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

Ultimately, in order to save on service costs, HP is seeking to minimize:

Sending techs to diagnose problems, including multiple service visits to solve a problem; a wrong diagnosis; and a required part not on hand.

The HP Smart Device Services (SDS) platform integrates with the HP JetAdvantage Management platform to enable an extended set of capabilities for managed copier/MFP fleets. These capabilities range from device-based functionality such as remote reboot, firmware upgrade, diagnostics, and configuration to minimize the number of on-site service visits by service techs, to more advanced predictive services capabilities such as part replacements, training on demand, and time required to perform a service so that dealers can optimize their service visits and maximize their first-time fix rate. HP Smart Device Services (SDS) is available through MPS management tool vendors that have integrated the functionality.

Smart Device Services is compatible with HP printers and copier/MFPs that incorporate HP’s FutureSmart platform that HP introduced in 2012. FutureSmart devices include HP A3 PageWide and LaserJet devices. It’s available to qualified channel partners at no additional cost for all contractual devices using HP Original supplies. Resellers can obtain a free version for managing up to 50 HP devices here.

How the HP Smart Device Services Platform Works

The HP Smart Device Services platform consists of five components:

1. An HP JetAdvantage Management Connector, which is installed on a machine at the customer’s site and which communicates with devices and with the JetAdvantage Management platform;

2. The JetAdvantage Management platform, which  is hosted on AWS servers, and maintains the data, settings, and business logic of the printer/copier fleet, as well as account data;

3. HP Smart Device Services;

4. An MPS management tool that has HP Smart Device Services functionality enabled;

5. An HP Smart Device agent to allow monitoring of USB-connected printers (optional). The HP Smart Device Services interact with the JetAdvantage Management platform to collect data and perform operations.

A Look into the Future: Machine Learning, Self-Healing, and More

Through machine sensors, instrumentation, predictive rules, and machine learning, HP says it’ll be putting critical information “at resellers’ fingertips.”

What else may be down the line? Last year, researchers at Samsung Printing Solutions group (now a part of HP Inc.) discussed “self-healing” printers and MFPs. Specifically Seong-wook Han, who heads Samsung Printing Solutions’ Imaging Lab for developing printers and copiers/MFPs, this might mean printers and copier/MFPs that can “heal themselves,” with devices able to build their own databases, letting them learn from their past print experiences and errors.

At the time, Han explained that this kind of machine learning “will play an increasingly important role,” noting: ”Printers will be able to diagnose the condition of the machine utilizing big data on set condition, usage environment, and information from sensors inside the machine. As a result, devices will be able to align the content that users wish to print/copy with the paper being used ,and be able to produce top-quality results without user input. In addition, printers will be able to estimate the machine/machine part’s lifespan based on the usage pattern and alert the users before errors occur, reducing the need for service calls.”

In the future, Han envisions imaging technology will depend less on users, and more on devices themselves. For instance, Samsung’s Rendering Engine for Clean Pages (ReCP) enables printers to enhance the printed image quality by analyzing input images and applying required adjustments for better print quality. Devices will not just run on protocols set by developers. Instead, says Han, “Devices will start self-evaluating the quality of their own tasks and looking for ways to improve – like a form of artificial intelligence.”

For a closer look at HP Smart Devices Services, visit HP here, and for a video overview of SDS, see below:

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