Patience Pays Off for HP in Very Large Scale Deal with Lightning Source
HP Inc. (Booth 613) and Lightning Source LLC, a part of Ingram Content Group, announced a multi-million dollar deal that will transform the distribution and sales model for book publishers. The agreement is the largest ever for HP’s Graphics Business. HP will deliver 24 new HP PageWide T240 HD color and mono digital presses to five sites across three continents.
“This incredible deal shows that the momentum behind the renaissance in digital printing is not only continuing - it’s accelerating. Last month we announced a 5-year deal with Shutterfly, the leading manufacturer and digital retailer of high-quality personalized products and services, and today we’re announcing a 7-year deal with a leader in the content distribution space,” said Enrique Lores, President, Imaging & Printing Business, HP Inc. “Our collaboration will enable Lightning Source to deliver higher-quality digital printing for their customers at the next level of scale, productivity,
“Our mission is all about helping content reach its destination, while providing our customers with the highest print quality, speed and proficient printer models,” said Shawn Morin, CEO and President of Ingram Content Group. “By adding HP’s PageWide Web Presses to our global facilities, we’ll be able to serve our customers with even more options.”
Behind the Sale
Behind a press sale as big as this one, there has to be a backstory. In this case, it’s one of persistence blossoming into partnership.
As deals go, this one is a genuine eye-opener. The two-dozen HP machines will replace all of Lightning Source’s existing digital book printing equipment.
HP is “incredibly thrilled” to be working with Lightning Source on this scale, said Eric Wiesner, VP/GM of HP’s PageWide industrial division. He said that the arrangement, which runs through 2024 and also includes service and supplies, could lead to the installation of more PageWide presses as the customer’s needs evolve.
A division of Ingram Content Group, Lightning Source was an early force behind the concept of using digital presses to print books quickly and economically in quantities as small as one. This helped to create an entirely new model for book manufacturing and revolutionized the sale and distribution of books as well.
According to Wiesner, HP spotted the opportunity in book POD early on and designed its seminal T200 inkjet web platform with Lightning Source specifically in mind. When the company opted to look elsewhere for equipment, HP hung onto the idea of eventually becoming Lightning Source’s press supplier.
Patience was needed. The sale announced on September 12, said Wiesner, was five years in the making. During that time, he said, HP gave Lightning Source full access to PageWide R&D and presented an implementation road map that was consistent with the customer’s long-term plans.
The print quality, speed, and productivity of PageWide technology also were factors in the decision, Wiesner explained. He predicted a long partnership with Lightning Source and an acceleration of HP’s progress to leadership among suppliers of inkjet presses for book production.