HP Makes Move to Drive Color in the Mainstream; Outlines Strategy, Partners and Solutions to Expand Digital Color Usage for Business

Article excerpt

Byline: RED R. SAMAR

SINGAPORE Hewlett Packard (HP) is capitalizing on the tremenduous opportunities offered by the growth in digital color printing as the fuel that will drive the expansion of its printing business.

At recent press event held here, market research firm Gartner Group presented a study which covered the small-office-home-office (SOHO), large and enterprise markets for the color printer business that shows a 20 percent annual growth rate in the color printer business in the US and about 50 percent growth expected to happen in the Asia Pacific region until 2008.

Don Dixon, Gartner principal analyst for the digital documents and imaging group, said there are primarily three key drivers for growth in the color business, namely; the shift in usage by companies from color inkjet to color laser technology; lower acquisition and per page printing cost; and convergence of various technologies into one device.

He said that companies, most especially those in the small-to-medium scale business (SMB) category, are capitalizing on bigger market opportunities and are thus looking to use more efficient printing equipment that cost less to buy and operate.

Dixon said in Asia, shipments of color printer are set for a steady climb over the next few years. "In China, shipments of color printers is predicted to reach 301,253 units in 2008, a three-fold increase from 83,408 currently. The trend will be mirrored in other Asian markets like Australia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan," Dixon added.

Cognizant of these, technology giant HP has announced a broad initiative to aggressively drive color mainstream across all customer markets.

Michael Hoffman, HPs senior vice president for its Imaging and Printing Group in Asia Pacific & Japan, said the company will be bringing in its 20 years of imaging and printing innovation, more than US$1 billion in overall research and development worldwide and a go-to-market commitment of US$60 million in Asia Pacific to help customers breakthrough the barriers that have previously held them back from bringing color into all aspects of their business, thus making it easier than ever to benefit from the power of color.

"Three vectors have come together allowing HP to bring a more holistic color experience to nearly every customer: Imaging and printing devices are affordable, digital photography is widespread, and technology now can provide rich, powerful color at prices customers can afford. HP is harnessing these factors to make 2004 the year digital color goes mainstream," said Hoffman.

He added that HP is well positioned to lead the drive to color imaging and printing maintream in 2004 by delivering the industrys broadest range of color solutions to meet the unique color imaging and printing needs of all their customers, and providing them with an intuitive and easy color experience- taking the pain and complexities out of color and application-from consumer photo imaging to high-end personalized digital publishing.

Currently a US$7.1 billion market, HP estimates that office color printing market will grow annually by 20 percent to US$10.2 billion by 2006 worldwide.

Tan Lee Chew, HPs vice president for Business and Enterprise of HP Imaging and Printing Group, Asia Pacific & Japan, said realizing the power of digital color, customers today are turning to customized in-house marketing to increase marketing capabilities and reduce costs.

"HPs color technologies will empower all business users to transform the way they operate and perform at a higher level for their customers," Tan said.

She said that for offices this means that there is no added complexity in using HPs range of fast, affordable and easy-to-use print solutions. For marketing and sales professionals, Tan cited as an example, HPs color printing solutions should help them with simple do-it-yourself marketing to respond to their customers more quickly with professional looking materials. …