HP Pushes Cloud Printing, Eyes Service Dollars
|HP says that cloud technology is revolutionizing printing.|
Dahlgren explained that HP has an extensive enterprise customer base, as well as a strong printing legacy and extensive networking capabilities. The tech giant, he said, already has 3100 MPS customers, which include heavy-hitters such as Disney(DIS) , Merck(MRK) , General Mills (GIS) , 3M(MMM) and eight of the top 10 banks.
Managed Print Services are specialized services that aim to improve customers' printing, copying and scanning. This could involve, for example, remotely monitoring and managing customers' multifunction printers, or standardizing devices to boost efficiency.
Dahlgren used the example of HP's ePrint service as evidence of cloud technology's MPS impact.
Launched last year, ePrint lets mobile workers print documents from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. "We were able to use the cloud to do this," explained Dahlgren, adding that HP worked with partners such as FedEx(FDX) Office and Hilton Hotels to set up secure print locations for mobile workers around the world. "Whether you are in New York or whether you are in San Francisco, you can print," he said.
The executive explained that, similar to a GPS, the ePrint application tells customers which print locations are in their vicinity. When the user has picked a location and hit "print" on their smartphone, the print job goes into the secure HP private cloud, where it is held, and an access code is sent back to the customer's smartphone. The user then enters this onto the printing device, at say, a Fedex Office, to access the print job via the cloud.
"On every form of these devices, there is some form of authentication," said Dahlgren. "It's secure."
The executive told TheStreet that the ePrint application, which is available to all HP's MPS customers, has been downloaded more than a million times since its debut in April 2011.
HP uses three remote management centers dotted around the world to manage its MPS cloud. "What we do with these centers, is, on a real time basis, we go into enterprises, where we have managed print service contracts, and we can manage those devices remotely," said Dahlgren. "I could tell you 'this printer, based on usage, will be out of paper tomorrow' - I had better put paper in it tonight."
Speaking during the company's recent first-quarter conference call, HP CEO Meg Whitman cited cloud, along with security and information management, as key priorities.