This Week in Imaging: Konica Minolta, HP and 3D-Printing; HP Debt Split Raises Concerns; Legendary Typeface Designer Leaves a Mark; More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

You know it’s the year 2015 when two of our stories this week in our office-imaging newsletter involve two mainstream MFP/printer vendors and 3D printing. To us at least, 3D printing can be a natural next-step for many (but not all) office-imaging vendors and dealers alike. As with 2D-printing and imaging, it entails revenue derived from product sales, and annuity revenue from product consumables and product service, so that the revenue streams are similar.

But as we explore in our feature story, there are some things to be aware of before stepping into it.  One thing that dealers must consider is that they’ll most likely be dealing with a different customer – not an IT guy or gal, but more likely a manufacturing engineer, designer, or architect. But it’s not unusual for dealers to have to negotiate something like this – remember back in the day when we transitioned from analog copiers to digital copiers. and we were no longer speaking with the office manager but with the IT guy? It was a huge change, but most eventually managed it. And note that successful wide-format printer dealers have been selling to engineers and architects forever, and thus may be in a particularly good position to leverage that expertise.

This week, Hewlett-Packard took a key step in its process of splitting into two companies, a step it hopes to finalize this November, by filing required forms with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This has got to be a huge logistical challenge for the company, and the departure of a key executive from the HP Enterprise Group this week also raised concern among some. And, according to Bloomberg News, HP Inc. – the company that will focus on PCs, tablets, and printers – may be liable for most of HP’s total debt, according to HP forms filed with the SEC. HP’s current total debt as a single company is $21.06 billion, but the Enterprise Group has only $1.45 billion of that debt.  According to Bloomberg, the final debt distribution between the two proposed new companies hasn’t been finalized. HP has said it may transfer some balance-sheet items to HP Enterprise after the split, and, hopefully, the debt split may be more equitable.

R.I.P. Hermann Zapf. Last week, the legendary typeface designer and calligrapher Hermann Zapf died at home in Germany at the age of 96, and if you’ve been around PCs for long, you know who he is. His fonts are found on everything from the Estée Lauder logo to war memorials, and his Zapfino calligraphy font automatically adjusts as you type so that the letters flow precisely.

Ironically, Zapf is most famous for a symbol font – a font that has no letters. The Zapf Dingbats font was composed of a series of stars, arrows, pointing fingers, and fountain-pen nibs. Unusually, it had no thumbs up or thumbs down symbols, but it had four different types of scissors, and more than 20 types of stars. It had no sad face, but had a happy face and a happy face in inverse colors.

Thanks to symbol fonts, early PC adopters began using symbols in word processing, presentations, and email messages, paving the way to how we message our friends with emoji today. In fact, I already miss the old font, as a search on my bog-standard Windows 8.1 box only reveals its modern-day replacement – three flavors of Wingdings.

Feature Stories

  • Catching up with Konica Minolta and its 3D-Printing Initiative – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • Samsung Launches Industry’s First Mobile App for Printer Trouble-Shooting – Read more here.
  • New Ricoh SP 6430DN A3 Desktop Printer Uses Ricoh’s Latest LED-Printing Technology  – Read more here.
  • Copier-Dealer Marco Continues Expansion in Wisconsin – Read more here.
  • New Lexmark Managed Print Services Offering, ‘Advantage MPS Core’ for U.K., Ireland – Read more here.
  • New Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless Color Inkjet All-in-One with Print from and Scan to Cloud Sites – Read more here.

Other News

  • HP Ventures Investing in Shapeways, a 3D-Printing Service Provider – Read more here.
  • HP Takes ‘Important Step’ in November Company Split with SEC Filing – Read more here.
  • Lower Oil Prices, Elections Result in Slight Decline in Middle-East Printer/Copier/MFP Market, Says IDC – Read more here.
  • Xerox Completes Sales of its IT-Outsourcing Business to Atos – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

  • EFI Makes Two Key Acquisitions; Launches New Fiery Server – Read more here.

People News

  • HP Enterprise Group Executive VP Veghte Leaving HP – Read more here.

The Third Dimension

Dubai to Build Office Building Using 3D Printer

The U.S. Navy is About to go Big on 3D Printing

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