HP Launches Major Printing Services Initiative

Looking to keep its place at the top of the printing hill, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm doubles bundles its imaging expertise as part of its service package.

Hewlett-Packard's Imaging and Printing Group Tuesday announced a new initiative in the area of on-demand and remote printing.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said it will bundle its Digital Publishing Services with its Infrastructure and Business Services to help companies "manage, track, deploy, diagnose and optimize" all of their printing needs.

HP's said its motivating factor is based on industry reports that note a high percentage of companies do not track printing costs.

Pieces and parts of the new initiative have been in the works for a while, but now HP says it is "bringing the whole thing to market."

"If you look at what has changed, you'll see we have dabbled around the issue before," said HP VP and general manager Imaging and printing services Steve Culhane. "Over the last six months we have had to pull together all of this into one organization and make it possible as part of our current global infrastructure."

Culhane said HP doubled its related staff from 100 to 200 experts (including installation, tech support and training) and has already closed about 23 deals in excess of $100 million since coming up with the idea.

As part of the services portfolio, HP is rolling out a new version of its output server software, which allows for document delivery within a company to output destinations such as print, fax, e-mail, Web and file directories. Also complementing the portfolio is the HP managed print portal -- a Web site that lets a customer monitor and track printer usage and view detailed reports and analysis on their fleets.

Culhane also said HP has the capacity and the technology to do the entire project solo, but it is looking for niche partners that specialize in specific areas.

The company was not specific about its pricing plan.

The imaging and printing group has been the cash cow for HP. Even though the company is often thought of as a hardware company, HP execs say future revenue growth to should come from its professional-services groups. The company is currently forecasting its imaging and printing-related services and solutions will be a $40 billion market by 2006, up from about $20 billion in 2001. In comparison HP's PC business remains only slightly profitable and its UNIX and Intel-based server business is still losing money.

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