HP Unveils Global Business Unit for Managed Print Services

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

HP announces new printer products, new alliances with distributors and an enhanced relationship with Canon, a services component through EDS, and a new channel partner program to help resellers get into the managed printer services business.

With rumblings of deep changes under way in the printer technology market, Hewlett-Packard has announced a raft of changes to its print product portfolio, alliances, services and channel partner program.

The changes include the introduction of a new program to help resellers get on board with managed print services.

And the changes are designed to capture the most of what CEO Mark Hurd estimates to be a $100 billion enterprise print market, combining a services component from HP’s EDS acquisition as well as a deeper sales and marketing alliance with Canon that will make Canon copier products available for HP to sell.

To help resellers and managed services providers looking to get into the managed print services business, HP has created a set of alliances with distribution partners that it is calling "collaborative infrastructure partners." They include IT distributor Synnex as well as Supplies Network, NER Data and United Stationers. Each of these companies will work with resellers to deliver managed print services through a shared sales, infrastructure and print model, according to HP.

HP also says it has created a new global business unit called Managed Enterprise Solutions (MES) to further the growth of HP managed print services. MES will be led by Bruce Dahlgren, an HP senior vice president. HP says the organization will streamline HP's approach to the market and "ensure direct customers receive the most comprehensive suite of customizable services, software and solutions integrated with HP's complete portfolio of intelligent devices—including products from Canon."

"Now there is an organization, a business unit that is focused on managed print services," says Ed Crowley, of Photizo Group, an analyst and consulting firm that covers the managed print services market. "Once HP does that, they tend to be very successful."

Crowley also says the deal with Canon is significant because it opens up Canon's copier portfolio to HP.

What's unclear are the deep details of how the new programs will work with the channel, he says. But it will be a lucrative opportunity.

Crowley's company estimates that the MPS market is worth over $25 billion globally this year and is projecting it will be a $60 billion market by 2013, with one out of every two or three devices being part of an MPS service contract.

IDC analyst Sahaja Sarthy says HP's new MES global business unit is significant and will leverage HP's EDS acquisition to a greater extent in the MPS business. The organization will likely have more than 500 certified EDS account managers to focus on this business, and HP will likely roll out many more offerings associated with EDS, she says.

That's important as the market shifts to more managed services.

"HP recognizes that managed print services is a key growth area," says Sahaja Sarthy, a senior analyst at IDC. "HP believes they are ready to grow at twice the rate that market is growing for MPS."

All the changes at HP acknowledge the broad changes the information industry has undergone in the last few decades.

"The processes developed in the 1980s are not working anymore," says Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) at a briefing announcing the news. "They are not enabling customers to find the information they need. The information environment and the IT environment are not integrated."

Joshi estimates it takes customers 40 percent of their time just to find the information they need. The overarching endgame of the HP announcements is to solve these problems.

In addition to the managed print services offering for reseller channel partners, HP says it will offer a new line of channel-only, closed distribution hardware, supplies and services products that are priced and structured specifically for contractual sales. They will include the following:

  • HP LaserJet 9059 MFP and associated supplies and Care Packs
  • HP LaserJet M4349x MFP and associated supplies and Care Packs
  • HP Color LaserJet CM6049f MFP and associated supplies and Care Packs

HP says that distribution of the products will be limited to HP PartnerONE Office Printing Solutions (OPS) Elite partners and available for contracts of three years or more.

HP estimates that there are $90 billion worth of sales in 8 million SMB accounts and $45 billion worth of sales in 18,000 enterprise accounts that will go through the company’s reseller channel partners, says Joshi.

"We absolutely believe that the new product and supply SKUs we are introducing today will help us compete."

Crowley says HP's new MES is unmatched in the industry. No other printer manufacturer offers such a business unit reporting to a single person within the company.  And that could give HP a jump on its competitors.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com