HP-Sharp Alliance Increases Options for HP MPS Customers

Archived Published: 11 December 2013 ID: G00260094

Analyst(s): | |

  Free preview of Gartner research


The new HP-Sharp alliance will expand the available options for HP managed print services customers and provide Sharp with a new and much-needed sales platform.

News Analysis


On 10 December 2013, HP announced a new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) alliance with Sharp for a range of A3 multifunction printers (MFPs). The HP S900 series products, which will include some HP software, will be branded HP and serviced by HP for sale in contractual managed print services (MPS) contracts in the U.S., Australia and some markets in Western Europe. These new models are expected to start shipping in February 2014.


The OEM alliance between HP and Sharp will expand the options for HP MPS customers.

Gartner believes that this alliance is a positive step for both HP and Sharp. HP extends its range of devices, although it’s also important to note that HP has had a number of A3 partners over the years, including Konica Minolta, Toshiba and Canon. Sharp gains a large supplies revenue opportunity with access to many larger organizations that print much higher page volumes. The agreement is also timely for Sharp, as the company has been subject to speculation around its financial security and about its print business being acquired by potential suitors, including Samsung.

With this partnership, Gartner believes that HP is looking to lessen its reliance on Canon, HP’s current partner for higher-volume MFPs for MPS contracts. However, HP's existing relationship with Canon will remain in place, and customers will continue to have the option of Canon or Sharp in their MPS contracts.

The Sharp products will be HP branded and serviced by HP in most instances, and augmented by Sharp dealers when required. The agreement includes four models, three of which are color MFPs. The models are heavy duty machines (15,000 - 83,000 monthly page volumes) and have strong finishing options, something for which HP is not renowned. HP says that 10% to 15% of the devices in its customers' fleets are running volumes suitable for high-volume devices.

HP will need to revisit its MPS strategy to take full advantage of the new products. For example, color MFPs of this kind should be economical for both color and black-and-white jobs, allowing users to eliminate black-and-white-only devices, but HP specifically told us that it will not deploy them in this way.


HP MPS Customers:

  • Look closely at how HP and Sharp will work together to support your organization. Inquire about the specific locations with attention to differences between those that draw on Sharp direct versus Sharp dealers, and check if and how this will change over time.

  • Ask HP to lexplore whether A3 MFPs might benefit your printer fleet. Don’t assume that HP will actively recommend these models, because it tends to lead with A4 equipment.

  • Scrutinize monochrome cost-per-page rates on these color devices as they might be higher than equivalent pages from a monochrome-only machine.

Gartner Recommended Reading

© 2013 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

Why Gartner

Gartner delivers the technology-related insight you need to make the right decisions, every day.

Find out more