HP says the newest members of its LaserJet departmental printer lineup are specifically built for what it sees as a growing opportunity in managed print. With higher capacity toner, better paper handling, and decreased cost per page, it’s making the pitch for the new members of its M800 family as state-of-the-art for managed print providers.
David Laing, director of innovation for LaserJet and enterprise solutions at HP, said the new products were “designed from the ground up for managed print services environments.” Perhaps the biggest improvement is a decrease in the key managed print cost-per-page metric of between 10 and 35 percent depending on how a company acquires the new members of the print family.
The new printers come standard with HP’s FutureSmart 3 firmware, which introduces new features including mobility, and the ability to auto-reboot the printer when it enters certain firmware-related error states, eliminating the need for the problem to be diagnosed and corrected, either by the managed print service provider or by the customer, with or without partner support.
But perhaps more important than any feature of FutureSmart is the firmware technology itself. FutureSmart introduces a common firmware across much of HP’s workplace printing lineup. Laing said that by updating to new firmware versions, older printers can be kept in service with full functionality longer, and lengthening hardware procurement cycles is one key way to extend the life of a printer in a cost-per-page MPS environment. Organizations also have the option of downgrading new machines to older versions of FutureSmart, should they wish to maintain a common and well-understood image across the business, or in the case of managed print service providers, across their customer base.
HP has been on a march to get more of its channel partners thinking of print as a contractual, not transactional business and move towards providing managed print services. At the company’s Discover conference in June, it launched a program that provides technology and operations backing for IT VARs looking to add managed print to their lineup.
“We’re making our infrastructure, our tools, our scale available to IT VARs so they can resell managed print to their customers,” said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of laser enterprise solutions in HP’s Printing and Personal Systems group.
That program is available now in the U.S., and is slated to launch in Canada in 2014.
Despite the growing chatter around managed print, HP estimates managed print is only at about 25 percent penetration in the market. Still, it’s growing at a respectable 18 percent year-over-year for HP, and the company sees an inflection point coming.
“There’s a crossover between traditional transactional and managed print towards the end of 2015. Managed print will be the dominant way that people buy their printing by 2016,” Michael Weir, vice president and general manager of managed services at HP told ChannelBuzz.ca earlier this year.