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Australian small and medium businesses get more out of their IT with new online learning tools from

  • 20 September, 2004 15:28

<p>Part of Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) Smart Office initiative, HP Learning Curve provides a 24x7 online IT resource for SMBs.</p>
<p>SYDNEY, Australia, 20 September 2004 – Small and medium businesses (SMBs) around Australia can now reduce the cost of expensive staff training programs using the convenience of a purpose-built web-based education and support solution from HP.</p>
<p>Unlike other online programs, the HP Learning Curve solution has been designed to cater to the different learning styles of end users, thereby increasing its return on investment value to SMBs.</p>
<p>Cyrus Pestonji, Business Development Manager, HP Services said the business benefits offered through traditional web-based education and support had been under realised. This is because little allowance was made for differences in learning styles among users; thereby hindering take-up and completion of courses.</p>
<p>“Recent AMI* research has reported that one of the top five strategic directions for SMBs is skills enhancement and IT staff training,” said Pestonji.</p>
<p>“HP Learning Curve has been specifically designed to help SMBs factor in as many personal learning preferences as possible to make it relevant, simple to use and appeal to a wider audience.</p>
<p>“Having access to a live IT expert 24x7 through online chat caters to those who need human interaction; and for others, audio voice prompts help to guide them through step-by-step processes.”</p>
<p>HP Learning Curve offers SMBs a comprehensive range of topics with more than 1,600 task based training modules. Content includes traditional PC-based business applications such as Microsoft Access XP and Quicken 2002, to training on how to choose technology solutions, and an end user’s legal obligations to online music.</p>
<p>Business skills such as leadership training, effective communication, and writing and presentation training are also featured.</p>
<p>“Teacher-led and group training programs can take vital staff resources away for days at a time and can be expensive,” said Pestonji.</p>
<p>“For many SMBs, this can impact on productivity and cash flow so a well-designed web-based learning program can dramatically reduce the average cost of effective staff training to businesses. In addition, there is a significant boost in user productivity as well as reduced cost of user support.”</p>
<p>Steve Carter, Director of Electron Flow said the HP Learning Curve solution provided his IT business with the expertise, support and training needed in their business at significantly reduced cost.</p>
<p>“The site is easy to navigate and use and the variety of content makes it worthwhile. The business skills section and online chat with an expert makes it extremely worthwhile.</p>
<p>“It has reduced the need for expensive and time-intensive training programs and there is no more waiting around for phone calls to be returned for help,” said Carter.</p>
<p>In keeping with today’s changing business requirements, content within the HP Learning Curve solution is regularly revised and refreshed in order to remain relevant. While users can learn at their own pace, an average tutorial lasts for approximately 20 minutes – making it an effective use of time.</p>
<p>A demo version of HP Learning Curve is available at www.hp.com.au/learningcurve, where users can trial three modules and view an introductory flash.</p>
<p>HP Learning Curve leverages off the success of HP’s Smart Office initiative, a specifically designed suite of HP products, solutions and services that fit into existing IT environments and work together seamlessly – enabling SMBs to focus on their business.</p>
<p>Pricing and availability
HP Learning Curve will be trialled initially through HP as part of its HP Care Pack Services program. It will be available through HP’s 3,500 strong channel community from early next year.</p>
<p>HP has an introductory offer of $195 (inc. GST) for a single user with unlimited access to an HP virtual IT specialist for 12 months. Discounted prices are available for 10 users or more.</p>
<p>About HP Care Pack Services – SMB Smart Support
HP Smart Support Services are custom-built to help SMBs make the most of their limited time and in-house IT support resources. Developed in response to requests from HP’s SMB customer base, they supplement a SMB’s existing technical resources or provide SMBs with virtual IT staff. SMBs can then spend less time focusing on technology and more time focusing on their business.</p>
<p>NOTE TO EDITORS// Further information is available on HP Learning Curve solution, including a 90 day demonstration model for media use. Please contact Anastasia Jones at Burson-Marsteller for an activation key.</p>
<p>* Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. is a leading consulting firm specialising in IT, Internet, Telecom and business services market intelligence, trends and strategy with a strong focus on global small and medium business enterprises. For more information visit www.ami-partners.com.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>Editorial contacts:
Anastasia Jones
Burson-Marsteller
02 9928 1529
anastasia_jones@au.bm.com</p>
<p>Hewlett-Packard
3 Richardson Place
North Ryde, Australia www.hp.com.au</p>
<p>About HP
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended 31 July 2004, HP revenue totalled $78.4 billion. More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.au.</p>

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