A Closer Look at HP Smart Device Services for Better, Less Costly Copier Servicing

Last week, HP Inc. released results for its first quarter, with revenue and profits up for both its PC and printer groups, and with HP executives also reiterating how the company is seeking to enlarge its market share in the A3 copier/MFP market. But how exactly? One part of the strategy was to acquire Samsung’s Printing Solution group, completed last year.

But, let’s face it, trying to wrest market share from the likes of Canon, Ricoh, Xerox, Konica Minolta, and others isn’t going to be easy, and will require winning new dealers and resellers.

One part of HP’s strategy is focusing  on what has been traditionally been the Achilles’ Heel of printers and copier/MFPs – machine break-downs and downtime, typically cited as one of the top challenges for vendors, as copier/MFPs have numerous parts that require service and must be fixed or replaced.

If HP succeeds, one of the most powerful tools in its arsenal may prove to be HP Smart Device Services (SDS), which the company introduced in 2016. SDS is a set of cloud-based tools and device-based sensing capabilities which, through sensor intelligence, monitor and diagnose service issues, service techs to predict before devices break down to provide service, minimizing machine downtime, and reduce service costs. SDS, which is provided with a Managed Print Services contract, can anticipate parts servicing before the part fails and avoids premature ink and toner replacement.

The ultimate goal is to reduce labor time and costs – all of which should be appealing to potential HP dealers and resellers.

SDS provides cost-per-page services, printer-fleet management, and automated supply of consumables (toner or ink) to customers. Its proactive service – versus reactive service (responding to a customer’s call for service) – includes:

Diagnose Before Dispatch

Immediate and actionable alerts for device events are provided, along with a “live” read of device status and history, and an HP diagnosis with instructions and parts needed.

Remote Remediation

Remote remediation via a Web-based dashboard includes:

  • Remote access to event logs;
  • Remotely reboot the device;
  • Remotely re-flash firmware;
  • Remotely configure device settings.

Supplies Management

Supplies-management includes:

  • Turn off low supplies messages and notify the user only when the cartridge must be replaced;
  • Detect premature cartridge replacement and run consumable reports.

On-Demand Training

Service techs get detailed, device specific repair instructions, service videos and part lists.

Collect and Bill Missing Printers

SDS enables service techs to locate devices that have lost their DCA connection and have gone missing. SDS also enables data collection for directly connected printers and MFPs.

The end result is lower service costs and more machine uptime. HP’s appeal to dealers and resellers is that its sensor-equipped and cloud-connected printers and copier/MFPs monitor and transmit status conditions to resellers’ service techs before errors result in machine downtime. Status conditions can typically be corrected remotely and/or before device downtime occurring, so that resellers may not have to deploy service techs to the customers’ site and before downtime – saving resellers on service costs. Resellers can then provide customers with lower service costs, as well as better machine uptime.   

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