HP's local print boss has claimed a recent increase in its internal sales team will not trigger a rise in the number of its direct accounts.
According to a recent Computer Daily News article, HP enterprise Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) vice-president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Kelly Tan, announced it had almost tripled its direct sales team in Australia during a media briefing in Beijing.
HP South Pacific vice-president of imaging, printing and consumer business, Christoph Schell, confirmed it had made 15 appointments since the end of last year. There are 30 people in its enterprise team in total. But he said only seven of the new staff went into its direct enterprise IPG business, with the remainder taking on partner support roles.
"This reflects what we have been pushing with our channel partners over the last year," he said. "The copying/digital convergence business is a big opportunity for us to grow. We can only scale with partners."
Schell highlighted HP's new MFD range, Edgelink, as the catalyst for growth.
"These are the first ink-based copying products in the industry. We're hoping for big breakthroughs," he said.
In 2004, HP introduced an Enterprise Account Progam (EAP) across the IPG business to kick-start cost-per-page sales. As part of this strategy, it took up to 200 customers direct, representing up to 10 per cent of revenue. It currently has 162 direct accounts in Australia and New Zealand.
"When EAP was launched, there wasn't a lot of interest from partners to go in with HP on copy-based [cost per page] solutions. We had to make a call and decided to launch not only direct touch, but also direct fulfillment.
"This market has now changed: we've put a lot of R&D behind product support and have a complete platform. Now is the time to scale up and move from single digital market share to double digit. And we can't do this by ourselves."
For more on this story, check out the April 25 edition of ARN.