This Week in Imaging: Xerox up for Sale? Plus, Innovations in Digital Imaging
According to The Wall Street Journal, two of Xerox’s large shareholders have begun to pressure Xerox to sell the company. The two shareholders are Darwin Deason, the latter of whom sold Affiliated Computer Services to Xerox – and which Xerox essentially spun-off as Conduent – and billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who has recently been criticizing Xerox management. The two hold about a combined 15 percent of Xerox shares, and have been recently demanding that Xerox disclose its rumored talks with Fujifilm, with which Xerox has a joint partnership in Fuji Xerox.
Is such a sale possible? At this point, it seems in this industry that anything’s possible: we’ve seen Foxconn acquire Sharp Corporation, Ninestar acquire Lexmark International, Eastman Kodak go through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Toshiba endure major financial struggles, Funai Electric acquire Lexmark’s inkjet business, HP Inc. acquire Samsung’s Printing Solutions’ business, and Konica Minolta acquire Muratec. On the flip side, lots of companies have abandoned various market segments: Konica Minolta got out of the camera business in 2007, Lexmark and Kodak got into, and then out of, inkjet printers, Panasonic got out of copiers, and, for its part, Xerox got out of business-process services, splitting itself into document- and copier-focused Xerox and business-process-services focused Conduent.
So a Xerox sale may be in the works – but as with other upheavals, the world won’t come to an end. As Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldbum notes in the movie Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.” Stay tuned.
Innovation in Digital Imaging
On another front, the digital-imaging industry is often (mistakenly) perceived as a little staid, with minimal innovation going on – but this week we were again struck by some of the interesting innovations going on, from a new EFI Fiery controller for Xerox production-printing system that can be used to produce special print embellishments (see sample below), to a desktop printer for printing on textiles such as T-shirts from Epson, to a Lexmark copier/MFP solution for taking some of the pain out of routine government-agency work.
All of these innovations focus outside of just office printing into solutions and production and commercial printing. In the coming weeks, check back here for more innovation – in particular, involving mobile printing, and a big announcement from HP Inc.