The Analyst Corner
by Robert Palmer | 11/25/14
On November 19, Ricoh launched a new line of A3-size monochrome MFPs aimed at mid-to-large-size workgroups. What sets these new machines apart from other Ricoh MFPs, and indeed most competitive products, is the ability to control the device directly from a smart phone or tablet. According to Ricoh, the MP 2554/MP 3054/MP 3554 series of products empower users to take control of their MFP and achieve new levels of information access and mobility.
by Robert Palmer | 10/30/14
On October 29, HP announced its foray into the world of 3D printing with the unveiling of its new Blended Reality ecosystem, which it says will bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds and help overcome barriers to more widespread adoption of 3D printing. There are two key components to HP’s Blended Reality ecosystem: Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology and a computing platform called Sprout by HP. Working in concert, HP believes its new system can open up new market opportunities and revolutionize goods and parts production utilizing 3D printing technology.
by Robert Palmer | 10/15/14
On October 14, Xerox launched three new monochrome machines, two targeted at the low end of the SMB market and one designed for office workgroup and enterprise applications. The new products offer little in terms of technological advancement. Nevertheless, Xerox’s latest announcement underscores an obvious trend occurring in the office space: monochrome-only devices continue to thrive despite the ongoing promise of color.
by Robert Palmer | 10/7/14
On Monday, Hewlett-Packard announced sweeping changes that promise to radically alter the course of the company’s future, as well as the landscape for IT products and services. After years of speculation and rumor, the firm has decided to split its enterprise services business from its PC and printer operations. The result will be two separate and publicly traded companies roughly equal in size, both of which will be Fortune 50 businesses. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of fiscal 2015.
by Robert Palmer | 10/2/14
I recently attended the BTA East District Event in Baltimore, MD, where I was fortunate enough to lead a session and to moderate a panel discussion with representatives from three of the industry’s leading hardware manufactures. The BTA District Events provide a great mix of industry insight with a chance to hear directly from dealers — those in the trenches working hard to grow their business in the midst of transformation and a declining need for print.
by Robert Palmer | 9/18/14
I was fortunate enough to attend Samsung’s National Dealer Summit last week in Dallas. The event served as a venue for showcasing Samsung’s technology, its expertise in all things digital and mobile, and its continuing desire to become a formidable force in the enterprise printing space. Samsung has come a long way since its initial foray into the printing business, and while its success to date has largely come in the SOHO and small business sectors, the firm is clearly gearing up for a full-scale push into the corporate enterprise printing market.
by Robert Palmer | 9/4/14
On September 4, Hewlett-Packard made a series of moves as part of an overall repositioning of its solutions business. There are several facets to HP’s latest announcement, including improved security solutions, a new HP Flow MFP, and a branding strategy that will serve as an umbrella for all current and future HP printing solutions.
by Robert Palmer | 8/15/14
We recently discovered that HP is currently promoting a new version of its ink subscription service called Instant Ink Professional. About a year ago, HP formally launched its Instant Ink program, which provides customers with a monthly subscription-based business model for printing pages and replacing ink supplies. While the original Instant Ink program is aimed primarily at home and SOHO users, HP is investigating opportunities for pushing similar services further upmarket.
by Robert Palmer | 8/4/14
Recent announcements from several vendors underscore the growing importance of A4-size hardware in today’s overall product mix. Canon USA, for example, recently launched its imageRUNNER ADVANCE C350iF and C250iF color multifunction office systems. The new models can print and scan letter-sized documents in color or monochrome at speeds of up to 36 and 26 ppm, respectively. Both models offer a standard paper capacity of up to 650 letter- or legal-size sheets, with the ability to expand to 2,300 sheets utilizing optional paper cassettes.
by Robert Palmer | 7/19/14
I recently had the good fortune to visit HP’s inkjet labs located in Corvallis, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., for a two-day event billed as “The Science of Printing.” The event, which took place June 26-27, offered a unique glimpse into the inner workings of HP’s engineering processes and R&D facilities. A select group of approximately 25 industry analysts and press representatives were invited to attend the briefing, which included a whirlwind tour of various engineering facilities spanning both sites and multiple campuses.