Software Technology Highlights from the 2018 Pitney Bowes Software Analyst Summit

Ryan McAbee
May 7, 2018

Last month, Pitney Bowes held a Software Technology Analyst Summit in San Diego, California. With 25 analysts in attendance from around the world, including senior executives from Pitney Bowes, the software team reviewed the company’s progress over the last year and offered insights into the short-term strategic directions of its software division. The event highlighted the launch of location-driven data services, user experience (UX) improvements to the location intelligence portfolio, expanded data and analytics features in the Spectrum Technology Platform, and a streamlining of the EngageOne communication platform. Pitney Bowes also showcased the upcoming introduction of its first fast and adaptable chatbot platform, EngageOne Converse.

Bob Guidotti and the Knowledge Fabric

Bob Guidotti, Pitney Bowes’ EVP and President of Software, brings his years of enterprise software experience to apply a disciplined growth strategy for the company. During his two-year tenure, Pitney Bowes’ software division has trimmed costs, streamlined its portfolio, slowed revenue declines, and shifted its investments to growth areas—primarily around digital—while also launching additional services and products within existing focus areas. Guidotti’s team is leveraging Pitney Bowes’ decades of intellectual property (IP) around location intelligence, layering other vetted third-party data sets, and packaging it as a service to enterprises with location-critical use cases. To deliver the message to the market, Jeff Winter (VP of Marketing and Communications) announced a new campaign focused around Pitney Bowes’ Knowledge Fabric. Simply put, the company’s software solutions can weave physical and digital points of information to derive insights for connecting people, places, and things. Read more »

Immersive Imaging at NAB 2018

Alan Bullock
May 4, 2018

NAB 2018, the annual trade show of the National Association of Broadcasters, was held April 9-12 in Las Vegas. Show organizers were expecting more than 102,000 attendees and 1,700 exhibitors. A small section of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall was designated as the Immersive Storytelling Pavilion, where about twenty exhibitors were showing 360° and 180° cameras and related products. Camera vendors there included HumanEyes, Kodak PIXPRO, Insta360, YI Technology, Samsung, and Kandao. Here are a few highlights… Read more »

Printer Spotlight: Consortium Companies in Edison, NJ

Ryan McAbee
May 1, 2018

At the crossroads of New Jersey, just off the bustling Turnpike and Parkway, lies the town of Edison. The town was named after one of the most iconic figures in American history – the prolific inventor, Thomas Edison. Over a century ago that Thomas Edison moved his research laboratory to the Menlo Park area. It was there that Edison would invent solutions that continue to impact our lives today from the phonograph to the electric light bulb.

Against this backdrop in history, the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Thomas Edison can be found today in the nearby Consortium Companies. The multi-generational, family owned print service provider offers a diverse range of products and services for clients in New Jersey, nearby New York City, and across the country. Whether customers need personalized mailers, oversized signage, fulfillment services, or marketing/novelty items, the group of Consortium Companies can deliver.

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Solution Focus: Corebridge – A Modern Management Solution for Wide Format

Ryan McAbee
Apr 25, 2018

Look around. What do you see? Chances are good that you see signage used to promote, inform, or direct. The ubiquity of signs makes it an attractive product for print service providers looking to capture a piece of a growing market. Due to advancements and growth in digital printing equipment, print shops can get started quickly at many different price points.

