Hewlett Packard Enterprise Set To Double Number Of SMB Product Releases, Launches Two New Sub-$700 Servers

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) said it is planning to double the number of small medium business (SMB) products it releases over the next year starting with the launch Wednesday of two new servers priced at less than $700.

The first new products in the SMB offensive are an entry-level rack server, the ProLiant DL20 Gen 9, featuring redundant power supplies, that is priced starting at $660; and a stand-alone small-business server, the ProLiant ML30 Gen9, featuring a flash boot capability, priced starting at $599. Both products support Intel Corei3, Pentium and Xeon processors and will be available Dec. 1.

Jack Margossian, president of Comport Technology Solutions, a Ramsey, N.J., HPE and Platinum partner, said he sees the SMB offensive as another sign that HPE is firing on all cylinders as a separate company.

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"The opportunity for us as an HP partner has never been better," he said. "There is a lot of focus on partners and how HPE can help partners be more successful. It's the best time to be a partner. They are trying hard and it is working for us."

In fact, Margossian said Comport Technology Solutions has experienced consistent sales growth over the last three years focused primarily on the SMB market and he expects that to continue. "We don't see anything stopping that," he said. "It has been a good business for us."

HPE Director of SMB Enterprise Group Marketing Flynn Maloy said the aggressive SMB product road map and the new server releases are a reaffirmation of HPE's "commitment" to the multibillion-dollar HPE SMB business, which is growing faster than other segments.

HP is planning to release more than a dozen products over the next year from HPE's business units, up from just a half-dozen in the prior fiscal year, said Maloy.

"We are going to be more than doubling the number of new products that we are going to be putting into the market in the next year for the SMB space," said Maloy. "This is a growth segment for us in servers, storage, networking and services. This segment continues to be a very important part of our overall mix. It is growing faster than other segments and it is all channel-based."

HPE also introduced what it calls two new Enterprise Flex Solutions focused specifically on SMB customers: an Enterprise Flex Solution for My First Server and an Enterprise Flex Solution for Secure Encryption. Those are two of 11 Flex Solutions with plans to add many more over the next year, said Maloy.

Key to HPE's success is delivering enterprise-grade products that have been designed from the ground up for SMB customers, said Maloy. "These customers are all asking for enterprise-grade technology," he said. "This is purpose-built technology specifically engineered for the under-1,000-person customer."

McLeod Glass, vice president and general manager of HPE Servers, SMB Solutions and Towers, said the new ProLiant ML30 Gen9 features enterprise server capabilities including smart array and embedded management technology integrated into the server. "This is the on ramp for SMB customers looking to move into server technology," he said. "This brings some of the great things in our ProLiant portfolio into that class of product."

As for the DL20, Glass said it marks the first time a product in that class features redundant power supplies to ensure continuous uptime for SMB customers.

As part of the SMB offensive, HPE is also launching a new Small Business Marketplace e-commerce platform where customers can search for enterprise products, comparing availability and pricing from CDW, Insight, PC Connection and PCM.

HPE launched the Small Business Marketplace as a result of the small medium business and consumer-focused online store moving to HP Inc under the separation, said Maloy. He said the new Small Business Marketplace is in pilot phase and will be rolled out in other countries in 2016. What's more, he said, HPE plans to add more partners to the marketplace.

"We are investing in online tools and partner tools to make it easier to buy and sell," said Maloy. "We are building out solutions and products for the SMB and it will expand over the coming year. At the end of the day, Hewlett Packard Enterprise sees SMB as a significant growth opportunity in fiscal year 2016. We are really bullish and are investing in it."