HPs 2.0-Pronged Attack on Print

"Most companies have no clue what, when and where they are printing or how much it is costing them," claims one print consultant.

Hewlett-Packard unleashed a $300 million marketing campaign Aug. 28, alongside a string of new printers, software and services designed to ease printing from the Web and for new reasons, such as in-house marketing material.

Part of the companys Print 2.0 strategy to make print, scan and copy seamless, the initiative is accompanied in the enterprise by an effort to wrangle wild printer environments and cut printing where it is inefficient.

Both efforts are designed, in part, to make happy, and thus repeat, customers, but in the end HPs Imaging and Printing Group is out to increase its 1.6 percent share of the 53 trillion pages expected to be printed in 2010 as companies look to cut the cost of their print infrastructure.

"First you cut waste out of printing, then you get them printing efficiently," said Cathy Lyons, senior vice president of Strategic Change Management in HPs Imaging and Printing Group. "You move them from printing low-payback items, like report generation, invoices, etc., and move them to high-payback items like marketing collateral … or directly on packages." Higher-impact pages such as glossy and photo paper are generally also higher-value pages for HP, she added.

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HP would not reveal its goals for the effort, but Vyomesh Joshi, an executive vice president, said, "If I can double the number of HP pages printed, I will double business."

The major focus of the drive to print more pages is HPs initiative to make the Web—and thus Web applications—more printer-friendly. Its hoping its recent acquisition of Tabblo, a 2-year-old software firm that converts Web pages for easy print, will help it do so.

"The Web is where content is right now," Lyons said. "If you can enable users to easily and quickly print from the growing sources of content coming from the Web, people are going to print more. Thats good for everyone but, with our market share, especially HP."

HP announced partnerships with several major Web sites to embed a "print" button to enable Tabblo, and Yahoo will add Tabblo to its popular toolbar.

Part of the effort to cut waste involves a managed services approach, including an inventory of output devices and usage, that relies on HP consultants and solution providers to configure more efficient print deployment and use strategies, said Scott Tuthill, vice president of IPGs Small & Medium Business Go-to Market Unit.

The basic problem is that most companies have no clue what, when and where they are printing or how much it is costing them, said Kevin Prickhardt, CEO of Pharos Systems, a Fairport, N.Y., document management consultancy.

"Most of the companies we go into have nearly one printer/copier for every two employees," Prickhardt said. "Its not unusual to see costs per page close to 5 cents, not including support costs and help desk calls to support dozens of different models and vendors."

HP is pushing partners and customers to employ assessments, monitoring, and new technologies and solutions such as archiving solutions, personal identification numbers, and monthly service and supply contracts to rein in cost per page.


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