HP to add usage payment plan

Corporate customers will pay for the amount of server computing power they use, as a result of a new metered service Hewlett-Packard will introduce to Australia in September.

HP spokesman David Booth said HP's Pay Per Use utility pricing program, currently available in the US on new Unix-based Superdome servers as well as servers based on Intel's 32-bit processors, will offer a much better allocation of funds. "Accountants will be able to put computing power down as an expense on their books rather than as a capital asset," he said.

Customers will receive a monthly bill based on the amount of computing power used during the month. This amount of computing power varies day to day, as, say, the first 27 days of the month the workload and capacity use is average so the amount paid will be less then the last few days in the month when most companies' workload increases, Booth said.

Ian Birks, COO at Ideas International, said the program may end up costing some customers more than purchasing the system outright, but there are definite benefits for some - depending on the business case.

"The service will particularly benefit those people that pass through the pricing model to their customers, such as ISPs (Internet service providers) and large companies," Birks said.

Under the service, ASPs (application service providers) and ISPs will be able to charge their customers based on actual system usage.

"It will be most attractive to ISPs and ASPs, which don't want to incur costs until generating revenue and this service will allow them to do so," HP officials said.

"It is unlikely to be more expensive for customers. In fact what customers will see is a great reduction in costs."

The new service will be of most interest to large companies and government bodies, those in the mid to high end.

"It's a good move of HP's and it will give the company a competitive advantage. I think others will soon mimic this move. HP was the first to launch Instant capacity on demand which we've seen mimicked," Birks said.

The HP Pay per Use pricing program is available on Superdome servers in the US, UK, France, Germany, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Other pricing HP plans include HP Instant Capacity on Demand and HP's Pay per Forecast pricing plan.

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