While it's nice to have all of the latest and greatest technological bells and whistles, it isn't always necessary. For SMBs with limited IT budgets and staff resources, it may actually be more trouble than it's worth.
SMBs want products that are affordable, easy to use and require little effort to maintain. HP hopes to hit the SMB sweet spot with a batch of new entry-level hardware.
While HP's new ProLiant M115 has just a single core processor, pricing starts at about $500, so it is certainly affordable. Pricing is similarly low for two new notebooks, the Compaq 6515B and the 6715B. The notebooks also have features aimed directly at SMBs, including a function that encrypts all the data onto the hard drive as it is being written and saved.
Other new products include a "microtower" PC priced at under $400 and a point-of-sale desktop computer.
Earlier this year, HP rolled out a hybrid storage device intended primarily for SMBs.
HP isn't the only vendor targeting SMBs, and it's easy to see why. According to AMI-Partners, SMBs in North America and Japan will spend more on technology than their larger counterparts in 2007, and SMB spending levels in the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will see growth in the high double digits.