Printing and Imaging

The death of a (printer) salesman

March 30, 2010: 7:00 AM ET

In the near future, most big businesses won't actually buy printers. The shocker: HP is looking forward to that.

Enterprise printers aren't going away. But soon, most big companies will pay for the output, not the box. Photo: HP.

Bruce Dahlgren's job at Hewlett-Packard is to sell printers to big customers. Well, sort of. During a recent huddle in a conference room at Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, he was talking about what will happen when big customers stop actually buying printers.

Sound unthinkable? It's not. Rather than purchase equipment that gets old and breaks down, these days a growing number of companies would rather let someone else own and manage the office copiers and printers -- make sure they're up-to-date, stocked with supplies and arranged in the most efficient way -- and instead just pay for the work the equipment does. The model is called managed print services, and it's all the rage. More

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