HP to Offer Google Apps for Business to SMB Crowd

HP to Offer Google Apps for Business to SMB Crowd

HP has partnered with Google to offer Google Apps for Business to the SMB space. HP's SMB IT in a Box is meant to be a one-stop shop technology solution for the SMB market.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has teamed up with Google (GOOG) to provide its SMB customers with a one-stop shop technology solution that is designed to drive cost savings and enhance productivity. The Google Apps for Business-based HP SMB IT in a Box was announced at the same time HP notified the world it had joined the Google Apps Reseller Program.

The new offering will use Google Apps for Business in addition to HP's hardware products, including PCs and printers, to give SMBs a simple-to-use IT solution. The goal, of course, is to reduce customer operating costs and infrastructure requirements by leveraging an already established cloud computing offering. It's an interesting move by HP, which has been building up its own cloud offerings.

One of the foundations to the new offering is HP's management software layer. According to HP, SMB IT in a Box requires minimal setup and combines HP's hardware offerings with Google's Gmail, IM, Calendar, Drive, Docs and other cloud tools. Even better, it looks like this will be packaged up to be sold through HP channel partners.

"Together with HP's channel partners, we will offer our customers an incredible bundle of PCs, printers and Google Apps for Business, enabling business owners to focus on their customers instead of worrying about IT," said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager of Consumer PCs and Solutions at HP, in a prepared statement.

HP has plans to expand the offering in time to include integrated consoles for resellers, administrators and end users to make it even easier to access the entire solution, including Google Apps for Business.

"By moving to the cloud and helping employees work the way they live, SMBs can serve their customers better—and save money in the process," said Amit Singh, president of Google Enterprise, in a prepared statement. "We couldn't be more excited to have HP join the Google Apps Reseller Program and bring their decades of experience to helping SMBs thrive in the cloud."

The offering is quite ready for market, but HP plans to launch it with select resellers in the United States in July. Broader availability will follow later in the year.

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