The Analyst Corner

Yes Virginia, It’s True: Lexmark Acquired for $3.6B by Consortium of Apex and PAG Asia Capital

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 04/20/2016

Rumors suggesting that Lexmark was being pursued by Apex Technology Co., the same company that bought Lexmark archenemy Static Control last year, have percolated since April 7 from numerous sources. The reports were discounted by many in the printing/imaging industry because the move was seen as an odd fit – a major printer hardware OEM being acquired by a company known principally for producing components for aftermarket ink and toner makers. At the same time there were also reports that Lenovo expressed interest in acquiring Lexmark, a move that would reunite two substantial ex-IBM divisions under Chinese ownership.

.

Foxconn and Sharp Finally Come to An Agreement; Has Sharp Dodged a Bullet?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/31/16

The on-again, off-again union of financially ailing Sharp Electronics of Japan and Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn was finally agreed to on March 30, months after an initial agreement was reached in principle. Inking the final deal came after weeks of wrangling over details of the actual fiscal standing of Sharp – which revealed a company far worse off than originally presented — and thus, how much Foxconn was willing to pay.

.

HP’s Spring Launch Part 3: In the Shadow of the PageWide Debut, New OfficeJets and LaserJets Bow

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/25/2016

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/25/16

In Part 1 of this series we looked at HP’s rationale for rebranding its page-wide devices, and in Part 2 we took a deep dive into those new releases. But while the floodlights and the red carpet were being rolled out for the PageWide coming out party, HP also released a number of new Officejet and LaserJet models, brands that have been essential “meat and potatoes” products in HP’s line for decades. Before we take a look at the new models, here is an update to HP’s positioning and messaging for these two major business printer lines:

.

HP’s Spring Launch Part 2: A Look at the New PageWide Products

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/23/2016

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/21/16

In Part 1 of this series we looked at HP’s rationale for rebranding its page-wide devices. Rebranding movement aside, however, the spring launch event was all about new HP printing products – PageWide, OfficeJets, and, LaserJets too. Under the broad banner of “Printing Reinvented,” the firm introduced:

.

HP’s Spring Launch Part 1: What’s in a Name? Business Inkjets Relaunched, Rebranded

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/21/16

In the high tech biz, we have become accustomed to observing a new product technology capability debut and swiftly create a tsunami of disruptive change, often resulting in the upending of a long dominant and established product category. The elements in driving this market transformation are often easy to discern; benefits over the more mature technology such as speed, price or operating costs, functionality, usability and durability, among others. In most categories, the advent of a new offering with significant benefits makes choosing the new entry an easy and apparent decision; a “no-brainer” in everyday vernacular.

.

This is Not the ‘Old’ Xerox: Apps, Automation and the IoT Are a Big Part of the Company’s Future

Amy Weissby Amy Weiss | 3/14/16

On March 9, Xerox hosted its 2016 Office Technology Event at the Gil Hatch Center in Rochester, N.Y., where it unveiled a slew of new hardware, software and innovations to the gathered press and analysts. An announcement of 14 new ConnectKey i-Series MFPs was the mere tip of the iceberg at the event in which Xerox demonstrated that it is an organization with its eyes solidly on the future.

.

HP Inc. Ups the Stakes When It Comes to Printer Security

by Amy Weiss | 3/7/16

Once upon a time, printers were printers and very little more. They sat on people’s desks, they connected to a computer, and they printed. Those days, however, are for the most part long gone. While standalone printers exist, forces such as print and document management programs, the smart MFP and the Internet of Things have combined to ensure that today’s workplace print devices are connected, networked, and accessible to workers in various areas inside and outside the office, from both desktop and mobile devices.

.

Lexmark’s Q4 and FY15 Report – a Microcosm of the Industry’s Maladies

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/1/16

Exercising reasonable due diligence on behalf of its readers dictates we at the Imaging Channel scrutinize the quarterly and annual financial reports of the key firms in our industry and interpret what the results might mean for the channel and the overall market. Sometimes, an analysis of these announcements provide us with a clear and unvarnished view of the state of the industry. Lexmark’s recent Q4 2015 report is one of those state of the industry revelations. It is difficult to review the Lexmark earnings release in isolation when several major OEMs in the industry are awash in news of mergers, divestitures, acquisitions, and shifts in strategy.

.

Canon’s Latest uniFLOW Software: Yet Another Sign of a Digital Future?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/04/2016

by Amy Weiss | 2/4/16

On February 2, Canon U.S.A. announced the release of the latest version of its output management, device management and smart scanning solution, uniFLOW V5.4. The new version of Canon’s software offers one integrated platform for print, scan and device management, improved scanning and mobile printing, and enhanced office printing.

.

