Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Announces Acquisition of Muratec America, Inc.

Barbara Richards
 Aug 3, 2017

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Muratec has more than forty years in the industry entering the U.S. market in 1982 as Muratec Business Systems to sell fax machines through private-label agreements with multiple U.S. companies. The company changed its name in 1992 to Muratec and realigned to focus sales and distribution exclusively through a national business-to-business dealer channel.  They are typically seen as a strong tier-two player and have a loyal dealer network.

According to Rick Taylor, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., “Historically, we’ve had a mutual and complementary product lineup with Muartec making this acquisition a great platform to create new synergies together.” Taylor further added “The fundamentals of both of these companies align and we both strive to be the best in every region, makes this a perfect fit.” In fact, KM has been supplying Muratec with their A3 MFP engines for some time. The Muratec MFX-Series business-class MFPs are just the latest example of that long standing OEM relationship.

Muratec MFX-Series Business Class MFPs

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In addition to their A4 and A3 MFPs, Muratec also sells and services industrial label presses both inkjet and toner based technology. These digital label presses are designed for short run, high-definition digital color labels.

Muratec Precision Label Series (toner-based) Models

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Muratec Digital Label Presses & Packaging Printers (Ink-based) Models

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Epson Announces Partnership with Nuance and showcases new products at “Prism of Possibilities” NYC Event

Barbara Richards
 Jul 27, 2017

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Epson and Nuance form Strategic Partnership

On July 25th, Nuance Communications, Inc., and Seiko Epson Corporation announced a worldwide strategic partnership to enhance the Epson customer experience by providing Nuance document imaging solutions through Epson distributors and resellers. According to Epson, this new partnership brings together the low running costs, reduced intervention and environmental impact as well as the high reliability of their printers, with the ability to securely control and manage print and capture to enhance productivity, while reducing operating expenses for their customers. 

Under the new partnership, Epson will sell and distribute Nuance eCopy ShareScan and Equitrac Office/Express software on their family of inkjet MFPs including the high-speed WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 (launched in Spring 2017)http://client.keypointintelligence.com/bliQ/InfoCenter/Document/Item/52413605-84e7-47cd-9f6a-a5e10fb45b1d and LX -10000/7000 series of linehead technology for SMB and corporate workgroups.

In addition, Epson will also integrate the Nuance Omnipage SDK and Epson scanning applications for better OCR accuracy within document workflows and will bundle Nuance’s Power PDF software with a select line of Epson document scanners.

Nuance Solutions to be made available to Epson include:

Epson products Nuance products Nuance products Nuance products
WorkForce Enterprise/Pro Printers Equitrac Office Express Equitrac Express eCopy ShareScan
Document Scanners OmniPage Capture SDK PowerPDF

New DS-410 Document Scanner

At the event, Epson also announced a new commercial document scanner, the DS-410, complete with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder, duplex scanning and 26ppm/52 ipm scan speeds. It offers support for ISIS and TWAIN drivers for seamless integration into most document management software along with a three year limited warranty. According to Mark Pickard, Senior Product Manager of Scanners, the DS-410 is ideal for environments that require a fast and flexible document scanning solution that provides paper-intensive businesses an affordable solution to save, store and protect critical documents. The DS-410 is available today through select resellers and distributors nationwide at a MSRP of $379.

Figure 1- Epson DS-410 Document Scanner

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In addition to the new scanner and partnership announcement, Epson also showcased products from their commercial and enterprise divisions as well as new wearable technologies that will be available later this year.

 

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According to Recent InfoTrends SMB U.S. Office Primary Research Study 46% of business content still remains on paper today

Barbara Richards
 Jul 18, 2017

According to 216 U.S. SMB IT decision-makers surveyed, 46% of their business content currently remains on paper today. Nonetheless they are moving along the digital transformation path, if at a slower pace than larger Enterprises as they are more worried about the cost of conversion. Our study found that cost was the number one hurdle associated with converting to digital processes. Furthermore, SMBs main cost concerns are training, time constraints, legal requirements and IT resources. In addition, survey results also found that 32% of SMB decision makers indicted a preference for paper for business processes. This was most prevalent in the Manufacturing, Education and Prof. Service’s sectors.

