With over 80% of IT expenditure in organizations often dedicated to management and maintenance of equipment, HP is now introducing the HP Client Automation (CA) portfolio. Available in different tiers to suit various organizational needs (Free, Standard and Enterprise), client automation can significantly reduce manpower overhead and time spent to manage various aspects of the IT infrastructure.
For a small SMB setup, they can probably get along with the free edition of HP's CA that takes advantage of the hardware's underlying Intel vPro Technology to bring you hardware management aspects from a central point. Intel's own software suite pretty much does the same level of management but HP's software has a more unified software interface along with the rest of its other software-based features.
However, using HP's CA tool will allow the IT department to adopt one standard software regardless of scaling the number of systems to manage and thus upgrading it to the standard edition when required. Besides being able to manage more system effectively, the standard edition comes with centralized software management, software usage tools, patch management, settings migration and even easy OS deployment. The enterprise edition allows very large numbers of system management such as over 10000 seats (users).
HP ProtectTools is yet another suite of software that combines a mix of HP's in-house solutions with industry leading partners to provide a complete and secure protection in user verification, data management and personal information.
One of the more recent components to the HP ProtectTools proposition is the Private Print Job feature of the WebJet Admin privacy manager. Utilizing any HP LaserJet 3-series machines or higher in the last couple of years in conjunction with the WebJet Admin enables an option to send your print jobs encrypted securely to be stored on the designated printer. The print jobs aren't printed until otherwise the user at his convenience goes over to the printer to input his password before the print job is executed. This solves the issue of printing confidential information and yourself not being around to collect it as soon as the print job ends, thus preventing prying eyes from your documents and you needn't hurry to fetch the prints.
On the productivity side of things for new business notebooks, HP has integrated QuickLook3 and QuickWeb which gives you access to you calendar, email, contacts and tasks from Microsoft Outlook and allow you to surf the web securely in a jiffy without waiting for the full Windows OS to load. This is akin to some of their consumer netbook and notbooks solutions which launch a special Linux partition to give quick access to the most pertinent productivity tasks, only this time it's also made available with a number of their new ProBook and EliteBook models. But what if you insist on booting into Windows for the full set of work tools at your disposal? HP has made yet another small but useful innovation here; they've eliminated the usual idle time that's associated while waiting for the system to boot up by incorporating the HP Daystarter. So instead of only watching the windows loading status, you'll now get to see your calendar, Outlook schedule for the day, battery charge and connectivity status. It's a simple but yet a very productive feature.
Other useful additions to the business class systems and notebooks are the HP Power Assistant, HP Performance Advisor and HP SkyRoom. Power Assistant helps analyze your power cost/consumption distribution to better manage your systems while Performance Advisor is a visual advisor of the system's working health and optimal system performance parameters. Lastly, HP SkyRoom is not new, but it is now bundled with all business class systems to enable video collaborations and cut down travel needs between various offices, thus improving productivity and is more environmentally friendly.
Hardware-wise, there isn't a whole lot specifically new for this segment other than those already mentioned on the earlier page, but thanks to the new Intel hardware platforms, all of the PC systems and notebooks are getting refreshed internally. However we did find a notable advancement that's worthy of mention and that is HP's new Long Life Battery for notebooks which is now rated for up to a 1000 charge cycles. This is much higher than the industry-norm of 300 charge cycles which means HP is the first in the industry to be able to offer a full 3-year warranty on the battery. Since the industry norm is just a paltry 1-year warranty and thereafter the battery steadily degrades depending on the frequency of usage and charges, this new long life battery helps save cost in the long run on materials, acquisition and electricity charging costs.
Overall as you can see, there aren't any really big breakthroughs, but there are a lot of smaller enhancements and innovations from various levels that all come together to ensure tech is easier to use, enabling a smarter working environment and obtain instantaneous access to information. All of which allows either the individual or the office as a whole to achieve more without actually requiring more effort. And that's what HP is doing - elevating businesses to the next level.