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3/22/2004
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HP Details Its Plans For Small And Midsize Business Market

The company aims to increase its presence among potential customers with new products, including an entry-level server and an easy-to-use backup and recovery system.

Hewlett-Packard has launched a series of products, services, and financing packages geared toward the small and midsize business market. The strategy to reach deeper into the market relies heavily on HP's distributors, value-added resellers, retail stores, and system integrators.

Between 90% and 95% of HP's sales to small and midsize businesses already occur through its partner network, and a third of HP's total revenue comes from small and midsize companies.

With 7 million such companies in the United States, it's no surprise that HP wants to increase its visibility in the space as much as rivals Dell, Gateway, and IBM do. HP has invested $750 million into developing products for the growing market, which it defines as companies with fewer then 1,000 employees. "The reseller network keeps us in touch with the industries and vertical markets to provide SMBs with the necessary support and applications," says Chris Ogburn, director of sales and development, SMB Americas at HP.

The new product rollout includes PCs, data storage systems, printers, support services, and finance offerings. Among the new products HP has released are the OfficeJet 9100 Series All-In-One printer/fax/copier/scanner, which starts at $599, and the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx5000, a laptop computer with Intel Centrino mobile technology and a battery life of up to nine hours. HP also is introducing an entry-level server called the HP ProLiant ML110.

HP said its line of Modular Smart Array storage units will soon support low-cost Serial ATA disk drives. New low-cost switches for storage area networks should be available in April. Also new is a tape autoloader that's designed to let businesses recover lost data at the touch of a button.

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