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As part of an effort to help channel partners better address the needs of small- and midsize-business (SMB) customers, Hewlett-Packard extended its Just Right IT portfolio of prepackaged solutions for the channel. At the same time, HP is making the terms and conditions through which those offerings can be acquired much more flexible.

Rather than requiring customers to pay for everything up front, HP is borrowing a page from cloud pricing models under which customers can make monthly payments. That approach puts on-premise solutions on a more equal financial footing with cloud services that customers pay monthly to use, according to Lisa Wolfe, worldwide small midmarket business leader for the HP Enterprise Group.

While the debate continues over the ultimate impact cloud computing will have on the channel, customers are taking a hybrid approach to the cloud, and the bulk of the IT software and systems they are acquiring will continue to run on-premise for the foreseeable future, Wolfe said.

In general, customers are adopting cloud offerings to augment their IT capabilities, rather than moving mission-critical applications in the cloud. As such, Wolfe said, the cloud represents an additive revenue opportunity for most channel partners.

“It’ll be years before we see the applications running on existing production systems moving into the cloud,” said Wolfe.

The latest Just Right IT offerings are aimed at entry-level IT opportunities based on an HP Flex-Bundles for Microsoft Windows Server with Hyper-V Virtualization Solutions and for VMware vSphere with Operations Management Virtualization Solutions; an HP Flex-Bundles for SMB First Server Solution with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2; and a HP Flex-Bundles for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Solutions.

HP also enhanced the HP ServiceIT portfolio–providing more flexible terms and conditions, and offering opportunities to resell additional HP Care services and cloud computing services developed by HP and its partners.

As the complexity of IT environments continues to increase, HP is focusing on making the acquisition of more advanced IT capabilities simpler by making it easier to deploy turnkey servers in SMB organizations. Just as importantly from a solution provider perspective, each of the servers represents an opportunity to deliver high-margin services not only on-premise but also now via the cloud.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.