HP To Take On Copier Rivals


Vyomesh Joshi, HP's executive vice president and leader of its $27 billion printer business, said the company's third try to compete in the office imaging segment will succeed because of the new, high-volume, high-quality print technology. The unit is also involved in a round of hiring for sales employees to beef up its efforts, said Joshi and Bruce Dahlgren, HP's senior vice president for enterprise sales in the IPG.

"In the single-function printer market, clearly we are the leader," Joshi said. "When you think about multifunction printers, it's very different," he said, pointing to competitors like Ricoh, Xerox and Konica Minolta. "In the enterprise segment, we have a lot of work to do to gain market share."

While HP has been the overwhelming printer market share leader for years, Joshi maintains that the company still has greater opportunity in capturing page share in the MFP segment, where he says the company has 18 percent share. That share has been picked up almost entirely in recent years, he said.

Joshi and Dahlgren said they were buoyed by this week's announcement that HP would be shipping two, new MFPs based on its Edgeline technology, the HP CM8060 and the CM8050, which provide color and black-and-white output and will be priced on a usage model. Edgeline, announced last fall, is based on a design that builds a print head that spans an entire page and prints a full document face on a single pass. It is aimed at high-volume MFP environments.

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Of the $147 billion global page output opportunity in this space, Joshi said 2,300 enterprise customers would account for about $72 billion. Of that, HP already maintains a relationship with some part of its business. And while those 2,300 "named" accounts would be approached by "hundreds" of new sales employees, the company took pains to say that it would continue to work with channel partners to fulfill those opportunities.

"We want to create a demand through our direct relationship," Dahlgren said. "That's not necessarily a statement on fulfillment. The majority of this business will be fulfilled through the channel." Joshi added that additional training for the channel to bring the MFPs to the new end of the market would be a key element of its approach.

"Our intention is to absolutely train our channel partners," Joshi said. "This is a very important product portfolio that we need to get our channel partners participating. They are very excited about it. From those 2,300 accounts, to small and medium business, we absolutely are going to rely on our channel partners."

HP has tried twice before to enter the copier side of the market, including most recently an ill-fated effort based on a "mopier" hybrid that met with disappointing success. Joshi said the combination of new technology, plus the continuing migration of all output and workflow devices -- including scanners and faxes -- to networks gives the company opportunity it hadn't before had.

"We can go and help them to unify the [output] process, take a lot of cost out and make it very effective," Joshi said. "We know all of these devices have to be on the network. We absolutely believe customers, especially enterprise customers, put those devices on the network. They can unify all of their printing and copying services...and really manage all their devices on the network."