Nov 25, 2013
Revenue diversification and revenue growth as a corporate strategy to increase sales from new products and new markets is nothing new. Expanding into a new segment of an industry that a business is already in, or investing in a promising business outside of the scope of the existing business are solid avenues to diversification. What is so unique about Toshiba America Business Solutions is how they get there; with technology creation, innovation and a true brand agnostic approach. Need proof they are serious? 25% of their core MFP product page is HP & Lexmark and almost their entire printer product page is NOT THEIR PRODUCT. This is not the bait and switch of a Global Imaging Systems, where you are assured that yes, you will be able to continue carrying multiple product lines, only to make the non-Xerox line noncompetitive with high internal transfer costs making it difficult if not impossible to recommend products that compete with the core Xerox line. No, this group at Toshiba is different and the independent dealer channel should take notice.
Toshiba LEAD for the second consecutive year struck home a message of “Revenue Beyond Print”. Digital Signage and the Ellumina Digital Signage services along with Virtuoso digital signage displays, and LED signage for outdoor usage was eloquently showcased and created a very positive buzz among the independent dealers, Toshiba direct employees and end user attendees. Highlighted throughout the technology floor and general sessions were applications and content vs. hardware which made it easy for dealers and end users to envision the digital signage market opening as well as key vertical market opportunities were demonstrated.
Toshiba Digital Signage in Tesla Dadeland Showroom - Miami, Florida
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Nov 3, 2013
With over 1,200 attendees and representation from 597 Ricoh dealerships, Convergence 2013 was Ricoh’s largest dealer event of all time. The executive team was very accessible and honest in their self-evaluation of where they have been, mistakes made along the way and creating specific plans for addressing the issues and growing the company.
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Jul 11, 2013
Today, Ricoh announced that is has made a strategic investment in Avanti Systems, a leader in Print MIS for Commercial Printers and In-plants. According to Yasuhiko Hosoe, associate director and deputy general manager, Ricoh Production Printing Business Group, “The investment also speaks to our “imagine.change.” initiative – by enabling commercial and in-plant printers to streamline their businesses and seek efficiencies to lower costs, and improve their bottom line.” The deal reflects the demand for software solutions that help print service providers optimize their production capabilities through transparency and a need for digital equipment vendors to strengthen their relationship with these solutions. Read more »
Ed Lee and Alan Bullock
May 23, 2013
On May 20, Yahoo announced a major redesign of its Flickr photo sharing service. One of the new features is that the storage limit has been raised to one terabyte (TB) for all users, and it’s free! Read more »
May 17, 2013
Just because the camera phone – you know those handy cameras on feature phones and smartphones – has become the everyday camera for many people doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom for traditional cameras. In the most recent InfoTrends Digital Camera End User study we found that digital cameras are still being used to take more photos on average than a camera phone and used more often for special occasion photos. The survey also asked a “blue sky” question about interest levels in some current and possible digital camera offerings. Read more »
May 9, 2013
Today, EFI announced its acquisition of printLEADER, a print MIS solution geared towards print management for in-plant and commercial print service providers located in North America. Since the onset of the recession, the print MIS market has regained interest from print service providers looking for ways to optimize their production facilities by having a centralized tool connected to every software and hardware system throughout their workflow. This interest has also stemmed from the need to manage the increasing demand for online ordering, and the integration and automation required to cost effectively manage this print volume while remaining competitively priced. Read more »
May 3, 2013
Pitney Bowes held a Financial Analyst Day in New York City today. While technology analysts were not invited to be there in person, I followed the live stream online. I was surprised when I first scanned the presentation slides and saw no mention of Volly. This was a significant departure from recent years and reflects the entry of a new CEO. Marc Lautenbach appears as though he is not going to put Volly on the same pedestal that former CEO Murray Martin did.
That said, Lautenbach addressed Volly toward the end of his opening remarks.
