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Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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5/21/2010
12:23 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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HP Helps Wal-Mart Transform From Photos To Publishing

Hewlett-Packard is helping Wal-Mart expand into the publishing business by sweeping aside the old photo-printing model and letting customers select and print everything from greeting cards to branded images from concerts, TV shows, and movies. With other huge retailers signing on as well, HP expects its new retail publishing business will grow 300% this year.

Hewlett-Packard is helping Wal-Mart expand into the publishing business by sweeping aside the old photo-printing model and letting customers select and print everything from greeting cards to branded images from concerts, TV shows, and movies. With other huge retailers signing on as well, HP expects its new retail publishing business will grow 300% this year.From an HP press release:

"Our agreement with Walmart is another milestone in HP's drive to help retailers transition from traditional photo services to dynamic publishing centers," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "With new customer agreements with many major global retailers, including Tesco, Kmart Australia and now Walmart, we're bringing consumers new opportunities to conveniently print both personal and branded digital content that is meaningful to them. . . .

The "Prints in Minutes" service features the HP Instant Print Solution, a self-serve, front-of-counter system that lets consumers pick up orders for prints and creative products within minutes of ordering or at a later time by using a secure order storage and release feature. The unattended system allows retailers like Walmart to increase photo center traffic and revenue from high-margin products without dedicated labor.

HP is able to offer those branded images as a result of its relationships with what it calls "prominent licensed content partners", including the NBA, Nickelodeon, Getty Images, and many others.

Those content partners, HP said, generate more than $17 billion in revenue from consumer purchases of the license-branded merchandise, and HP's new retail-printing business will attempt to leverage that consumer demand in the form of printed images for photo books, calendars, greeting cards, and more.

It was also interesting to note that HP and Wal-Mart said the new technology-enabled service is self-operating so that retailers do not need to dedicate employees to the new business.

For more detail on HP's strategy for this new printing business as well as other key elements of HP's strategy, please check out today's column, which is Global CIO: Inside HP's Numbers: Mark Hurd's Top 10 Strategic Insights.

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