What are the major hurdles to converting paper processes to digital?

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InfoTrends Forecast Continued Growth in A4 Color MFPs and Business Inkjet Shipments through 2021 in both North America and Western Europe

Barbara Richards
 Jun 14, 2017

While the overall office equipment markets in NA and WE is mature, InfoTrends expects unit growth in A4 Color particularly within the 45+ppm MF speed segment and Segment 3 Business Inkjet SMB according to the recently published SF Printer and MF Hardware Forecasts for both regions.

InfoTrends believes the market will continue to shift from SF laser printers to multi-functional products and from monochrome to color engines. In fact, in 2016 MF printers represented 52% of all laser unit shipments by 2021, our forecast shows MF devices will grow to about 58% of total unit shipments. While color laser devices are also expected to grow from 31% to 34% of total shipments in North America and from 37% to 40% in Western Europe during the same period.

In North America, Office Color Laser A4 MF shipments are expected to grow at a 3.9% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) through 2021 while in Western Europe shipments there are expected to grow at a 2.5% CAGR.  InfoTrends forecasts the majority of unit placements will be within the Laser Segments 2–4 (21-69 ppm) speed range as the shift to color and multi-functional devices continues in the office environment.

 North America & Western Europe Color Laser A4 MF  Laser Seg 2-4 (21-69ppm) Forecast

  

Business Ink Poised for Market Growth

InfoTrends forecasts continued growth in unit shipments within our Business Inkjet Segments 3 & 4 in both North America and Western Europe through 2021.  In North America, shipments are expected to grow at 6.2% CAGR while in Western Europe the combined segments are targeted to grow at a 4.6% CAGR during the same period. Shipment growth is being fueled by a new breed of high-end serial inkjet and page-wide models introduced over the last few years. This new breed of inkjet devices offers an attractive alternative to laser particularly within the SMB office environment with standard wireless connectivity, high yield consumables and in some cases, comparable cost per page to laser.

 

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HP Advances Office of the Future with Next Generation LaserJet Portfolio

Barbara Richards
 May 17, 2017

On May 16th HP announced their next generation LaserJet Enterprise 600 Series with an emphasis on security and enhanced productivity. The new 600 series consists of 17 new multifunction models ranging from speeds of 50ppm to 75ppm letter size in color and B/W and are ideally suited for workgroups with 10-30 users. HP’s JetIntelligence cartridge technology is now available across the entire portfolio offering improvements in toner chemistry for added print quality protection. In addition, the new models will include the same user interface as their recently launched A3 LaserJets.  http://client.keypointintelligence.com/bliQ/InfoCenter/Document/Item/b275b875-af12-461a-b78b-adeb4737eac6

The new FutureSmart UI includes improved preview, customization, message center and new apps designed to streamline business processes while offering their customers a common UI across the entire fleet. The new models also offer their customers increased value over the previous generation with faster first page out and sleep time to larger toner capacity. In addition, HP announced these are the first A4 devices optimized on a contractual cost per page contract under limited distribution.

New HP Enterprise 600 Series  HPEnterpriseforBlog

According to HP, business transformation is aggressively changing the landscape for office workers. In fact, in a recent  study HP conducted they found 40% of companies are converting more than 1 process to paper-free each year and that 88% of companies are moving to the cloud to improve responsiveness to business needs. Business workers needs are shifting. They want to be able to access data from wherever they are, share real-time across many locations and be part of a collaborative experience.  All of  these create new security concerns for IT managers.

HP’s LaserJet Enterprise 600 series are embedded with the most advanced security features available in the marketplace. They offer three key technologies to thwart security attacks and self-heal:

  •  HP Sure Start Technology works behind the scene to help safeguard printing.
  • Whitelisting helps ensure only authentic, HP code is loaded into memory and if an anomaly is detected, the device reboots to a secure offline state sending a note to IT to reload the firmware.
  • Run-time intrusion detection helps protects devices they are operational and connected to the network.

The new 600 series is shipping now globally and available through both HP direct and qualified channel partners.

