Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Printing in the Enterprise

Live from the 2008 Lyra Imaging Symposium in Rancho Mirage CA

The lunch break has arrived on the first of two days of the 2008 Lyra Symposium, and along with it the nice weather, on a calm and pleasant day in the California desert.

The major portion of the morning was dedicated to Printing in the Enterprise. Ann Priede, the managing editor of Lyra Research's The Hard Copy Observer (and, in the full disclosure department, my boss when it comes to my monthly print column duties for that publication) provided a recap of the year 2007 in the printing and imaging business. She used a creative MySpace-inspired approach dubbed LyraSpace that provided a dashboard for industry participants, in looking back on what was an eventful year in the business.

Bruce Dahlgren, Senior Vice President of HP's Global Enterprise Business, Imaging and Printing Group (IPG), followed with an interesting presentation, talking about "Alternate Thinking to Printing" where he explained what HP means when talking about "Print 2.0 in the Enterprise". He traced some of the history of enterprise printing, going back to his days as a more generalized IT executive, and frankly shared his general disinterest in printing back then, at least as anything strategic. He then traced changes in enterprises, with some great anecdotal material, evoking memories of mail carts and overhead transparencies among others, and described the change that has been wrought during the shift in eras from print-and-distribute to distribute-and-print.

Not surprisingly, he concluded with a vision that involves MFPs as information on-ramps and off-ramps, implemented with processors, connectivity, and user interfaces that make them capable and thus relevant to end users as well as IT organizations and the entire enterprise. All using HP devices and Managed Print Services, of course!

Steve Reynolds, Senior Analyst, Lyra Research, followed with a talk entitled "Future Growth Factors in Enterprise Printing: Workgroup Printers and MFPs, Color Penetration, Laser vs. Inkjet, and Edgeline vs. Memjet" that tracked each of the major copier/MFP vendors and their approach to the business, including Managed Print Services.

While he covered many competitors, my thoughts were around his comments about HP, which was a mixed review, to be fair. As a relatively new entrant in the copier/MFP realm, the company has had success as well as failure or at least frustration. When it came to this bullet point about Managed Print Services, though, I thought back to some of my conclusions from Dahlgren's talk.

Significant potential if HP gets its act together and leverages Web Jetadmin, Universal Print Driver, Output Server, nonprint systems [e.g. blade servers]

While the cynic might observe that the HP "Print 2.0 for the Enterprise" story is really just a another version of HP's Managed Print Services by another name, albeit fortified with Dahlgren's leadership, a growing selling effort, and strategic acquistions (see "Exstream Printing"), to name a few, isn't that what Reynolds is saying it will take for HP to succeed? The parts, at least many of them, are there, now it just takes strong and steady efforts, and if it's called "Print 2.0 for the Enterprise" now, so be it!

The Enterprise Printing Track closed with presentations from Cortney Kasuba, Research Analyst, Lyra Research, with "Enterprise Printers and Copiers Tell All: Insider Insights from Lyra's Office Print Monitor", and Laura Hunt, Director, Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, PrintFleet, who spoke on "Managing Profitable Relationships with Managed Print Services". The companies are partners in the OPM project, which is rapidly developing interesting trend data on end user printing behavior in organizations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As always Lyra did an excellent job of selecting top levels speakers today. It is always tough to get the vendors representatives to keep neutral over their products and strategies. I thought Dalgren did an excellent job of advancing a vision of the trend of office printing. I also felt that those vendors pitching a TCO differentiator will have a difficult time.

Thanks for the blog!