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Simon Lewis, manager of strategic marketing with HP Indigo at VIP Event in Rehovot Israel

Published on April 19, 2010

Simon Lewis on HP Digital Presses


Pat Henry:  This is Pat Henry, Executive Editor at WhatTheyThink.  We are at the Headquarters of the Indigo Division of HP where and with me today is Simon Lewis.  Simon is Director of Strategic Marketing for HP.  Simon, thank you for being with us today.

Simon Lewis:  Thank you.

Pat Henry:  We've had a lot of briefings today and during one of them we were given a projection.  HP believes that by the year 2014 digital printing will account for probably 38 percent of all dollars spent on hardware, making it the larger share.  Digital printing is not that old; we trace the origin of well indigo technology to 1993.  How has this dominant position as a hardware investment come about in so short of time?

Simon Lewis:  It's basically two things Pat.  The first is that there are such a broad range of applications that are suitable for digital today whether you're talking about the kinds of applications that you would traditionally run on sheet fed offset or whether you're going to new emerging applications such as transpromotional and transactional and that broad range means that digital can address a very wide cross-section of all the printing applications.  After that, the second thing, which is that printing equipment, lasts for a very long time and therefore as new technology comes forward people can continue using their older printing equipment when they need traditional analog equipment and are directing many of their investment dollars to new technologies to complement the install base of analog equipment.  So analog hasn't disappeared but it has declined and so has the share of total print but declining rapidly is a share of investment.

Pat Henry:  Simon, you have world-wide responsibilities for strategic planning and marketing.  We know that some areas of the world are emerging from recession, some remain mired.  What are your hot markets?  What are your not-so-hot markets for HP Indigo technology? 

Simon Lewis:  Okay.  So the truth is the famous brick, Brazil, Russia, India, China, countries that barely missed a beat as the world went into recession are certainly beating hard and fast today and they're very strong markets for us.  It's in many ways it's the traditional markets that are still the hardest: North America, Japan, and some cases the constraint is critic **** still the local economy, but together they represent a more challenging business environment than the brick and particularly we see Brazil and India and China as being very healthy and exciting markets for us today.

Pat Henry:  Regardless of locale, for a printer, anywhere in the world, considering the purchase of that company's first digital press what is HP Indigo's value proposition?  Why you as opposed to the others?

Simon Lewis:  Indigo has always been about quality.  And the most important thing for a commercial printer is the ability to establish a continuum from digital to offset.  The same job that runs digitally and conventionally should be indistinguishable and therefore the -- he's able to serve his customers in an indistinguishable manner.  Before he starts getting to the complexity of digital pages and variable data and new digital applications, the ability to match offset to deliver the expectations of the customer is what is the most important unique feature of Indigo and beyond that is the flexibility application range, sub straight range, special colors, spot colors, special inks.  I think you saw the other white ink.  All these things drive more high value pages and high value pages is how a PSP is able to actually generate more revenue and more profit in what is a very challenging market.

Pat Henry:  I'm certainly seeing examples of the work produced on digital presses and I would have not have expected to see four or five years ago.  So clearly you're moving ahead in many different directions and we thank you for sharing your insights with us today.

Simon Lewis:  Thank you.

Pat Henry:  Okay.  Pat Henry, WhatTheyThink.  Thanks for watching.

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