This Week in Imaging: Sharp Bailout; Lexmark Makes MFPs Smarter; OKI, Konica Minolta Complete Stellar Fiscal Years; More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

We’ve been talking a lot about smart MFPs lately, and this week, Lexmark International introduced a new solution, Perceptive Checklist Capture, that we had previewed about two years ago with the firm.

Developed by Lexmark’s Perceptive Software division, in a nutshell, this new solution is designed to lighten knowledge workers’ paperwork burdens. At the same time, it’s designed to make sure that all relevant data and documents are gathered (so that, for instance, workers don’t have to go back into the field to get a photo). It then stores data and documents in a single protected folder that can be accessed via the Web via mobile device or desktop.

At the Lexmark MFP’s touchscreen, the solution can be enabled to prompt the user to submit and scan all required documents for the particular business process. The one example we’ve seen is for completing a loan-application process, with the touch screen indicating that a particular document is missing. Obviously, this can save a lot of work, time, emails, and phone calls, and is one of the reasons why Lexmark is at the forefront when it comes to the smart MFP.

This week’s Sharp watch arrives with some big news. See our story to see what steps the company’s taking. and how well its MFP business did in Sharp’s latest fiscal year.

In spite of its recently rocky financials, 3D-printer maker 3D Systems again picks up another distributor – this week it was Konica Minolta Australia. By our count, 3D Systems now has five office-equipment vendors distributing its 3D printers: Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Konica Minolta Australia, Kyocera U.K., Canon Europe, and Sindoh. Last week, U.S. office-equipment distributor Carolina Whole Group also reported it would be distributing 3D Systems’ consumer 3D printers to its network of U.S. office-equipment dealers, and back in August 2013, office-supplies superstore Office Depot began selling 3D Systems’ 3D printers. (By the way, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission [FTC] is currently reviewing Staples’ proposed acquisition of Office Depot this week – and it might not be a done deal, as the FTC declined to approve mergers of Staples and Office Depot back in both 1997 and 2013.)

We’re delighted by the continuing good financials from Konica Minolta and OKI. In spite of a flat global economy, these companies’ financial results can most likely be attributed to various combinations of: redistribution of market share (Konica Minolta); serving up clicks in emerging economies (Konica Minolta); innovative distribution policies (OKI); innovative hardware (both); innovative print solutions (OKI); and for both, a weaker Japanese yen that makes their exports more competitive worldwide.

Feature Stories

  • Banks to Provide Sharp with $1.7 Billion Bailout, Layoffs in the Works, Reports Loss for Fiscal Year – Read more here.
  • New Perceptive Checklist Capture for Capturing Content with Lexmark MFPs, Mobile Devices, and Desktops – Read more here.
  • Review: Toshiba TEC e-Follow Essentials Print-Management Solution – Read more here.
  • Stellar Fiscal Year for Konica Minolta, Business Technologies Drives Growth – Read more here.
  • Oki Rolls on with Strong Financial Results for its Latest Fiscal Year – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • Konica Minolta Opening New Sales Branch in Cincinnati, Ohio – Read more here.
  • Konica Minolta’s All Covered Acquires Assets of Techcess Group – Read more here.
  • Revenue Flat, Loss for Nuance Communications in Second-Quarter 2015 – Read more here.
  • Kodak Reports Loss for Quarter, but Says Financial Picture Improving – Read more here.
  • Print Audit Adds Five New Features for Print Audit Premier Members – Read more here.
  • Xerox Working to Combat Printer- and MFP-Supplies Theft – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

  • Konica Minolta Australia to Distribute 3D Systems’ 3D Printers – Read more here.
  • 90 Percent of 3D Printer Users ‘Very Satisfied’ According to IDC Survey – Read more here.

Commercial and Production-Printing News

  • RTI Digital Launching XL Stacker for Memjet-Powered Vortex 4200 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer – Read more here.

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