Global Imaging / ComDoc Deal

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 Jan 30, 2009

Earlier today, Xerox Corp.’s Global Imaging Systems announced it is acquiring ComDoc, a regional document solutions provider (aka “dealer”) based in Akron, Ohio. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, it was mentioned that after the deal is finalized, ComDoc will start selling Xerox document management products.  For those not embedded in the day-to-day battles of selling copiers and related solutions in the Ohio area, you might think, “OK, a local Akron dealer is acquired. Why is this even in the news?” Well, the reality is the ComDoc is larger than that.  Is this a blockbuster deal?  No.  It does not come close to ranking up there with the big deals over the past two years – Xerox/Global, KM/Danka, and Ricoh/IKON.  (I would put HP/EDS here too, but that’s a different type of deal all together.) But it does warrant some perspective.  Read on if you dare to care.

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Analyzing the 2009 Federal Budget – $71B in IT spend

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 Jan 28, 2009

I was researching some government data this afternoon and noticed that the 2009 Federal budget had been posted as well as some analytical perspectives.

Let’s skip right to page 157 in the analysis, a section titled INTEGRATING SERVICES WITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, which provides a discussion of the “$71 billion for Information Technology (IT) and the associated support services” that the President (Bush) had proposed. This represents a 3.8% increase over the 2008 budget, but it’s possible additional or reduced government spend by the Obama administration may change this figure. Read more »

From the Signage & Graphics Summit

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 Jan 26, 2009

Sustainability was one of the lead topics at today’s Signage & Graphics Summit in San Diego, CA. Dr. Chris Laszlo, author of “Sustainable Value: How the World’s Leading Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good”, described how sustainability is part of the new competitive environment and that companies in the printing industry must build environmental intelligence into wide format signage and graphics products. Citing examples from Wal-mart which famously is factoring sustainability into much of the packaging and in-store signage and displays it buys, Laszlo recommended that signage and graphics providers, and the suppliers to these service providers, consider sustainability as a fundamental characteristic of the products they design and manufacture.

On a different note, new research on sustainability in the signage and graphics market from InfoTrends and ST Publications indicates that there are substantial barriers to adopting sustainable business practices for many print service providers. The end-user research was done in December of 2008 and it identifies the top challenges for print service providers in the signage and graphics market in going green;

1. they don’t have the time to research and implement sustainable processes

2. they see a lack of demand from print buyers for “green” print

3. there is a lack of sustainable print media products and options, and

4. so far, print buyers have rejected the “premium” costs for green print.

Manufacturers of equipment and print media for the signage and graphics market should focus on the economic value proposition of the materials they provide. Users here at the Signage and Graphics Summit mostly agree that the current economy in the U.S. is presenting additional challenges for companies considering investing in new equipment and supplies for “greener” process because print buyers are even more price sensitive than usual.

InfoTrends will be publishing this research in the next week.

The end of a long week!

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 Jan 23, 2009

I believe a good blog is often focused on a single thought, well-developed and hyperlinked to the point of intrigue. The problem is that this was a busy week for content and document management vendors. Instead of dwelling on a single topic, I’d like to close out the week by providing my 2 cents on a few must-read headlines:

1. Interwoven to be acquired by Autonomy

My $0.02 – most analysts expected this acquisition, but I don’t think Autonomy was on anyone’s short-list — after all, their market capitalization was only 3x that of Interwoven’s. Although initial reports and briefings discussed synergies around Legal services and e-Discovery, the broader importance of pan-enterprise search (Autonomy’s IDOL) and some unique multimedia offerings (Autonomy’s Virage) could also play a role in Interwoven’s ECM portfolio. Competing vendors have already taken note of the opportunity in light of possible turmoil, with Web content management (WCM) vendor FatWire putting out an official response.

PS Earlier in the week, we also found out Autonomy had signed an OEM agreement with Xerox DocuShare to provide its IDOL enterprise search offering…

2. IBM released Q4  and full-year earnings

My $0.02 – IBM beat the street (again) and Wall Street rallied the stock more than 10% the next morning. The official slide deck, available here, is particularly interesting — take note of global revenue growth, especially in BRIC countries, as well as the product segmentation breakdown. Although branded software offerings (e.g. WebSphere, FileNet, et al) performed exceptionally well, things sounded a bit somber when we spoke with these groups over the course of the week — even Big Blue is not immune to market consolidation.

3. InfoTrends launches novel study on Microsoft SharePoint

My $0.02 – This one didn’t make the front page of (much to my dismay!),  but the troubling economy means that we all need to re-evaluate the effects of SharePoint as a market disruptor, whether it represents a threat or an opportunity to our business. I’ve been fielding calls  for the past several weeks on connectors, strategies, and TCO — including with MarkLogic, who recently announced their SharePoint connector and Word toolkit — and I’m ready to be surprised by structured survey results and future interviews. If you’re thinking about SharePoint, talking about SharePoint, or just confused by SharePoint, drop me a line and let’s discuss!

Kodak Announces Agreement to Acquire Scanner Division of BOWE BELL+HOWELL

Anne Valaitis
 Jan 20, 2009

Acquisition will expand customer value

In one of the first big announcements of 2009, on January 13th Eastman Kodak Company and BOWE BELL + HOWELL announced Kodak’s agreement to acquire the scanner division of BOWE BELL + HOWELL.  The scanner division is a leading supplier of document scanners to value added resellers, systems integrators, and end users.  Based in the greater Chicago area, the scanner division is a worldwide business with locations in North America, Europe and Asia.

