May 19, 2013
Freeing business users from restrictive and costly IT procedures when developing, updating or executing document processes is a major driver in enterprise Customer Communication Management (CCM) investments. Today, enterprises need to have the ability to act nimble when confronted with changing communication requirements as customers are increasingly dictating the relationship and want to be served according to their communication preferences.
ISIS Papyrus, which held an open house event recently at its Vienna headquarters in celebration of its 25th anniversary, is an Austrian-based leading CCM technology provider that has defined “Adaptive Case Management” as its distinctive strength. Read more »
May 14, 2013
New HIPAA compliance requirements for healthcare IT vendors could result in $1.5 million in security violations if vendors do not sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with customers. Effective March 26, 2013, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule governing data security puts more responsibility on IT vendors, or “business associates” according to HIPAA, to secure Protected Health Information (PHI) when under a vendor’s control. Previously, covered entities, such as healthcare providers, hospitals, clinics, and insurers, were mostly responsible for complying with HIPAA privacy and security regulations. Now, vendors, including cloud storage and service providers, who maintain, store, create, receive or transmit PHI are also directly accountable for security breaches and liable for HIPAA compliance requirements. Read more »
May 1, 2013
Kodak to sell its Document Imaging business to U.K Kodak Pension Plan
Kodak has entered into an agreement whereby it will sell off its Document Imaging and Personalized Imaging business units to U.K Kodak Pension Plan, KPP. As part of the continued restructure to exit bankruptcy, Kodak will sell off its Document Imaging business for $650m in cash and non-cash consideration. Overall, the agreement settles approximately $2.8 billion of claims by the defined benefit (DB) pension plan against Kodak and certain of its affiliates.
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Apr 23, 2013
On April 15th, it was announced that Kodak would look to sell its Document Imaging business to Brother for $210 million dollars, this makes yet another Kodak business unit to divest as part of a bankruptcy restructure plan by the Imaging company. This announcement appears to be an opening bid for auction of the Kodak business unit. Under the terms of the agreement, Kodak will seek U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval of the bidding procedures at a hearing in late April and is targeting final court approval of a transaction in June.
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Apr 16, 2013
Last August, Lexmark announced that it would be exiting the inkjet business and was looking for a buyer. The printer maker planned to close its Philippines factory and cut 1,700 jobs worldwide, or 13% of its staff, to focus on high-end business printers, document software and services. At the time, many wondered who would want to buy their inkjet segment given market conditions and forecast predictions. As the chart shows below, inkjet is declining and Lexmark’s portion has grown considerably smaller. It turns out the company, Funai that has been manufacturing inkjet printers for Lexmark since 1997 was interested and will acquire the patents and the Philippine ink manufacturing facility. The deal announced on April 2, 2013 includes Funai Electric Company Ltd. (www.funaiworld.com) acquiring more than 1,500 of the OEM’s inkjet patents for $100 million and is expected to close during the first half of 2013. With US$26 billion/2,461 (JPY 100M) in annual sales, Funai has operations all over the world including North America, Europe, Japan, and Asia as well as other markets. The U.S. is their principal market with over half of the company’s sales.
Chart: 2012 U.S and Western Europe Serial Inkjet Populations by OEM
Three major business segments are the main focus for Funai: Audio Visual, Information Equipment (printers), and Other. The company’s Information Equipment segment represents about 12% of their sales. Funai has relationships with mass merchandisers and OEMs including Lexmark. OEM business accounts for about a third of Funai’s business. Funai depends on Chinese production for its products because it makes them more cost competitive which is important for their mass merchandiser customers. Over 80% of their products are made through consignment production in China. Funai had plans to commercialize printers developed in-house and last year announced that it had launched a laser beam printer business. This acquisition of inkjet technology speeds this process along for Funai which now has the capabilities to develop, manufacture, and sell inkjet hardware as well as inkjet supplies. In addition, Funai will become the manufacturer of Lexmark’s aftermarket inkjet supplies.
Funai Electric is a company that is known for a unique business model in that it MILKS markets to the end. The company has a history of investing in technology when it’s already proven and then building economies of scale in the production process. Beginning with sewing machines, the company moved on to transistor radios, then VHS. Only recently did they pick up LCD and this year they took over the entertainment section of Philips for their branded audio and accessories. Some wonder what this says about the inkjet market today? It’s certainly past its heyday but will we see Funai entering as a new inkjet brand – if we look at their previous pattern, then yes.
Our initial thought about this transaction is that it is good for Lexmark to have found a buyer for their inkjet business given what we know about inkjet. It will be interesting to see what Funai does with it. Since the serial inkjet market for consumers is in decline but business inkjet is growing, Funai may face challenges with that since what they know is centered around low-cost consumer electronics and relationships with consumer retailers. Funai has made it clear that they wanted to do more in this area and now they have more control over this process since they own the patents and facility. In the past few fiscal cycles, Funai did state in financial documents that orders for printers had been dropping so this deal may help them breathe new life into this area but may also present some risks for them in this very competitive and established market. Funai is not a known brand in the market and the question is whether they will be able to sell its inkjet printers to a wide range of customers under their own brand or even uncover new niches for inkjet? Our guess is that products developed based on this newly acquired intellectual property which may include new printers with new engines will be well suited for emerging markets versus established markets such as the U.S. and Europe even though the U.S. is a dominant market for Funai.
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 »
Apr 9, 2013
The Western European1 office equipment market continued to contract in 2012, driven by a weak economy, device consolidation through managed print services and new competition from business inkjet . Placements of single function and multifunction laser printers in office environments (1-69 ppm) declined 8.1% year over year whilst placements of business inkjet devices increased 3.3%. The majority of the decline in laser devices was in single function printers, where placements dropped 16% year over year. The market continues to shift from single function to multifunction devices, and from monochrome to colour engines.
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Apr 8, 2013
Most likely. Only six states – Utah, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia, and Kansas – received an “A” or “B” on the 2012 Digital Learning Report Card, whereas 37 states received a “D” or “F.” What does this mean? Well, states have a lot of work to do. But vendors have a lot of opportunities to help digitize and automate this market.
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Apr 4, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Kirtsaeng vs. Wiley, ruled that under US law there is international exhaustion regarding copyright under the first sale doctrine. In terms of copyright, products legally sold outside the US exhaust the copyright in the US. However, the large majority of issues related to the cartridge remanufacturing industry are patent related and not copyright. This decision did not impact patents. However, it is the first step that would need to happen in terms of changes in case law that would impact the cartridge remanufacturing industry based on cases known to be coming down the line. From the point of view of patent exhaustion for cartridges, and whether remanufacturers can legally sell remanufactured cartridges in the US when they are made from cartridges that were first sold outside the US, or whether they need to track the first sale location at all, Wiley was the first case that remanufacturers needed to answer that question.
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Mar 29, 2013
Overall, slow economic growth in both the U.S. and Canada continued to impact the North America office equipment market in 2012. Total unit shipments of all office single function printers and MFPs declined 10.6% year over year; this figure includes all technologies—laser, inkjet, and impact. Once again, HP held the number one market share position in 2012 with 50.1% of the market. This was followed by Canon (14.8%) and Epson (10.4%).
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