HP ePrint and Small Businesses

Tomorrow I’m going to be live on a webcast with HP about their ePrint product. (Check it out, you can win a printer. HP is a client.)

I started thinking about how I’d use this ePrint product. (Learn more about it in this Mashable article). As a consultant I work in 4 or 5 offices a week for different clients, ranging from a small office where 4 people share a big desk space in midtown NYC to a major non-profit that has 2 floors in one building and a different location uptown, to a major suburban office complex. Sometimes I’m doing project work for a client just for that day. And then there’s time at the University. It isn’t always possible to get on the client’s network, so I use a phone that creates its own wifi hotspot.
One thing that comes up a lot is a request to print a document before a meeting. This is probably ok if the client allows me access to their network, AND I’ve already configured a printer, AND it’s not in use. But sometimes I have to email the client a document and have them print it. I’ve had situations where we’ve wasted 10 or 15 minutes because I sent a document in the latest version of Word or Powerpoint and they didn’t have that version. Or some other tech issue that just makes stuff difficult.

The most appealing aspect of ePrint is the idea that a printer has its own email address, and I can send things in different formats and have them print automatically. It cuts out the step of having to email someone a document. The printers also can scan to Google’s cloud so I could scan something at the client’s location and have it show in my Google Documents for further work or sharing.

And don’t get me started about reading something on my iPad and not being able to print it. Now I can.

The printers also have apps like a phone, so you can print plane tickets and other important documents even if you’ve packed up your laptop.

What are you using ePrint for? I hope you’ll email us questions about this technology during the live event – look for the live event blog post going live on Monday morning for the details.

This post is part of my work with client HP as a sponsored conversation around their 9/20/10 event. I wouldn’t participate if I didn’t like the product and their approach to working with me and with the other bloggers who are participating.