HP has rolled out a direct managed supplies services (MSS) program designed to tempt enterprises to adopt its full-scale managed print services (MPS).
HP outlined the plan, which covered toner supply and maintenance, at its HP Innovation Summit event in Singapore this week. The service was promoted at customer events in Melbourne and Perth last month but was not yet launched in Australia.
Farrukh Kazi, regional enterprise supplies manager for HP, said that most of the services associated with MSS would be delivered by HP directly and a dedicated account manager would typically be appointed.
"It works both ways - it depends upon the account manager and the customer," he said, noting that promotion would more heavily focus on procurement managers than IT managers.
"The delivery and the implementation is done directly by HP, but we do take into account situations where there are value-added services from the reseller."
CRN asked HP whether MSS customers would become managed print customers under HP's direct sales division or be serviced by managed print resellers in HP's exclusive Office Print Solutions program. CRN also asked whether HP was selling MSS only to its direct sales customers in enterprise or all enterprise customers, and what opportunities there were for channel partners.
In response HP issued a statement to CRN which said there would be possibilities for resellers to supply toner under an MSS deal if they could demonstrate a pre-existing relationship.
"This service is mainly sold through our direct sales force and HP bills the customer directly. If the channel partner is the incumbent supplies provider to the customer then the channel can manage the fullfilment. In Australia and New Zealand specifically we permit the partner to conduct back-to-back billing, where the channel partner is billing the customer and maintaining the front office relationship, while HP is billing the channel partner and owning the back office relationship."
Typical contract lengths will be one to three years, Kazi said, with purchasers having a choice of a fixed regular charge or a pay-per-page model. "This way, customers get cost savings from day one," Kazi said.
HP said it expected many customers to adopt MSS as a gateway to full MPS offerings, which might offer more channel pickings.
"If an MSS customer was to turn into an MPS customer the channel partner can manage the delivering of the solution as part of the Office Print Solutions program which provides channel partners the ability to sell contractual based print solutions to the mid-market based on their experience in selling services and solutions and their internal infrastructure to deliver these services and solutions," HP said in the statement.
"This assists partners to build long term business relationships with their customers and deliver more value to them that just the hardware or supplies."
Disclosure: Angus Kidman travelled to Singapore as a guest of HP.