 InfoTrends Opinion

The new product launch continues HP’s commitment to security, a strategy they first announced with their Enterprise 500 series but have considerably improved on. While HP is the market leader in the laser printer space the company does not take this position for granted continuing to reinvest in the technology with increased value generation over generation.

According to a recent InfoTrends Multi-Client Security study, we found organizations impose strict security policies on the rest of their IT infrastructure, but often less than half enforce the same security policies on printer and MFP devices creating a vulnerable threat to cybercrime. Thankfully, this trend is changing in fact; the same study found security a top buying factor when procuring new devices.    HP continues to be at the forefront with regard to security with embedded features and add-on solutions to protect both their devices and the network further differentiating them in the marketplace.

InfoTrends Reports on Key Findings from the Future of Office Printing Survey Results

Barbara Richards
 Oct 13, 2016

InfoTrends is pleased to announce the availability of key findings from the recently conducted “The Future of Office Printing” primary research study. The web-based survey consisted of 750 general office workers from the United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, and Spain and investigated the market for persistent print in the office.

For most office workers, print is an important tool in their general working lives. To provide an understanding of the key market trends in office printing, InfoTrends’ analysts John Shane, Andrew Carroll, Deborah Hawkins, Barbara Richards, and Christine Dunne will share insights on a few of the survey topics covered in this study during two webinar presentations on November 3, 2016 at 10:00AM and 2:00PM EDT. Together, they will discuss optional versus required printing, printing trends by age, regional printing preferences, persistent print and digital transformation.

The webinar will address some of the key survey findings which include:

  • Required printing is fairly consistently 60% of people’s print volume regardless of age and company size, and 40% of print is optional
  • Young workers (18-29 years old) do not show the dramatic decline in printing that is often associated with this age group
  • Traditional office environments (i.e., headquarters, branch offices) are still generating highest print volumes
  • Two-thirds of respondents said their company has taken steps to remove, simplify, or automate document-related business processes
  • On average survey respondents spend 36 minutes retrieving digital documents versus 20 minutes for paper documents
  • Almost 40% of respondents say less than one-quarter of their business content remains on paper

The Future of Office Printing study is a first step toward better understanding the future of work printing and its implications for industry players.  If you are interested in the attending the upcoming webinar please click on the links below.

Thursday November 3rd

10:00am – 11:00am (EST)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4810027298759684098

2:00pm – 3:00pm (EST)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4690555464797186050

 

HP Inc. Unleashes Next Generation A3 MFPs to Disrupt $55B Copier Market

Barbara Richards
 Sep 28, 2016

On September 12th in conjunction with HP Inc.’s announced acquisition of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s Printer Business the company also announced an extensive line of A3 Laser and PageWide MFPs and services aimed at disrupting the $55B copier market. According to HP,  As part of its strategy to reinvent business printing these new products enable their partners to sell and service more cost effectively while delivering customers affordable color, reliable performance and industry-leading security.

The new portfolios of MFPs include three PageWide and 13 LaserJet platforms available in 54 different sku numbers with a variety of finishing options, including an in-cave stapler stacker, hole-punch and high capacity staple/booklet maker.

Figure 1: New HP A3 MFP Portfolio

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HP PageWide Enterprise and Pro

According to HP, the new PageWide Enterprise and Pro series will offer best in class print speeds and lower energy consumptions than similar priced lasers in their class such as:

  • A 55% reduction in carbon footprint of printing
  • Utilize 73% less energy usage than laser printers
  • Generate up to 95% less supplies and packaging waste than comparable lasers

The new HP PageWide products are designed for A3 output and will range in print speeds from 40ppm up to 60ppm. Some of the new features include correct order face down output, easy to replace supplies and built in servicing and diagnostic system as well as the new finishing accessories listed above. Product availability for the PageWide Pro is scheduled for spring 2017 while the HP PageWide Enteprise devices will be available fall 2017.

Figure 2: New HP PageWide A3 MFP

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HP LaserJet A3 MFPs

The new LaserJet A3 MFPs will be available in both color and monochrome with printing speeds ranging from 25ppm to 60ppm. In addition, HP states the new LaserJet’s will have some of the longest life components and fastest repair times among A3 laser devices in the industry, thanks to fewer parts and field replaceable units (single components that allow for a quick change at a customer site, rather than replacing multiple individual parts, as is the norm for traditional A3 models). Availability is scheduled for fall 2017.

