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Friday, April 21, 2017

If copier OEMs are Missionary, HP is Reverse Cowgirl. It's Over and HP Wins


Anyone who knows me, remembers me lambasting HP for past gaffs and missteps: Hawk and Ikon, The "Long March" that was Edgeline, firing Hurd, Leo and the all too infamous, TouchPad.

And who can forget "The Great Toner Purge of 2013"

During my talk at the Photizo conference back in 2012, I was asked if I thought HP would survive.  My quick answer was "No, not as we know her today."   That was then, this is now and HP ain't what she used to be.

Which brings me to my point: HP is going to win the war for the remaining clicks.  HP will beat Canon, Ricoh, Xerox and those who attempt to overtake her as the predominate provider of MpS and devices.

Why?  Three reasons:

1. Marketing - tight, midnight blue, mini -

The Wolf-

Christian Slater?  Really?

And have you noticed the look and feel of all those Ex-Samsung devices? Do you see the curves?  Is that the old 'stackler'?

Somebody put some thought into the wrappers and I like it.

Instead of IPG funding R&D for PSG, today's HP Inc. can hire Mr. Slater,  film crews and Apple-like designers.

The money spent on 'getting the word out' rivals some countries gross national product.

2. Structure - "dangerous when wet" curves and pert attitudes

Printelligent.  HP MPS is built upon the 2011 acquisition: Remote monitored devices supported by direct service vans on the street with technicians delivering toner and installing maintenance kits.

It works.  When you think about it, the only firm large enough to implement a fleet of direct service vehicles, nationwide, is HP.

No muss, no fuss.

3. Stamina - she is everywhere

Size matters, but so does staying power and obviously, Hot Blue has got it.  While the rest of the world peters, HP's increasing beats per minute, building to a huge climax - possibly multiples.  She bottomed out quarters ago.

The HP Strategy?

I have no inside information, there is no Deep Throat. This is purely guess-work and speculation.

  1. Re-engage the copier channel, giving them what they think they want, A3 devices - HP is coming to town. Again.
  2. Defend and grow inside F500, F100 and F1000 accounts with live sales and account management teams - prepare to see 'corporate account size' redefined. Again.
  3. Build a self-sufficient drone that one day pre-empts the need for an independent channel.  Instant Ink for the SMB, anyone? - Never mind.  It's business as usual.  Again.
What Do We Do?

The independent channel is forming into a set of regional powerhouses surrounded by a school of small players.

For these demigods, I see the best plan of action to be jumping on and riding out a series of one night stands with the Blue Goddess.  That is to say, form a transactional relationship with little or no longterm expectations - no matter what the actual contract spells out.

Sell the heck out of the hardware, leverage the HP logo as entre into up to now, resistant corporate IT departments.  Honestly, one could put an HP logo on a tuna, call it a 'mopier' and IT directors would buy dozens.

Use this.  Get yours.  She'll be sure to get hers.  If by chance you squeeze out a three year relationship, consider the ride a good one.

She's going to be looking at you over her shoulder anyway, may as well enjoy it.

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