BOISE, ID. – Hewlett Packard Co. (HP) is making yet another play in the small business market, building an entry-level version of Exstream, its solution for organizations communicating with their customers.

While most of HP’s Exstream clients tend to be larger, enterprise organizations like Wells Fargo Bank, T-Mobile, or Sprint, the company is now rolling out a lower-priced, smaller-scale version called HP Relate, said Patrick Brown, HP’s business manager for Exstream software as a service and cloud solutions.

HP Relate uses Exstream’s “core engine,” but it’s better suited to small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) who can’t afford all of the resources required to keep Exstream running, he added. The solution became available in June.

“The limitations with Exstream are that you need a data centre and IT staff, and you need to be able to hire people to maintain and support the product,” Brown said, speaking at a media tour of HP’s campus in Boise, Idaho, on Nov. 13. “So we wondered, can we take what we offer and deliver functionality to SMBs?”

He added Salesforce.com Inc. inspired HP to build Exstream, especially since Salesforce was known for trying to reach out to SMB customers who couldn’t afford enterprise solutions from Oracle Corp. or SAP.

Exstream is now available in Salesforce’s AppExchange, and as a cloud product, it allows users to drag and drop data from different areas of Salesforce. Users can then combine that data into a template and generate a document – something that was more difficult before, when Salesforce mostly allowed for creating documents based on just one source of data, Brown said.

Right now, the solution is available to SMBs as a 30-day free trial, with monthly subscription-based pricing. Support comes in the form of frequently asked questions, forums, and how-to videos, Brown said. He added the next step is to bring Relate to Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco next week, where his team will have a booth set up and will be collecting more customer feedback.

On Nov. 1, HP moved Exstream to its Autonomy division, combining Exstream’s customer communications solution with Autonomy’s customer experience solution. HP acquired that company in 2011 for $11.1 billion, in what was considered a controversial move as many felt the company wasn’t worth the price tag.

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