Although many of the latest tools in HP’s Total Care suite of services for small business are aimed directly at end-users, partners still have some role to play in delivering these services.
HP unveiled 26 new offerings under its HP Total Care programme at its Smart Office 2007 Asia Pacific media briefing in Vietnam last month, where it also launched a number of new mobile, laptop, desktop and printing products aimed specifically at SMEs.
According to HP Total Care is the most comprehensive service and support ecosystem in the industry, with the new additions to the portfolio bring the number of Total Care offering to more than 200.
However, these services are delivered directly by HP to end-users and around a third of them are offered free of charge.
Gerhard Schiele, HP’s Singapore-based Asia Pacific SMB director of strategic marketing, confirmed there is no provision for the payment of rebates or margins to partners who help customers to take on Total Care offerings.
But he says HP resellers can make use of some of the services, such as Instant Support, to provide better support for their clients.
“Partners are the first step in support for SMEs. We need to encourage channel partners to actively take advantage of Total Care.”
The free Total Care offerings provide a way for partners to help improve customers’ experience with HP products at no cost to them, says Schiele.
“A third of the services are free, while half of the new ones are free.”
Schiele says the Total Care portfolio addresses the needs of SMEs by providing them with a full range of personalised services for every stage in the lifecycle of their HP products from choosing, to using, to protecting, to transitioning them.
Among the new Total Care offerings is the HP Email Filter – a subscription-based hosted service powered by Symantec spam and filtering technology. HP says the service is scalable and customisable, providing threat protection without the need for any on-site hardware or software.
Another new offering is HP Total Care Advisor, a suite of tools that will be included on all HP PCs pre-loaded with the Microsoft Vista operating system. The tools include PC Health & Security, PC Action Centre, PC Help and Business Solutions. They aim to provide users with information about their PC and access to HP Help and Support features.
HP has also refreshed Instant Support Professional Edition – its premier suite of troubleshooting tools. The service includes Active Chat – a 24/7 instant messaging service where customers can chat in real-time to HP support experts.
Meanwhile, HP’s Proactive BladeSystem Services for SMEs places customers with on-site technical experts to work closely with them and provide customised plans and recommendations for the implementation for blade systems.
The service includes best-practice methodologies for blade and data centre environments and is now available with the compact HP BladeSystem c3000 enclosure for mid-sized companies that was released in September.
HP is also introducing a notebook tracing service from early 2008, which alerts a user via email of the location of a lost or stolen laptop once it is reconnected to the internet.
However, the company will not approach law enforcement agencies to attempt recovery of the notebook, leaving this up to the owner.
The company has also revamped its Total Care web portal, making it easier for customers to find what they are looking for, says Schiele.