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9/8/2010
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HP Rolls Out Bevy of New SMB Products

Hewlett-Packard Co. has emerged as one of the top IT suppliers to small and midsize businesses. To maintain that position, the company unveiled a suite of new networking, computer, and storage products - with many of the items focused on companies with 10 to 25 employees.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has emerged as one of the top IT suppliers to small and midsize businesses. To maintain that position, the company unveiled a suite of new networking, computer, and storage products - with many of the items focused on companies with 10 to 25 employees.HP announced more than a dozen new products and services that were lumped into the company's "Just Right IT" portfolio. On the networking front, the HP V-M200 802.11n Access Point Series, with pricing starting at $219, supports 100M bps wireless transmissions and connects up to 64 simultaneous mobile users. Users and network technicians can access the wireless network is done through a web user interface. To ensure secure communications, the access point supports centralized user authentication and encryption. Separate voice and data networks are difficult to manage and operate, requiring staff with specialized skills. The HP VCX 9.5 IP Telephony system is designed to collapse voice and data onto a single network infrastructure. The new solution offers wideband audio support for high sound quality and support for backlit and full color displays. The HP 350x Series IP Phones, which cost $119, are compatible with any HP or third-party server platform. They support high-definition video-conferencing, file transfer, instant messaging and Microsoft Outlook integration. The HP Insight with Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 helps companies manage virtualized servers and storage from a single console.

On the hardware arena, the ProLiant MicroServer, which costs $329, is designed for companies with up to 10 employees. The device reduces power usage with a power supply that eats up 150 watts less than other entry-level servers, according to the company. The firm also introduced the HP 500B (pricing starts at $459) and 505B (costing $429) desktop PCs, minitowers that feature Windows 7 operating system, configurable hard drives, and an array of bays and ports. The HP Officejet Pro 8500A and HP Officejet 7500A printers allow employees to send print jobs from any mobile device via a Web interface

HP made a number of storage advances. The company added 10GbE iSCSI capabilities to the HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 Modular Smart Array, a feature that comes at a price of $11,750 for dual controllers. HP Data Protector Express 5.0 Software, whose price ranges from $799 to $3,499, features improved business continuity and backup and recovery functions. The HP PC Backup Service automates daily backups on all updated files on employee PCs; this new service helps ensure data access in the event of an outage, corrupted data or a lost or stolen PC. The HP P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance for Hyper-V, which costs $4,390, offers clients with virtualized servers the ability to move to shared storage without purchasing a physical Storage Area Network.

HP generated $114.6 billion in its last fiscal year and much of that revenue came from selling various IT products to small and medium businesses. The enhancements made with its "Just Right IT" were designed to meet the needs of small companies who are just now transitioning to technologies, such as virtualization and unified communications.

Recently, the IT industry has been moving away from the sale of autonomous devices, such as servers, storage systems, and network devices. HP is in strong position to take advantage of this shift because of the breadth of its product portfolio. The company has done well in supplying companies with the needed hardware infrastructure to support such a transition. One area where the vendor may need to make inroads is supplying the software infrastructure needed in this space. Here, the corporation will need to develop compelling solutions, ones that may serve as alternatives to products presented by Cisco and Microsoft.

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