14 July 2009
HP forming Managed Print Services group; gets slammed by PIA
PALO ALTO, CA—Hewlett-Packard, a leading supplier of digital presses to the North American printing industry, recently announced it will form a Managed Print Services division that will target the growing enterprise-printing segment. Shortly after the announcement, Printing Industries of America issued a statement expressing concern that HP's initiative will put it into direct competition with the commercial printers it supplies.
"We are always concerned when a major vendor in our industry deviates from its core offerings to venture into managing print solutions, which the private sector has competitively provided for hundreds of years," stated Michael Makin, president and CEO of PIA.

"Our role as the largest graphic arts trade association in the world is to represent the interests of commercial printers. It strikes me that HP may be compromising its relationships with its crucial printer customer base. On the one hand, it is courting commercial printers to purchase its print solutions, and yet, on the other, it is offering managed services which could compete with these very printers."

HP already offers printing services but this new business unit allows the company to focus on this area, bringing down costs for enterprises by consolidating printer hardware, and handling things like the printing of bills and legal documents in-house.

As part of the new print services package, HP is offering a guarantee that it will reduce costs by a specified amount (based on an HP estimate) or pay the difference in credit for the next contract.

Xerox is the leader in the MPS market, which, according toPhotizo Group, is expected to rise by 36% this year to $15.7 billion.

Bob Elliott, president of the Canadian Printing Industries Association, says he's looking into whether HP's initiative will have any effect in Canada.
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