Category: Imaging Industry

Are Millennials All That Different? Not Really.

Christine Dunne
Jun 1, 2017

Companies are eager to learn more about Millennials, or those born roughly between 1981 and 1997 (making them between 20 and 36 years old). As they enter the workforce and move up the corporate ranks, they are increasingly making decisions around what to purchase and how to conduct business.

Here at Keypoint Intelligence, we frequently receive questions from clients interested in how Millennials are behaving differently from their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts—particularly from an office printing and document workflow perspective. Perhaps surprisingly, a mounting body of research is showing they are quite similar in their habits.

European primary research as an example
Last year, we conducted a web survey of 250 Western European office workers (125 in Spain; 125 in the United Kingdom). Responses were balanced across four age ranges: 18-29 year olds, 30-39 year olds, 40-49 year olds, and 50+ year olds. Among the 18-29 year olds, the large majority of whom are Millennials, printing levels were similar to (and in some cases greater than) those of older workers. For example, similar percentages of Millennials are printing various document types.

Percent of respondents that print various types of work documents

Percent of respondents that print various types of work documents

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A Few Takeaways From ITEX 2017

Christine Dunne
May 12, 2017

ITEX 2017 may be over and done, but I wanted to provide a few key takeaways from the event. These points are part of a larger analysis we have published for our office clients.

Conference at a glance

  1. It’s great to still have an event where dealers and other industry players can come together, regardless of the brands they carry, and learn growth strategies.

  2. Some dealerships are really running with new technologies and offerings, such as ImageNet Consulting (business inkjet), Documation (managed IT), and Business World (cloud solutions).

  3. Other dealerships are craving more support from their technology partners (OEMs, ISVs, etc.), particularly when it comes to training and sales.

  4. Security and document management are two areas cited by dealers as viable solution selling opportunities.

  5. While new product categories may be one way to achieve revenue growth, the biggest drivers of increased revenue appear to be better internal business systems, increased services, and added sales staff.

What were your main findings from the event? I’d love to hear. Feel free to shoot me an email at christine.dunne@keypointintelligence.com.

Dealers Seeking Growth Opportunities at ITEX

Steve Pearl
Apr 20, 2017

A number of Keypoint Intelligence analysts are covering ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. Here’s a mid-event account from Steve Pearl, Associate Director, Solutions & Services:

The pioneers traveled westward to find their future; the same is true for many dealers attending ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas. Dealers here can connect with leaders in the industry on the topic of managed IT services, cloud solutions, managed print, supplies management, service automation, financing, data analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more.

Nearly 300 people attended the keynote session, and dealers visiting the exhibits are eager to learn how to expand their businesses. Unlike the original pioneers, though, dealers don’t have to take arrows in the process of securing their future. They can simply take advantage of all the expertise around them. More to come…

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes' keynote

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes’ keynote.

Reasons for growing revenue was on everyone's minds. That's why they are here.

Revenue growth is on everyone’s mind.

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

HP is very prominent at this show.

HP is very prominent at this show.

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

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HP Printing Reinvented Event – 8th March 2016

Andy Carroll
Mar 11, 2016

This week saw HP host a large event in Lisbon, Portugal to announce their Spring 2016 product launches, themed around “reinvention”.
The primary focus of the event was the launch of the PageWide Business brand within their office lineup, but there were also significant updates announced for the OfficeJet Pro range, along with further refreshes of their LaserJet line, with more devices based upon the JetIntelligence engines that made their debut last year.

3-HP PageWide Enterprise Color Flow MFP 586z Printer

The HP PageWide Enterprise Color Flow MFP 586 (Image courtesy of HP Inc)

Whilst the OfficeJet ProX/EnterpriseX range shared the same printhead technology used in HP’s high speed Web Press devices, it now also shares the same branding. HP PageWide Business devices build on the platform established by the X range, but improvements to the ink formulation have allowed both higher speeds (now up to 75ppm) and increased page yields (up to 20,000 pages from a black cartridge). In addition the PageWide Enterprise range now shares the same security features that were introduced on the LaserJet Enterprise devices last year, so features like SureStart and whitelisting are now available to customers no matter which printing technology they choose to employ. The PageWide Business portfolio is expanded further still by the addition of specific products designed for managed environments, which employ cartridges that are both unique to the managed products and offer even higher page yields. It is expected that the use of derivative products for managed environments will be an increasingly common strategy, as it allows the channel more flexibility when costing out managed contract.
The next stage of the PageWide platform was also mentioned, with a very brief teaser of an A3 device offered only as “coming in 2017”.

