HP Smart Device Services: Predicting the Future, One Device at a Time

By John Whidden, HP

We’d all like to be able to predict the future — to foresee disaster before it strikes or even just turn a less-than-desirable outcome into a positive one. But while we wait for such predictive abilities, technology has certainly helped things advance a bit, allowing us to pinpoint and prevent some problems before they occur. Some might even say HP’s Smart Device Services (SDS) is the next best thing to a crystal ball.

Using machine learning, predictive analytics and big data for HP LaserJet and PageWide devices, SDS allows dealers to optimize service efficiency by diagnosing and often resolving issues remotely. Firmware updates, device reboots and device configuration can all be done without a service tech ever leaving his or her office. For necessary on-site visits, HP SDS allows techs to know which part is required to make the fix so they can have it with them, the first time out. And SDS can anticipate needs by monitoring device health, predicting part failures before the user is aware of an issue. It’s even possible to ensure supplies are ordered and to turn off low supply messages remotely.

A critical part of HP Smart Devices Services is the HP SDS Action Center — it’s where the magic happens. By logging into the action center, dealers gain complete visibility into their customers’ print environments. Machine learning predictions, fleet monitoring capabilities, and detailed device diagnostic insights help manage customer fleets through one dashboard.

Proactive notifications not only create alerts for service needs, they outline the required service steps to ensure repeat site visits are not necessary and onsite time is reduced. Training videos delve deep inside the machine, allowing techs to learn it inside and out and plan to complete repairs before it becomes a real inconvenience for the customer — and to get it right the first time.

This is the true magic of HP SDS. Traditional service models, in which techs have to go on-site, typically require multiple calls — to triage the machine, order the parts, and then come back out and complete the repair. By making the service call proactive, it becomes both time and cost-effective for the customer and for the dealer. Real data shows on-site visits reduced by as much as 30 percent; translated into real costs it comes to around 20 percent savings — no small amount of money.

Also worth noting is that this is a constantly evolving database — the “learning” in “machine learning” means that the more information that is fed into the HP “brain,” the better the predictions become. The database currently contains several years of HP service histories, but the beauty of machine learning means that the data tracked and analyzed for fleet health insights and service action recommendations is also being turned into intelligence, which in turn will help refine future predictive intelligence. As more devices become SDS capable, the greater the database will become.

When we’re talking about all this MFP / Printer data, though, the question of security has to arise as well. But this is HP of course, and we take security very seriously. In fact, we sell the world’s most secure printers.* Device data sent from the Action Center interface to the HP SDS cloud is encrypted, and it is device telemetry only — no user data is ever collected or sent to the SDS cloud. A secure web portal provides the service desk and onsite service technicians access to SDS device notifications, service diagnostic details, and remote management controls.

Service costs have long been a thorn in the side of dealers, for whom printer downtime, misdiagnosed service issues and supplies orders can mean both time and money. When HP released the first iteration of SDS it was designed to monitor, diagnose and solve some of those downtime issues. Now, with significant advances in machine learning and the ability to maximize data collection, SDS 2.0 allows dealers to save even more time and money, and further enhance the customer experience. Who needs a crystal ball when you’ve got that?

  1. HP’s most advanced embedded device security features are available on HP Enterprise-class devices with FutureSmart firmware 4.5 or above and is based on HP review of 2018 published embedded security features of competitive in-class printers. Only HP printer security offers a combination of device security features for integrity checking down to the BIOS with self-healing capabilities. For more information visit: hp.com/go/printersecurityclaims.