HP Takes Printers Into the Cloud With Workpath, Command Center
And the evolution offers the company’s channel partners another way to make money and solidify customer loyalty.
What Is Workpath?
Think of HP Workpath as a mobile app development platform — except that it applies to MFPs. Resellers create applications that live on the MFPs and make business processes simpler for their clients. For example, ever used Concur for expense reports? It’s a clunky program that requires multiple steps. With HP Workpath, customers scan receipts and send reports directly from a Concur app on the printer. Clients will save time and frustration.
Other examples of HP Workpath’s capabilities include:
- Scanning a paper invoice directly into Sage Intacct on the printer, attaching it to a purchase order and submitting.
- Scanning a paper document, and through an app on the printer, saving it directly into a Microsoft Teams or Google Docs shared folder.
Along the way, HP Workpath provides authentication.
“It knows who you are,” said Paul Birkett, HP’s director of worldwide workflow solutions, in a pre-briefing with reporters.
That allows enterprises and channel partners alike to monitor who’s doing what with the MFPs and the apps.
So far, HP has more than 300 Workpath developers and 50 apps. The company expects the latter number to rise to 70 by the beginning of the year. Many of the apps so far apply to vertical markets including health care, education and government.
HP expects to make Workpath fully available to its premier partners, developers and customers worldwide in the fourth quarter. It expects to make HP Command Center available to premier partners worldwide around the same time.
What Is HP Command Center?
One of the problems with traditional printer deployment has been the amount of labor required. IT experts have had to configure each device, onsite, one at a time. HP Command Center eliminates that effort.
The HP Command Center platform lives in the cloud and lets administrators manage MFPs and deploy HP Workpath apps from anywhere. There’s no more trekking to a customer location to install a printer.
Plus, as they seek to add value for customers, resellers may find new apps for clients and subscribe them accordingly.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits to HP Command Center, though, comes in the security protections.
“These simplify life for the IT manager,” David Laing, HP’s Director of future product marketing, told reporters.
First, policies examine 15 fundamental settings on an MFP and report on the security. Second, HP’s print security program provides run-time intrusion detection. If it spots patterns that look like threats, the platform flags IT, then flushes the machine’s memory and reboots. For this, HP has earned its Common Criteria Certified designation, verifying its ability to meet critical requirements for government, health care, financial and other industries.
HP channel partners may take advantage of the enhanced security features now.
How One Channel Partner Uses HP Workpath
HP looked to longtime HP premier partner ImageNet Consulting to help test Workpath, and Matt Schotten, vice president of print managed solutions for the firm, had only glowing reviews.
“Customers are looking to ImageNet to improve experiences, processes, business outcomes,” Schotten told reporters. “HP is helping us to … make printing simple.”
As a result, ImageNet has formed a print security-as-a-service practice, which allows the partner to scale to customers of all sizes quickly and easily. For instance, ImageNet has used HP Workpath for clients’ CRM and flight check-in platforms.
“We’re creating new revenue streams … brand loyalty and stickiness,” Schotten said. “We ensure renewals and customers for life.”
Finally, HP is introducing two new color LaserJet MFPs – the M776 and M856 – for enterprises, as well as a managed version of the 800 series.