The introduction of PageWide could have threatened to overshadow the long standing OfficeJet Pro range, but that has also received a significant refresh, with some significant improvements clearly inspired by developments made in the LaserJet family.

2-HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 (Image courtesy of HP Inc)

The paper path has been tuned so that two pages can be handled simultaneously, allowing for duplex speeds that get close to simplex, especially when printing longer documents. Single sided pages now also exit the device face down, and collect on an contained paper tray, as opposed to hanging outside the main unit as has been the case for most previous desktop inkjet devices. The input tray has been integrated more closely within the device body, aimed at reducing the risk of parts being exposed to damage under daily exposure to bumps and knocks, and supports up to legal sized paper.

The OfficeJet Pro 8730 also has the dual scanning heads present in more recent Laserjet MFPs, which allow for single pass scanning of both sides of a page, and also gains the option for an additional paper tray to double the input capacity. Finally, the user interface is presented on a much larger screen (5 inches) and features swipe and tap functionality that should be intuitive to smartphone and tablet users. The overall effect is that the newer OfficeJet Pro devices present a more robust appearance, with design cues that appear to make it less distinguishable from laser devices.

In his introduction, David Ryan described the current portfolio as HP’s “best lineup in decades” and it’s easy to see why he holds that view. The last 12 months has seen some real innovation from HP on areas such as security and energy consumption, which play well in an Enterprise environment , but equally on user facing improvements like first page out times, duplexing speeds and single pass scanning. In a highly commoditized category these are real areas of potential differentiation from other OEMs, and with A3 devices now confirmed as part of next years plans it gives other industry players a lot to think about. HP may not have reinvented printing per se, but they may well have reinvigorated their position in the category.

Huawei and Leica Partner to Reinvent Mobile Photography

Carrie Sylvester
Feb 25, 2016

logos2What’s the News?

Huawei and Leica Camera AG announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to reinvent smartphone photography. The companies used some very interesting and rather untraditional wording in their press releases; embracing a more holistic sound and approach. Huawei’s press release spoke about combining a shared ethos in a long-term commitment to the art of craftsmanship, meticulous engineering, and the spirit of winning collaboration to create a powerhouse that will reinvent smartphone photography. These are no small promises, particularly since neither of these companies are household names in the United States! That said, the companies are major players in their respective markets and geographies. Read more »

Remanexpo 2016

Andy Carroll
Feb 18, 2016

Between January 30th- February 2nd the aftermarket industry came together again as part of the annual PaperWorld trade show in Frankfurt.  Hosted for the second consecutive year in Hall 6.0, this years Remanexpo show saw a noticeable shift in the mix of exhibitors, with the larger domestic European remanufacturers taking a much reduced share of the floor space, with brands such as Clover and DCI returning with a smaller footprint focused on interacting with existing customers.  Indeed some of the previous years largest exhibitors, such as KMP and Armor, decided against exhibiting but were present to take advantage of the newly introduced “Business Lounge” facility, which offered dedicated meeting rooms on the show floor to cater to the evolving needs to both exhibitors and attendees, therefore allowing industry players to meet with their customers without having to invest quite so much in their own stand presence.
However, whilst some vendors had reduced their footprint this gave the opportunity for others to become more prominent, particularly domestic German brands such as Pedro Scholler Printservice and WTA, who received the award for Remanufacturer of the Year during the show.

IMGP7651

Ninestar’s stand was indicative of the trend for prioritising meeting space over product display.

One common theme across the majority of stands at the show though was how little actual product was on display, reinforcing the trend that many vendors see the show primarily as a venue for cementing business relationships with existing customers rather than generating significant new opportunities.  In fact even the leading Asian brands such as Ninestar and Print-Rite had a much smaller share of their stands dedicated to showcasing their cartridges, with meeting space the clear priority. Perhaps as a result of this trend, or as a consequence of the hard work the industry has put in over recent years to promote respect for intellectual property, there was only a single incident involving German authorities seizing potentially infringing products.