“Volly is one of our important growth opportunities, but Read more »
Apr 30, 2013
Yesterday Kodak and the U.K. Based Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) made news. Resolving their financial issues was only one element but surprisingly KPP ended up owning key Kodak businesses. In its release Kodak stated the following: “Eastman Kodak Company announced a settlement agreement with the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP).” KPP is Kodak’s largest creditor with respect to its Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization. Under the agreement, which will be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Kodak’s Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses will be spun off under new ownership to KPP.”
“The settlement agreement provides, among other things, for the spin-off of Kodak’s Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses to KPP for cash and non-cash consideration of $650 million. Certain proceeds will be used to support the emergence of Kodak from Chapter 11 and the growth of its Commercial Imaging business. The agreement also settles approximately $2.8 billion of claims by KPP against Kodak and certain of its affiliates.”
“The agreement will be implemented as part of Kodak’s Chapter 11 plan in the United States. At the consummation of the spin-off, Kodak and its worldwide affiliates will be released from their obligations to KPP. The UK Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) has been kept fully informed of this process and the Regulator has granted clearance in respect of the acquisition. The Regulator has decided that it will approve the release of Kodak Limited, the KPP’s sponsoring employer, from its liabilities to the KPP and the UK Pension Protection Fund has confirmed that it has no objection. Closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, approval by the Regulator and the satisfaction or waiver of other conditions precedent.” Read more »
Apr 22, 2013
Last Thursday, I met a top Boston-area commercial printer, one with the vision and fortitude to take his business to the next level. The occasion was the company’s open house to highlight its adoption of 3D printing technology as the next step in its evolution as a print service provider. We saw that technology, and a lot more.
For the event, Jim Corliss, a founder and owner of Braintree Printing, hosted nearly 200 guests at his company’s 17,000 sq. ft. operations, located just inside Route 128, Boston’s technology ring-road. Jim and his partners, Jerry Hogan and Jose Tafur, are veterans of the printing industry, having opened their first Sir speedy in 1982 and Braintree Printing in 2001.
Corliss and teammates have thus been in the trenches for many years and have successfully transitioned Braintree Printing into a full service commercial print operation, one incorporating workflow tools, lots of digital printing, and offset printing and fulfillment services.
Braintree Printing has an especially strong digital printing component, with two Xerox iGen 4s leading the company’s equipment list. While printed documents in conventional formats are the core of what Braintree Printing does, though, the spark of innovation and the desire to outpace the competition is driving Braintree to adopt new technologies, such as 3D printing. These technologies will allow them to maximize sell new services to existing and new customers and to add adjacent applications as well.
Adding new capabilities to Braintree Printing - Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D
The pièce de résistance at the company today is the newly acquired Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D Printer. Here Jim and his fellow owners take a step towards future solutions that will allow them to offer a slew of new applications starting with this entry level model aimed at ABS plastic production, and likely in the future more advanced units for complex 3D production. Read more »
Apr 15, 2013
A science article in the New York Times by John Markoff last week detailed an innovation from Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) that could revolutionize the world of chip manufacturing. In a new manufacturing process from Xerox PARC, slivers of silicone called “chiplets” are immersed in a carrier liquid and are then “printed” onto a solid carrier material, much as toner particles are managed today in laser printing via Fluidic Self Assembly (FSA). Following Xerox’s rich heritage of innovation from the 1970s such as laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer, graphical user interface (GUI), object-oriented programming, ubiquitous computing, amorphous silicon (a-Si) applications, and advancing very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) for semiconductors, printed chiplets could possibly surpass these. Chiplet technology has the potential to revolutionize conventional manufacturing of chips and other microelectronic components, a change that will give benefits in flexibility, timeliness, and efficiency for companies that make such products.
The image below provides an enlarged view of the chiplets, each no larger than a grain of sand. Using systems that are essentially laser printer, Xerox’s PARC may one day be able to create desktop manufacturing plants that use chiplets to “print” the circuitry for a wide array of electronic devices.
Source: Amy Sullivan/PARC
An enlarged view of small slivers of silicon, each no larger than a grain of sand, called chiplets. Using laser printers, Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center may one day be able to create desktop manufacturing plants that use chiplets to “print” the circuitry for a wide array of electronic devices.