Tuesday, June 07, 2016

HP and Shutterfly announce largest Indigo deal ever - partners for over 15 (or almost 10) years?

During the quadrennial Drupa Commercial Printing conference, continuing through June 10, many deals and partnerships are announced. HP has featured some of this year's big ones, including what its press release bills as its largest Indigo press deal ever, with Shutterfly's leasing of "25 new HP Indigo 12000 Digital
Presses, marking the largest customer installation in HP Indigo history."

HP has a Shutterfly "success story" on its website, with a PDF dating back to 2005, recounting the company's history with HP Indigo presses. And per Cary Sherburne's recent account of the deal at "What They Think", HP/Indigo's Alon Bar-Shany is quoted as saying that Shutterfly has been an "Indigo customer for more than 15 years", which would go back to before HP's 2002 acquisition of the Israel-based firm. All that makes sense to me, having been around as an insider leading up to and following the aforementioned acquisition.

I was also around for the rather awkward discussions between Shutterfly and HP, when another acquisition occurred. It was the deal, also in 2005, in which HP bought Snapfish, a leading Shutterfly competitor. That came much nearer to my exit as an HP employee, but I was around to witness some tense interactions between the companies, with Shutterfly challenging HP judgement and intention in buying their leading customer's (Shutterly's) fiercest foe.

Could it be 15 years as a customer but only a collaborator for "better part of a decade"?
Things were clearly resolved over time, and HP dumped Snapfish last year in an anti-climatic deal. (See "HP sells Snapfish - cites 'focus'".) But maybe there's an explanation here, for why in this month's release, Shutterfly exec Dwayne Black cites collaboration spanning the better part of a decade!

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