Evolution was also a key theme across much of the event, with signs that the aftermarket is increasingly looking towards opportunities outside of the printer & copier market in order to maintain or grow their businesses.  The trend was most evident through the increased presence of 3D printing devices on display, which themselves continue to evolve in capability.  Print-Rite had first shown off their own 3D printers at last years show, but their ‘Colido’ range has already developed substantially since then to include more than five distinct models, from entry level through to industrial prototyping, and even a 3D printing pen.

IMGP7634

The Polaroid branded 3D Printer produced by EBP

However, perhaps the most impressive display of 3D print came via Environmental Business Products (EBP), a UK based inkjet remanufacturer, who have seen their traditional market begin to shrink as a result of the decline in the consumer inkjet category.  EBP have taken an intelligent approach to 3D print, developing the hardware in house but choosing to licence the Polaroid brand in order to give their products a recognizable name around which they can go to market.
Large brand names have been absent, to date, from the consumer/prosumer end of the emerging 3D print market, and EBP’s approach could help the market begin to reach a more mainstream audience. In addition to their branding strategy EBP have also been innovative their consumables offering, with a one time use sheet on the print area allowing for much easier removal of the final printed structure, and also the ability to print using both PLA and a wood based material.

Features such as a Wi-Fi enabled camera, SD card support and an easy to use print interface also contribute towards presenting a more consumer focused product, and while the size of the unit, and it’s initial price point, will unlikely allow for dramatic uptake in the home environment, it could provide an example for the wider industry of what is required to reach a larger audience.

IMGP7632

Apex are looking towards the smart home as the next application for their chip technology

The Internet of Things (IOT) could also be a target for some parts of the imaging aftermarket. Apex and Static Control held a joint stand for the first time, although still very much maintaining the presence of both brands individually.  Apex’s focus on their chip technology was no longer limited to applications in printer cartridges, with smart home devices such as light bulbs, door locks and environmental controls looking like a major area of potential expansion for the company.

The knowledge and expertise built up by the aftermarket, as a result of trying to keep pace with the technological innovations employed by the OEMs to restrict third party cartridge use, clearly now has applications that are much wider than the printer consumables market.

Overall the feedback from those attending the show was heavily positive, something that hadn’t necessarily been the case in recent years, and it is clear that, much like its participants, the show itself is evolving to meet the changing demands of its user base. It will be interesting to see to what extent wider opportunities take a share of focus as complimentary markets emerge, and whether that will create gaps within the printer aftermarket for other players to exploit.

 

Annual Camera Wrap-Up – Mirrorless Models March In

Carrie Sylvester
Dec 14, 2015

For the last three years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.

Although there were many, 72, cameras introduced this year, the number pales in comparison to years past. That number of models, although impressive, is over 20% lower than the 98 models introduced in 2014. Just a few years ago in 2012, there were 146 models introduced almost double the number of cameras introduced this year (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). Just because there were fewer cameras released doesn’t mean there weren’t some great new cameras.

We have broken out some of the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless. Read more »

Survey Says… Smartphone winning for photo taking – traditional cameras cling to special occasions

Carrie Sylvester
Nov 17, 2015

When thinking about taking photos, in year’s past the first thing to come to mind was using a camera. But today since almost every mobile device has a camera, the traditional camera isn’t the first thing people actually pick-up when looking to take a photo. For many years InfoTrends has been conducting an annual mobile imaging survey to understand what camera people turn to when taking pictures in various scenarios –overall, every day, and special occasions.

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The Dell-EMC Deal

Brendan Morse
Oct 20, 2015

The Deal
Though a little sticker-shock—to the order of $67 billion—is certainly in order, we should not be entirely surprised that Dell acquired EMC and its 81% stake in VMware. After all, it was an open secret that EMC was actively seeking buyers after the recent struggles with shareholders, and the failure to conclude a deal with HP. Though the acquisition includes a 60-day ‘go-shop’ provision that allows EMC to seek other bids with minimal penalty, competing bids seem unlikely. Dell has offered a substantial bid, and the number of other companies that would be seriously interested in acquiring EMC’s business is limited. Under the terms of the deal, EMC will go private as part of Dell, and VMware will remain a publically traded company.

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2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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