This Week in Imaging: Pie-in-the-Sky or Imminent Disruption? Epic Big-Data Failure

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

While the United States was on the receiving end of quite a bit of disruption on Tuesday – with Donald J. Trump being elected to the presidency after months and months of polling indicating that his opponent would win – this week there also signs of continuing disruption in the office-imaging industry.

Disruption has been at the forefront in the office-imaging industry in the last several months, with Xerox and HP splitting into two companies, and Lexmark’s acquisition by Apex Technology and a consortium of investors.

What might seem like a blip in the radar this week in the disruption department was Dell’s introduction of new A4 models and a new print-management solution. But what was interesting were the words of a Dell executive, Orlando Lacayo, stating in an interview with CRN: “The A3 and A4 worlds are colliding. For copier companies that have been around a long time, A3 is declining, so the A3 companies are trying to make up revenue loss by getting into the A4 space.”

The question of the moment is, how far will that A4 disruption go? While most acknowledge the gains of A4, the perception seems to be that the A3 copier-based MFP will never go away, despite much lower-cost A4 counterparts. But will that last – and for how long?

At the same time, we’ve always suspected that the overpriced and under-featured A4 offerings from copier vendors were half-hearted attempts that were purposely designed not to disrupt the complex and lucrative sales, service, and distribution practices of copier dealers. The question is, if and when A4 really takes over, will these A4 units be competitive with A4 from long-established A4 vendors?

Also this week in the disruption department, a Dutch start-up company introduced what it calls inkless printing. Basically, this method of laser printing imprints paper so that there’s no need for black ink or toner. While inkless and toner-less printing has been around for some time, it requires special, more expensive un-coated paper. This doesn’t.

While it may seem far-fetched for enterprises to ever really abandon A3, or for anyone to be able to print much cheaper without ink or toner, remember that “Big Data” completely failed to predict the U.S. election, and for many seasoned analysts it seemed pretty far-fetched that a candidate with no government or military experience would ever become president of the United States. Just something to consider, as major disruption can often come unexpectedly and much sooner than we expect.

Office-Imaging News

  • Dutch Start-Up Company Debuts Printing without Black Ink or Toner – Read more here.
  • New Samsung Update Enables Samsung Galaxy Users to Print to Millions of Printers – Read more here.
  • Dell Seeks Copier-Market Disruption Too with New A4 Models and New Print-Fleet Management – Read more here.
  • Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Cloud for Scanning to Cloud Sites Adds Four New Destinations – Read more here.
  • Sharp Copier/MFPs Now with Pantone Color-Matching – Read more here.
  • Canon uniFLOW Secure Print Solution Now Available for Multi-Vendor Environments – Read more here.

Other News

  • Xerox Board Approves Split into Two Companies – Read more here.
  • Sharp Wins Fourth Consecutive Municipal Government Contract for MFP/Copiers and Displays – Read more here.
  • Samsung’s Seoul Offices Raided in Korea Equestrian Foundation Scandal – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

  • Konica Minolta Seeks to Expand Industrial-Printer Business with New Site in France – Read more here.
  • New Fiery Digital Front Ends for Xerox Color C60/C70 Light-Production Printers – Read more here.

Financial News

  • Brother Posts Upbeat Financials for First Half, Super-High-Yield Ink Tanks Improve Profitability- Read more here.

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November 2016

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