HP print services aim to cut printing costs

The services and printing divisions of Hewlett-Packard (HP) are teaming up to offer companies on-demand printing and digital publishing services that are designed to help reduce costs and improve document management, the company said Tuesday.

HP will offer three main services to companies: secure transfer of documents, printing from multiple locations, and digital publishing, said Steve Culhane, vice president and general manager for imaging and printing services, in a conference call.

The first service, called business critical services, will help companies ensure that crucial documents are securely transferred around their organizations to a variety of devices, including printers, scanners, and other hardware, he said. HP will also help companies integrate their legacy document-management applications with the newer products they have purchased, he said.

The second service, call infrastructure services, will focus on helping improve worker productivity through the ability to print documents from locations other than the desktop, among other things, Culhane said.

Finally, the digital publishing services will allow companies to print documents such as marketing brochures as they are requested by their customers, rather than having to estimate demand and wind up with a closet full of unused marketing materials, he said. Companies will also be able to personalize marketing documents for particular customers.

HP has the ability to offer these services immediately, Culhane said. The printing and imaging group has been working closely with HP services to deliver these capabilities, he said.

"We've been doing this for a while, informally. Usually we can get a 20 percent reduction in costs, something that fits perfectly in the current environment," said Bernard Meric, senior vice president of the imaging and printing group for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), at CEBIT in Hannover, Germany.

The company has increased the number of employees focused on printing services in recent months, Culhane said.

HP will use some of its current products in rolling out these services to customers, Culhane said. The Palo Alto, California, company will use its HP output server software which helps route documents through an enterprise, and the HP managed print portal which allows IT managers to track and monitor printer use, he said.

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