HP Inc has expanded the reach of its print portfolio in New Zealand, signing a distribution agreement with Dove Electronics to access untapped markets across the country.
As revealed to Reseller News, the print-only agreement will see the Kiwi firm distribute print hardware and supplies, exposing the tech giant to the wider channel market in the South Island and regions.
The agreement follows a local distribution review for the vendor, with incumbent distributors Exeed and Ingram Micro keeping the entire HP portfolio following a tender process.
“Dove emerged as a strong contender during the tender process, providing access to parts of the market that we weren’t previously addressing,” says Oliver Hill, Channel Sales Manager, HP New Zealand.
“We believe they can add value to both our existing and new partners in New Zealand, through their strong print focus and strengths within the South Island and regions.”
Speaking exclusively to Reseller News, Hill says the deal is effective immediately, with HP stock already in Dove warehouses, spread across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Hill says the deal will have “no impact” on current distribution agreements with Exeed and Ingram Micro from a PC and devices perspective, with the move focused on driving HP’s print business in New Zealand.
“We looked at our entire distribution and realised an opportunity to expand within the print market,” he adds. “We are well served on the PC side of the business, but we believe Dove will help articulate our print message to channel partners.
“We believe the agreement will expose our print portfolio to new partners, ensuring they are aware of the disruptive technology that we are bringing to market.”
Representing OKI, Brother, Canon and FujiFilm among other vendors, Dove brings over 35 years of Kiwi channel experience to the table, with a strong focus among small and medium businesses at a national level.
“We bring a wealth of experience in dealing with a wide variety of partners,” says Rick Jansen, Strategic Relationships and Auckland Regional Manager, Dove Electronics.
“Across our three New Zealand warehouse operations, we are unique in getting products to market faster, working with partners in a more individual way.
“We are very strong in the South Island and have a growing profile within our Auckland and Wellington operations also. We hope to provide HP with fresh ideas and local support for our partners to get behind the new range.”
According to Jansen, signing on a vendor of HP’s magnitude brings both “opportunities and challenges” for a local distributor, which has operated “conservatively” since its beginnings.
“We tend to move fast once we have a plan in place and we give our team a great deal of autonomy to make decisions on the go,” he adds. “HP will open some new doors for us with some great products and support.
“We will be structured in our approach when working within the HP channels and we aim to bring greater awareness of the HP solutions to partners that might not have had the opportunity before now, or the support to try out products to find the best solution for their customers.”
Going forward, Jansen believes Dove’s logistical reach and ability to foster long-term relationships with partners will add a new dimension to HP’s local channel strategy, built around flexible sales plans, stockings, credit and promotions.
Dove’s emergence as a key distribution partner comes at a time of great change for HP, with the organisation in month seven of a life away from now Hewlett Packard Enterprise, following the vendor’s much publicised split on November 1, 2015.
Research and Development
From a local perspective, Hill says the split presented “minimal disruption” for the channel in New Zealand, with both divisions running as separate companies three months before the official cut off date.
“We’ve always ran separate programs so from a channel point of view there was little change,” he says. “In New Zealand, we’ve experienced strong sales growth since the turn of the year, with our new devices proving that our increased focus in Research and Development is paying off.”
HP’s print distribution deal comes days after its launch of the world’s first production-ready commercial 3D printing system, which aims to “revolutionise” design, prototyping and manufacturing of current 3D print systems.
As reported by Reseller News, the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer and HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer will enter the market at price points of $US130,000 and $US155,000 respectively, delivering physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems.
With the products expected to ship in the US by late 2016 and early 2017 - with no New Zealand release date confirmed - Grant Hopkins, Managing Director, HP New Zealand, believes the launch will help realised the “untapped opportunity in the industrial 3D printing market”.
“We anticipate strong adoption to reinvent industrial design and manufacturing,” Hopkins says.
“We have already deployed an end-to-end solution and are working with a wide range of leading manufacturers and co-development partners, such as Nike, BMW, Johnson & Johnson to optimise the technology.
“HP’s new 3D printing platform will enable a new just-in-time, on-demand delivery model that will transform manufacturing and make it more sustainable.”
Hopkins says businesses in New Zealand can leverage HP’s 3D printing solution to move towards advanced manufacturing and drive new business models.
“HP’s open platform for material innovation in 3D printing will open up new opportunities for universities, research institutes and partners in New Zealand to jointly develop new applications for industry-specific needs,” he adds.
In entering a 3D market vulnerable to attack from newer enterprise-focused vendors, such as HP, Hill believes the direction of travel is clear in terms of the company’s commitment to ongoing innovation within the marketplace.
“It shows that we are heading in the right direction as an organisation,” he adds.
HP’s deepened local channel play follows news that industry rival Fuji Xerox New Zealand will cut up to five percent of its workforce across the country, placing as many as 40 local jobs under threat.
As reported exclusively by Reseller News, the print giant is currently working through the consultation period with affected employees, with a definite number of job losses expected to be confirmed within the coming weeks.