London – Showing its intent in the SMB sector, HP has expanded its Total Care initiative with a slew of new products, solutions and services aimed at securing a major slice of this lucrative $260-billion market.

With every major vendor targeting this often misunderstood market segment, Tom Yeates, HP's director of channel sales, EMEA, says it should come as no surprise that the company is increasing its focus on SMBs.
"Why such a big focus? With our product portfolio we have a compelling opportunity in the SMB sector – and it's a target opportunity of $260-billion which, even in the current economic crisis, is expected to grow by 11% or 12% over the next couple of years," Yeates says. "It's a market we can address with our technology and it's not surprising that any sector that shows potential growth gets attention."
Yeates says that while many industry segments are withering under the current global recession, SMBs appear to be showing more resilience – even in countries which are bearing the brunt of the crisis.
"In Germany, for example, we've done some due diligence and it's expected that the SMB sector there will have 7% to 8% growth – irrespective of the economy – and that's a $10-billion market.
"And that is why we are focusing on, and addressing, this particular sector," he says.
Yeates says that, today, SMBs are faced with the same problems as any other larger organisations and that the additions to Total Care are designed to alleviate these.
"SMBs are under the same pressure as any other business," he says. "Revenue; cashflow; their ability not only to acquire customers, but to retain them; the pressures of compliance … these are all burdens on the SMB. But they are problems that HP's portfolio can address by taking innovation and wrapping technology around it.
"We've learnt from our corporate and enterprise customers about how to bring technology to, and how to make significant impact on, our SMB customers," Yeates says.
At the press conference, HP introduced a number of infrastructure offerings covering storage, virtualisation, remote access and consolidation.
These included:
* The  Storage Works X1000 and X3000 network storage systems unify file and application storage to simplify storage infrastructures. With a single, unified system, SMBs do not need to invest in separate storage systems for file and database data. The new network-attached storage solutions provide up to 35% more usable capacity through file deduplication while also increasing file serving performance by up to 30%, the company says.
* The Storage Works 2000i and 2000sa G2 modular smart arrays feature 2.5-inch, small form factor drives that increase storage capacity by up to 33% per unit of rack space. They also reduce power requirements up to 50%.
* The HP Virtualisation Bundle, the industry’s first integrated solution that allows SMBs to more easily and cost-effectively deploy virtualisation by transforming existing server disk drives into highly available shared storage. The bundle allows customers to reduce costs up to 35% by eliminating the need for external storage to support application high availability. The bundle includes HP server, storage and networking technology, as well as integrated virtualisation software from HP and VMware.
* HP Secure Remote Access solutions, which help reduce costs, eliminate business disruptions and maximise sales opportunities for SMBs with mobile workforces. These solutions, powered by Citrix XenApp Fundamentals, allow mobile workers to maintain constant and secure connections with critical business applications regardless of their location or connectivity device. As part of the solutions, which include servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers, HP is offering SMB channel partners discounted servers and storage through the HP SmartBuy program. Additionally, partners can take advantage of a one-year free trial of Citrix XenApp Fundamentals.
* The recently unveiled HP 4410t mobile thin client which provides enhanced security access to server-based computing and reduces IT workload while providing the mobility of a notebook. With improved data security, easy manageability, no hard drive, fewer moving parts and lower power consumption, this thin client reduces SMBs’ carbon footprint and costs.
* HP Total Care Branch Office Consolidation solutions which offer customisable configurations of servers, storage, networking, PCs and printers to help SMBs significantly reduce the time needed to consolidate multiple branch sites into a single location.
* Saving up to 50% on energy consumption with HP Instant-on Technology, the HP LaserJet Enterprise P3010 Printer series is a high-performance networked printer for businesses needing to print high volumes with added protection for confidential documents on a variety of media types.
* Through HP Smart Template Printing, SMBs can save time and money by printing marketing materials and business documents on free, customisable templates at the touch of a button from a PC or notebook.
* The HP Officejet 6000 printer series delivers professional-quality prints at fast speeds and offers up to 40% less cost per page and energy use than comparable laser printers.
* The HP Officejet 7000 wide format printer is HP’s first entry-level, wide-format printer with individual inks. Ideal for creating business documents and marketing collateral, it delivers professional colour documents and photo-quality, borderless prints at the lowest cost per page versus in-class inkjets, says the company.
* the HP Scanjet N6350 networked flatbed document scanner, a simple-to-use, versatile page scanner with integrated networking expected to be available for purchase worldwide in June.