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HP Pushes Cloud Printing, Eyes Service Dollars

PALO ALTO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- HP (HPQ - Get Report) is tapping the cloud to boost its Managed Print Service (MPS) capabilities, according to the one of the tech giant's top printing executives.

"[Cloud's] taking printing into a whole new strategic realm," explained Bruce Dahlgren, senior vice president of managed enterprise solutions at HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, told TheStreet. "There's no better company on the planet to do this than HP."
HP says that cloud technology is revolutionizing printing.

Dahlgren explained that HP has an extensive enterprise customer base, as well as a strong printing legacy and extensive networking capabilities. The tech giant, he said, already has 3100 MPS customers, which include heavy-hitters such as Disney (DIS), Merck (MRK), General Mills (GIS), 3M (MMM) and eight of the top 10 banks.

Managed Print Services are specialized services that aim to improve customers' printing, copying and scanning. This could involve, for example, remotely monitoring and managing customers' multifunction printers, or standardizing devices to boost efficiency.

Dahlgren used the example of HP's ePrint service as evidence of cloud technology's MPS impact.

Launched last year, ePrint lets mobile workers print documents from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. "We were able to use the cloud to do this," explained Dahlgren, adding that HP worked with partners such as FedEx (FDX) Office and Hilton Hotels to set up secure print locations for mobile workers around the world. "Whether you are in New York or whether you are in San Francisco, you can print," he said.

The executive explained that, similar to a GPS, the ePrint application tells customers which print locations are in their vicinity. When the user has picked a location and hit "print" on their smartphone, the print job goes into the secure HP private cloud, where it is held, and an access code is sent back to the customer's smartphone. The user then enters this onto the printing device, at say, a Fedex Office, to access the print job via the cloud.

"On every form of these devices, there is some form of authentication," said Dahlgren. "It's secure."
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