Despite its desire to be considered an enterprise powerhouse like IBM, and its strong showings in servers, storage and its most recent quarterly earnings, the straws that stir HP’s Kool-Aid continue to be PCs and printers. However, while PCs (and workstations) is the company’s fourth largest division, contributing nearly 30% to its revenue but only 10% of its estimated value, the printer and ink cartridge division is HP’s third largest division and delivered 20% of its revenue and 37% of its non-GAAP operating profit last quarter.
Although CEO Meg Whitman told a Morgan Stanley conference in early March that “(printing) is in some ways the very best part of HP,” it is being downplayed, according to Gartner Research Director Pete Basiliere. In a full day of senior management presentations to industry analysts from around the world last week the coverage of print and Printing and Personal Systems was light compared to Enterprise Group, Software and Enterprise Services. “However, HP does itself a disservice by minimizing the role that print technology plays within the company and in its markets.”
Printers were center stage this week at HP’s Global Partner Conference 2014, where the company announced the OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X555 and X585 printers, ink-based enterprise devices at half the cost per page of lasers.
The printer announcements were part of HP’s New Style of IT. “The New Style of IT requires a new style of partnering,” said Whitman on Monday. “Together, HP and our partners have become the go-to technology provider for the New Style of IT with industry-leading technology solutions, programs and incentives that help partners drive growth.”
IT Trends & Analysis was briefed on the new offerings, and where printing and HP are going. The inkjet printers are the next generation, said Andy Binder, General Manager, Enterprise Ink Business, HP, designed to address the pain points of performance and costs. “We were being asked to improve performance and reduce costs.”
Over a five-year period enterprises can save on the order of $1,300-$6,000, he said. They also allow HP to address the segment of the market dominated by A3 copiers. “We believe this is a growth opportunity… incremental business.”
HP’s Todd Gregory, Director of Marketing and Demand Generation for HP Managed Print Services and Solutions, said costs have been the primary driver for managed services, and customers can typically see savings of 30%. However, what started out as a focus on costs is now expanding to workflow, “ how keep paper secure and compliant.”
Mobility is another key focus, said HP’s Dave McCormick, Manager of WW Future Product Marketing, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions. “We’re going after the segments that we see growth.”
According to Gartner’s Basiliere, printing “is not dead, not by any stretch. Is it changing, evolving and even declining in some spaces? Yes.” However, digital print is actually growing in many markets, including: cloud printing services; commercial printing; and package printing, he said.
For the fourth quarter, hardcopy peripherals (HCP) shipments of 31.7 million units represented a year-over-year increase of 2%, with HP having a nearly two-to-one lead over second-place Canon. The company shipped more than 12.6 million units, grew 5.4% year-over-year and gained 2 points to hold almost 40% of the entire market.
Accounting for 62% of the total HCP market, inkjet remains the dominant technology. While shipments declined 4.9% for the year, the laser market continued to grow, with monochrome laser devices (82.3% of the laser market) up 5.8% in 4Q13 and color lasers (17.7%) up 9.4% YoY. Multi-function printers made up 48% of the mono laser market, and 60% of color laser segment.
The Fiddly Bits (& Bytes)
HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585:
-new, ink-based devices are enterprise ready with tested durability to handle the rigorous printing
demands of enterprise businesses – printing at twice the speed and at up to half the cost per page of lasers;
-powered by HP PageWide Technology, made up of more than 40,000 tiny nozzles on a stationary printhead that spans the width of a page to deliver four colors of Original HP pigment ink onto a moving sheet of paper;
-quick and convenient mobile printing capabilities with NFC touch-to-print and wireless direct technology;
-provides rapid print speeds of more than 70 pages per minute;
-users can print, copy, scan, fax (F and Z bundles only), and access the cloud straight from the device;
-enterprise-level security and a single point of control, so that IT managers can remotely manage printers with ease;
-complete with unique enterprise capabilities that can be easily managed and scaled with HP FutureSmart 3.0 firmware, Open Extensibility Platform, Universal Print Driver and Web Jetadmin;
-uses up to 90 percent less cartridge and packaging material by weight compared with color lasers; and,
-Flow bundle allows for greater connectivity as users can scan to and print from the cloud.
The HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585 will be available on April 1, 2014 and pricing options range between $1,999 and $2,799. The HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585 and HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color X555 are expected to be available worldwide on April 1. The HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585 pricing options range between $1,999 and $2,799, while the HP X555 pricing options range between $749 and $1,199.