5 Things To Know About The HP-Xerox Partnership

The two companies are joining forces to go after the A4 and A3 printer markets, as well as the PC Device-as-a-Service market.

Teaming Up

While HP Inc. and Xerox are competitors in both the A4 and A3 print markets, the companies have also had a longtime OEM relationship. That arrangement is now getting a major expansion, with the companies announcing on Tuesday a number of new areas of partnership aimed at tackling both the printer and PC markets. For HP, the partnership "creates incremental opportunities for HP in several important areas"--while for Xerox, the deal "makes us a formidable player in the IT solutions business," company executives said in a news release.

What follows are five key things to know about the expanded HP-Xerox partnership.

Xerox-Branded Printers Made By HP

As part of the new arrangement, Xerox will source certain HP A4 devices as well as entry-level HP A3 devices, according to the announcement.

The printers covered by the new agreement will mainly be those using laser printing technology from HP's acquisition of Samsung's printer business in 2017. Xerox will provide those devices running its ConnectKey software, the company said.

Notably, the A4 and A3 printers will be Xerox-branded, as part of the OEM agreement between Xerox and HP. Release dates were not announced for the A3 and A4 printers covered by the partnership.

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

Focus On Printer Apps

The addition of Xerox's ConnectKey interface to HP hardware is a significant development for the printer market, as Xerox has made an aggressive push around bringing powerful apps to its own multifunction devices.

Through its ConnectKey interface, Xerox aims to turn multifunction devices into smart workplace assistants, with access to apps for simplifying and improving business workflows. Recently, Xerox's line of ConnectKey-enabled devices added support for key business apps such as Salesforce, QuickBooks Online and Concur.

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. HP Inc. did recently add the ability for key devices to connect to popular cloud-based apps such as Box, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.

Building On Xerox-Samsung Partnership

One longtime Xerox partner said at first blush, it looks like this is similar to an agreement that Xerox had with Samsung—and indeed, the printers covered by the arrangement will be based primarily on the Samsung laser printing technology acquired by HP. Josh Justice, president of JustTech, said he hopes the new agreement means more offerings coming to the reseller channel.

“So it makes sense that HP and Xerox will continue a similar relationship that Xerox had with Samsung to source some of the products,” said Justice, whose firm is a Xerox Accredited Master Elite MPS partner based in La Plata, Md.

"These VersaLink devices with the Xerox ConnectKey controller have been very popular with our client base. As a Xerox Partner, I am thrilled that this relationship will continue. In terms of the additional announcements, I hope some of these new offerings are available to the channel.”

Xerox Becomes An HP DaaS Partner

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

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.

Xerox is planning to offer HP DaaS starting in the second half of the year to U.S. customers.

Revenue Opportunity

The expanded partnership with HP Inc. also comes at a time when Xerox has been particularly aggressive about going after revenue. Two weeks ago, the copier giant launched three federal civil suits against customers aimed at collecting $794,215 from accused contract scofflaws, according to court records.

The largest single debt is owed by Alecto Health Care which has allegedly refused to pay some $553,983 to the Fairfield, Conn.-based Xerox. The copier giant said two of that company’s affiliates signed lease agreements for a total of 90 devices and a per-page rate on color and black and white copies in 2018, yet both failed to pay Xerox.

An Alecto representative in Ohio, who also handles the West Virginia office, said she would refer CRN’s questions to the company’s lawyer who has not responded.

A Xerox partner who reviewed the contracts said all three appeared to be standard deals and Xerox is well within its rights to pursue the matter in court.