New HP Access Control features should enhance print channel opportunities

A new Proactive Print Advisor service is another strong channel play in a series of new and enhanced print solutions and services HP has announced.

HP print

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277, one of the next-gen machines announced in March supported by the new enhancements

HP has announced multiple enhancements to their print security offerings. From the channel perspective, the most interesting is likely to be the enhanced HP Access Control, their security offering for organizations which manage fleets of devices. A new feature, server-less pull printing, eliminates the need for servers in small, branch offices. HP Access Control can be used as a managed mobility solution now as well.

HP Access Control has always been a strong channel product, said Thomas Jensen, Vice President, PPS Worldwide Channel Sales.

“There are several iterations of HP Access Control so channel partners can choose the right solution to meet their customers’ needs in a given industry,” he said.

The new serverless pull printing capability lets users initiate print jobs from their PC or mobile device and have them held at the client. The user authenticates at any authorized printer and the file is then sent directly to the printer bypassing the server. Its uses include maintaining document confidentiality, improving regulatory compliance and saving on toner and paper.

“Serverless pull printing reduces the number of servers a company needs to support HP Access Control Secure Pull Printing, making it easier and less expensive to implement,” Jensen said.

“We see this feature increasing the number of customers interested in this solution,” Jensen added. “Serverless pull printing makes it easier and less expensive to deploy pull printing in small branch offices because it eliminates the need for a local server. We think that will make HP Access Control more attractive to our customers and channel partners.”

HP Access Control can also now serve as a managed mobility solution, allowing mobile device users to print from email to the secure pull print queue.

“While HP has offered mobile email printing capabilities with HP Access Control Express, with this update, we are making it available as part of HP Access Control Enterprise,” Jensen said.

The HP JetAdvantage Security Manager has expanded its device coverage.

“The HP JetAdvantage Security Manager has been a solution for managing security for HP Enterprise printers,” Jensen said. “With this latest update, the solution will support security management for recent Pro class LaserJet printers.”

Several new features have also been added to Security Manager. It now supports auto-discovery of devices, so the software can find devices attached to the network through IP address or hostname, then allow the customer to verify which devices they want managed.

Automatic email reports are new as well. After an assessment or remediation is completed, Security Manager emails a report to the IT manager, which confirms the completion of the task and lists a summary of policy, device status across the fleet as well as a risk assessment – without disclosing sensitive information. If the user wants a more detailed analysis, they can log into Security Manager.

One new item which will impact primarily direct sales, but has a limited channel applicability through a select partner channel, is a new module for the HP Capture and Route solution. It adds forms recognition capabilities, which make it faster and easier to scan paper documents and manage them digitally.

“This Forms Recognition module takes the solution to another level, enabling greater automation within the document capture process,” Jensen said. “Now document recognition and data extraction can happen automatically, improving the decision making process and shortening the overall workflow time. This is especially interesting in workflows that involve high volumes of paper.”

Finally, HP is introducing a new service, Proactive Print Advisor, which provides customized reporting, analysis and recommendations based on individual print environments.

“HP has offered the reporting capabilities on which HP Proactive Print Advisor is based for some time, but this new service offers a layer on top of that,” Jensen said. “Customers will get customized analysis and recommendations on how to optimize their printer fleet for cost effectiveness, policy enforcement, and to stay on top of updates.”

HP Proactive Print Advisor will be of most value to enterprise and larger mid-sized organizations, and partners who work that market should find this a valuable addition to their toolkit.

“HP Proactive Print Advisor offers great opportunity for our channel partners, as they can either resell the service, or use it to advise their customers on how to get the best results out of their HP print infrastructure,” Jensen said.