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HP, Canon Expand Printing Alliance

HP will rely on Canon for multifunction device technologies and Canon will provide technical support for jointly produced devices.

HP CEO Mark Hurd announced an expanded alliance with Canon Monday to supply a broader variety of managed print services and multifunction devices.

HP will rely on Canon for multifunction device technologies and Canon will provide technical support for such jointly produced devices. HP's printer business tends to add new functions to the standard office printer, from adjustable color printing to secure scanning and faxing of documents.

Hurd said in a Webcast Monday that the expanded alliance will allow both companies to offer new Web-enabled products and services. Each will gain access to the other device management software and future products from each will be included in their joint offerings.

HP will get access to the Canon imageWare Enterprise Management Console and Canon Mutifunctional Embedded Application Platform. Canon will gain access to the HP Web Jetadmin and the HP Open Extensibility Platform.

The pair will offer joint device management systems, with HP supplying enterprise IT integration and office workflow capabilities. EDS, now an HP company, will supply workflow software and services as well. The collaboration is expected to lead to enterprises being able to control multifunction devices over a network from a central console, authorize and control usage and limit some of the most expensive applications, such as color printing.

"We expect this will maximize benefits for both companies' customers," said Masaki Nakaoka, managing director and chief executive of Canon's Office Imaging Products Operations, in the announcement.

Hurd also announced a new global business unit within HP's Imaging and Printing Group, Managed Enterprise Solutions. MES is aimed at helping customers gain control over printer use on their premises and make it a more predictable budget item.

The unit is expanding services offered by HP in the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Europe.

One customer of the MES unit's managed print services is PT Unilever Indonesia. Dannarjaya Sri, head of its business systems, said it had dropped the number of printers it owns from 550 to 220 and decreased paper consumption by 50%. The two reductions led to a 30% savings in printing costs overall, he said in the announcement.

The new printers include the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise CP4020 printer, which can print black and white images at up to 35 pages a minute. It will be available in November.

HP is offering a second new laser printer, the Enterprise CP4520, designed for 42-page per minute in black and white and can be shared across large workgroups for both color and black and white. It will also be available in November.

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