HP offers helping hand to SMB IT infrastructure
New solutions improve customer service, productivity, says solutions provider
HP announced new products and services on Thursday that are aimed at helping small and midsized businesses (SMBs) simplify their IT infrastructure to accelerate business gains from mobile access.
The use of mobile devices in the workplace allows for sophisticated business and process management applications to be accessed remotely. However, SMBs traditionally have static and fragmented IT infrastructures, making it difficult to rapidly or efficiently respond to infrastructure demands driven by a mobile workforce and virtualised applications.
HP hopes to simplify IT management for SMBs by expanding the HP Converged Infrastructure portfolio with new storage and network solutions that are designed to improve employee productivity by providing secure access to business applications and data via mobile devices. In addition, HP is offering financing and training programmes that it says "address SMBs' end-to-end mobility challenges by enabling them to acquire the resources needed to boost business responsiveness in the evolving mobile marketplace, quickly and easily".
"Mobility will soon be a normal part of every SMB workplace, as it moves from being used primarily for email to supporting critical business applications such as CRM and sales inventory," said Robert Anderson, research VP at Gartner, Inc. "Small and midsize businesses must align and modernise their existing IT capabilities to take advantage of the business benefits and competitive differentiation mobility brings."
HP is offering new storage solutions that it claims provide scalability, reliability and availability to handle evolving business demands. The new offerings include HP StoreVirtual Storage, based on the HP LeftHand operating system and HP ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8) technology. It is a scale-out storage platform with flexible deployment models geared towards the needs of the virtual IT department. The offering includes features that allow SMBs to add physical storage without disruption and the ability to simply move data across virtual or physical storage with just a few clicks, which enables IT to rapidly respond to dynamic demands of mobile users.
HP StoreEasy Storage is a single integrated storage solution designed to support file and application workloads with built-in deduplication and encryption. HP argues that midsize businesses can no longer afford to add "just another file server" to address the explosion of unstructured data from mobile devices. Native Windows integration is intended to enable SMBs to immediately configure and manage HP StoreEasy Storage without learning a new proprietary storage management system. HP StoreEasy Storage supports 10,000 users in a three-unit form factor, as well as multiple workloads from a single, consolidated platform that is cost-efficient, highly-secure and reliable.
HP Financial Services enables qualified SMBs to obtain HP solutions without payments for 90 days on lease transactions or to lease select HP equipment at a less-than-zero implicit lease rate, which should provide SMBs with flexible financial solutions to update their infrastructure.
SMBs, as well as government agencies, are supporting a growing mobile workforce that requires access to rich-media applications such as videoconferencing. However, HP submits, with limited financial and human resources, these organisations need solutions that are easy to use, reliable and cost-effective to maintain.
The HP M220 Series Access Point is a new addition to the HP FlexNetwork architecture that is designed to simplify network management and maintenance for growing SMB organisations through increased automation and centralisation.
The HP M220 streamlines wireless network management with clustering technology that enables SMBs to deploy and manage up to 10 network access points as a single entity, rather than a series of separate wireless devices. In addition, the solution improves network security by detecting and eliminating rogue access points as well as reducing security risks caused by misconfigured access points.
The HP M220 includes a Quick Setup Wizard that leverages a Web interface to streamline multiple access point configuration. The Quick Setup Wizard provides five deployment scenarios allowing clients to select the best wireless network environment for their company.