Hewlett-Packard on Monday unveiled an enhanced version of its IT Resource Center, adding training and education, planning, and consulting services to its online technical support center. Features include how-to documents that help professionals plan and deploy Microsoft Windows 2000 projects; Internet agent technologies and a "911" button for improved personalization and direct connection to HP support engineers; and HP's Virtual Classroom, which offers a variety of online courses.
The Resource Center's pay-per-use services include Linux support for $125 per download, Custom Patch Manager for $79 per use, and HP Optimize for Windows NT, which is available as a free trial through April. After then, the Windows NT optimization tool will cost $95 per use.
HP plans to support the Resource Center's more than 500,000 worldwide users by investing "tens of millions of dollars" in the site to further develop features such as online chat between IT professionals and mentoring networks, says Jeff Pendleton, director of Web solutions for HP's Software Services Division.
The center is a resource for back-office IT professionals running operations such as data centers and help desks, Pendleton says, adding that it is not a replacement for more traditional forms of customer support, such as call centers, he says. "We would like to bring back personal systems engineers to all accounts, but frankly, no one can afford it."