HP Brings Dscoop to Asia Pacific

Jim Hamilton
May 19, 2009

Last week Jeff Hayes, Barb Pellow, and I had the pleasure of presenting at the Survive & Thrive conference, which was held at the Beijing International Hotel Conference Center in Beijing, China ahead of the China Print 2009 trade show. Co-developed by HP and InfoTrends, the conference was the gathering point for hundreds of HP customers, prospects, and partners. Sponsored by abg International, Creo, DigiLabs, Dscoop, and Press-sense, the two-day event was highlighted by several keynotes (including ones by Alon Bar-Shany and Chris Morgan of HP, and Jeff Hayes and Barb Pellow of InfoTrends) as well as by presentations by many HP Indigo users from all over the world.

Arguably, the biggest news of the conference was the announcement that Dscoop (the Digital Solutions Cooperative user group) would be expanding its operations into the Asia Pacific region. Founded in 2005, Dscoop (www.dscoop.org) has developed a formidable presence in the North American market and provides a valuable resource for a growing range of HP customers (today primarily Indigo and some wide format). Dscoop has 700 member companies on six continents and conducts an annual conference that has grown from about four hundred attendees in 2006 to more than 1,300 in 2009. The 2010 conference will be held in Dallas in February. Dscoop is also notably web-centric, having offered more than one hundred web seminars and supporting many web discussion forums for its members. In his comments preceding the announcement of Dscoop Asia Pacific, Alon Bar-Shany, Vice President of HP’s Indigo division, called the birth and rapid growth of Dscoop a highlight of his professional career, given how it came together in a very short period of time after a “difficult” situation involving the prior user group, the Indigo Customer Exchange (ICE).

Three key Dscoop players spoke at the Survive and Thrive event: Eric Hawkinson, Dscoop’s Executive Director (and employee of SmithBucklin, the management firm that oversees Dscoop); Larry Vaughn, President of Ideal Printers and also Dscoop’s Chairman elect; and Susan Moore, President of DPI and also Dscoop’s 2010 Conference Chair. Eric, Larry, and Susan all spoke very ably about the value of expanding Dscoop into Asia Pacific. Also in Beijing for the event was Lindsey Mitchell, who is another Dscoop staffer associated with SmithBucklin. (Eric and Lindsey work full-time on the Dscoop account and a dozen or more others support Dscoop on a part-time basis.)

Dscoop is planning a two-phased approach for its Asia Pacific rollout. Phase 1 includes a web site (www.dscoop.org/ap) with forums dedicated to Asia Pacific, eight to ten webinars, HP business development tools, monthly e-mails, and access to Dscoop conference presentations and Dscoop North America tools. Phase 2 will be marked by a local Asia Pacific office with a dedicated staff person by 2010. Another benefit is that membership is free for those in Asia Pacific until February of 2010. Dscoop was signing up new members at China Print 2009 and reported that hundreds had taken advantage of the free sign-up offer in the days after the announcement.

In his keynote, Alon Bar Shany speculated that the China Print show could become larger than Drupa in the coming years. This statement speaks to the importance of Asia Pacific and underscores HP’s clear commitment to driving development in the region. Events like Strive & Thrive, which had around 600 registered attendees, and the announcement about Dscoop Asia Pacific show are strong examples of this strategy. A primary challenge for any of the digital printing system vendors is to help their existing customers drive volume. With its educational programs and business development tools Dscoop helps these users succeed.

Dscoop has been very important in North America and now the test will be whether it can bridge the linguistic and cultural differences to make it a success in Asia Pacific. The early signs are good but the test will be finding support among the end user community with leaders like Larry Vaughn and Susan Moore who are willing to take some responsibility for the growth of Dscoop Asia Pacific.

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