Buying the equipment is only one part of operating a successful print shop producing wide format applications. How will customers know what you offer, get pricing, and confirm their order? How will they upload artwork files? Once the order is confirmed, how will accurate job details flow through each department of the shop? What happens when there is an issue and how will that be communicated internally and externally to the client? As you can see, managing a wide format print operation has a lot of moving parts beyond just printing. Read more »

Professional Photo Organizers Equipped with Tools to Help Consumers Deal with Growing Collections

Alan Bullock
Mar 30, 2018

Consumers have a growing problem, and the Association of Professional Photo Organizers (APPO) wants to help. Here’s some of what I observed during my brief visit to their 2018 National Conference, held last week (March 21-24) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Read more »

Nikon D7500 – A Few Steps Forward, A Couple Steps Back

David Haueter

I’ve been a Nikon shooter for almost 30 years, starting with film SLRs and moving up through the range of various digital SLRs introduced over the years. I shoot mostly cars and motorsport, so I usually prefer the DX format cameras for the added zoom capabilities provided by the smaller sensor’s crop factor. I’ve shot with a D7100 for years, so I was especially interested in the D7500 when it came out. There’s a lot to like about the D7500, from its continuous shooting speed of 8 frames per second and 51-point autofocus system to its larger buffer and high-resolution tilt LCD display.

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HP Latex R Series: First to Print Rigid Media for HP Latex, and First White Ink

India Tatro
Mar 27, 2018

Ten years since the introduction of HP Latex Printing Technologies in 2008, HP unveiled the latest addition to that series of wide format printers recently at ISA Sign Expo in Orlando. The new “HP Latex R Series” builds on existing HP Latex technology but is the first HP Latex printer to print on rigid media. HP Latex R, which also prints flexible media, is designed to print a wide variety of rigid substrates including foamboards, PVC cardboard, fluted polypropylene, solid plastics, aluminum, wood, and glass.  The Latex R Series is also notable because it marks the introduction of HP Latex White Ink. Like its other water-based Latex inks, HP says the Latex R’s  white ink will maintain the appearance and texture of the substrate, a desirable quality when printing on materials like aluminum or wood. HP also claims that their new white ink—the first for the HP Latex line– will not yellow over time, which can be a problem with some white UV inks.

HP has also included fluid management technology in the R series  to combat  problems typically associated with white ink. Pigments in white inks are prone to settling due to the larger particle sizes of white pigments; their larger particle sizes can make such inks a problem for print heads, causing clogs or blockages during printing or while the printer is idle. To counteract possible problems with settling and clogging,  HP has added an ink recirculation system to keep ink moving both within the ink delivery system and at the printhead. The ink storage system will also feature an automatic ink agitator to prevent settling over time.

 

HP has not yet released photos of the new R Series, though a teaser video can be found on their website

 

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Evolving Photographer Types Portend the Future of Camera Ownership

Ed Lee
Mar 21, 2018

InfoTrends conducts annual consumer surveys to track changes in digital photography behaviors. Over time, we have observed a number of important trends including the evolution of the type of photographer that digital camera owners consider themselves to be, from those who rarely take photos to casual/snapshooters, memory keepers, hobbyists and advanced hobbyists.

The type of photographer that consumers assign to themselves depends on their state of mind and their stage of life. Camera owners with a strong interest in photography tend to fall into the hobbyist or advanced hobbyist segments. Parents with children might fall into the memory keeper and hobbyist segments. Teenagers tend to see themselves as casual photographers or someone who rarely takes photos.

Since the introduction of smartphones, we have seen significant shifts in the mix of photographer types among camera owners. Between 2010 and 2017, there was a dramatic decline in the percentage of camera owners who consider themselves casual photographers. InfoTrends believes that these casual photographers have migrated from using a digital camera to a smartphone. Likewise, people who rarely take photos have likely switched over to smartphones, and perhaps have even retired their digital cameras. In 2013, mobile phones surpassed digital cameras as the camera used most often and the gap continues to widen each year.

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Sheep = Network Printer. Wolf = Security Breach

Sheryne Glicksman
Mar 19, 2018

Copiers Northwest and BluZebra Technologies hosted a Lunch and Learn in Vancouver, Washington with HP onsite as their guest speaker. I had the opportunity to listen to what Lindsey Hearst, HP Print Security Advisor had to say. Here’s what I took from this educational session.

