Opinion

Thoughts on HP's MPS Confessions campaign: what kind of people have 'beloved' print devices?

In case you missed it, HP has just launched its "MPS Confessions" campaign - no, not MPs Confessions (now that might be diverting) but MPS. 

For those of you who have been living in a desert outpost somewhere miles away from an internet connection (could there be such a thing anymore?), MPS stands for Managed Print Services and HP is busy doing its best to sell the concept to partners and customers because it's the next big thing in the print and copier world.

Having read through the press release, I can report that the "confessions" in the campaign relate, according to HP, to the lengths that some people will go to "to 'protect' their beloved print devices". I'll confess there are two parts of that sentence which I have a problem with. The first is the suggestion that someone would go to great lengths to protect their print device. The second is that any print device could be viewed by anybody as "beloved".

Personally, I think HP might be laying it on a bit thick when it talks about people hiding their printers in office drawers, stationery cupboards or underneath a pile of coats. All sounds a bit like the French resistance in WW2 for me.

Anyhow, HP EMEA MPS marketing manager Henry Blum isn't afraid to join in.  "An MPS implementation, which involves the removal of a cherished printer, will invariably lead to feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction. Printers are considered (quite rightly) a personal productivity tool and often a sign of prestige as well! Thus, they are not given up easily, unless people understand the overarching benefits for themselves and their organisations."

"Cherished?" Really? Printers are considered "a sign of prestige"? Wow, I never thought of it like that. How high up the scale of company prestige are they? Do you start up the ladder by getting your own pencil sharpener before progressing to your own stapler and hole-punch?

There's a serious point behind all this which is that a company needs to get its staff on board if it wants to successfully implement a MPS. All well and good but it doesn't seem, to me at least, to link that tightly with a campaign entitled Confessions.

This was first published in July 2011

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