Hewlett-Packard traded places with Xerox this year in Multifunction Printers, taking the top spot in this category. HP last year came in a close second in terms of technical satisfaction by besting Xerox for product quality and reliability, and security. This year, it swept the technical category, improving last year's second-place finishes in management and configuration features, serviceability, and output speed and quality. According to Scott Dunsire, vice president and general manager of HP's U.S. Channel Sales, Imaging and Printing Group, that was due to improvements in device performance as well as in the underlying technology. HP merged its Imaging and Printing Group into its Personal Systems Group last month.
"For workgroups, HP introduced a refreshed LaserJet portfolio that allows users to download firmware upgrades that protect their investment well into the hardware in the future," he said. He also cited improvements to HP's management tools, imaging and printing security, touch panel displays and wireless networking.
The world's largest computer company did not sweep the support category, falling behind Lexmark in terms of its evaluation and demo equipment policies, and letting its own first-place finish in education and enablement last year slip to second this year. "HP provides demo discounts to its partners each quarter," explained Dunsire. "We look forward to soliciting more feedback from our partners to further enhance overall demo discounts."
In the financial criteria, HP was a leader in competitive pricing, product margins, SPIFs and rebates, and in increase in sales. That was backed up by Jeff Candea, operations director of Governor Business Solutions, an HP reseller in Dearborn, Mich. "By lowering the cost of their units, HP has given us a more competitive edge against similar products from other manufacturers," he said. But the company trailed in services attached, again falling behind Lexmark.