HP looks to partners for growth

Focusing on how it will capitalize on the transformation of print from analog to digital, HP announced partnerships with MTV, MySpace and other brands at the company’s annual Imaging & Printing Conference in San Diego last week.

The company also announced the November launch of a new Web-based program to help grow its retail business. This program claims it will offer small and midsize business owners affordable marketing services.

“Personalization and customization will change the way printing is done,” said Vyomesh Joshi, EVP of HP’s imaging and printing group.

This has already happened with music, and it’s going to happen with other forms of media as well, Joshi explained.

Approximately 53 trillion pages will be printed in 2010, 10% of which will be digital, according to HP. To make it easier for consumers to print from the Web, HP is partnering with both MTV and MySpace to enable users to print pages directly from these sites.

“This is a landmark deal,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MySpace.

Currently, MySpace users have uploaded more than 4 billion images, which are “locked up digitally,” DeWolfe said. The partnership with HP “allows us to unlock that digital content and bring it to the offline world.”

This is the first phase, DeWolfe said, adding that he sees the opportunity to apply this capability to small and midsize businesses as well.

The company outlined a series of initia­tives and new products to help it build market share and accelerate growth with consumers, small and midsize businesses, print service providers and enterprise part­ners. All were an extension of HP’s Print 2.0 strategy, which was introduced at last year’s imaging and printing conference.

In November, HP will launch the Web-based MarketSplash, which will give users a choice of printing their projects from their own printers, through a print service provider or, eventually, to print to a local retailer. HP will license the MarketSplash platform to print service providers and retailers so they can offer these services directly to its customers.

While HP’s past retail solutions focused on photos, the company is now looking to offer a broader set of document solutions to drive revenue opportunities for retail partners, said Stephen Nigro, HP’s SVP of inkjet and Web solutions.

The graphics industry provides another big growth opportunity for HP, said Michael Hoffman, SVP of HP’s graphics solutions business. The market is domi­nated by analog, but there are opportuni­ties for digital print in commercial print, signage, publishing and packaging.

Last week, HP announced a new busi­ness development program to help print service providers make the transformation from analog to digital.

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