HP announced its strategy to enable customers – from home consumers to large corporations – to harness the vast amount of rich media content that remains untapped for publishing.
As part of the announcement, HP unveiled at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) tradeshow several retail photo printing solutions and services that provide consumers the tools to personalize their photos and publish customized creative output, while helping retailers maintain peak efficiency.
With three major analog-to-digital conversion processes already underway – in film, telephony and TV – and as more analog processes such as book publishing are converted to digital, the growth of digital content is exploding.
According to industry analyst firm IDC, the information added annually to the “digital universe” is expected to increase more than sixfold from 161 billion gigabytes to 988 billion gigabytes between 2006 and 2010. In 2006 alone, the amount of digital information created, captured and replicated was approximately 3 million times the information in all the books ever written.
Recognizing this opportunity, HP’s strategy focuses on four key areas that are designed to close the gap between the content that is created and that which is actually published and available for consumption:
– Helping customers create, access, manage and publish their content
– Generating new publishing occasions
– Using the web and other software assets to enable the entire content creation, management and publishing ecosystem
– Applying these capabilities to high-growth vertical markets
The effort is being led through HP’s Web Services and Software Business, which was created last fall within the company’s Imaging and Printing Group.
“Put simply, we want our customers to be able to bring rich content to life,” said David Murphy, senior vice president, Web Services and Software Business, HP. “In combining our printing franchise with a world-class set of software and web assets, HP is creating a multibillion-dollar business poised to lead the transformation to a comprehensive digital supply chain – from content creation and management to publishing and consumption.”
Enabling the digital transformation
Nowhere is the disconnect between digital content creation and publishing more prevalent than in the digital photography market, where the difference between the number of images captured and those that are actually published or printed is vast and growing.
To bridge this gap, HP is empowering consumers with the tools to personalize their photos and publish customized creative content. In the retail photo environment, the company is working to transform retailers’ traditional photo labs into digital publishing centers that move beyond prints to rich digital media, such as photo books, posters, calendars and other creative photo products.
To this end, HP unveiled several additions to its lineup, including the launch of the new HP Photo Center – a versatile, scalable and space-efficient digital print solution designed to easily plug into a retailer’s existing lab infrastructure. The system incorporates the new HP Photosmart ml1000 Minilab printer, designed to be the fastest and most versatile dry inkjet retail photo printing system on the market,(2) as well as the efficient and easy-to-use new HP Photosmart pm2000e Microlab printer. Both products were winners of the DIMA 2008 Innovative Digital Product Awards.
The HP Photo Center also includes the new HP Photosmart cl2000 Creative printer for production of photo books, calendars, greeting cards and other published consumer content, and a new consumer order station that features a 17-inch screen with screen-assisted navigation to make publishing creative content easier.
To help retailers efficiently manage back-office services, such as device configuration, billing and reporting, the HP Photo Center features an innovative suite of software. The system also offers order management functionality to help with job fulfillment and a remote management system that ensures systems are consistently available for customer use.
Fueling the web-to-store printing market
HP also announced it is now offering its Snapfish by HP members the ability to order posters online to be picked up the same day at any of Staples’ 1,400 “Copy and Printer Centers” nationwide. Staples is the first nationwide retailer to offer this service.
Starting at $14.99,(3) the posters will be printed in-store on HP Designjet printers and offered in two sizes – 16 x 20 inches and 20 x 30 inches. Customers will have the choice of using a single image or creating a collage of up to 30 images, and they can add a title as well as select from up to 14 background colors.
Between 2004 and 2007, the web-to-retail market in the United States grew more than 1,200 percent to more than 1.2 billion prints, according to internal HP data. In 2007, the Snapfish network of online photo sites generated more than 1 billion of those 1.2 billion web-to-store prints.