Top News for the Week of 10/28/2013
Distribution & Dealers
This week has been pretty busy, not only for the industry, but for myself personally, having just returned from Ricoh Americas’ annual national dealer meeting (“Convergence 2013 – Fast Forward,” held October 28-31 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas). We’ll have a full write-up Friday or Monday, but here are some quick impressions:
- No major programs for dealers were announced, but the conference focused on dealers. Since Ricoh has handed over some of its direct accounts to dealers, there was a lot of focus on their importance – the message from Ricoh to dealers was “We want to work with you” NOT “This is what you’re going to do” – a refreshing change.
- New hardware included a mix of new A3 and A4, with more attention on A4. An interesting new A4 MFP is available in two configurations – one that can be serviced by dealers, the other of which is designed to be serviced by customers. Ricoh also announced two new desktop printers (approximately $100), both of which it says are designed to help promote the Ricoh brand name among small- home- and “corporate: home office users, and which will be available via retail channels such as Amazon, CDW and Best Buy.
Several Japanese companies reported encouraging financial news this week, due in part to favorable depreciation of the Japanese yen, as well as cost-cutting, and also favorable sales of printers and consumables.
- OKI Japan reports that sales and net income are up for the first half of the year.
- Epson reports that its net sales and income are up and that it has gained traction in North American office-printer and consumables sales.
- However, Canon announces that in spite of higher sales and net income, it will cut its forecast.
Meanwhile, back in the states, this week’s financial news features one of our iconic imaging technology titans:
- Kodak (“KODK”) reports that it will list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
New Products and Solutions
- Samsung has launched new ‘Business Core Printing Solutions’ for A3 and A4 MFPs that includes cloud connectivity, security, management, and tracking solutions.
- Konica Minolta launches next-generation A3 bizhub 754e and 654e with bizhub OP (Open Platform).
In the Courtroom
In spite of the upbeat Americas National Dealer Conference, Ricoh had a rough week in the courts:
- It reached settlement in its case with patent-license holder Penovia, which had filed patent-infringement charges against Ricoh and a host of other printer companies over a printer-monitoring patent.
- It was ordered to pay Kodak $76 Million for digital-camera royalties.
- Wirth Consulting’s feature article on a multi-monitor setup for the mechanically disinclined: external USB ‘video cards’ make it easy to build a multiple PC monitor setup.
Solutions and Services
- Even though we are not convinced that many office managers will support an uncontrolled mobile-printing environment that has a huge potential for wasteful printing, Toshiba announces that several of its existing MFPs now support AirPrint mobile printing.
- Good news for Kodak on the future front: EPEAT announces that Kodak’s Alaris Division has the most scanners on the EPEAT Registry of Greener Electronics.
- Eci Software Solutions announces that it has formed a Managed Print Services alliance with Office Document Consulting.