HP previews blazing inkjets to Varnex members

HP Inkjet Pro PrinterLAS VEGAS – Expect HP to bring to market some blazing fast business inkjet printers, the company’s Americas printing chief told attendees at the Varnex Fall Conference here.

Herbert Koeck, vice president and general manger of the printing systems category for the Americas within HP’s PPS group, previewed the company’s upcoming OfficeJet X product line to VARs in attendance at the Red Rock Hotel Monday morning.

“OfficeJet Pro can print for half the running cost of laser printers,” Koeck said. “OfficeJet Pro X can print for half the running cost of laser printers, and do so twice as fast.”

That combination, he suggested, will make for a pretty compelling offering the SMB space, where it is targeted.

The focus on innovation – as championed by the OfficeJet Pro X – was a big part of Koeck’s presentation. His message: HP is the world’s biggest printer vendor, and is not letting off the accelerator when it comes to innovation.

Consider also the recently-unveiled Flow MFP product line, which the company says is the first MFP that’s designed first and foremost as a scanner, with a printer added on. By coming at it that way, as opposed to the traditional printer-centric view, the company hopes to create a product and a user experience that resonates well with businesses where more data is being put into systems as much or more than it’s being printed out. The Flow product line also includes a cloud-based service from HP that provides document repository capabilities, and uses capabilities of its Autonomy software line for unstructured data search.

MFPs remain a hot spot, he said, and HP is anticipating growth of nine per cent or more in the multifunction colour category. The company also expects six per cent growth between 2012 and 2016 in the “high value inkjet” colour market.

“It’s a very established category with customers,” Koeck said. “Customers value it, and we are completely renewing and revamping the MFP product line to capture the growth that exists out there in the marketplace.”

Print continues to grow, Koeck said, because the number of devices people are printing from continues to grow. And while the company expects the amount of content being consumed that is printed to remain static at about two per cent, the amount of content being consumed is set to explode tenfold.

The company also continues to drive around print services in general, and managed print services in specific, in concert with partners. While the overall print market was shrinking two per cent, Koeck noted that Varnex partners, in particular, had grown their HP printing businesses by nine per cent.

“A printer was the first indirect product for HP,” Koeck noted with some pride.

The executive also touched on the “better together” message of HP’s combined Print and Personal Systems group, saying that having “one face” to the channel will increase efficiency, and that the combined group will focus on having “the best experience” for customers using both HP PCs and HP printers.

“We’ve been way too complex, and we are,” he admitted, adding that the company has reduced the number of channel programs across PPS, but that further simplifications are necessary.

Cost efficiencies also mean a big benefit for the company’s partners out of the PPS combination. Koeck detailed situation where one day, a half-empty truck would be sent out with HP printers for deliver, and the next day, a second half-empty truck would roll with HP PCs.

“There are lots of cost synergies here,” he said.