Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard, is instituting a new turn-around attempt – a new line of printers. Or, more precisely, multi-functional printers, or MFPs. MFPs combine printers with scanners and digital storage. Generally a single product that allows one to manage electronic documents in different ways. But the reality is that given electronic document management today, people end up printing less and managing more. And while HP has, well, not done much of anything as regards research and development in a while, other brands have stepped in to fill customer needs.
According to our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, here's how MFPs currently rank:
- Konica Minolta
Most of the brands on the list have seen growth in the category. And in fairness we should mention it turns out that HP is the largest printer maker in the world. If you count "units." But it only has a tiny share of the MFP market. And HP stock is at a ten-year low.
But to quote Ms. Whitman, "We haven't had a new product lineup in seven years and it was very obvious that we had a product gap here," and this is her plan to fix the brand. Well, that and cost-controls and cutting nearly 30,000 jobs. Oh, and next they're going to come out with a smartphone. No, seriously, a smartphone, because consumers have been crying for an HP smartphone for a while now.
Anyway, HP is going to target small businesses or large businesses where groups can be wired into a single $3,000 unit, all designed to provide businesses with document solutions and ways of organizing digital data.
Which is bound to work. Just look what that did for Xerox 20 years ago.