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HP is bringing new support and datacentre analysis services to small and medium business (SMB) customers, as well as packaging up services in cheaper lumps for the channel to sell to such customers.

The whole exercise is aimed at persuading SMB data centre operators to spend money with HP and its channel to make their data centres run more efficiently, and get HP a significant foot in the data centre door.

There are four new support services, two analysis services and two new procurement options.

HP's Multivendor Support Service has HP managing support for a multi-vendor shop, with one integrated service agreement, providing management for all supplier contracts, accountability for service-level agreements (SLAS) and measurable targets.

It's also selling Insight Remote Support offering 24/7 remote monitoring, diagnostics and problem prevention. This supports HP kit, of course, plus certain IBM and Dell servers, Sun Solaris on HP ProLiant servers and - interesting this - Cisco IP telephony networks.

There is the possibly gimmicky HP Active Chat claimed to provide faster problem resolution with real-time web chat on select HP server and storage products.

The fourth offering here is a Data Center Training Symposium with a customised staff training plan, said to increase their effectiveness.

The analysis services are a Basic Capacity Analysis and an Energy Efficiency Analysis. The former relies on the data centre manager not knowing what they've got, as it supplies "quantitative computing capacity and availability information."

The first new procurement option is HP Units of Service, standard units of HP Care Pack Services including relocation, integration, operations and improvement that are said to be easy to sell. The second is the ability to sell services on-demand instead of as a contract over a period of time, HP saying this enables clients to move to a variable budget model. The services available here include Server Firmware Update Installation Service, Technical Online Seminars, Virtual Tape Library Health Check and LeftHand SAN/iQ Update Service.

These moves by HP to make its services more attractive to SMB customers are somewhat similar to those made by Dell to package its services in more easily affordable and predictable chunks. ®

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