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 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 15, 2013
Efi Arazi, print industry pioneer, luminary, and philanthropist who set the digital revolution in motion in the Graphic Communications filed died this past weekend at the age of 76.
Efi Arazi 1937-2013
Efi was born in Jerusalem in 1937 and already at the young age of just over 16 won a reward for technology innovation in Israel. He earned an engineering degree in the 1960s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; while there he helped develop the TV camera that was used in the Apollo 11 mission. At the age of 23 he became a fellow at Harvard University.
Efi returned to Israel in 1967 and the following year he founded and headed Scitex Corporation an Israel-based multi-national company that specialized in developing and manufacturing hardware and software for the graphics design, printing, and publishing markets. Efi stepped down as CEO and president of Scitex on June 1, 1988, but continued to serve as chairman of the board of directors of the company until 1989. Read more »
Mar 14, 2013
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Adobe Summit, the company’s flagship user conference for its digital marketing business unit. The Salt Lake City, Utah event attracted over 5,000 digital marketing professionals that use Adobe’s growing suite of marketing technologies. After $4 billion of investment between acquisitions and R&D over the past three years, Adobe used this year’s Summit to introduce the Marketing Cloud, five major solution areas—Social, Media Optimizer, Analytics, Target, Experience Manager—geared toward making marketers more data-driven, customer-centric, and digital.
After presenting 27 somewhat-integrated products at last year’s Summit, Adobe’s vision is coming into focus. It is clear that Adobe is aiming to be a strong competitor in the enterprise marketing technology space, especially as it relates to digital marketing. Here are four takeaways about Adobe’s direction, the marketing technology space, and the evolution of digital marketing derived from developments at its Summit conference.
Read more »
Mar 12, 2013
After attending HubSpot’s European launch event in Dublin, Ireland last week, it became very evident to me that print service providers and their workflow software vendors need to participate in marketing automation and inbound marketing services or risk a steady erosion of business.
HubSpot is a leading marketing automation software provider based in Cambridge, MA that has experienced tremendous growth over the last five years. At their European headquarters in Dublin, HubSpot already has hired thirty local staff and temporarily relocated about ten people from its U.S. office. The company chose Dublin because of its favourable investment climate, vicinity to other international tech companies such as Google and Facebook, and the skills and quality of the local Dublin labour market. HubSpot aims to grow its European organization to a sizeable 150 staff in under three years, including R&D functions to localize its products for the European market. HubSpot has been well funded by venture capital – including investments by Google Ventures and Salesforce.com – and we anticipate the company will likely follow Eloqua (now owned by Oracle) and Marketo by becoming public in the not-too-distant future.
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Mar 11, 2013
The idea behind dandelion distribution is simple. Imagine thousands of dandelion seeds being spread by the wind. Of these, only a few may ever grow into dandelions, but that’s enough. As it relates to e-books, dandelion distribution happens when reproduction and distribution are so cheap as to be virtually free. This idea is encapsulated in the book Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, and it was also discussed at length during one of the keynote sessions at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference (February 12-14 in New York City).
Panelist Cory Doctorow (more on him at Craphound.com) suggested that book publishers consider replacing their traditional “mammalian intuition” (i.e., the idea that each book is precious and must be protected by any means) with “dandelion intuition” (where it is acknowledged that any individual book has a small chance of success and therefore the strategy should be designed around spreading as many ‘seeds’ as possible). This concept goes against traditional publishing logic, but so did a lot of other ideas at the conference.
Read more »
Feb 28, 2013
On Tuesday, marketing automation technology provider Marketo formally began the process of making an initial public offering of its common stock by filing a confidential submission with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for review. If the IPO moves forward, it will reveal insights about Marketo’s strategy and operations and could lead to a flurry of M&A and other IPO activity in this fast growing segment.
The San Mateo, CA-based company has raised over $100 million in venture capital funding since its launch in 2006 and has been an aggressive competitor in the crowded marketing technology landscape. Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez and his team have done a good serving both small-and-medium business (SMB) and enterprise customers by providing a scalable marketing platform with an intuitive interface and a strong network of partners and integrations. This strategy has grown the company to $32.9 million in revenue in 2011—or 3,545% growth in three years, according to its Inc. 500 listing. Read more »
Kaspar Roos and Stephanie Pieruccini
Feb 5, 2013
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are the backbone of the European economy. According to Eurostat, there are over 20 million firms (excluding financial firms) that constitute being an SME by having 250 or fewer employees, while the majority are micro enterprises with fewer than 9 employees. The sheer number of them alone presents a great opportunity to provide these businesses with tools and services to help them embrace the rapid changes in the communication world.
InfoTrends has recently completed its European research on marketing automation among Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The research, entitled Capturing the European SME Marketing Automation Opportunity, focused on the marketing and media needs of SME’s in five key European countries, and across 12 vertical markets. Some key highlights include: Read more »
Feb 1, 2013
Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a shift in thinking as it relates to the role of customer communications within enterprises. Documents like bills, statements, policies, explanations of benefits, and other correspondence that were once relegated to back-office corporate operations are turning into critical communications that can help enhance the overall customer experience. Here are several key trends influencing this renewed interest in customer communications:
- Traditional delivery methods–like printed mail–remain favorable to a significant percentage of the population and, in many industries, are required for regulatory compliance. As a result, these channels remain vital to support customer experience.
- Multi-channel delivery and presentment of correspondence now factor into consumer buying choices. Customers want to be communicated within their channel(s) of preference.
- Emergent channels like mobile and social media are increasingly becoming channels of communication preference by customers, creating new opportunities for customer engagement across all interaction points.
Companies are reacting to the need to step up their customer experience game by replacing legacy technologies and processes with modern platforms that can holistically manage customer communications across all lines-of-business within an enterprise. As they search for solutions to meet their needs, potential buyers encounter a crowded and sometimes overwhelming technology landscape, making it difficult to determine which solution is the right one to select for their business. Read more »