology to SMBs,” said Fiorina.

The campaign will include warranty extension packages including: application support; data backup and recovery; finance offerings aimed at simplifying multi-vendor purchasing, trade-ins and recycling; and an online program for wireless solutions.

New product offerings will include HP ProLiant servers with pre-installed, tested and optimised Windows Small Business Server 2003. There will also be new imaging and printing solutions and new desktop systems including an HP Integrated Work Centre, Desktop Access Centre and a Healthcare PC.

The new global SMB strategy announced by Fiorina was “very close” to the model already adopted in Australia, said small business marketing manager Wilma Walsh.

HP Australia would continue to focus on SMBs under 500 employees in size, while the global target SMB market was up to 1000 seats, said Walsh.

“A key success factor for us in Q2 was the partner programs we put in place. Most SMB customers are looking for a local dealer and trusted advisor,” said Walsh.

While declining to reveal how much HP’s direct business contributed to its growth in SMB shipments, Walsh said “most of the growth is coming from our partners”.

HP’s campaign to offer SMB-focused reseller training was now in its third round, having already reached 400 partners nationwide, said Walsh. The vendor is also continuing to offer sales tools, business building and demand-generation activities.

The demand-generation activities undertaken by HP in the second quarter had driven 31,000 hits to HP’s reseller finder on its website, said Walsh.