Figure 3: New HP LaserJet A3 MFP 

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Smart Devices & Security

In addition to the A3 MFP announcements, HP also highlighted their Smart Device Services; a set of cloud tools and device-based sensing capabilities designed to integrate with third party device monitoring and service management tools. The Smart Devices Services (SDS) are compatible with any HP printer and MFPs which include FutureSmart firmware introduced in 2012 and later. HP believes SDS will enhance service efficiency for their partners’ fleet and improve up-times by providing predictive service alerts to dealers, allowing them to know the current issue, as well as those that may arise soon, before deploying service personnel, thus reducing the incidence of repeat visits. The new services will be available to qualified HP channel partners as no additional cost for all contractual devices using HP original supplies.

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Kyocera Document Solutions America Announces Alliance with DataBank for “Enhanced Total Data Solutions”

Barbara Richards
 Sep 15, 2016

On September 14th, Kyocera Document Solutions America announced a business alliance with DataBank, North America’s leading end-to-end business process solutions provider to provide business process improvement services to their mutual customers.  According to Kyocera, this alliance represents a distinctively unique partnership between a business process solutions provider and a global document imaging company to offer their customers a new level of consultative expertise in simplifying complex workflows, managing mission-critical information, and optimizing business performance. Furthermore, Kyocera believes joining forces represents a significant leap forward in capabilities, and an exceptional opportunity for companies across North America.

Figure 1 – Kyocera & DataBank Strategic Alliance

Kyocera.Databank1

About DataBank

DataBank was founded in 1991 and is the single largest North America reseller of Hyland OnBase, a global (ECM) enterprise content management solutions platform.  DataBank has roughly 3,500+ customers and 604 OnBase customers with over 1 billion images produced annually.  Their products include Business process automation, ECM, SharePoint & Advanced Capture Solutions.

Alliance Advantage

This alliance will further accelerate Kyocera’s integration to OnBase with its custom-developed HyPas business application.  Furthermore, according to Kyocera, this alliance will deliver one of the most comprehensive end-to-end-business process improvement solutions available on the market today from any hardware manufacturer or ECM provider.  Kyocera’s strategy is to further expand their total document solutions portfolio utilizing their TASKalfa MFPs and ECOSYS printer hardware for optimal deployment along with their HyPAS customizable software and their ADIMO (Assess, Design, Implement, Manage, and Optimize) sales approach coupled with this latest strategic alliance with DataBank for a “Total Data Solutions” approach.

Figure 2 – Kyocera’s “Total Data Solutions” Sales Approach

KyoceraTotalDataSolutions

At present time, Kyocera will be focusing on their direct and enterprise accounts with the new DataBank alliance while their independent dealers are not excluded; there are several logistical issues that need to be finalized before they roll it out to their channel partners. Kyocera stated that their initial focus will be within North America with further expansion into Pan-America at a later date.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

ECM solutions are becoming increasingly important for organizations to manage, streamline, and access all types of content in this “big data” age.  InfoTrends believes more and more of the next key phases for equipment vendors is to incorporate Business Process Automation solutions into their strategies, especially as they relate to vertical markets or horizontal processes.  Kyocera’s latest strategic announcement with DataBank is another example of this expanding market trend and if executed effectively could lead to big gains for both partners.

Epson Highlights Latest Innovations at NYC Summer Showcase 2016

Barbara Richards
 Aug 8, 2016

On August 2-4th, Epson showcased their latest innovations in creativity and design, photography and graphics, business productivity, mobile printing, big-screen home entertainment and wearable technology.  The three day event was held in New York City and highlighted new products within their business, gallery and industry and home lifestyle sectors.

