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HP Inc. Teams With Xerox On Printers, Device-As-A-Service

Xerox will be sourcing HP A4 and A3 devices, which will be provided to customers with Xerox’s ConnectKey software.

Two printer industry giants are teaming up, as HP Inc. and Xerox on Tuesday announced a partnership to unite their respective strengths in pursuing the print market.

Announcing "an expansion of the companies' business relationship," HP and Xerox said that they will also work together to tackle the nascent Device-as-a-Service market.

[Related: Xerox: 5 Things The Company Is Doing To Change Course]

As part of the new arrangement, Xerox said it will source certain HP A4 devices as well as entry-level HP A3 devices, and will provide those devices running on Xerox's ConnectKey software.

Through its ConnectKey interface, Xerox aims to turn multifunction devices into smart workplace assistants, with access to apps for simplifying and improving business workflows.

Xerox's ConnectKey software has served as a major differentiator for its products, with HP not as quick to roll out such software for its multifunction devices.

The printers covered by the new arrangement will mainly be those using laser printing technology from HP's acquisition of Samsung's printer business in 2017.

Going forward, Xerox will also supply toner to HP "for these and other products," the companies said in a news release.

The partnership comes as both Xerox and HP seek to find new avenues for growth in the sluggish print market.

Meanwhile, HP and Xerox will be partnering in Device-as-a-Service, with Xerox becoming a Device-as-a-Service specialist in HP's Partner First program, the companies announced.

HP's Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering provides PC leases paired with HP's TechPulse software for proactive identification of device issues—such as an impending battery or hard drive failure.

The companies said that Xerox brings strong penetration in the SMB market along with services capabilities to the DaaS push, which HP executives have pointed to as a central focus for its PC business evolution. Xerox will be selling HP PCs, displays and accessories through the DaaS program, according to the announcement.

In addition, HP will provide Xerox’s cloud-based content management platform DocuShare Flex on its commercial PCs in the U.S.

The partnership "creates incremental opportunities for HP in several important areas" and "further demonstrates the strength of HP’s differentiated IP and portfolio and positions the business for growth over time in both office printing and DaaS," said Enrique Lores, president of Imaging and Printing at HP Inc., in a news release.

Steve Bandrowczak, president and chief operations officer for Xerox, said in the release that the partnership "broadens our portfolio of products, software and services, expands the reach of DocuShare Flex, increases productivity in our toner facilities, strengthens ConnectKey’s position in our printer family, and makes us a formidable player in the IT Solutions business especially with the small to midsize business we know so well."

Release dates were not announced for the A3 and A4 printers covered by the partnership. Xerox is planning to offer HP DaaS starting in the second half of the year to U.S. customers.

Fujifilm--which is seeking $1 billion in damages related to its attempted $6.1 billion merger with Xerox in 2018—said in a statement Tuesday that "day-to-day business between Fuji Xerox and Xerox is continuing as usual" after the disclosure of Xerox's expanded partnership with HP Inc.

"This announcement does not have a major impact on Fuji Xerox’s business, as Xerox already has been sourcing entry-level products from other companies," Fujifilm said in the statement. "Mid- to high-level (A3 MFP) products that make up a large part of Xerox’s revenue have been both developed and provided by Fuji Xerox. With regard to Fujifilm’s position on the combination of Fuji Xerox and Xerox, that has not changed and Fujifilm believes that the combination is not indispensable for Fujifilm/Fuji Xerox’s growth. We continue to maintain a cooperative relationship with Xerox."

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