HP Delivers “Shot Heard Around the World”

Announces 16 New LaserJet and PageWide A3 MFPs 

September 12 – HP delivered a ‘shot heard around the world’ to copier manufacturers and dealers. Enrique Lores, president, Imaging and Printing, HP Inc. stated, “For decades, the copier industry has lacked the technology to improve efficiency of service, make color affordable, and keep up with security requirements. HP is changing this with next generation A3 multifunction printers.”

HP explained the copier market is growing at two percent per year. Growth is not a major concern; it is the Total Addressable Market (TAM) that it represents. According to HP’s calculation A3 is a big opportunity at $55 billion. Of that, small-and-medium business (SMB) makes up 65 percent or $36B. Since this announcement is being made at the HP Global Partner Conference, it is a perfect segue for HP to introduce this next generation of HP A3 MFPs to an audience intent on disrupting the copier market.

New A3 HP Portfolio of Products

HP has announced a portfolio of A3 MFPs including three PageWide and 13 LaserJet platforms with a range of finishing options including a stapler-stacker, hole punch, high cap staple / stack, and booklet makers. HP’s channel partners will be able to offer its customers a range of devices (both laser and inkjet), options, and pricing (see Figure 1). All of these will be sold exclusively under contract.

Figure 1 - HP's 2016 Fall Announcement Source:HP
Figure 1 – HP’s 2016 Fall Announcement                           Source:HP

The four classes are based on laser device speed points (PPM). Amidst the 16 new devices are three PageWide platforms shown in classes of similarly priced laser devices but have about a 15ppm speed advantage over the laser devices. Granted, this is an obvious statement of PageWide’s disruptive speed. Also note the speed of the PageWide devices are shown at two speed points. These represent HP’s Professional mode (default) and General Office (GO) mode (uses 20 percent less ink and are faster). Most customers currently default to General Office mode.

The PageWide Pro and PageWide Enterprise models have lower energy consumption than in-class laser devices and, based on prior announcements. All PageWide Pro and Enterprise devices will support external finishing when this options ships in the fall of 2017. The HP PageWide Pro devices will be available beginning in spring 2017 and are targeted at SMB customers and the HP PageWide Enterprise devices are targeted at the enterprise and will be available later in fall of 2017.

The HP LaserJet MFPs will have speeds ranging from 25 to 60ppm and will be available as color or monochrome printing. These will be available in spring 2017 as well. The LaserJets do not have Canon or Sharp engines and will not replace current products. Photizo believes the engines may be made by Samsung (based on HP’s September 12th announcement) or Konica Minolta. These devices have longer life consumables and both the PageWide and LaserJets are designed for fast repair.

Finally, HP is keeping these A3 MFP devices in the copier channel separate from the current office A3 MFPs. This demonstrates that HP understands the rules of the game.

HP Smart Device Services and Security

HP is also announcing its Smart Device Services (SDS). It is a set of device features that enable a lower cost service model and more sensing and data about the device. Secondly, is it a set of HP technologies in the cloud that gather, process data, and make suggested service actions.

HP has made a big play on security. All of these A3 MFPs feature HP’s embedded security features – SureStart, Run-time Intrusion Detection, and Whitelisting. Additionally, all of these new devices can be used with the recently announced JetAdvantage on Demand cloud platform, which helps partners to secure and manage these machines.

Our View

This announcement puts the ‘flesh on the bones’ for any rumors that have been circulating and, in effect, provides competitors HP’s roadmap. HP fully recognizes the importance of going after this segment and knows it may be stepping on the toes of its entrenched competitors. This is a very important growth path and moving into this space is fraught with peril. HP will have to step carefully due to the landmines spread throughout. Aurelio Maruggi, vice president and general manager of HP’s A3 Business, is aware of the problems and also the success HP may have if implemented correctly. His background with HP Graphics has given him a keen vantage point in delivering products that HP’s partners will be delighted to place.

Maruggi wants to show that HP is in this for the long run, that it understands the ‘rules of the game,’ and that HP will become a vendor that is easy to do business with. HP is going into this growth area with its ‘eyes wide open.’ It is clear that copier dealers may be wary of a printer company arriving on its doorstep trying to convince some to take on the HP brand. HP will be targeting existing copier dealers with installed bases of devices and contracts that can be switched to HP. HP will be very selective in approaching copier dealers. The battle is just beginning for disruption in the enterprise. In less than a decade, will laser bias be relevant any more?


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