New chapter for print dealers

New chapter for print dealers

HP is piloting a financing and service program that will enable resellers to offer cost-per-page options to end-users. The news comes less than 18 months after it launched a Corporate Account Program (CAP) designed to take up to 200 of its largest printing customers direct because it had no confidence in the channel to deliver the model. In HP speak, cost-per-page is called chapter two business.

Known as ValuePage, the new program is currently being trialled by Commander, Ethan Group and Enigma. The premise is that it enables users to acquire MFPs through a monitored click contract where they only pay for what they use. Resellers determine pricing, invoicing and margin strategies, with the option of offering HP finance.

HP's imaging and printing product manager, Max Kaye, said the program would provide partners with broader opportunities to increase margins and predicted it would be rolled out nationally next year as long as the trial was successful.

"At this stage, we are just working through the pilot with a select group of resellers that are providing us with different market and geographical coverage," he said.

"We are trying to include different types, sizes and locations of reseller to get a good cross section of the channel.

"It's a completely new source of business for our channel and the intent behind it is to give resellers new lines of business and profitability to chase," he said.

Kaye said HP would equip dealers with a reporting and data collection framework, including education and training in cost-per-page solutions.

Ethan Group CEO, John Perkins, said it had been involved in the trial for about two months now.

"I'm not sure that it's a reversal of the CAP program but it is recognition that the channel adds a lot more value than HP realised," he said.

Print solutions consultant, Matthew Winlaw, said Commander had only introduced the program to one customer so far but expressed support for the concept because it allowed dealers to compete more effectively in the value-add space.

HP's Kaye refused to discuss the vendor's CAP program.

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