Category: Business Development

Move Over Millennials… It’s Time to Think About Generation Z!

Eve Padula
Mar 13, 2017

Over the past several years, marketers across all industries and categories have become obsessed with Millennials—what are the best ways to reach them and help them form meaningful connections with brands? Because Millennials have a unique sense of self and a non-traditional approach to life stages, marketing to this captivating generation has been a challenge. Marketers are only just beginning to understand Millennials, but there’s a whole new game in town with the rise of Generation Z. This is the first generation of consumers that was born into a digital world, and these individuals don’t know life without the Internet, smartphones, tablets, and social media. What are the best ways to engage with this up-and-coming and always-on generation?

Although generational start and end dates are imprecise, Millennials—also called Generation Y—generally include those individuals born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, Generation Z individuals—also called Post-Millennials or the iGeneration—were born after 1995. As yet, there is little consensus about ending birth years for this group. Millennials were coming into young adulthood at the turn of the century, and the oldest of this group are now about 35. Some have been in the workforce for quite some time and have already begun to reshape Corporate America. The oldest Gen Z individuals are only beginning to graduate from high school/college and enter the professional workforce, so only time will tell what changes this group will bring to the workforce of tomorrow. Gen Zers may be too young to have affected the workplace as yet, but they are already having a profound impact on family purchasing habits and the retail marketplace.

In January 2017, IBM and the National Retail Foundation released a report entitled Uniquely Generation Z: What Brands Should Know About Today’s Youngest Consumers. This report surveyed over 15,000 Gen Z individuals between the ages of 13 and 21 and also conducted interviews with 20 Senior Marketing Executives to determine how these consumers engage with brands. As this generation continues to come of age, they will have a major impact on future communication strategies. Read more »

Next Up for Vendor Shows: Xeikon Café in Belgium

Bob Leahey
Mar 8, 2017

At this time of year vendors and users of digital print technology have a spate of events that qualify as vendor-specific tradeshows, ones hosted or sponsored by individual equipment suppliers. Among the best known are two that just took place, namely Hunkeler Innovation Days (February 20-23 in Lucerne) and Dscoop (March 1-4 in Phoenix, Arizona, for HP users). A third event, coming soon, is a pure play in digitally printed packaging and well worth visiting—the Xeikon Café that will take place in Belgium on March 27-30.

Read more »

Epson Acquires Robustelli to Secure its Position in the Production Digital Textile Printing Market

James Hanlon and Ron Gilboa
Jun 27, 2016

Epson Group and Epson Italia S.p.A. announced that they agreed with the Robustelli family to acquire 100% of the capital of Fratelli Robustelli S.r.l. (“Robustelli”). This agreement aims to help Epson and Robustelli gain share in the fast-growing digital textile printing market.

Robustelli was one of the early innovators that used Epson’s printhead technology to develop the Monna Lisa product line. These products are considered the standard for high-quality digital textile printing. Located in Como, Italy, Robustelli had 25 employees and an annual turnover of over €12 million in 2015. The company’s heritage is in the textile machinery industry, developing, manufacturing, and selling Monna Lisa inkjet textile printers. Epson will deploy its worldwide sales and service network to sell Robustelli’s high-end printing systems in more countries and regions around the world, expanding its current footprint and reaching emerging digital markets.

Read more »

Millennials Won’t Respond to Printed Catalogs and Direct Mail, Right? WRONG!

Eve Padula
Jun 7, 2016

In a world where consumers are inundated by online requests and e-mail messages, printed communications really cut through the clutter and attract attention. Although some might think that tried-and-true marketing methods like direct mail and catalogs primarily appeal to Baby Boomers, InfoTrends’ research shows that even Millennials are responsive to these communications.

In late 2015, InfoTrends conducted a benchmark study entitled Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: A Strategy for Growth. This effort included an in-depth survey to uncover what the future holds for marketers, consumers, and direct mail printers. The findings from this survey were broken down by age demographic, and respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 are considered Millennials for the purposes of this study. Read more »

The Value of Tradeshows… As I Head to drupa!

Barb Pellow
May 27, 2016

drupa is the largest printing equipment and supplies manufacturer exhibition in the world. This year’s event will feature over 1,800 exhibitors and a projected 300,000 visitors (40%+ German, 8% Indian, 7% Belgian, 7% French, 6% Dutch, 5% British, and <5% North American), all in the span of 11 days (May 31 – June 10, 2016). Our industry has changed dramatically since The Great Recession, but marketers and business executives continue to watch their pennies and scrutinize every decision while exploring new and different ways to do business in today’s economy. As drupa looms, business owners, decision-makers, and participants alike may question the value of exhibiting at and attending trade events when information is so readily available on personal computers and mobile devices.

Why Exhibit at drupa?

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Year 4 of the Inkjet Summit: A Market on the Move

Barb Pellow
May 4, 2016

Now in its fourth year, nGage/NAPCO’s 2016 Inkjet Summit attracted 117 attendees and 46 sponsor companies. The concept of the event is relatively simple—locate prospective buyers of high-speed inkjet equipment, pay their way to a resort location, sit them down for case study presentations and one-on-one meetings with sponsors, and foster highly informative panel discussions with industry peers. This model is designed to bring decision-makers and suppliers together. In most instances, the participants have done their research ahead of time and will already have a pretty good idea of what they need. At this year’s event, about 80% of the attendees were just starting their inkjet journey. The remaining 20% were existing users who attended to share their experiences and educate the market.

