HP Courts Law Community

Hewlett-Packard cornered the U.S. legal community this week by racking up a slew of multi-year product contracts worth $50 million to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer maker.

HP’s focus on the legal community, according to David Treadway, director of small and medium business marketing for HP Personal Systems Group, is part of a larger strategy to segment the small and medium business market into industry categories and then organize HP’s products and services in such a way that they appear more relevant to each category’s business objectives.

HP now claims to provide more than 80 percent of U.S. law offices with printing and imaging technology.

To support this new foray into the legal community, HP partnered with NetDocuments, a Utah-based document management firm, to launch a Website for legal eagles looking for more information about HP products and services that are suited for their industry and particular needs.

The site, which comes on the heels of similar industry-specific sites for the real estate, accounting, graphic design, and medical industries, features informational articles, testimonials, and buying guides on product offerings for legal professionals.

Among the products and services HP is marketing directly to both large and small law firms across the country are ways of managing the paper chase of legal documents and briefs, mobile access to email and corporate data, the use of digital signatures, and the implementation of wireless networks with access points in conference rooms and common areas that are frequently visited by law firm employees.

HP has also found a huge new market for its line of Compaq Evo desktop and notebook PCs, HP ProLiant servers, HP StorageWorks solutions, HP Carepaq services, and third-party software.

HP made another major move this week by joining up with auctioneer eBay and Accenture to launch The HP Store, which will feature used PCs, workstations, servers, handhelds, printers, and accessories.

According to HP, the majority of the items at The HP Store are canceled orders and returned products that have never been removed from their original packaging.

The HP Store is part of eBay’s launch of its eBay Electronics site, which the company announced last week at Comdex in Las Vegas, and will be built on Accenture’s Connection to eBay, a service that helps small and medium-size companies sell high volume products on eBay due to liquidation or product surplus. Accenture acts as a third-party consultant by providing inventory and listing management strategy services.

The HP Store joins eBay’s other 40,000 store sites and will be directly linked to eBay’s Electronics page, which features consumer electronics, computers, peripherals, networking, telecom, software, photography, and video games.