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By 5 November 2012 | Categories: news

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HP has announced several new products and services, which are intended to enable small and medium businesses (SMB) to simplify their IT infrastructure, while taking into consideration the growing trend of personal mobile devices being used by employees for work purposes.
 
To this end, the company has expanded its Converged Infrastructure portfolio with new storage and network solutions that are aimed at improving employee productivity, by providing secure access to business applications and data via mobile devices.
 
Additionally, the company further announced that it is offering financing and training programs that address SMBs’ end-to-end mobility challenges, by enabling them to acquire the resources needed to boost business responsiveness quickly and easily.
 
Thus, 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. This is intended to provide SMBs with flexible financial solutions to cost effectively update their infrastructure.
 
The Storage story
 
Its new storage products include the HP StoreVirtual Storage, which is a scale-out storage platform with flexible deployment models to meet the needs of the virtual IT department. The offering includes features that allow SMBs to add physical storage without disruption, along with the ability to move data across virtual or physical storage with just a few clicks. This, HP explained, enables IT to “rapidly respond to dynamic demands of mobile users.”
 
Its second new offering, HP StoreEasy Storage, is a single integrated storage solution that supports file and application workloads with built-in duplication and encryption.
 
The company stated that Native Windows integration enables SMBs to immediately configure and manage HP StoreEasy Storage without learning a new proprietary storage management system.  Additionally, the product supports 10 000 users in a three-unit form factor, as well as multiple workloads from a single, consolidated platform.
 
Networking, neatly wrapped up
 
Complementing these offerings is a new networking product, intended to take into account the fact that both SMBs and government agencies are finding themselves having to support a growing mobile workforce that requires access to media rich applications like videoconferencing.
 
HP pointed out that with limited financial and human resources, these organisations need solutions that are “easy to use, reliable and cost-effective to maintain”.
 
To this end, the HP M220 Series Access Point is a new addition to the HP FlexNetwork architecture that simplifies network management and maintenance for growing SMB organisations through increased automation and centralisation. It futher streamlines wireless network management with “clustering” technology that enables SMBs to deploy and manage up to ten network access points as a single entity, rather than a series of separate wireless devices.
 
Additionally, the HP M220 includes a Quick Setup Wizard that leverages an easy-to-use web interface to streamline multiple access point configuration. The Quick Setup Wizard provides five deployment scenarios, which allows users to select the best wireless network environment for their company.
 
Reason and rationale
 
The company explained that, while the adoption of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones in workplace (commonly referred to as Bring Your Own Device) allows for sophisticated business and process management applications to be accessed remotely, SMBs traditionally have static and fragmented IT infrastructures.
 
This, it elaborated, makes it difficult to rapidly, and efficiently respond to the infrastructure demands that are produced by a mobile workforce and the use of virtualised applications.
 
The company also cited a quote by Robert Anderson, the research vice president at the IT research company Gartner, who pointed out that “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.”
 
To the point

In the same breath, Anderson asserted that “small and midsize businesses must align and modernise their existing IT capabilities to take advantage of the business benefits and competitive differentiation mobility brings.”  

The new HP StoreVirtual Storage 4130 and 4330 models will be available the 4th of Dec, with starting prices of R69 575. The HP StoreEasy Storage system will be available on the 10th of Dec. 10, with prices starting at R46 999 for 8 TB capacity. 

In recent news, HP quantified the costs of cybercrime to businesses, pointing to a new study which indicated that both the costs and the frequency of cybercrime were on the rise.

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