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HP has launched its QuickPage packaged managed print service for SMB customers in the UK following the completion of a pilot programme earlier in the year.
The "all-inclusive" service, which includes product, page mix and colour, is the first contractual offering delivered through imaging and print group (IPG) channel partners using HP's cloud-based InCommand platform.
It offers customers a three year contract based on 17 different printer or MFP configurations and covers colour/mono usage, supplies, installation and next day break/fix service.
Richard Ford, HP IPG's sales and solutions enablement manager for EMEA, claimed InCommand would "open up a range of opportunities for IPG partners" by helping them to move towards the "high-value contractual market".
He said they would be able to offer remote access, security and supplies management, remote support, metering (per page billing) and document management services through InCommand in a relatively short time.
Offering a channel perspective, Andy Leighton, HP QuickPage champion at Printware, said the key benefit for the contract was providing customers with a single invoice and unique point of contact for hardware, supplies and service.
"This is how it was sold to the customer, and why they signed the contract. I followed up with the customer last week; he has experienced no problems so far and is more than happy with the contract," Leighton added.
Louella Fernandes, principal analyst at Quocirca, said the launch of QuickPage would "fill the gap in HP's channel services portfolio" and provide "a much needed route to shifting reseller sales from a transactional to contractual approach".
While HP has put the foundations in place for a shift to contractual selling, it will be interesting to see how rapidly the channel backs it. Back in March, Alan Hatfield, IPG channel development manager at HP, told MicroScope: "Even though it is simple - product, page mix and colour - it never ceases to amaze me how difficult it seems to be for the IT channel."