Year over year, an increasing number of people are using their mobile phone as their primary camera. InfoTrends’ research reveals that almost a third of UK consumers report their mobile phone is the camera they use most often. Read more »
In this video blog I discuss print samples provided by HP at their press/analyst event in Israel (March 2012). These include HP Indigo, HP Inkjet Web Press, and HP Specialty Printing Systems examples. This event is covered in two other InfoTrends blogs:
As society becomes untethered from print-based information and advertising models, publishers continue through a wrenching transformation. The excitement and angst of the industry was felt throughout the Publishing Business Conference and Expo at the New York City Marriott Marquis earlier this week.
The event included an “A-list” of speakers, over 70 innovative technology vendor and service provider exhibitors, and hundreds of attendees from across the magazine, book and media industry. The conference program included over 50 sessions and 120 speakers that provided a valuable combination of strategic insights and practical in-depth advice. Here are a few of the many insights and comments I came away with from the event.
Should We Love You or Fear You?
Josh Tyrangiel, Editor Bloomberg Businessweek, gave an outstanding opening keynote pointing out that the human attention span is a zero sum game. You get one look from your customers. His advice? Make something great and then broadcast it. Read more »
InfoTrends has had two similar inquiries about the February 29 announcement of Xeikon’s 2011 results, each from a company that is not in the label press market but that is interested in it. The question has been about the possibility that the published Xeikon 2011 results are a proxy for the market for color digital in label and packaging. Xeikon N.V. (Eede, The Netherlands), a major supplier of presses for label and packaging, as well as for document printing, reported that 2011 sales fell by 7% compared with 2010, to EUR 129.8 million from EUR 139.3 million for the earlier year. The net profit, though, was EUR 7.0 million, compared with a net profit of EUR 4.7 million in 2010, an increase the company attributed to greater efficiency.
The simplest response is that no, in fact on the label and packaging side of Xeikon had a great year in 2011, and the published results are not clear on that. Meanwhile, one other note is that 2010 was a year for Xeikon, so the fact that 2011 came close to 2010 was overall not bad. For the sake of perspective, we’ll comment further here on what Xeikon reported and on what we believe the overall view is. Read more »
HP has today confirmed the reports in the Wall Street Journal andÂ Reuters. The Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) and the Personal Systems Group (PSG) will be combined into a new business unit, namely the Printing and Personal Systems Group, to be led by Todd Bradley.Â Vyomesh Joshi (VJ), the current executive vice president of IPG, is to retire from HP after a 31-year career with the company. This is an interesting, if not entirely unexpected development. Both areas of the business are under pressure; PSG from the rise of mobile computing, IPG from the rise of mobile computing. But that is where the similarity ends.
HP held a pre-drupa press and analyst event in Israel last week. InfoTrends was represented by four analysts: Ralf SchlÅ‘zer, Bob Leahey, Lior Meron, and myself. What is particularly interesting about the top stories from this event is that many of HP’s announcements are emblematic of industry trends that we will see playing out at drupa. Here are eight of the top take-aways from that event:
B2 Digital Takes a Step Forward — There are increasing signs that drupa 2012 could be the “B2 Digital drupa.” Fujifilm, Jadason, and Screen showed B2 Digital products at drupa 2008, but none of those have what I believe to be the key characteristics necessary for a successful digital product at that format size: duplex capability, the ability to draw from multiple drawers, and connection to in-line finishing. HP’s announcement of the Indigo 10000, which I have blogged about separately has all of these. HP, which was lagging behind Kodak and Xerox in format size, has now leapfrogged ahead, but there will be more to come. Cut-sheet inkjet products, including new ones from companies like Delphax, will push the definition of cut-sheet digital print beyond the bounds of a 12” by 18” sheet. The battle moving forward will be about features, acquisition price, and running cost.
The end of the first quarter is always an exciting time for the photo publishing/merchandise industry. By this time, the heavy volumes generated from direct holiday sales have slowed to a trickle and gift cards have been redeemed. The party is over, the cleanup is done, and the headaches from Q4 have dissipated. As we approach the end of Q1, it is a time for reflection. Vendors and retailers should reassess their current relationships, profit margins, marketing and production strategies, and start planning for Q4 2012.
The 2012 Kofax Transform event was held in San Diego earlier this week.Â This Kofax event is a mix of partners, vendors, customers and analysts with a total attendance estimated at over 600.Â They had a robust lineup of educational sessions targeted at the diverse set of attendees that would span 2 days (there were pre-conference product certification classes as well).
Kofax has undergone dramatic changes in the last few years; optimizing their own historic business, reorganizing their channel (down from 1200 at a high), managing through a tired economy (both in the US and EMEA), and acquisitions meant to expand and bolster their capabilities and portfolio.Â Kofax remains a leader in enterprise scan and content capture with the lion’s share of licenses in this space.Â In order to remain on trend, and looking to be agile with its business, Kofax made two significant acquisitions in the last 8 months, Atalasoft and Singularity.Â Atalasoft is a development company that works with its DotImage SDK to image enable apps and portals.Â Singularity, by contrast, allows Kofax to extend their reach into the business beyond capture and into the BPM market.
At the event, the main message was “capture enabled business process management”, and what that will mean for its customers, and resellers.Â Executives such as CEO Reynolds Bish and CMO Martyn Christian spent time outlining the current business and then began to connect the dots for the future.Â The future, according to Kofax, will be heavily influenced by mobile development and technologies.Â They went so far as to provide a “preview” of a mobile app along with a strategy to integrate mobile into the capture continuum.
In terms of tone, I felt the event was well received from their partners and resellers.Â The dust seems to have settled and generally the resellers feel positive regarding the path that Kofax is taking.Â Customers I spoke with were happy with their implementations of Kofax, some being clients for years now.Â It remains to be seen how Capture, DM and ECM vendors will weather the storm of acquisition and compression in the industry, last week’s announcement of Lexmark acquiring Brainware demonstrates the value of content capture in a total solution.
There are more and more indications that drupa 2012 may be the “B2 Digital” drupa. The announcement today of the HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press supports this contention. It’s the first B2-format digital device that I have seen up close that meets three key requirements:
Drupa will be an orgy of new printing technology. We expect significant new products in high-end roll-fed inkjet. But let us look at the low-end sheetfed printing area and see how it may change.
We do not lack for terminology in the printing industry. Take the terms “light production” or “multi-function device (MFD)” or even “All-In-One (AIO)” when referring to digital printers. They are all printers that can print or copy (and sometimes scan and fax). Because old habits die hard, we sometimes call them copiers even though they do much more than copy.