*As fakes take over
The lingering scarcity of Hewlett Packard (HP) printer toners in Nigeria may have provided the window for faking and adulteration of the brand considered to be users’ first choice.
According to ITRealms Online week-long investigations in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country, the original HP printer toners could not be accessed at the markets and even at the so-called major distributors.
After long hours of waiting at a very notable HP products distributor, they had no choice than to confirm the fears, which was first raised by a sub-dealer at the Otigba Market in Ikeja, otherwise known as Computer Village, that original HP printer toners are scarce.
This was brought to the fore because one of the product dealers at Otigba was suspended by a client company for supplying fake products, equally known as refilled packs, which culminated in spillage in the firm’s several models of HP printers, including LaserJet 1320, F300, and P2015 to name a few.
The toner spillage also encouraged the management of the affected company to institute an inquiry, resulting in the discovery that what they were being offered for some months now were merely refilled packs and subsequently the supplier was suspended.
But, after exhausting the stock, the firm embarked on fact-finding mission; leaving it to discover more, that there is currently no new HP toner in the nation’s market.
Our investigation was confirmed when correspondent visited Computer Village at the weekend and Alli Street Computer Market at the Tinubu Square, as well as the GSM Market along Agege Motor road, all in Lagos.
Efforts at insisting on the original HP printer toners resulted in the sellers threatening to return their wares “if you are not serious,” which was carried out to the letter when it was suggested that a test be conducted on the toner cartons and toner container to ensure the products on display were original.
“Oga, may be you would come back next week, that time, the original go dey (would be available),” one of the sellers declared as they began to retreat to their shops one after another until the last person withdrew their wares.
It was gathered that even if the potential buyer was to have an offer appointment with them to procure the original from whatever source, they would either try to repackage the fake toner products and showcase them.
Further investigations revealed that at the aforementioned markets, there are specialists at the back offices refilling used toners by way of injecting toner fluids into the used containers with syringes.
As a matter of fact, most of the dealers and suppliers owned up to purchasing used toner cartridges in the name of HP recycling campaign, which has incentives for participants in most part of the developed countries, while in developing countries of Africa, this incentive is not available.
Although, HP stresses its determination to actively work with governments on recycling legislation and meeting or exceeding all applicable legal requirements.
However, efforts to get the management of HP Nigeria to comment on the development, proved abortive as at the time of going to the press, as the Managing Director, HP Nigeria, Mr. Imeh Umoh, was yet to return the call by ITRealms Online on the subject as promised.
Meanwhile, Hewlett Packard (HP) Nigeria recently introduced new Proliant server to help improve the quality of virtualization within organizations.
Virtualization, a framework or methodology of dividing the resources of a computer into multiple execution environments by applying one or more concepts or technologies, such as hardware and software partitioning, time-sharing, partial or complete machine simulation, emulation, quality of service, and many others, has grown to be top of mind for most organization information officers.
Presenting the HP latest innovation, ProLiant BL495c Virtualization Blade to journalists, the company’s Enterprise Server Manager, Mr. Chuks Okpaka stated that the HP’s newest introduction is built to eliminate bottlenecks to virtual server performance.
“According to analysts, the market for Virtual machine software grew 69 per cent from 2006 to 2007 and is projected to grow more than 50 per cent this year and the adoption rate reflects that many businesses are already realizing benefits from their implementations,” he said.
HP, therefore, urged organizations to, ‘Rethink on application and IT operations management, infrastructure barriers and client architecture so as to leverage virtualization to achieve greater reliability and security as well as improved manageability, flexibility and the Returns On Investment (ROI) of end-user computing.”
On the barriers inhibiting most organizations from thinking virtualization, HP noted that the biggest inhibitors to appreciating and adopting virtualization are majorly connected to upfront cost, staff training and experience.
Others, Okpaka said, are the challenges associated with gaining approval from corporate management and infrastructure planning and the challenges of effectively managing both physical and virtual resources.
Enumerating, however, the benefits derivable from “Rethinking Virtualization,” HP Nigeria official said that customers who employ the use of virtualization devices stand to enjoy faster delivery of applications and services as well as have the advantage of being able to put unused resources and capacity to work.
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