HP is betting tight IT budgets will drive more business its way as it unveils products and services meant to reduce total hardware operating costs in the enterprise.

HP Wednesday introduced a PC Upgrade Program and Business PC Solutions,

a set of cost reduction and security services. The upgrade program will consist of an assessment of current IT costs through a free Web-based total cost of ownership (TCO) snapshot tool. The tool is meant to evaluate current technology and point out ways in which costs could be reduced. It also allows for a trade-in of a major brand desktop and use of funds obtained through the trade-in towards a new HP desktop. The old desktop will not end up in a landfill, said Jim Thompson, HP’s vice-president of commercial business.

“”We will basically take in and dispose in an environmentally safe fashion the old PC,”” he said. “”That’s increasingly becoming a bigger issue in Canada as well as the US.””

For an additional fee, HP will now also provide an in-house TCO assessment service, as well as process automation, data migration, data wiping and training.

Rob Colraine, director of infrastructure deployment and support services at IDC Canada, said the program is an interesting mix of service and marketing tools. HP is not the only company to try and use services to ease spend-shy customers into investing in new hardware, he said. Colraine predicted that if the competition hasn’t rolled out similar service offering yet, they will soon.

“”What they’re saying is right,”” he said, “”that you should upgrade from the Y2K models and they’re providing some tools to help people to do that. The freebie Web tool seems like a marketing thing to me but a lot of the services for sale seem to be good.””

The HP Business PC Solutions portfolio is made up of HP Lifecycle Solutions, which include the PC migration services as well as a Global Series program for international companies. The Global Series program promises to ensure companies can purchase the same HP products and associated support in more than a 100 countries. The goal of this service, according to HP, is to help streamline enterprise IT management. HP also includes Proactive Change Notification with this solution bundle. The program will notify customers of system changes 60 days prior to implementation in order to reduce downtime.

Business PC Solutions is also made up for mobility and wireless security and development offerings as well as HP Security Solutions, a set of built-in and add-on IT asset protection features.

The company also announced a business desktop, the d530, which is geared towards what Thompson called a stable 15-month life cycle and is targeted at a corporate or enterprise customer. It arrives with an optional HP ProtectTools Embedded Security chip meant to increase network and communications security. The desktop can also be equipped with optional security features such as a Kensington lock; port controls, keyboard smart card readers and a pre-installed smart cover lock or hood sensor. Those security features should make investment in new desktops an easier decision, Thompson said, since attacks on older operating and applications systems are an increasing concern.

“”That’s another major concern for people who bought a PC pre-Y2K,”” he said. “”They’re now considering that not only is there now a kind of unstable geo-political environment, which frankly I think exacerbates people’s feelings around security, but in the IT environment you’re reading about . . . viruses . . . you’re reading about people’s ability to hack into older environments.””

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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