Hewlett-Packard is emerging from its famed R&D garage and joining the managed services party. The hardware giant has announced some new SMB initiatives for solutions providers. Buried within the release was news about HP's Insight Remote Support tools for MSPs. HP also partnered with USA.NET to offer hosted Microsoft applications to VARs. Here's MSPmentor's perspective.
Let's start with HP Insight Remote Support. For more than a year, MSPmentor has been watching -- and waiting -- for HP to evangelize managed services tools to its channel partners. I've noted that Nimsoft and GroundWork Open Source are successfully attacking HP's core OpenView business. And I wrote an open memo telling HP to get in the managed services game.
A Sleeping Giant AwakesNow, HP is finally making some moves. According to an HP press release:
"HP Insight Remote Support software helps SMBs save time and money with simple, reliable and around-the-clock remote support. The software provides a direct link between SMBs and their HP solution providers, delivering continuous, automated and secure remote monitoring and fault detection services. Additionally, it generates service dispatches for hardware issues on HP servers and storage without active involvement of staff or support phone calls, helping avert disruptions."Be sure to check that HP web link above. You'll notice the HP Insight Remote Support web page is written primarily for end customers; I don't see any mention of how Insight Remote Support is offered through HP partners. I've sent an email to HP PR seeking more info.
PC Vendors Targeting MSPsMeanwhile, Dell and Lenovo also are targeting MSPs. Dell will update its MSP strategy on March 18, during an MSPmentor Live: Hot Seat webcast (full disclosure: Dell is sponsoring the event but we'll drive interaction with attendees; Dell has agreed to answer 30 rapid-fire questions from attendees).
Also of note, Lenovo in February 2009 told MSPmentor that it planned to launch a managed services channel initiative -- perhaps around March 2009. Now that March is here, I'll check back with Lenovo for more details.
Hosted Microsoft ApplicationsHP this week also partnered with USA.NET to offer hosted Microsoft applications to VARs. According to the HP press release:
"Value-added resellers (VARs) get help entering the cloud services market, and SMBs can access critical applications as a monthly subscription service, thanks to HP’s agreement with USA.NET, a leader in hosting services. The agreement enables VARs in the United States to offer customers a comprehensive suite of private-label messaging and collaboration solutions, including Microsoft® Exchange 2007, Microsoft Windows® SharePoint Services, Commercial Messaging Services, Mobile Messaging, E-mail Archiving and Enhanced Messaging. HP and USA.NET’s collaboration ensures that VARs have comprehensive portfolios with a range of technology alternatives for SMBs. "The HP-USA.NET relationship reminds me a bit of Ingram Micro Seismic, which already has about 1,000 VARs using a range of managed and hosted services. Last week during a podcast , Ingram Micro Seismic VP Justin Crotty updated me on the company's hosted Microsoft applications strategy.
I'm still seeking comment from HP about the Insight Remote Support and USA.NET initiatives. But it's good to see HP finally reaching out to the MSP market.
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