HP is taking a cue from the consumer mobile phone business by offering a pre-pay tariff for enterprise IT services that lets firms pay upfront for credits.

The move comes as part of a revamping of HP's Mission Critical Services line that is primarily aimed at lowering risk and cost of infrastructure downtime.

HP's Proactive Select offering lets buyers purchase credits that can be used for up to five years over 85 technology services, including modules for blades, virtualisation, networks, security, software and facilities.

HP UK and Ireland director of technology services Alastair Winner said that the scheme would give buyers preferential access and lower overall cost.

"It's a bit like a pay-as-you-go offering where customers pay for modules in advance and top up as they go," he added. "It lets you secure some spend or budget upfront from the CFO, rather than paying on a per-activity basis. You can secure dealings without having to raise purchase orders every time and, by your making a commitment upfront, we can offer a competitive price."

HP has also relaxed terms that tied its services into hardware and software purchases.