HP taps Google apps and services for SMB boxes

HPHewlett Packard has joined the Google Apps Reseller program and the first products packed with preinstalled Google apps are on the way. The first phase of what HP calls “HP SMB IT in a Box” will feature existing HP hardware, including PCs and printers, but it will also ship with an assortment of Google apps.

The Goog suite includes Google Apps for Business, Google cloud based communication and collaboration tools, or in other words everything from Gmail and Docs, to Google Drive and IM. An HP management software layer will be on top of them to simplify environment and cut operating costs.

“HP recognises the constantly evolving needs of SMB customers in today’s dynamic business environment,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer PCs and Solutions, HP. “Together with HP’s channel partners, we will offer our customers an incredible bundle of PCs, printers and Google Apps for Business, enabling business owners to focus on their customers instead of worrying about IT.”

HP says the HP SMB IT in a Box will continue to grow to encompass all the technologies SMBs need. Eventually, the solution will include integrated consoles for resellers, IT administrators and end users, allowing easy access to the entire solution, including Google Apps for Business.

The company was quick to point out that its collaboration with Google already includes Android and Chrome devices. Although it looks like a routine PR line, it could be also viewed as a shot across Microsoft’s bow.

HP SMB IT in a Box will be offered through HP’s network of reseller partners. The initial offering is expected to be available to select resellers in the United States in July followed by broader availability worldwide by the end of the year.