HP Business Printers Go with the Content Management Flow

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted November 01, 2012

HP shakes up its small business multifunction printer (MFP) portfolio with the introduction of new models launching this fall that employ the company's latest inkjet innovations and LaserJet models that offer integrated, cloud-enabled document management.

For small and midsized businesses (SMBs) that want the quality of color laser but at a lower cost, the company unveiled the HP Officejet Pro X series, a line of desktop printers and MFPs that uses the company's fast and durable PageWide Technology. PageWide takes its cues from HP's commercial printer business. Instead of a print head that sweeps back and forth across a page, the PageWide "print head" stays put and spans the entire page. The design allows for sturdier printer designs says George Alonso, a marketing director at HP.

HP Officejet Pro X printers provide "a clean compact paper path" that not only prevents paper jams but also churns out a fast "70 pages per minute" (ppm) while rivaling the quality of pricier color laser printers, says Alonso. He adds that SMBs can expect big savings, too.

According to Alonso, the HP Officejet Pro X operates at "about half the cost of laser color," and, at "twice the speed and half the cost," the math adds up for SMBs, he says.

Gateway to Cloud-based Document Management

For SMBs with big document management demands, the company also rolled out two new LaserJet MFPs: the LaserJet Enterprise flow MFP M525c and LaserJet Enterprise color flow MFP M575c. David Laing, a marketing director in HP's printing and personal systems group, told Small Business Computing that the new models reflect a growing demand among businesses.


"A big trend in the marketplace," says Laing, "is people who want to digitize their documents." And they're not just storing digital version of said documents; they want to capture, to search and to use the data held within.

Both the LaserJet Enterprise MFP M525c and MFP M575 support new services and software that are powered, in large part, by technology that HP acquired last year when it snapped up Autonomy, an enterprise information-management firm. Customers can link the new printers to the HP Flow CM Professional, a cloud-based service that captures, indexes and stores documents.

The content-aware cloud service makes it possible to search and retrieve documents using a wide set of search parameters, such as a name instead of an account number, for example. Laing says that HP Flow CM Professional gives SMBs the benefits of enterprise document-management systems without the upfront cost for software and servers. For organizations that have the IT resources to devote to enterprise content management (ECM), however, the new MFPs also supports HP's on-premises Flow CM Enterprise offerings.

HP also made big strides under the hood, mostly around the scanning subsystems that businesses will use to feed those new document management capabilities. The printers can ingest 120 ppm single sided or 60 ppm dual sided. They can also scan "both sides of the page in one pass" and "the machine automatically suppresses blank pages" that trip up workflows, says Laing.

Stuck pages are a thing of the past, adds Laing. The new MFPs borrow a technology from ATMs called ultrasonic page detection. How effective is it? "I don't know about you, but I never got an extra $20 from an ATM," joked Laing.

Lastly, instead of the error-prone touch panels in many MFPs, the LaserJet MFP M525c and MFP M575 feature full keyboards that provide faster manual metadata entry with fewer mistakes.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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