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Companies outsource, HP sees business

HP, widely known for its customer service, has a new offering that addresses enterprise-wide desktop management for the Fortune 1000.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP), widely known for its customer service, announced a new offering that addresses enterprise-wide desktop management for the Fortune 1000.

The new Enterprise Desktop Management Services are intended to help corporations as they extend their centralized management plans to include desktops and workstations. HP will provide a flexible set of services, depending on the needs of the corporation, with the ability to do full-blown outsourcing, if so desired.

Analysts have said that management of PCs in the enterprise has become a hot topic. "In the simplest view of the world, half the problems are at the desktop," said Ron Paquest, an analyst with the Gartner Group.

HP will come into a corporation and perform complete planning, acquisition, deployment, migration, operations, and upgrade services for desktops in the enterprise. HP can also do a portion of these services or tailor the services to the particular needs of the company.

Many corporations do not see managing desktop environments in a distributed enterprise as a core strength or as a portion of IT that gives them a competitive advantage, so they are looking to outsource that work, according to Doug Chapin, HP's general manager of operations services.

Corporations are recognizing the investments they make in PCs need to be maintained and the total cost of ownership of those machines needs to be reeled in. "This [service] is not something that is very prevalent," Chapin said.

HP is currently managing 150,000 desktops for corporations such as Alcoa, the world's largest maker of aluminum, and hopes to double that in the next fiscal quarter. HP manages almost 110,000 desktops internally.

The HP announcement comes on the heels of a high-profile initiative unveiled by Intel earlier in the week to cut into the total cost of PC ownership and maintenance.

HP did not disclose pricing for the new services.