HP’s SMB Cloud Strategy: 4 Moves for Fiscal 2014
Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) new fiscal year starts on Nov. 1, 2013. Among the big questions: How will HP empower partners in the SMB market — especially with cloud services? Here are four logical SMB cloud steps for HP — as pitched by The VAR Guy.
The advice includes…
1. Link CSP Partnerships to HP Hardware: Partner immediately with channel-friendly cloud providers and make those cloud providers run HP hardware. Potential examples include…
- Axcient: Work more closely with this cloud business continuity services provider. Axcient built its cloud and on-premises appliances on HP hardware, but things have been somewhat silent in recent months. How about an update?
- Artisan Infrastructure: Reach out to this emerging IaaS cloud provider. Artisan has a channel-only model. What hardware is the foundation for Artisan's cloud? The VAR Guy doesn't know. HP should find out.
- Datto: Now here's another fast-growth backup and disaster recovery provider that has cloud and on-premises solutions. Datto builds its own hardware, The VAR Guy believes. But it would be wise for HP to give Datto a call to better understand how the company built out its cloud services for MSPs.
- Google Apps Relationship: Communicate how the existing HP/Google relationship helps partners. HP has not really done so to date. A good starting point would be for HP to speak with the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps team. Then, explore how those Google Apps partners can potentially leverage HP endpoints/hardware.
- HP's own cloud: Promote HP public cloud as the natural back-end service for SMB channel partners. Get SMB ISVs onto the HP public cloud, then create and ecosystem of ISV-VAR relationships on the HP cloud.
2. On-premises SMB Offerings:
- Compete With Microsoft: Design and promote an HP server that replaces Microsoft Small Business Server on-premises. Small business VARs have been begging for a Microsoft Small Business Server alternative ever since Microsoft killed the product. Reach out to Canonical (Ubuntu Linux server) about potential possibilities.
- Extend to the Cloud: Link the HP SMB server to HP's public cloud for bursting/customer growth opportunities.
- Think Managed Services: Partner more closely with RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers like LabTech Software, Kaseya and Continuum (among others).
- Connect to Autonomy: Connect the dots between on-premises HP SMB servers and Autonomy for cloud backup, eDiscovery, data protection and more. Yes, Autonomy may wind up competing with other partners The VAR Guy recommends in this article (Axcient, Datto, etc.). But coopetition (competition and cooperation) is a fact of life in IT.
3. Hardware as a Service
- Aggressively promote on-premises server sales as a monthly cost model, similar to cloud services.
- SMB channel partners can then mix/match HP on-premises hardware with HP public cloud, giving customers a monthly ongoing price regardless of what they choose.
4. Channel Ready: Every HP product or service launched for SMB should have an associated partner program initiative the day of launch.
That's about all from here. The VAR Guy suspects you're working on some of the above-listed items. And our resident blogger will be back with more thoughts and perspectives (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) when HP's new fiscal year starts on Nov. 1, 2013.