UK collaboration firm gets worldwide HP deal

HP's new small-business desktop PCs will come with Huddle's cloud-based collaboration, project management and document-sharing tools
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

HP has unveiled new desktop PCs that come with bundled software from UK-based online collaboration company Huddle.

The small-business-oriented Pro 3000 Series PCs, announced on Tuesday, come with a package of software called HP Connect Solutions, which includes Huddle's cloud-based collaboration, project management and document-sharing tools.

Other elements of the package include HP Virtual Rooms online meeting spaces; HP Virtual Support Room, which lets support engineers access and control computers online for troubleshooting; and Symantec's Norton Online Backup facility.

The first of the PCs will go on sale in Canada and the US later this month, while the UK should get them within the next two to three months, Huddle co-founder Andy McLoughlin said.

"The plan is that this will go out across about 25 million machines globally over the next couple of years," McLoughlin said. "It's a fantastic channel for getting the name and brand and usage all over the globe."

McLoughlin added that the deal would also prove financially rewarding for Huddle, but he would not specify the financial terms. Although the first month of Huddle service is free with the HP Pro 3000, the company's network of online workspaces commands subscription fees of between $15 (£9) and $75 per month.

Huddle, which started up in 2007, hosts user data in the UK, making its services compliant with European data-protection legislation. In addition, the services have "been through a lot of penetration and security testing" with government and large blue-chip clients, McLoughlin said.

The HP deal is the latest big tie-in for Huddle, which launched its application this year across the LinkedIn, Ning and Xing social networks. In addition, Huddle signed a deal this year with the conferencing provider InterCall, which lets users schedule its phone and web meetings through Huddle's applications.

Also on Tuesday, HP announced new Compaq LCD monitors and the ProCurve 2520 switch series, which is for small businesses looking to deploy voice, video and wireless applications using Power-over-Ethernet.

The company also unveiled its latest small-business servers, the ProLiant ML110 and DL120 G6.

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