SHANGHAI — For the first time, Hewlett-Packard has launched new mobility products on a worldwide basis in Asia Pacific, as attendees from across 40 countries descended upon Shanghai to attend “Making Connections: The 2007 HP Mobility Summit.”
The first of several announcements was the introduction of the HP Enterprise Mobility suite, a software solution aimed to ease deployment and management of mobile devices in the enterprise.
“Mobile phones are only as cool as they work and there is nothing less cool than a phone that doesn’t work right,” said Gene Wang vice president of the handheld business unit for HP’s personal systems group.
He added that mobile device problems usually begin as soon as it’s taken outside of the box where can people have problems configuring it and getting e-mail to synchronize. Another common problem is that these devices can easily get lost or stolen.
“Initial set-up, diagnostic and repair, and security are daily pain points faced by enterprises everywhere deploying mobile phones,” said Wang.
The new HP Enterprise Mobility suite runs both on a server in the data center as well as inside the phone and provides three big benefits, said Wang. The first is it lower the total cost of ownership for companies deploying mobile devices by setting-up, diagnosing and fixing problems over the air so IT departments don’t have to recall the phones to get them repaired.
Second, the suite makes end users more productive by providing a self-care portal so they can self-serve themselves rather than wait for IT to get things working. Finally, it protects valuable corporate data that either wipes or locks the phone if it gets lost or stolen.
As well, companies can get the management suite and not have HP iPAQs deployed within their organization as the software works on other Windows mobile and Palm devices.
The HP Enterprise Mobility suite is expected to be available in June with initial support of Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 and 6. Pricing hasn’t been formally announced but will be based on a subscription model.
Carmi Levy, senior research analyst with Info-Tech Research Group, said that HP’s Enterprise Mobility suite is a significant milestone in the evolution of the mobile infrastructure.
“It’s a complete suite of security and support tools that addresses one of the last remaining road blocks to the adoption of mobility,” said Levy.
He added many organizations have held back on going mobile because of security concerns and projected support costs but the suite holds the first major help of reining those concerns in and allowing the mobile infrastructure to be in the same ballpark as conventional infrastructure (of laptops and desktops).
As well, Levy said that the suite will help increase the adoption of HP’s handheld devices in the enterprise.
“HP’s advantage is it already has a strong presence in the data center, a strong presence in desktops and strong presence in management and support so they are a known quantity that has a long standing reputation so it’s a lot easier for them to initiate conversations on mobility relative to an organization that doesn’t have that heritage or legacy,” he added.
Also in Shanghai, HP unveiled 13 new notebooks but highlighted only two of them during the summit. The first one, called the HP Compaq 2710p notebook, is an ultra thin, ultra light notebook that also acts as a tablet PC.
Levy said that the HP Compaq 2710p is a pathfinder towards increased tablet PC adoption now that the barrier of enterprises needing two different operating systems has been removed.
“HP is going to watch the performance of that device very carefully in the market to determine what its next steps are. As long as IT sees value and specifies machines for business scenarios that require them (like CRM), then it stands a good chance at finding a home in enterprises,” he added.
The 2710p also features a built in Web cam that has business card scanning capabilities and an optional ultra-slim battery accessory that allows users to enjoy up to 10 combined hours of battery life.
In addition to the 2710p notebook, HP also unveiled six new business-class notebooks: the HP Compaq 2510p, 6910p, 6510b, 8710p and 8510p. The HP Compaq 2000p series is expected to be available sometime in July and August with pricing starting at $1,599 (U.S.). The 6000p series will be available later this month with pricing starting at $999 while the 8000p series will be shipping mid-July with pricing starting at $1,599.
On the consumer side, HP showcased the HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment series, nicknamed “the Dragon.” This notebook is targeted at users seeking a home-theater experience. It features a 20-inch screen, full keyboard with numeric keypad and an embedded remote control for one-touch access to all the entertainment features. As well, the display can be adjusted to move forwards, backwards, up or down to give the notebook a desktop feel. In addition to the Dragon, HP also launched the HP Pavilion dv2000, dv6000 and dv9000. All are set to be available this summer with pricing ranging from $899 to $2,999.
HP also used the summit to unveil a new Compaq logo that looks like a CQ combined to update the Compaq brand. The new logo will be featured on two new Compaq Presario notebooks: the V3000 series and V6000 series.
More information on all the products launched during the summit can be found on HP’s Mobility Web site: www.hpmobility.com.