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New Wide-Format EcoTank All-in-One Printers

During the event Epson announced two new models based on their revolutionary EcoTank technology, the all new WorkForce ET-16500 wide-format and the Expression ET-3600 All-in-One Printers. The new printers deliver cartridge-free printing with easy to fill supersized ink tanks and up to two years of ink in the box. InfoTrends wrote extensively about the new EcoTank engines when they first were introduced http://www.infotrends.com/content/CDP/CDPNA/Insight/2015/08/15inNEE0820.pdf

The Workforce ET-16500 is the first PrecisionCore® engine to offer wide format in the SuperTank category with in-box ink yields of up to 10,500 black and 11,000 color pages. According to Epson, it can print up to 13 x 19 paper size and copy and scan up to 11 x 17. Plus, the new wide-format printer has a 500 sheet paper capacity and a specialty paper feed tray. In addition to the new paper  handling features, the unit ships with a 4.3” user-friendly color touchscreen. Similar to the previous models both engines are equipped with built-in, easy-to-use wireless and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities so users can print directly from tablets and smartphones across a range of operating systems, as well as through Epson Connect™ solutions (Epson’s cloud print and scan service).

Epson WorkForce ET-16500

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Market Positioning

According to Nils Madden, marketing director, Desktop Imaging and Printing at Epson, “The all new ET-16500 and ET-3600 not only expand the Epson portfolio of Supertank printers, but serve as proof points for the success of this category in the North American printer market, underscoring Epson’s commitment to delivering printing solutions that meet a range of customer needs.” Epson believes the EcoTank line solves one of the biggest pain points with customers which are running out of ink. Compared with traditional inkjet devices, the EcoTank printers are equivalent to about 50 ink cartridge sets or up to 11,000pgs.  Furthermore, the real cost savings is within the total cost of ownership. While consumers have to purchase more upfront than comparable inkjet printers in their class, the price of consumables over time more than outweighs the upfront costs.

Epson has maintained that these products have been well received in emerging markets with significant market share gains. These products have also had success in North America. According to InfoTrends 2015 Placements & Market Share Forecast, Epson’s business inkjet shipments grew 7.9% year-over-year and held the number 2 market share position overall within this segment.

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InfoTrends Forecasts Growth in A4 Color MFPs & Business Inkjet Shipments through 2020

Barbara Richards
 Jun 2, 2016

 InfoTrends forecasts continued growth of A4 color MFPs and high-end business inkjet placements through the 2020 forecast period in both North America and Western Europe regions. While the overall markets are mature, InfoTrends believes there are pockets of growth opportunity specifically within the A4 Color MF 45+ppm segments and Business Inkjet specifically page-wide technology moving forward.

The market will continue to shift from SF laser printers to multifunctional products and from monochrome to color engines. In 2015, SF printers represented 51% of all Laser unit shipments in North America, by 2020, InfoTrends forecasts SF printers will account for only 46% of total unit shipments. In Western Europe, SF Printers accounted for 51% of all laser placements in 2015 and is forecast to decline to 46% in 2020.

In North America Color Laser A4 MF placements in the 45-69ppm segment are forecasted to grow at a 16.6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) while in Western Europe the growth rate is expected to be 4.1%.

Figure 1 : North America Color Office Laser 45-69ppm Forecast (2015-2020)

 45-69ppmForecastslideforBlog

 Business Ink Poised for Market Growth

Business Inkjet devices continue to boost the market for inkjet devices. Whilst consumer inkjet offers the highest unit placements, these have been declining year-over-year for a considerable time. There has been a shift, even by consumers, into the lower business serial inkjet segments thanks to higher value features such as WiFi, additional paper handling and high yield cartridges. InfoTrends forecasts steady growth within the high-end Business Inkjet segments (Segments 3 & 4), in both North America and Western Europe where opportunity exists for new technologies such as page-wide inkjet to offer alternatives to laser-based devices in terms of speed, acquisition and ink costs especially within the sub 20ppm laser segments. The most recent forecast shows an expected long term decline in placements of laser-based devices and an increase for business inkjet into incremental locations within these segments.

Figure 2: Placements of Business Inkjet vs. Laser in Western Europe

BusInkvsLaserWE

For a more in-depth view of the current forecasts for North America and/or Western Europe by placements, average street price and hardware revenue, broken out by speed segment, colour vs mono, SF vs MF and by country please visit our website at www.infotrends.com

 

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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