Top News for the Week of 4/28/2014 – Xerox Upgrades Print Security, Mopria Certification Soon; Sharp Improvement for Ricoh, Epson; More
This week, Xerox was in the spotlight, introducing several new products and solutions for virtually everyone. For enterprises, there was the Xerox Secure Print Manager Suite, with everything from user accounting to print rules. For commercial printers, there’s the new 100-ppm Versant 2100 Press, and for small and mid-size businesses, the 65-ppm Phaser 4622. Along with this is new Xerox PrintAssist Services for IT service providers, which leverages LabTech Software’s cloud-based remote monitoring platform, enabling IT to monitor and manage their client’s print environments. It appears that Xerox is back to doing what they do best.
New Products and Solutions
- Xerox Adds Enhancements to Print-Workflow Security, New Mopria Certification on the Way: Xerox today announced new services, as well as enhancements to existing products, all designed for enabling enterprises to better secure their print workflows, as well as automate business processes. Read more here.
- New Xerox PrintAssist Enables IT Service Providers to Manage Print Environments: Xerox today introduced a new solution for IT service providers called PrintAssist Services, a cloud-based plug-in that integrates Xerox’s printer discovery and monitoring capabilities and LabTech Software’s remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform to provide – via a dashboard – information needed to manage and monitor a customer’s print fleet. Read more here.
- New Xerox Color Production Printer, the Versant 2100 Press, Rated at up to 100 PPM: This is good news as Xerox has historically excelled at the production of “big iron” toner-based systems. On the other hand, what’s left of the offset press market appears more than ready for ink-based solutions. Read more here.
- Xerox Introduces its Fastest Phaser Printer to Date, the 65-PPM Phaser 4622: Xerox is introducing its fastest toner-based Phaser desktop printer to date, the Phaser 4622, a black-and-white printer rated at up to 65 ppm, and starting at $1,199. Read more here.
- Epson Launches its First Wi-Fi-Connected Portable Document Scanner, the Workforce DS-40: Epson America today introduced the WorkForce DS-40 ($179.99 MSRP), its first wireless portable document scanner. Weighing just over a pound, the WorkForce DS-40 features Wi-Fi wireless connectivity for point-to-point scanning directly to a PC, Mac, or mobile devices, as well as one-touch scan-to-cloud, and is powered by battery or USB source. Read more here.
- Muratec Launches IntelliCloud Document-Management Solution: Muratec America reports that IntelliCloud, an enterprise document-workflow solution developed by partner Intellinetics, is now available for distribution through its dealers. Read more here.
- New Latex Ink, Designjet Printers from HP: Apparently, latex ink provides superior image durability when compared to aqueous-based pigment inks and is far less hazardous than solvent-based inks. Read more here.
This week, Ricoh, Samsung, and Epson all delivered reports on their latest financial reports. For both Ricoh and Epson, it was good news for both firms’ latest fiscal years, with both reporting robust earnings and sales. Epson, which had a loss for its previous fiscal year, reported healthy sales of large-format printers and business inkjets with large ink capacities. Those business color inkjets with 75,000-page yields, and ink tanks that can be refilled by users with bags of ink (below), were recently previewed by Epson Europe. See here for more on these new inkjets. Epson will also be introducing new imaging systems based on its Precision Core Micro Piezo inkjet-printing; Wirth Consulting will be visiting with Epson Americas next week, and will be reporting on these new products ASAP.
- Ricoh Reports Robust Financial Results for Fiscal Year: Ricoh Company of Japan reported robust financial results for its fiscal year 2014 ending March 31, 2014, with net sales of 2,236.9 billion yen, a 16.2 percent year-over-year increase, and net income of 72.8 billion yen, a 124.3 percent increase. The company said it enjoyed higher sales of color MFPs, color production-printing systems, managed document services, and expanded IT services sales. Structural reform also contributed to a sharp increase in profit, as did the weaker Japanese yen. Read more here.
- Mixed Results for Samsung’s First Quarter, Lower Display Panel Revenue: Keep in mind that Samsung’s MFP and printer divisions barely registers in all of this, as most of the firm’s financial results relate primarily to slowing TV sales and this year’s cost of releasing a myriad of smartphones and related products. Read more here.
- Epson Reports Sharp Improvement for Fiscal Year; Sales of High-Capacity Inkjets Lift Revenue: Seiko Epson of Japan reported net sales of 1,003 billion yen ($9.7 billion U.S.) for its fiscal year 2014 ending March 31, 2014, a 17.9 increase over the previous year. It also reported net income of 83 billion yen ($813 million U.S.) versus a loss for the previous fiscal year. Read more here.
- Judge Sends Vermont’s Lawsuit Against MPHJ Technology back to State Court: The saga continues with MPHJ Technology Investments, the so-called “patent troll” whose law firm has sent out thousands of demand letters, claiming that use of an MFP’s scan technology violates its patents. In the latest development, a federal judge remanded the state of Vermont’s lawsuit against MPHJ back to Vermont’s state court. MPHJ is also suing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), arguing that the FTC is violating its freedom of speech rights by seeking to stop MPHJ’s patent-enforcement activities – making the unique argument that patent-enforcement is a form of free speech.
- Canon Sues Seller of HP-Compatible Toner Cartridges in The Netherlands: Meanwhile, Canon Inc. – the OEM supplier for Hewlett-Packard’s LaserJet printers and MFPs – continues to aggressively enforce its toner-cartridge patents, this time targeting toner-cartridge sellers in The Netherlands. Canon Inc. of Japan released a brief statement saying that it had initiated a patent-infringement suit in the Netherlands before the District Court of The Hague against China-based Aster Technology Holland B.V. Canon alleges the firm infringed on Canon’s European Patent (NL) number 2 087 407, and imported and offered for sale of certain patent-infringing toner cartridges for use in various models of Hewlett-Packard laser printers. Canon is seeking injunctive relief and damages.