Mar 6, 2014
When Apollo Global Management acquired Pitney Bowes Management Services (PBMS) from Pitney Bowes for $400 million in late 2013, it was unclear what direction Apollo would take the company. Now we know. The newly-formed company—Novitex Enterprise Solutions—unveiled its strategy last month through a press release and updated content on the company’s website. We had a chance to catch up with their Head of Business Development, Irina Novoselsky.
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Feb 20, 2014
Probably the most interesting news item to come out of the recent Canon Solutions America (CSA) briefing was CSA’s announcement that it was forming a user group steering committee, and that it hoped to have its first convention in 2015. The focus of this user group will be production digital print.
Keep in mind that two of the most successful user events in the production digital print space—Dscoop (a cooperative of HP Graphic Arts users) and EFI Connect (the annual EFI worldwide users’ conference)—have been gaining more traction in recent years. That CSA would consider creating a group for its own production digital print users should come as no surprise, particularly with Francis McMahon on board. McMahon, Vice President of Marketing for CSA’s Production Print Solutions division, played an integral role in getting Dscoop off the ground many years ago when he was the Director of Marketing for HP’s Graphic Solutions Business. In addition, CSA’s hiring of Dscoop Executive Director Eric Hawkinson in 2013 should have tipped us all off; it makes sense that Canon would use Hawkinson’s skills to start an initiative like this.
- CSA’s Eric Hawkinson with Customer Panel
Exactly what form (or what name) the user group will take has yet to be determined. Read more »
Feb 14, 2014
Mid-winter silliness by Frank Romano
There’s an app for that
Or so they tell us
App is application abbreviated
And that is what they sell us
An app is really a program
What computer software begat
But no one ever says
There’s a “prog” for that Read more »
Feb 13, 2014
While it’s nice to see my name written in rose petals (or in clouds or candies or footprints in the sand), by itself this form of personalization, though eye-catching, is not enough. Using variable data requires more than just a person’s name.
With a very small amount of information (for example, name, address, and account status) it is possible to create a much more effective document. Read more »
Feb 10, 2014
On February 4, DoverCorporation announced that it has acquired MS Printing Solutions s.r.l.(“MS-srl”), the Italian manufacturer of digital printing solutions for the textile and décor industries. Dover, a Fortune 500 industrial conglomerate, will add the company to its Printing and Identification Division, which already includes Markem Imaje and three other companies from the industrial marking and related segments. Though no financial terms were disclosed, the company indicated the MS revenues for 2014 are expected to be $70 Million.
MS LARIO production at Miroglio Group, Italy
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Feb 6, 2014
The Olympics are starting soon and it got me thinking about some of the ways that competing in the Olympics parallels competing in the wide format digital printing market. I can think of four:
People that compete at the Olympic level train for years for the games. Speed skaters work out 8-10 hours per days for months leading up to the games in anticipation of an event that may last for minutes if not seconds. Bode Miller, one of the most successful U.S. men’s downhill skiers of all time, was born in ski-country in New Hampshire, went to a ski academy in his youth and basically trained to be a downhill skier more-or-less his whole life. Many Olympians are like that. The point is that to compete at the highest levels they prepare at the highest levels, they don’t go in lightly. Print shops that invest in wide format technology and don’t have a committed strategy to make that a successful part of their business are not likely to find success in this competitive market.
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Feb 3, 2014
As we look back on the new product announcements from 2013, I have to admit that the year was largely overshadowed by drupa 2012 and the many new and exciting technologies shown there. We were especially eager to see the new B2 products enter the market in 2013, but it has proven to be a rather slow process. As analysts with many years in the industry, we experienced that launch schedules are overly optimistic side and that the actual product launches often seem to drag on forever. But the announcements from drupa 2012 seem to have taken these delays to a new dimension.
It seems that the duration from the first tech demo to the beta test phase and then to final product is getting longer and longer. Admittedly the line between an early product demonstration and a technology demo is blurred. Many vendors take a cautious approach and label the new announcements as technology demonstrations. Also technology demoes may never end in a product at all. Still, prospective users want to know when they can expect a launch date of a new product or at least know when limited availability will start for early users. Read more »
Jan 31, 2014
International Paper (IP) and Unisource Worldwide (UWW) Holdings have announced a definitive agreement to merge their distribution businesses and form a newly created, publicly traded company that will be the largest paper distributor in North America.
This is a big deal. Two of the largest distributors of paper, board, and related supplies for the commercial printing and packaging industries are merging. It would be like Sysco and US Foods, UPS and Fedex, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks merging – OK, maybe not that big, but you get the idea.
The new xpedx/Unisource (unipedx? I hope not.) will have an unparalleled combination of product assortment, availability, logistics services, operational efficiencies, and, potentially, pricing power in the market. According to IP, the combined xpedx and Unisource business will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.
xpedx (blue) and Unisource (red) North American Locations
InfoTrends graphic from xpedx and Unisource data