HP CEO Whitman: Expect More Partnerships Like Google Deal

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Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman Tuesday told thousands of HP customers they can expect more game-changing deals like the company's new partnership with Google.

"This breakthrough, which we are really excited about, isn't a one off," said Whitman of the surprise Google deal in her keynote address at the HP Discover conference, the company's annual gathering for IT buyers. "We are going to continue to look for ways to partner with other like-minded technology companies to give customers what they want and what they need to make IT be a growth enabler."

HP announced at Discover that it was becoming a Google Apps For Business Reseller as part of an ambitious plan to dramatically redefine the small-to-medium business (SMB) IT customer experience with HP SMB IT in a Box. HP is billing the product as a "one-stop shop" technology solution that includes Google Apps For Business with what HP is calling its own "unique" management software layer combined with HP PCs and printers.


[Related: HP To Bundle Google Apps For Business: Bad For Microsoft, Good For Partners]

HP said the Google partnership is only the first phase of the offering with more additions planned in the future. In fact, HP envisions adding all the pieces from its broad technology product and services portfolio that would appeal to an SMB customer.

HP did not release pricing for the SMB IT in a Box, which is expected to be available on a limited basis in July. The initial offering is aimed at customers with 50 to 200 employees, but HP plans to eventually expand that customer target.

HP said it expects about several hundred cloud-savvy resellers to initially carry the product with a massive global rollout slated for 2014. HP anticipates a huge percentage of its resellers will carry the product since as many as 80 percent of partners contacted by HP have already expressed interest in the solution.

Whitman, for her part, stressed that SMB IT in a Box will be brought to market in conjunction with HP's "wide network of channel partners." HP, in fact, said the product was envisioned from the start as a channel partner offering. Eventually, the SMB IT in a Box product will include integrated consoles developed by HP for resellers, IT administrators and end users allowing easy access to the entire solution including Google Apps for Business.

NEXT: HP Says The Deal Is A Money-Maker For SMB-Focused Partners

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