HP Increases Emphasis On Small Businesses

Hewlett-Packard aims for another year of double-digit growth in the small- and midsize-business market
After increasing sales to small and midsize businesses by about 11% to $24 billion last year, Hewlett-Packard says it will post a similar gain in 2005.

With a worldwide market of about 78 million potential small and midsize customers, HP is in a unique position as a technology provider to supply myriad products such as printers, desktop and laptop computers, servers, and services, says Kevin Gilroy, a senior VP and general manager of HP's SMB unit.

Still, HP's goal is a lofty one. "It's hard when you have revenue of $24 billion to grow at double digits," says Roy Boggs, an analyst at research firm IDC. "Even if HP can add a billion dollars in revenue, that's pretty impressive."

Two major trends helping to drive the small- and midsize-business market are the need for improved security and increased mobility, Gilroy says. In November, HP introduced a portfolio of secure products and services targeting these businesses, including physical security layers for notebooks, desktops, and workstations; a data security layer for its iPaq handheld devices; and application- and network-security layers for desktop computers and servers.

Earlier this month, HP launched mobility initiatives, including an expanded notebook portfolio, improved messaging and wireless capabilities for its iPaq products, and new financing programs.