Driving growth

Kees Verton, printing category manager, Printing and Personal Systems Group, HP Middle East, outlines what the company will be focusing on this year in the regional channel.

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Driving growth
By  Manda Banda Published  March 18, 2013

Kees Verton, printing category manager, Printing and Personal Systems Group, HP Middle East, outlines what the company will be focusing on this year in the regional channel.

Channel: How has business been for HP PPS division in 2012 in the Middle East region?

KV: HP has performed very well. HP was again the market leader in our region, based on IDC data, with more than 51% of the printers sold. Especially in the last two quarters of 2012, we were growing our market share significantly versus the year before. We are happy with our performance in all segments, inkjet, laser and large format printers.

Channel: What will be your main focus areas for the PPS business now that you have combined your printing and PC business units?

KV: There are a lot of advantages from the new combined PPS organisation for printing. For our channel partners, it means one person to discuss about the combined business, and making it easier to take decisions on the combined business offerings. We can also more easily leverage on the mutual strength of both businesses.

Channel: What managed print services is HP rolling out to its channel partners in the Middle East region?

KV: HP is a channel partner-driven company. The company is supporting its channel partners in developing their own managed print services (MPS) flavour. The HP Partner MPS programme offers a technology-based, results-oriented approach to managing print environments, built on the premise that printing and document management are essential parts of today’s IT architecture. Because we recognise the importance of incremental and continuous improvement, businesses can respond to changes as they arise.

Channel: How is HP PPS helping its partners to capitalise on the amount of digital data being created, in corporate offices, consumer environments and in the cloud?

KV: Printing for HP is more than putting ink or toner on paper. Printing and scanning are an essential part of IT, where documents need to be digitised and where the digital data needs to be analysed, searched, shared and printed. So, on the one hand, HP offers advanced printing solutions for paper output, and on the other hand, the company offers advanced digitisation solutions for uploading digital content. One of the newly introduced products for that is the unique series of HP Flow MFP’s. HP Flow MFP integrates superior front-end scanning and advanced software for document flow solutions in an advanced multi functional printing (MFP) device. With the new HP Flow MFP, the company offers channel partners an excellent opportunity to capitalise on the digital, data content creation opportunity.

Channel: What new technology has HP introduced through PPS to help push its solution providers up the stack of value-added business?

KV: Our breakthrough technology is offered with the new HP Flow MFP Series; HP colour LaserJet flow MFP M575c and HP Laserjet flow MFP M525c. Those are the first in a totally new generation of MFP devices that offer far more than “just” print, copy, scan and fax.

They offer numerous benefits to our customers that include: integrated high capacity scanning with single pass duplex colour scan, automatic document feeder with extended life and high capacity, HP Everypage technology to secure that not one page is missed during scanning, and automatic recognition of single-sided and dual sided originals and orientation of the pages. Other benefits are integrated keyboard and large colour touchscreen to add meta-data to scan jobs, and on-board OCR to automatically transfer text from documents to editable content, integrated scan to sharepoint, folder and mail. All these benefits come at a very competitive price (compared to stand alone high capacity scanners).

Channel: What channel programmes is HP rolling out to its PPS partners in the Middle East?

KV: Across the Middle East region, HP is expanding on the benefits of the existing PC and printing channel programmes, offering excellent support to help partners manage their business and to earn additional bonuses and rebates.

Channel: Counterfeit printer parts and consumables have been a challenge in the region. What initiatives is HP driving to channel partners to combat this?

KV: HP fights fiercely with its partner ecosystem and law enforcement agencies against counterfeit products, via the HP ACF Program. Especially in the Middle East market, this has resulted in confiscations of hundreds of thousands of fake HP cartridges and various imprisonments by the local authorities.

Channel: What are the main reasons why fake printers and consumables are finding their way into authorised channels of distribution?

KV: Obviously that has to do with perceived benefits of counterfeit products, while neglecting the fact that their quality and reliability is not the same as the original HP product.

Channel: Where do you see majority of your growth coming from as HP IPG in 2013?

KV: HP sees opportunities for printing growth especially in the higher segment of the Laser market. HP has recently introduced nine new MFP products, which are aimed at growing the business in this segment of the market. The newly introduced HP flow MFP’s will also drive growth for HP in this segment of the market. We are also seeing huge opportunities for growth with our HP OfficeJet Pro product portfolio, which offers end-users a range of benefits. HP Officejet Pro offers a 50% lower price per page than comparable laser printers and MFPs, with comparable print quality and on top of that far reduced environmental impact (energy and waste reduction).

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