Print And Prey: Future Bright For HP’s Happy Hunting Grounds

LAS VEGAS: It would appear that HP wants to build momentum slowly at this week’s Discover 2013, starting off its annual customer event – 12,000 attendees are expected from 90 countries – with some printing and PC announcements. A number of other announcements, including software, services, servers and storage, will be made later this week, with everything presumably capped off by Wednesday’s keynote from President and CEO Meg Whitman.

Monday’s announcements weren’t big and splashy, certainly nothing like last week’s Oracle partnership and Mark Hurd video at Dell’s enterprise event. A number of the announcements were SMB and channel-related, but the new products and services included: Pro and Elite series desktop Pcs; cloud-based printing solutions; a mobile point-of-sale solution based on the ElitePad tablet; Relate, an extension of the Exstream customer communications management solution, a cloud-based offering that integrates with Salesforce; ePrint Enterprise 2.2, which features mobile device management solutions from Good Technology; and the cloud-based content management solution Flow CM Professional with a new encryption-at-rest feature.

What the announcements appeared to be were workman-like, practical responses to customer needs and market opportunities. Despite the multitude of issues besetting HP, the company believes the business printing market is actually a growth opportunity, said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, HP. “In fact, while the overall market is mature, it has several growth opportunities, but you have to be relevant and doing the right things.”

HP has made a lot of money over the years with its printing business, and it looks like mobility could just be the final nail in the paperless office’s casket. A new IDC study on mobile users was really “eye-opening”, said John Tomesco, VP Enterprise Business Development, Managed Services, PPS, HP. “By 2016 mobile pages will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12%.” What’s even better is that 75% of devices will want the ability to print, and color becomes more important to people that want to print, he said.

The overall printing market is either flat or in decline, but commercial, including office, printing is growing approximately 4% annually, said Tomesco. Digital content growth is doubling every year, but digital only makes up 10% of the total market. “So if you look at the other 90% (analog), it’s a great opportunity for HP in office and consumer printing.”

It’s not just about products either, said Jotwani. “ 20% of the overall business is already managed print, and it’s growing in double digits.”

Taking a services approach enables HP to serve customers in the way they want to be served, he said, while providing the company with more revenue opportunities than just being a plain printer provider. One of the initial – and important – benefits of engaging with managed printing is just getting better handle on an organization’s resources and costs, said Jotwani. “The amazing part is people know so little about lot and lots of devices that are in their company and how much is being spent. Round one is to find out what those expenses are.”

Disclosure: HP paid for transportation and lodging.



Author: Steve Wexler

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