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Would You Like Chips With That? How HP Is Challenging Dell With BTO Tool

HP, more than any other IT vendor, seems to have the ability to reach business of all shapes and sizes, from one man bands to blue chip enterprises.

In its new entry level server offering the Proliant Microserver, it has stumbled across not only a cost effective first server solution (£99 ex VAT after a seemingly everlasting cash back promotion) but also an ideal test-bed lab solution for those getting to grips with virtualisation.

The price point at first glance seems crazy given the level of components in the system and the amount of money that must have gone into promoting them but HP aren’t in the position they are from losing money.

Undoubtedly the Microserver adds very useful volume unit numbers to the bottom line, helping the company maintain its number 1 position in the x86 server market but also and most importantly switches people onto its hardware from the earliest opportunity.

Its ability to converse with the small business owner with one tailored offering, and yet offer class leading blade and converged infrastructure to enterprises, sets it apart from the majority of its rivals who offer off the shelf hardware.

The one area HP has been lacking to date was a bespoke ‘built to order’ solution, something Dell has built its entire business on. With the recent launch of iQuote that has changed and HP now has a genuine rival to Dell’s online configurator with the added advantage of reduced lead-times due to its partners holding stock in the channel.

iQuote extends across HP’s main product lines including servers, storage, laptops, desktops, workstations and printers. It has clearly recognised that ‘one fits all’ doesn’t apply and that every business has individual requirements.

By offering a distinct and tailored offering to the novice on one hand and opening up its range to the expert on the other is a smart move and the only surprise is that given its universal appeal it hasn’t done so before.