Printing Industries of America has reacted with unease to today's announcement by HP of additions to its Managed Print Services offerings. Aimed at enterprises, the additions include a "payback guarantee" to enterprise customers failing to achieve projected savings within 12 months of implementing Managed Print Services. The payback guarantee is promoted here. Managed Print Services, says HP, are designed to provide "virtually everything you need to maintain a cost-effective, productivity-enhancing environment: hardware, software and supplies, training, maintenance and support, even workflow improvements...HP Services professionals work closely with you to design, implement and manage an imaging and printing infrastructure tailored to your specific requirements and adaptable to your evolving needs." The program includes services for print usage assessment; finance and procurement; transition and implementation; management and support; and document workflow automation. The statement issued today by PIA reads as follows: Pittsburgh, PA -- July 13, 2009 -- Printing Industries of America has always viewed HP as a company that offers high-impact digital solutions to the printing industry. Hundreds of printers throughout the United States have availed themselves of HP products to service their customers -- spending millions of dollars with HP in the process. It is with disappointment, therefore, that Printing Industries of America learned of HP's latest offering -- managed print services, which was advertised with great fanfare in this morning's Wall Street Journal. "We are always concerned when a major vendor in our industry deviates from its core offerings to venture into managing print solutions, which the private sector has competitively provided for hundreds of years," notes Michael Makin, President and CEO of Printing Industries of America. HP officials have assured Printing Industries of America that it is not their intent to compete with private commercial printers and that this effort is primarily directed as an enterprise solution for major corporations to facilitate their in-house copying. A webcast describing HP's Guarantee Program supports this position, but Printing Industries of America is concerned that it could open the door to further service offerings. "Our role as the largest graphic arts trade association in the world is to represent the interests of commercial printers. It strikes me that HP may be compromising its relationships with its crucial printer customer base. On the one hand, it is courting commercial printers to purchase its print solutions, and yet, on the other, it is offering managed services which could compete with these very printers," says Makin, noting that Printing Industries has also objected when other vendors have offered similar services. Makin stresses that HP should formally clarify its relationship with commercial printers so that further anxiety is not created in already difficult economic times.