‘HP will serve both classic and cloud worlds’

By : |September 19, 2011 0

SHANGHAI, CHINA: John Solomon, senior vice president, Imaging & Printing Group, HP Asia Pacific & Japan, in talk with Deepa Damodaran of CIOL on the sidelines of HP IPG’s annual conference held in Shanghai recently. Excerpts:

CIOL: HP seems to be very bullish about printing market and its future. However, what about the green responsibility that HP as a company needs to take care of, when you talk hard copy printing?

John Solomon:  It is fundamentally important to help corporate not only with saving money but also with a carbon footprint. When we work with large enterprises, we help them to look at their current printing environment and how much is the carbon impact of that environment, with our carbon footprint calculator. And when we redesign that environment, one of the main goals is to reduce the carbon footprint.

Forty per cent of all books published in traditional offset printing end-up as waste. Thus, large amount of paper and trees go waste because it is impossible to know how many books are to be published, so what traditional printers do is to print books in a large amount, however only a small percentage of this is consumed, the rest end up as a waste and cause big environmental impact.

Our digital printing technology is a better way of printing in a environmental friendly way because you only print what you need. HP’s InkJets cut down waste in supply chain while publishing books. Environment impact is much less in digital printing, versus traditional method.

When we talked about e-print, it is not about making people print more. When we look at a work flow, we look at actually reducing the number of steps required in print, i.e. go to PC, move data to PC and then print. It is better to keep certain content digital. Because of mobility and people work on the move in their laptops and smartphones and we want to enable printing for them when they need it.

We are building an environment of ‘Print once and print right’ versus a multi step printing process, which is inefficient for people who are on the move.

CIOL: e-Print is more of an Enterprise device. So how is it applicable for consumer market as shown in the presentations?

John: e-Print plays an important technology for consumers as it is for enterprises. The adoption of smartphones is happening very rapidly in homes, even in India. Those people have the same needs to print from their mobile devices, like someone in an enterprise.

So we are giving them a way to print from any device they use. We have launched a programme in India called Make Advantage. One of the needs that we have heard from consumers in India is that HP you need to lower the cost of printing. What we have done is to introduce a range of products which have much lower cost of supplies. So now you have options to print, for home consumers, which are very affordable.

CIOL: How has been the general adoption for this kind of technology across the world and especially in India?

John: The adoption is growing rapidly. We launched it in India only last year. It is something where we are beginning from the base and are seeing a rapid growth from there, in the marketplace. It will continue to grow for years and currently we see a lot of interest from the consumers in India.

CIOL: Which of today’s launches are more applicable for Indian market?

John: The first one is the Envy printer. We are introducing it with a radical design change. We believe that consumers in India, especially the middle class in India as well of China, are very interested in products that look cool, which they want to be visible in house and not tucked away in some corner.

The new OfficeJet 8300 and 8600 have whole set of features and application meant for small business. It comes with ePrint feature set. We will be launching that in India and we believe it will be really impactful.

The second one is apps, which were first introduced in smartphone market. Today it is catching in on in the printer market as well. These are simple apps which will make businesses more productive.

The third important launch for the Indian market will be the education apps. We are publishing these apps in India. HP’s Ink advantage products come at lower cost of operation. We will be making it more widely available in the market.

CIOL: On one hand HP is realizing the importance of mobility devices, such as smartphones, whereas on the other it is moving away from the smartphone and tablet business with the recent announcement. So how does it make sense to the business?

John: Imaging and printing is a broad technology group, which is has multiple customers and segments. What we focus today is what the imaging and printing group’s direction is and where we are going towards in future.

Consumers use a variety of devices, from the classical desktop, notebook to today’s mobile devices. Our legacy has always been to be with customers and have innovations that allow seamless connectivity, however, not the cloud.

Whereas, today more and more people are moving away from being client specific, to having application on cloud and storing data there. So, we still are going to be the best printing technology for the classic model like desktop and notebook.

However, because the customer is moving towards mobile and cloud-based mobility, we will also develop technologies such as e-Print and apps, so as to give them the ability to interact directly to cloud, by being web connected. We are going to be the both.

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