HP, IBM make new plays for the SMB market

HP introduced a new storage product and IBM a new server as both tech giants pursue the small-to-medium business market.

IBM and HP, in separate announcements, have each used words such as "simple", "reliable" and "affordable" to describe how each of their new products serves the small-to-medium business market.

IBM says it is introducing a new entry-level server, the System i Express, with a starting list price of $US7,995, that can be shared with up to five end users. Each group of five additional licenses costs $US1,250.

It comes preconfigured with an IBM operating system and IBM database, security and system management software, though a customer could substitute other brands. Previous System i servers started at $US12,000, which put them out of reach for many SMBs.

HP, meanwhile, introduced a new storage system, the All-in-One System Storage 1200, which offers 3 terabytes of storage for $AUD15,584. A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes of storage capacity. HP calls it the All-in-One line because it stores, shares, manages and protects data.

Both $90 billion-plus companies held competing launch events in San Francisco.

Both companies said the SMB market was lucrative because it gave vendors the chnace to start a relationship with a company early and continue to sell it as the business grew.

IBM estimated the size of the SMB market for hardware and software in 2007 at $US330 billion globally.

But IBM had been priced out of the market, president of Responsive Data Systems, Robert Fish, said. The company sells point of sale technology based on the System i platform to businesses, mostly retailers. Fish has tried to sell System i to the many outlets in a franchise chain but found that while the franchisors liked the technology, they knew franchisees couldn't afford them.

"We could never get the corporate blessing because the cost was too high. Now we have a chance go back and show the franchise marketplace that there is a solution they can afford that is reliable," Fish said.

The System i Express is powered by Power5+ processor, which makes it possible for the IBM platform of hardware, processor and software to reach a new market, general manager of System i for IBM, Mark Shearer, said.

"Now we are relevant again to small business," he said.

HP's All-in-One 1200 is the fourth in its new line of storage systems aimed at the SMB market, which is typically companies with between one and 1000 employees.

HP took into account the SMB's need for easy-to-understand storage management, SMB director for StorageWorks, HP's line of storage products, Harry Baeverstad, said.

"We manage it from the point of view of how many mailboxes you want to serve, how big is your SQL database storage, and how often do you want to back it up," Baeverstad said. "It's really an application-centric storage management ... and you can do it in less than 10 mouse clicks."

HP also announced a reorganisation of its storage business. Baeverstad's position is new and Urs Renggli has been named to the new position of director of worldwide SMB activities in the Technology Solutions Group.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

IDG News Service
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?