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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

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.