For 2016, nGage and NAPCO created a series of tracks focused on critical trends and new applications in direct mail, book publishing, commercial printing, and transactional printing. There were also a number of sessions that focused on inkjet trends and technologies, substrates, and what to expect at drupa (May 31 – June 10, 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany). Read more »

Highcon Ramps Up: Lots to Show at drupa 2016

Bob Leahey
Mar 23, 2016

Highcon, the digital finishing system supplier, recently held a three day event at its headquarters in Israel to show technology developments that it will soon unveil at drupa 2016 in Germany. The short version of our report on this “pre-drupa” gathering:

  • Since its debut at drupa 2012, Highcon has placed 25 of its “Euclid”  and “Euclid II” devices globally
  • In 2016 it will add a new portfolio of digital cutting and creasing systems and related tools, the Highcon Beam, Highcon Euclid III and the Highcon Pulse.
  • These products will give carton converters and other printers new access to Highcon’s unique finishing, and also to two applications new at Highcon, 3D printing and variable data cutting.

 Why Highcon Matters Read more »

Focus on Change and Opportunities at ITEX 2016

Barbara Richards and Brendan Morse
Mar 13, 2016

Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity
On March 7th through the 9th industry leaders, exhibitors and dealers gathered in sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the Broward County Convention Center for the ITEX 2016 National Conference and Expo. The show’s theme “Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity” was indicative of the expanded role of portfolio diversification and business operations transformation is playing within our industry. ITEX 2016 Pic

Read more »

In-Plants: All Jazzed Up!

Barb Pellow
Jul 2, 2015

The 14th Edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF) wrapped up on Saturday, June 27 after nine days of 320+ shows, including 90+ free concerts at 19 venues with 1,500+ artists. In addition to listening to some great music, the in-plant executives in attendance had the opportunity to attend a Xerox educational session where they could learn how to “Amp Up their In-Plant.”

The session opened with a keynote speech from Barb Pellow, Group Director at InfoTrends. She shared her perspective on what it will take to reinvent in-plant operations in today’s environment. Pellow stated, “Nearly every industry is undergoing a major transformation that is being driven by new and emerging technologies. None has been more heavily impacted than the printing industry, and this is only exacerbating the challenges that in-plant managers face today. The key is to disrupt the status quo long before there is a need to do so.” According to Pellow, successful in-plants must build a vision, retool their services, reinvent their customer bases, expand their sphere of influence, properly position their new offerings, invest in operational excellence, and instill a culture of innovation. Read more »

Lexmark International Set to Acquire Kofax Ltd

Anne Valaitis
Mar 25, 2015

 

 

In what seems to be shaping up as an exciting year in document and information technology, late yesterday it was announced that Lexmark International would seek to acquire Kofax Ltd for approximately $11 a share, or $1 billion. Upon news of the agreement, Kofax shares spiked 36%.  This is most certainly a disruptive move by Lexington, Kentucky-based Lexmark, and it positions them to be a “powerhouse” in intelligent capture and document processing while adding sophisticated platform capabilities for BPM.

Lexmark’s most recent acquisitions:

 

Lexmark’s acquisition spree kicked off in 2010, when the company acquired Kansas-based Perceptive Software (for a reported $280 million) with the goal of transitioning from a hardware-centric vendor to a solutions provider. Perceptive Software was a major provider of ECM software and solutions with specific strength in the higher education, healthcare and government sectors and its Image Now software platform offers a broad range of workflow solutions.

The marriage offered clear synergies for growth at a time when Lexmark’s revenue had slumped following the decline of the inkjet market.  Lexmark’s subsequent exit from the inkjet business reaffirmed the importance of new revenues streams. Lexmark, with its global infrastructure of direct & indirect channel for printing hardware, was an excellent fit for Perceptive with its advanced software solutions and vertical expertise. Both came from positions of strength in the medium sized business sector reaching up to the enterprise.

 

 

 

Irvine California-based Kofax provides a diverse set of software and platform solutions for information intensive customer interactions.  With $297 million in revenues reported in 2014, the company has direct sales operations in 30 countries and 850 channel partners working in 70 countries. Kofax has also made strategic acquisition investments in recent years.  In February 2013, Kofax acquired Altosoft to add business intelligence and analytics, then shortly after in July they acquired Kapow for data analytics. In September 2014, Kofax further strengthened its capabilities by obtaining Softpro GmbH for e-signature and fraud detection.
The combination of solutions from Lexmark (with Perceptive) and Kofax for sophisticated capture, intelligent routing, data mining/analytics and other key business processes creates a very strong and comprehensive portfolio.

“The acquisition of Kofax enhances our best-in-class offerings so our customers can capture, manage, access, and act upon their information more efficiently, and extends Lexmark into the high-growth smart process applications market,” said Paul Rooke, Lexmark chairman and chief executive officer. “Our customers will have a breadth of hardware and software solutions that connect their information silos and automate their business processes – enabling them to access the most relevant information at the moment they need it to drive business forward”.

“We believe joining forces with Lexmark benefits our customers, partners, employees and shareholders and the merger will build on Kofax’s rich history of continuous innovation,” said Reynolds C. Bish, chief executive officer, Kofax. “Our market-leading ability to simplify and transform the First Mile™ of customer engagement is a strong complement to Perceptive Software’s strength in managing information across silos. As a result, we’re excited about the future and working together to realize the full potential of this opportunity to the benefit of all stakeholders.”

 

The Kofax acquisition reflects Lexmark’s ever-growing emphasis on software (including enterprise content management, business process management, document output management, search, intelligent capture software, vertical-oriented solutions); other high value offerings like laser products and MPS; and creating synergies among all three. The Kofax pickup also provides Lexmark with strong end to end vertical industry solutions such as financial services, insurance and healthcare, thus providing a foothold in the entire document lifecycle.     This is a significant move for Lexmark into software, considering a short time ago they were primarily print focused. This industry will continue to change and transform rapidly away from printed pages, and towards flexible, sophisticated solutions designed to solve business problems.

 

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