HP Flies High with SMB Strategy : By - Manoj Suvarna Country Head - India, Storage Works Division, HP

By VARINDIA - 2010-03-17

HP Flies High with SMB Strategy : By - Manoj Suvarna Country Head - India, Storage Works Division, HP

Suvarna says that a lot of small businesses today do not have the understanding or the advice that they need in order to implement an end to end storage solution. He adds, “Almost 3/4th of the small business in India today does not have network storage built into their environment. So, HP as an entity we are trying to do a couple of things: we are launching products & technologies that will support them in their business needs and at the same time built awareness amongst small businesses in terms of need for a robust storage solution.”

There must be near about 8-9 million of SMBs available in India and working with the objective to be large enterprises. They are pressed from all the sides. Although the quantum of investment on technology is quite high yet their individual investment is restricted. Therefore these SMBs are not able acquire some of the best of the breed technology, which actually could help them to reach at the big league. Suvarna says, “some of the research that we have done these past year we have noticed that at least about three out of the four SMB’s in the market today are not using any level of network storage there are may be 10-15% of them that are using some basic level of storage may be in the form of TAPE drive or in some cases DVD drive.” 

Apart from the finance there is a dearth of consultants for them. Suvarna portrays it as the combination to several things and manpower of course is one of them. They do not have resources and they don’t understand technology, because their primary forte is business. A lot of the SMB business are driven by the owner who in some cases is either CIO or CEO and as a result of which they are more focused in running their business and unable to go out to investigate and identify what solution would meet their growth needs. Therefore, assures these customers to rely on HP as the company’s mechanism enables its partners to handle such critical situations of the customers. Here there is a small difference that for large enterprises HP has its direct force where as for the SMBs it is the channel partners playing the role of the consultants. The advantage of the channel partners is that they know how and where to reach as they stay close to the customers. therefore, in order to enable the partners, HP hosts training sessions all the time - at least once a month and we also make sure that partner’s pre and post sales staff are trained and certified. 

HP Storage division, which HP calls as Storage Works does have products with smaller foot prints and affordable price point. Suvarna adds, “Our entire umbrella theme around SMB storage is “simply storage works”, simply storage works consists of three different pillars – one is simply consolidation. The second one is simply file services and the third one is, simply business protection.””“It is the requirement of every small business that not only they collect data but also recover it within certain amount of time. So, we have products that fit into each of these three categories and just as of last year, we have introduced a product that goes beyond and sails across the three categories, which is termed as HP all-in-one storage solution that has a combination of NAS, SAN (iSCSI) and Backup all inclusive because what we belief is for this type of market, we really want customers to have three points of addressability. One: the solution has to be simple, second: the solution has to be reliable and third: the solution has to be affordable. So, we take all these three things into consideration before we design a product for their concern. 

Even some of the solutions are co-conceived in India specifically targeted to the business, which is emerging. The solutions do not have hassles in terms of manageability. And, these solutions are not scaled-down enterprise solutions. 

The biggest style of HP’s SMB approach is through 100 channel partners although for large enterprises the vendor deploys a little of hybrid strategy. Although there is no such studies as far as SMB specific Storage market is consider as to which vendor is at the top, but HP understands it is the leading solution provider for the segment. Suvarna maintains, “One out of every two enterprise worldwide is based on HP system and HP storage and if you narrow it down, to India, HP has the largest market share from storage perspective.” 

Finally… 
If one asks why HP is so dear to the SMBs, Suvarna says, “SMBs look at HP as a complete package in terms of products and solutions“– be it systems, storage, networking, middleware, security or peripherals etc.” In addition to the solution capability, SMBs find their finance requirements are also taken care of. The channel partners are always near to them to advise them on each of their steps and support them on their installations. So in a package HP is a great convenience to them minus HP, they see solutions in bits and pieces, which naturally makes their growth hard.


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