NEW YORK – The role of the channel will be “core and integral” to the delivery of Hewlett-Packard’s business protection solutions for SMBs, according to HP’s Canadian vice-president for small and medium business.

“Everything that we do is through our business partners,” said Geoff Kereluik at

the launch of HP’s business protection portfolio last month.

Worldwide, HP launched a number of offerings in three categories of business protection: security protection from threats such as spyware, viruses and intrusion; data protection tools for capturing, distributing and protecting information; and business-critical availability to keep businesses running during power outages, floods and other disasters.

IDC Canada senior analyst Michael Hyjek said the role of the channel is particularly important in the business protection equation. SMBs tend to have a relationship based on “president-to-president care,” he said, and channel partners are there to assess security needs and analyze customer vulnerabilities.

“It’s that close kind of handholding SMBs would like that vendors can’t necessarily give to so many small clients,” Hyjek said.

HP Canada added its own twist, with offerings tailored for the Canadian market. Notably, the Canadian operation uses only two categories, with offerings falling into either the client security and protection bailiwick, or backup, recovery and continuity, said Paul Brousseau, HP Canada’s marketing manager for small and medium business in the customer solutions group.

They aren’t hard and fast bundles, Brousseau said, and ultimately, HP’s partners and their clients will determine what elements to include.

HP Smart Office Client Protection and Network Security solutions are a family of HP and third-party technologies, products and services aimed at protecting clients, networks, operating systems and applications. Offerings include Smart Desktop Management Service, a $28-per-month-per-client service to back up, restore and secure networked computers; ProLiant DL320 Firewall/VPN Cache server running Microsoft ISA Server 2004; security vulnerability assessment service; the nx6110 Business Notebook built-in security measures; and HP installation and startup service.

HP Smart Office Data Back-up, Continuity and Recovery solutions “prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from unforeseen events,” according to company materials. Data Back-up and Recovery for Small Business is aimed at the 50 per cent of businesses with fewer than 25 employees that operate in a serverless environment, Brousseau said. The $3,600-plus package consists of a ProLiant Ml150 Server running Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, an HP DAT 40 USB drive and Tapeware XE backup software. The medium-sized business package includes a ProLiant DL380 G4 Packaged Cluster with two server nodes and shared storage, an HP Storageworks Ultrium 448 Tape Drive, a 10 GB electronic vaulting service to store data securely offsite, and installation, startup and support services.

HP Canada also announced mobility, business productivity, collaboration and do-it-yourself marketing solutions.

Kereluik said about 20 HP partners will offer the SMB protection solutions, with more coming on stream. Incentives for the program will differ from those of HP’s Partner One channel marketing program. The SMB Partner Network launched on May 9 maps partner incentives to SMB customer needs, he said.</p

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