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Network-hosted Storage Gets a New Entry - HP's Upline

It was interesting that the same week that Parks Associates announced findings from a new report titled Enabling Solutions for a Rich Broadband Experience that we got an update from HP and learned about their Upline network-hosted storage announcement from April 7. Our analysts Michael Cai and James Kuai had written in their report that network-hosted storage solutions from broadband service providers - where consumers can upload content such as digital photos, music, video, and their data files to service provider-hosted storage - would start to generate significant value-added services revenues. Their forecast indicates that these storage services would generate $188 million in annual revenues among U.S. broadband subscribers by year-end 2012.

We were briefed by HP's Managed Home team on Friday, as we are covering products such as the Media Vault and the MediaSmart Server for some upcoming research. We've also gotten some interesting updates from the Microsoft Windows Home Server team and companies such as Axentra, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hammer Storage, and others.

HP's Upline service is available to both consumers and small businesses. They offer three levels of subscriptions:

  • Home & Home Office – Designed for a home with up to three PCs to manage their access using a single log-in and password. Available for $59 per year.
  • Family – Designed for families that want up to three independent subscriptions to allow for file privacy between family account log-ins. Available for $149 per year.
  • Professional – Designed for small businesses with up to 100 PCs. Also includes a multi-user administrative dashboard, advanced technical support and a lifeline number for emergency file recovery. Available for $299 per year.

HP includes Upline as part of its HP Total Care Portfolio, which includes extended break-fix, support, PC performance optimization, and even in-home repair services. This service really does reflect a new approach to customer support that extends the support lifecycle well beyond just break-fix or ad-hoc services and creates more proactive and longer-term support services that can wrap around some of the more basic troubleshooting services that are commonly offered today. I expect that we'll hear a lot more about extended the customer support lifecycle at our upcoming CONNECTIONS conference.