So far little is known about the acquisition beyond what was stated in the press release.  The acquisition is slated to be complete by the end of the first quarter and the terms and financial implications of the transaction have yet to be disclosed.  Shares of Eastman Kodak closed on January 19th at $7.25.

“Kodak is a leader in document imaging and we are committed to investing in and growing our capabilities to better serve customers,” said Philip J. Faraci, President and Chief Operating Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. “We expect this acquisition, when completed, will enable us to expand customer value by providing a wider choice of production scanners, greater technological innovation to help us bring new, exciting products to market faster, and will enhance global access to service and support for channel partners and end user customers worldwide.” Read more »

Canon SLRs Celebrate Golden Anniversary!

Carrie Sylvester
 Jan 14, 2009
Canon Flex circa 1959

Canon Flex circa 1959

Canon USA and Japan celebrated the 50th anniversary of its single-lens reflex (SLR) camera.

According to Canon, its first film-based SLR sold in May 1959 and like a proud parent exclaimed that by year end 2008 it has sold over 53 million SLRs (39 million film SLRs and 14 million DSLRs) in 50 years. Not bad work if you can get it!

A company press release touted the year 2000 as the company’s initial entry into the digital era with the introduction of the EOS D30. In 2008, the company introduced the Rebel XSi (consumer level) and the EOS 5D Mark II (professional level) digital SLR models. Also notable is that the 5D Mark II is Canon’s first DSLR camera to incorporate full high-definition video recording. Read more »

Building Trust: Konica Minolta’s Vision 2009 Dealer Event

Jim Hamilton
 Jan 13, 2009

Barb Pellow and I were invited along with about twenty other market analysts to attend the Konica Minolta Business Solutions Vision 2009 dealer event in Orlando, Florida. Of the more than 400 U.S. dealers, Konica Minolta estimates that about 60% to 70% were represented at Vision 2009. All in all, InfoTrends believes that close to 1,000 people attended the event, including Konica Minolta dealers, employees, and partners. Held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Konica Minolta’s Vision 2009 included presentations by Konica Minolta executives, a keynote by Fortune magazine senior editor Geoffrey Colvin, various workshops, and an extensive exhibition area.

You can see more on the product and service announcements in the News area of the InfoTrends web site, but what I’d like to write about today is how Konica Minolta addressed the concerns of the audience of dealers. The parallels with the national dealer event that Ricoh USA held in October are interesting to consider in light of the close proximity of the two meetings: Read more »

Hope for Publishing in 2009, Part 2

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 Jan 6, 2009

Yesterday I posed this question: “If JPG Magazine‘s attempt at this new [community-based Web and print publishing] model failed, what hope does that give to other publishers to adopt this model or other new models to keep publishing energized?” After all, 8020 Media, JPG‘s parent company, was shopped around to larger publishers/media companies like Conde Nast to no avail before having to fold. Obviously, lack of interest in acquiring the group is largely due to the current economic climate. Though, if JPG was a truly viable platform, wouldn’t there be some interest to pick it up and keep it going? Well, the power of the community built around JPG has rallied together and 8020 CEO Mitchell Fox has gotten over 20 fresh offers to buy 8020/JPG. Read more »

HP and Seiko Infotech end OEM agreement

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In one of the first big wide format market developments of 2009 HP and Seiko I Infotech have agreed to end the OEM arrangment that had HP using SII’s printer engines which HP sold as the HP DesignJet 8000s, 9000s, and 10000s. The formal end of this agreement leaves us to ponder, was that a successful deal? If the only measure of success is market share then the answer would have to be “No”. By our latest estimate HP captured about 9% of the market for sub-$100K solvent inkjet printers using those SII engines. On the other hand though, this agreement gave HP a toehold in the growing solvent inkjet market until 2009 when its Latex printer, the DesignJet L65500 is due to be available. HP reports that it has already placed more than a couple dozen of these systems and the company certainly has high hopes for that technology. So, this HP/SII OEM deal may not have been as profitable as either party would have liked, but SII did get to move several thousand wide format printers through HP outside of its domestic Japanese market. SII will no doubt become a much more prominent player with its own branded products in North America and Europe and has already been building this effort with its 74-inch and 104-inch wide printers, but now will compete more at 54- and 64-inches too. From HP’s side, while the deal may not have been a huge commercial success, the silver lining is that the deal with SII provided a bridge to the point where they have a technology developed by HP that they can take to market globally. HP also announced that it is offering a new lower priced ink set for its installed base of DesignJet 8000s/9000s/10000s printers which should be very popular with users.

Hope for Publishing in 2009, Part 1

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 Jan 5, 2009

While on vacation over the holidays, I visited the Barnes & Noble store in downtown Boston at Kenmore Square (you know, where the Citgo sign is). The first thing I usually do when I visit a massive bookstore chain is to check out the magazine racks, which are still piled high with many interesting titles. Even though stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders are large entities, they still manage to cater to many different special interests and topics, which is often best displayed in the magazine racks at these stores. Smaller, boutique magazine publications sometimes end up being sold at these stores, especially when a store is in close proximity to a college (or in this case, many colleges). While there are many general colleges in the Boston area, there is also the New England School of Photography (a.k.a. NESOP, also in Kenmore Square) and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (a.k.a. MassArt).

With all that in mind, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find a copy of JPG Magazine amongst some of the other art magazines even though I was. I had heard about JPG about a year ago. In case you’re not familiar with the magazine, it’s fueled by user-generated content and collaboration. Photographers submit their photos on the magazine’s website, the website’s community votes on the best ones, and those top-rated photos get published in the next issue of the magazine. It’s a great platform for bringing the Web and print together. Read more »

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