HP introduces new cloud-based printer management service

Increasing revenues from subscription-based services is a key part of HP's plan to revive its flagging printer business.

HP on Tuesday announced HP Managed Print Cloud Services, a cloud-based service that lets organizations hand off the management of their print-related technology to HP. The service, HP reasons, will let IT teams focus on more strategic priorities. 

The company also announced support for Universal Print, Microsoft's cloud-based printer management service. HP is also making it easier for remote workers to acquire printers and supplies. 

"We're laser-focused on delivering services and solutions that know how you work, anticipate your needs, and offer a compelling cost structure," David Prezzano, GM and global head of Print Services and Solutions for HP,  said in a statement.  

The new and improved services come at a rough time for HP's printer business. In the company's last quarterly financial results, released in May, printing revenue was down 19 percent from a year ago. Printing revenue accounted for 33 percent of HP's net revenues. One of the bright spots in its printing business, HP said, was a surge of interest in Instant Ink, HP's subscription-based ink delivery service. 

On a conference call, HP CEO Enrique Lores said HP's printing business was "facing near-term challenges driven by both supply and demand issues." In the longer term, "we see the opportunity to accelerate the shift toward services," he said. 

Back in February, HP published a three-year strategic and financial "value creation plan" that included plans to grow its print business in part by "increasing the recurring nature of print revenue."

The new Managed Print Cloud Services will offer "personalized services and intelligent, purpose-built solutions that help streamline and automate processes," HP promised in a release. It works with both trusted and zero-trust cloud environments. 

Meanwhile, to support Microsoft's Universal Print service, HP will work with Microsoft to build a cloud-to-cloud integration with the Managed Print Cloud Services platform. 

And with many workers still conducting business from home, HP is also updating its Flexworker Solutions program. The improved program will make it easier for remote workers to acquire company-approved printers bundled with an extended service contract and to order supplies. It will also make it easier for IT departments to manage supplies through central billing and consolidated reporting. 

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