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By | Paul Kunert 26th March 2014 11:26

HP bypasses Microsoft in device-as-a-service assault

'Google is a flagship partner because of focus on cloud and SMB'

HP is trying to prise open SME wallets by rolling out a device-as-a-service pilot Stateside – with wider deployment in Europe set for the summer.

The Office in a Box initiative created with Google – not Microsoft – and telco AT&T was launched with US distie Synnex, which created an online configuration tool.

The model is pretty much based on the managed print services product that HP has been touting for years.

End customer buys the spec they want - albeit the range is currently limited to a single desktop and two notebooks - and they configure the application via the portal.

At the Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas, Jos Brenkel, the HP exec who runs the worldwide channels for PC and Printers, said it was aiming the service at resource-light small biz punters.

"The pilot has been rolled out in North America and is doing very well so we are extending it from Synnex to other distributors in the top 22 countries," he told The Channel.

"It will come to other regions in Q3 when we expect the UK, France and Germany [to run pilots]," he added.

HP director of the Printing and Personal Group, Daniel Groesser told us it chose to work with Google on this rather than Microsoft.

"Google is a flagship partner because of their focus on cloud and SMB. Microsoft is also a key partner for HP and offer in the bundles," he said.

Price per seat is dependent on the "pre-defined bundles or the unique bundles that the VARs (value added resellers) build for their nearest and dearest SME customers, Groesser added.

Some partners branded the service as little more than a simple leasing agreement, but HP brushed this off, "this is a recurring revenue model with automated refresh - not just your standard leasing model".

Groesser said channel customers could simply resell HP services or their own, and finance the "solution" with the titan's Financial Services arm. ®

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