Greenspan’s “Error” and Enterprise Solutions

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 Oct 28, 2008

Alan Greenspan’s recent testimony to Congress was quite shocking to those of us that took to him like the demigod champion of successful laissez-faire capital markets. “Yes, I’ve found a flaw,” Greenspan explained. “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief.” (The NY Times provides a good re-cap here.) Read more »

Tour of RISO’s new Chicago Office, Graph Expo 08

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 Oct 27, 2008

Tim Greene and I had the opportunity to visit the new RISO customer demo center in downtown Chicago this morning. In addition to the spectaular views, we were introduced to David Murphy, who spoke to us a bit about the future direction of RISO. Highlighting the HC5500, David stated that inkjet is valuable to the future of their product line and that it was time for them to begin an active push into the production, commercial space. Read more »

More from SGIA and on the year-end push

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 Oct 24, 2008

Alexis Golini and I came back from the SGIA show last week in Atlanta where we heard a lot of talk about the state of the economy and its impact on the wide format digital graphics market. There is a real mixed message coming from the field. At the high-end of the market there seems to be a lot of reports of “softness” while at the low-end, particularly in the low-end of solvent and UV-curable, there are reports of healthy market activity in terms of wide format printer units being sold. I spent half hour on the telephone with a friend of mine at one of North America’s leading wide format equipment and supplies distributors this morning. He told me that they sold a couple million dollars worth of equipment at the SGIA show and that their business is up for the year. He commented that people are trying to take advantage of tax laws that reward people for capital expenditures made in 2008 that will end on 12/31/2008. Mutoh references these incentives on the front page of their web site. As a friend of mine who used to be in sales said yesterday “if I was still in hardware sales I would be pushing this …hard”. With many manufacturers looking for a silver lining for 2008, I would expect to see a lot more messaging related to these incentives as the year closes.

Obama’s Loss Traced to Matt Swain

Matt Swain

There was a time when personalized direct marketing meant that the person’s name was inkjetted onto an offset shell for a direct mail piece. The industry has come a long way from there in print, and that personalization has expanded its reach to video. As with the early stages of print personalization, there are varying levels of video personalization implementation at this point. Some personalization service providers even draw from extensive voice recorded databases to enable the recipient’s name to be spoken (with authentic intonations) during the video.

I recently received an email from a colleague with a link to a video. It turns out that Obama lost the presidential race by one vote – mine.

The video is an excellent example of how variable data can be used to captivate an audience. It kept me intrigued throughout, wondering where my name would appear next. Consequently, the video has gained some great viral traction.

If I do not vote (either way), I will have a guilty conscience due to this video.

La Poste Group acquires 51% stake in Sefas

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The La Poste Group (the French Postal System) has announced its acquisition of a 51% stake in the French document software supplier Sefas Innovation, which operates from Europe and the USA. The transaction, which involves the wholly-owned La Poste subsidiary, Doc@Post, makes it the largest shareholder in Sefas Innovation, leaving the existing shareholders with 49% of equity.

 Sefas was founded in 1991 in Paris, France and has been a player in the enterprise transactional document composition market with its Open Print products. The company reports of having 80 people on staff, with most of them located in France. The company last publicly reported revenue was just below 10 million Euros in 2004.

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Interwoven announces record Q3 (and other signs we’re not doomed)

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 Oct 23, 2008

Released about 40 minutes ago, Interwoven’s (IWOV) Q3 results are truly exceptional. Highlights include:

  • “Record top line and bottom line results, and this is our 20th consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth.
  • Total revenues were a record $65.9 million, an increase of 19 percent over the third quarter of 2007.
  • Non-GAAP net income was a record $8.4 million, an increase of 15 percent from non-GAAP net income of $7.3 million in the third quarter of 2007.
  • License revenue growth was 14 percent, a clear sign we continue to take share from the competition.
  • Consulting, training, and software as a service revenues were $13.9 million, an increase of 37% over the third quarter of last year.”

Of course, the full release will require some vetting, and today’s conference call (5pm sharp!) should provide additional insight.

Not surprising to this analyst would be strong license growth around Interwoven’s Segmentation, Targeting, and Optimization Web Content Management (WCM) offerings, which have been [anecdotally] quite powerful and well-received. (For you “print” folks, the integrated offerings are similar to transpromo, custom communications… for the Web channel.) Read more »

Ricoh Vision 2008

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 Oct 22, 2008

The Ricoh Vision 2008 show was held last week at the Omni Championsgate Resort in Orlando, FL, and a few of us were in attendance. The theme of the show, “Leading the REVolution,” emphasized the Real Enhanced Value (get it?) that Ricoh and its dealers are poised to provide.

Ricoh executives were on-hand to speak with dealers and analysts, provide insight into the current state and future of the organization, as well as (broadly) comment on possible implications and scenarios following the IKON deal. We were also privy to a full analyst briefing, tech expo, and dealer seminars on environmental sustainability, production print, and REV solutions. (Clients – watch for our full analysis next week!)

For me, the highlight of the event was a toss up between guest speaker Pat Riley, Chris Bliss’s amazing juggling to The Beatles, and Kirk Yoshida’s “I’m Back” general session.  I guess the Florida weather in October wasn’t too bad either.od.

PS Did you know Ricoh sponsors the sustainable development award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair?

Seen at SGIA – Productivity enhancements

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One of the things that is shaping up in the wide format market is the increasing focus on overall productivity. At SGIA HP launched a new high-speed wide format printer called the FB7500. This printer is the product of years of research in high-speed production environments, specifically screen printing environments. In addition to using HP’s X2 print head technology, and new formulation of UV-curable inkjet inks, the new FB7500 has what the company calls a “three-quarters” automatic feeding system, which reduces the labor required to run the printer and improves the media load times because the system loads and lines up the media automatically. What I like about this new automation feature is that it is a lot like the kind of automation advances we’ve seen in the offset market that have been beneficial to that class of equipment in terms of units sold. One of the people who worked on the FB7500 told me that they have visited production printing establishments for years to get input on what characteristics of wide format digital printers need to be improved, the features of the FB7500 are a direct result of a lot of that work.

Live-blogging From Graph Expo

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 Oct 21, 2008

A few people from the InfoTrends production team will be blogging live from Graph Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago from Sunday, October 26 to Wednesday, October 29. Myself, along with Tim Greene (Director, Wide Format Printing and Jetting Technology Opportunities Consulting Sevices) and some others will providing you with some updates on new, innovative hardware and software technology being showcased in Chicago. We’ll be starting the coverage this weekend. Just check out the posts tagged with “Graph Expo 2008”.

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DI ’08 – U.S. Debut of KIS/Photo-Me Photobook Maker

Carrie Sylvester
 Oct 17, 2008
Attendees of DI ’08 were treated to the first showing of the KIS/Photo-Me Photobook Maker on U.S. soil. The self-serve kiosk was first shown at Photokina Germany and will be formally introduced in the U.S. during PMA 2009 (Spring). The kiosk can produce a photo book from a consumer’s digital images, stored on memory cards or CD/DVD, within minutes.

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