This Week in Imaging: New Xerox Solutions; New OKI Hardware; Latest Financials from Canon, Ricoh, More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Both Ricoh and Sharp coincidentally rolled out programs this week that will enable their dealers to offer managed IT services – Ricoh with its CHAMPS  Cloud IT Services and Sharp via a partnership with Continuum. However, the big question remains whether their dealers will and can use these programs successfully.

Also this week, we reported on the latest financials from two major imaging vendors, Canon and Ricoh, both of whom reported lagging earnings – even though they’ve been enjoying the overseas benefits of a weaker Japanese yen versus the strong U.S. dollar – something U.S. vendors such as Xerox, Lexmark, and Hewlett-Packard have been struggling against for some time. (The upshot with a strong U.S. dollar is that it makes imports into the U.S. – such as MFPs and printers – cheaper – but U.S. printers and MFPs more expensive for the rest of the world.) How does this affect Canon and Ricoh’s IT services programs for dealers? Both indicated in their financial results that, when the effect of foreign-currency exchange-rate fluctuations are taken into account, sales of MFPs and printers have been fairly modest. That may well mean dealers would be well-advised to take advantage of available IT services programs.

Xerox this week came out with a number of new solutions, including mobile-printing solutions, and the CompleteView User Analytics Tool print-management solution that monitors users’ printing behavior. We were struck by what one Xerox executive said in an online Webinair in which Xerox introduced the new solutions – “It’s about printing less and printing for less.” For better or worse, this is a common refrain among several imaging vendors (including Lexmark and Toshiba), and the push now isn’t about speeds, feeds, and clicks anymore, especially for large enterprises, but about embedding oneself in the customer’s business document-processing. In the case of Xerox, for instance, that might mean completely removing paper from the business process (such as on-boarding a new employee), but replacing the paper with Xerox software solutions that intelligently route a document  to the various destinations throughout the document life-cycle.

In spite of the philosophy of “It’s about printing less and printing for less” described above, EFI reports a record first-quarter profit. How can this be if everybody is printing less? We feel that this phenomena is related to small shifts of “big iron” production-print volumes to light-production printers, a market that can still use EFI’s controllers in order to produce prints and process them with standardized, consistent, and replicable image quality. There’s also Memjet which is also contributing to the trend with dedicated low-cost color label printers that enable customers to bring their label-printing in-house.

Be sure to check out our latest Hands-On Test of the Epson WorkForce WF-7610, a “true” A3 All-in-One. What’s “true” about it? Copy, flatbed scan, automatic duplex scan originals as large as A3/11″x17″, plus, print onto media as large as 13″x19″/Super B/A3+.

Feature Stories

  • New ‘Smart’ A4 MFPs from OKI, MB700+ and MC700+, with Latest smart Extendable Platform, Optional Cloud Connectivity – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • New Xerox CompleteView User Analytics Tool for MPS, Monitoring Users’ Printing – Read more here.
  • Xerox Enhances Mobile-Printing and Workflow Suite With Mobile Link, Mobile Access App, Update Mobile Print Cloud – Read more here.
  • New Xerox Workflow-Optimization Solutions, DocuShare Private Cloud – Read more here.

Office-Dealer News

  • Sharp-Continuum Partnership Will Enable Sharp Dealers to Offer Continuum Managed-IT Services – Read more here.
  • Ricoh Launches CHAMPS Cloud IT Services for Ricoh Dealers – Read more here.

Financial News

  • EFI Reports Record First-Quarter Revenue of $195 Million – Read more here.
  • As Camera Sales Fall, Canon Earnings Slip in Latest Quarter, Cuts Forecast – Read more here.
  • Lower Revenue at Lexmark for First Quarter, But Meets Earnings Forecast – Read more here.
  • Xerox Revenue Down for First Quarter, Adjusts Forecast – Read more here.
  • Sales, Earnings Up for Kyocera’s Fiscal Year and Latest Quarter – Read more here.
  • Earnings Slump at Ricoh for Fourth Quarter and Full Fiscal Year – Read more here.

Commercial and Production Printing

  • Memjet: Desktop Label Printers Poised for ‘Unprecedented Growth’ – Read more here.

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