HP IPG Innovation Summit

I spent the morning at the HP Innovation Summit, hosted by HP’s IPG group.  The event was held to showcase and demonstrate new printing products and to allow attendees to interact with HP executives.  I’ll be speaking this afternoon with Stephen Nigro, the Senior Vice President for Inkjet and Web Solutions.  I’m looking to discuss HP’s web offerings (like Snapfish and LogoWorks).  If you’ve got a question that you’d like me to ask, leave me a comment.

News Conference

In the introductory video for the news conference, HP showed a video that kept asking “why can’t we?” about printing tasks from sharing videos with family, to sharing plans with co-workers, to publishing books.  Vyomesh Joshi, Executive Vice President, took the stage to discuss the explosion of content and the move across all media from analog to digital.  Content will increase 10X by 2012, and printed content will increase 3X.  He also discussed the desire of smartphone customers to print.  By 2012, 12 billion pages will be printed by smartphones.  He described innovation as the method by which companies can overcome customer pain points.

Solving customer problems:

  • Do more than just print
  • Share and print new types of content
  • Print anytime, anywhere
  • Simplify processes and optimize value chains

As non-desktop printing moves from smartphones to TVs and living rooms, printers have to change in both form and function.  More so than just describing product innovations, Joshi wants to talk about how the innovations affect behavior of the customers, using the example of sending photos to a grandmother’s printer by web.  (Describing such a use case is critical; technical specs may get a consumer to look at a printer, but an emotional connection is going to be what makes them buy one and brag to their friends about it.)

Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, took the stage to discuss Yahoo’s contribution contributions (app and widgets) for HP’s new consumer printing offerings.  As users are “more and more connected that ever”, Yahoo wants to “go where they want to go.”

Joshi explained the importance of HP’s partnership with Apple.  Greg Josiwik took the stage to talk about the rapid adoption of iOS devices and software and the introduction of AirPrint.  He demonstrated the new print function on an iPad, and explained Apple’s excitement that AirPrint technology will be standard in new HP web-enabled printers.

Tuan Tran, VP of Conusmer Printing at HP, spoke about introducing new printers than look different (smaller size, sleeker industrial design) so that they can integrate into a user’s living room.  He also discussed new home office offerings with bigger screens, integrated applications, multimedia, and an electronic faxing option, eFax, that uses a virtual phone line.  He also described partners to fill out an application ecosystem, including learning, coupons, and airline boarding pass printing in a minimal number of clicks.  He shared a print out of a customized, targeted coupon request sheet that a customer can use to select and print coupons.

Joshi demonstrated a new line of small business focused printers to streamline business processes.  Brian Schmitz, Director of Product Marketing for the Laserjet and Enterprise Solutions Groups explained some the new web-enabled features of Laserjet and Officejet machines.  These tools allow users to print documents from and send documents to any web-connected device.  The products were quickly upstaged, however, by an appearance by Ivanka Trump, Executive VP of Trump Organization, who demonstrated how to print from a mobile device.

Rob Lips, VP of Quickbooks Product Marketing, followed Schmitz and Trump on stage to describe how business tools, cloud computing, and HP’s small business printer/scanners.  He demonstrated printing reports from one’s Quickbook records and scanning documents that can be then added automatically to Quickbooks on the cloud directly from the printer (without having to open Quickbooks on a computer.)

For enterprise strategy, Mike Feldman, VP of Imaging and Printing Group at HP, and Drew Pawlak, Director of Global Client Service Delivery discussed corporate managed print service.  Two key reasons for a company like Merck to move to a managed print solution are cost-savings and a decreased environmental impact.

It’s also critical to HP to bring new functionality to graphics customers though web-connectivity and multi-functionality on their large-format printing.  Santi Morera, X, and Matias Del Campo, and Austrian architect, demonstrated the new devices’ functionality and communication capabilities.  Del Campo demonstrated an “ePrint and Share” plugin for AutoCAD that allows a user to send a file to the cloud in a PDF format for printing on any web-connected large-format printer.  The printer can also scan a large-format document to the cloud for review on another web-connected device.  This whole process saves time and circumvents the need to worry about e-mail attachment sizes, FTP servers, and the like.

To detail HP’s desire to help transform publishing, Joshi shared a video on how publishers can reduce waste, labor, and inventory through digital solution.  Ed Febinger, VP of Inventory and Manufacturing at Pearson took the stage to describe a pain point for publishers: customers are more often demanding customized content.  By switching from traditional offset printing and shipping to inkjet printing and cloud storage, publishers have greater flexibility.  They can offer quicker shipments and more customized products while saving costs on inventory and shipping.

Q&A with HP Executives

Following the news conference, Joshi turned the stage over to a group of HP senior vice presidents:

  • Ron Coughlin, SVP LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions
  • Bruce Dahlgren, SVP Managed Enterprise Solutions
  • Chris Morgan, SVP Graphics Solutions Business
  • Stephen Nigro, SVP Inkjet and Web Solutions

Initial concerns from the audience focused on a few topics such as device connectivity and security.  The intention of HP is to connect all of its devices with each other, the cloud, and mobile devices.  For both consumer and enterprise printers, password protection and user restrictions exist to protect data and prevent an unwanted user from printing to your device.

Value isn’t necessarily defined by product innovation or partnerships, but by use cases.  A question on whether web-connected printer was a successful “grandma box” (i.e., a solution for those who are not internet savvy to have access to e-mail, photos, and the like) was asked, and Nigro offered a web-enabled printer as a good product offering in that category.

The executives see evolving opportunities for digital printing.  Personalized content, self-publishing, and more are now available.  New printed pages continue to be generated from both traditional sources as well as web-based services.  Other growth opportunities come from solutions, whether traditional managed enterprise printing or new partnership opportunities.

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