Déjà Vu: Xerox Announces Plans to Split in Two

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/29/2016

by Amy Weiss | 1/29/16

On January 29, 2016, Xerox announced its fourth quarter earnings as well as its plans for separating into two independent, publicly traded companies. Needless to say the latter, which was leaked by theWall Street Journal the night before the official announcement, somewhat eclipsed the former.

.

Brother’s Big Laser Launch Targets the Workgroup

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/27/2016

by Amy Weiss | 1/27/16

On January 20, Brother International released a series of monochrome laser printers and all-in-ones for office, workgroup, and higher-volume print environments. The launch, which is a refresh of the firm’s laser product line, is said by Brother to be the largest and most in-depth in the company’s history.

.

Muratec America Enters Label Printer Market

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/20/2016

by Amy Weiss | 1/20/16

On January 15, Muratec America announced its entry into the label printer market with a series of digital presses designed for short-run, high-definition color labels. The Precision Label Series (PLS) consists of the PLS-2112 digital press and PLC-2112F digital finishing system, and the PLS-5150 digital press and PLS-5150F digital finishing system.

.

Sharp Charts Course for the Future at National Dealer Meeting in San Antonio

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 12/10/2015

by Robert Palmer | 12/10/15

Sharp’s National Dealer Meeting, held December 3–6 at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, was a whirlwind of activity from beginning to end. It was an important event for Sharp given the firm’s recent financial difficulties. Despite continued strong performance from its Business Solutions group, Sharp has struggled financially while transitioning from a consumer-oriented business to that of a B2B-focused company. As a result, there has been no shortage of news, speculation, and rumor surrounding Sharp’s long-term prospects since its last dealer meeting two years ago.

.

Oh By the Way, HP Inc.’s Digital Capture Launch Also Includes Two New A3s for MPS

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 12/10/2015

by Amy Weiss | 12/9/15

On December 3, HP Inc. announced a series of new products and solutions, including two new JetAdvantage solutions, three new scanners, and two new A3 MFPs. We have talked about the scan and capture solutions extensively over at Workflow, but for the purposes of this publication we wanted to take a closer look at what was an interesting hardware launch for the newly formed HP Inc. — the HP MFP S965dn and HP MFP S975dn.

.

HP’s Final Earnings Results as a Combined Company Indicate Tough Road Ahead

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 11/25/2015

by Robert Palmer | 11/25/15

On November 24, Hewlett-Packard Company announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 and fourth quarter ended October 31, 2015. The firm noted that Q4 was the final quarter in which Hewlett-Packard operated as one combined company. The separation into two independently traded public companies was completed on November 1.

.

Kyocera Partners with Biscom and DocuWare for New Integrated MFP Solutions

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 11/11/2015

by Robert Palmer | 11/11/15

On November 10, Kyocera Document Solutions America (KDA) announced it has partnered with Biscom and DocuWare to introduce new solutions aimed at helping organizations gain better control over business-critical information.

.

Rumors Fly as Major OEMs Explore Strategic Alternatives

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/28/2015

by Robert Palmer | 10/28/15

Following earnings announcements for hard copy vendors these days is very much like listening to a broken record. Currency fluctuations, market headwinds, softening demand, competitive pressures; these terms have become part and parcel when it comes to explaining the challenges facing most imaging OEMs today. The need to cut costs combined with an ongoing shift from paper to digital display has resulted in reduced spending on print in both the consumer and business sectors — and the pain is beginning to show.   

.

Lexmark Showcases New Customer Engagement Center at Lexington Analyst Event

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/21/2015

by Robert Palmer | 10/21/15

I was privileged to attend a Lexmark analyst briefing held last week in Lexington, Kentucky.  With only a handful of press and industry analysts in attendance, the event offered unique insight into Lexmark’s ongoing strategy as it continues its transformation from a hardware vendor to that of a solutions company. At the same time, Lexmark used the event to showcase its beautiful new Customer Engagement Center.

.

HP Targets Security Breaches With Latest Enterprise-Class Machines

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/01/2015

by Robert Palmer | 10/1/15

On September 22, HP introduced three new LaserJet machines aimed at the enterprise sector. The new models deliver a host of capabilities that help set them apart from previous HP products. To begin with, HP’s latest printers and MFPs are all based on the firm’s JetIntelligence cartridge technology, which was introduced earlier this year. As a result, each of the new machines has a smaller overall footprint and offers faster print speeds compared with its predecessor.

.

Samsung Touts Mobility and Solutions at 2015 National Dealer Summit

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 09/23/2015

by Robert Palmer | 9/23/15

Samsung’s National Dealer Summit, held September 15–17 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, was a testament to just how far the firm has come in just a short period of time. Samsung used the event to showcase its recently announced MX7 series A3 platform along with a plethora of solutions and technologies to reinforce its vision for the connected office of the future. Specifically, Samsung believes that mobility and technology integration will be key to meeting future business demands, and it sees the connected office MFP as the hub for enabling a mobile-focused workforce.

.