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Xerox Deal Gives HP Device-As-A-Service A 'Broader Stage'

Xerox will become a DaaS specialist in HP's Partner First program, providing PC leases and analytics for proactive maintenance on devices.

As Xerox joins up as a Device-as-a-Service specialist in HP Inc.'s partner program, one top solution provider for HP Device-as-a-Service is viewing the move in a positive light.

On Tuesday, HP and Xerox announced an expanded alliance that will see a deeper partnership in both the print and PC markets. On the PC side, Xerox will become a DaaS specialist in HP's Partner First program.

[Related: ImageNet Sees Big Demand For New Security And Device Subscription Service]

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.

While DaaS is a nascent market, HP executives have pinpointed the service offering as a central focus for the evolution of the company's PC business.

"While it's true there is some initial investment, there is really no alternative" to moving to services from traditional device sales, HP CEO Dion Weisler told CRN in a March interview. "Because the market, given the mega-trends, is going to move there anyway. The question is, are you going to be there for that end customer, or not?"

Oklahoma City-based ImageNet Consulting last fall launched a new security-focused solution for SMB customers built around HP's DaaS, which has been seeing strong demand so far, according to Juan Fernandez, ImageNet's vice president of managed IT services. In March, HP recognized ImageNet Consulting with its top DaaS partner award at the HP Reinvent 2019 partner conference.

When asked about Xerox becoming an HP DaaS partner, Fernandez called it a "strategic step" for moving Device-as-a-Service into greater awareness and adoption.

"I do believe that DaaS needs a broader stage," Fernandez told CRN. "I honestly think it's going to be a good thing overall."

Xerox brings strong penetration in the SMB market along with services capabilities to the DaaS push, HP and Xerox said in a joint news release. Xerox will be selling HP PCs, displays and accessories through the DaaS program, according to the announcement.

Fernandez said that co-opetition between HP and Xerox makes a lot of sense in this case.

DaaS "needs more light and a bigger stage. It's not out there enough," he said. "The more people that are in it, the more people that are contributing, the better it's going to get."

Xerox is planning to offer HP DaaS starting in the second half of the year to U.S. customers. In addition, HP will provide Xerox’s cloud-based content management platform DocuShare Flex on its commercial PCs in the U.S.

To date, HP's device-as-a-service has been provided by channel partners and, in some cases, directly by HP.

Customer willingness to "entrust the important work of running their personal systems fleet as well as their printing fleet to a trusted advisor in the business—not necessarily having to own it, but receive the outcomes—is a trend that we're beginning to see," Weisler said in a November call with reporters and analysts.

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