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HP Promises To Cut Enterprise Printers – For A Price

Eric is a veteran British tech journalist, currently editing ChannelBiz for NetMediaEurope. With expertise in security, the channel, and Britain's startup culture, through his TechBritannia initiative

New HP division will cut the number of printers you have… if you sign up for a full printing service from HP

Hewlett-Packard has formed a new unit that promises to cut enterprise printing costs by over 15 percent, and reduce a customers’ carbon footprints – as long as they sign up to a total print service managed by HP.

Enterprise customers will be able to ask HP’s newly-formed managed enterprise services (MES) division for an assessment of their printing and imaging needs, and what hardware and processes best meet them, said Arnold Marty, HP’s EMEA vice president and general manager for the new division.

The HP team will calculate an amount the company can hope to save, said Marty, at a press conference in Berlin. If these savings are not realised in the first year of operation, HP will pay the customer the difference, he went on.

Re-appraising the print environment can render savings by rationalising the number of printers and replacing older models with energy efficient models, Marty said.

Big HP customer Swiss Post told the press conference it had already made savings in this way: “HP’s MES team has helped us to reduce our printer population from 17,000 to 6,000. Over the coming year we are expecting to save over €3m,” said Ate Hollander, manager for office automation at Swiss Post.

The big string attached to this offer is the requirement to to accept a total HP managed print environment. HP argues that this is a necessary requirement for the cost-saving guarantee because a mixed environment would be less predictable.

It’s also obvious that, since profits in printing usually depend on people actually buying printers and their consumables, there’s always a danger that any green message HP presents will be conflicted, like that of other manufacturers such as Samsung or Lexmark. In this case HP clearly hopes to trade off some printer sales for the steady position it can get through a service model.

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Marty said, “It’s not just the cost-savings on power but also the control-print policy that our managed services can deliver. We have made this move because we think the enterprise of the future will have more external consultants and fewer technical support people and HP can’t ignore this opportunity.”