There’s a shift from attacking servers to attacking client endpoints. The MFP and the networked printers (client endpoints) have everything a PC or server has on it and more. So why do these systems continue to get implemented into customers location with no security measures in place? If MFP or printers are hacked, it’s not just the documents that are at risk, your entire organization is. Our news is filled with stories on printers being hacked.

In a recent Keypoint Intelligence study, we found that improving document security is still not as high of a priority across all business sizes. Although document security ranked first as a top priority for enterprise accounts, only 56% of those surveyed stated that it was a top priority. It was interesting to see that enterprise account respondents second priority was their ability to use mobile phones to scan hard copy documents (50%). It’s even scarier in smaller accounts since 40% said the ability to view documents on a smart phone was a higher priority than document security (38%). This indicates to us that the educational piece around security discussions between sales reps and customers is critical dialogue to have to protect your customers from risks of cyber-attacks and fraud along with the impact of legal, regulatory and industry standard compliance.

Have you seen the HP Wolf commercial? In the first few seconds it says, “there are hundreds of millions of business printers in the world and less than 2% of them are secure.” HP has a 20+ year history of working to drive new standards for security, staying ahead of sophisticated security threats for the new “Blended Reality” future. Security best practices start with secure device and device management services to harden devices and secure network connections. Other best practices include adding additional security layers based on custom risk assessment and security plans and overtime maintaining and evolving security efforts relative to the changing landscape. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated. Ignoring security puts the whole organization at risk. Protect. Detect. Recover.

Alan Gold, Director of Business Development Copiers Northwest, stated “Of course we are interested in selling printing solutions to our customers, but we are more interested in building a true partnership and that starts with education and training. These “lunch & learns” are a way to expose our customers to subject matter expertise in the area of network security and revolutionary technology from our strategic partner HP. The next one is scheduled in Tacoma Washington on April 26th.”

Lindsey Hearst, HP Print Security Advisor wraps this up with a final important comment: “Every endpoint purchase is a security decision.”
For more information on HP network printer security watch the following video series:

The Wolf link: https://youtu.be/U3QXMMV-Srs

Kodak NEXFINITY – More than just a new paint job?

Marc Mascara
Mar 12, 2018

On February 28th to March 1st, during Oscar week in Rochester NY, Kodak opened the Kodak Center to 250 printers, distributors, media, designers and publishers. With an unbelievably warm 60-degree winter day in Western NY, Kodak hosted over two days of product session, industry speakers and customer panels.

Flexcel NX Sample

Attendees would hear firsthand about new product innovations from Kodaks Print Systems Division regarding processless plates, digital printing and functional printing categories. While the event would mainly focus on Sonora printing plates and the Nexpress digital press, other Kodak divisions were also represented.

On hand at the technology fair were:

  • William Schweinfurth represented the Flexographic Solutions with Flexcel NX samples.
  • Joan Taylor and Carlos Muniz were on hand for the Unified Workflow Solutions with demonstrations of the latest in Prinergy Workflow offerings.
  • Stream and UltraStream products were represented by Randy Vandergrif from the Enterprise Inkjet Systems with Prosper Press literature and samples. Preliminary samples of Kodaks UltraStream technology was also on hand, that looked very promising.

    Transparent antenna demo

  • Carolyn Ellinger demonstrated Kodaks latest technology play in material science and deposition with a demo of their transparent antenna application.
  • Demian Gawianski rounded out the fair with a Portrait 3D Printer.

The two-day event labeled Taking PRINT Further focused on sustainability, profitability, simplicity, growth, transformation and partnering. Kodak’s main message centered around how they are focusing on removing cost from their customer’s manufacturing process. With processless printing plates like Sonora, the cost savings becomes quickly evident which remove associated costs in chemistry, processors, water, waste disposal, electricity and floor space. With digital presses like the Nexpress the story is a little more nuanced.

Strategy beneath the new paint job!

Kodak NEXFINITY Press

In the week following the official launch of the Kodak NEXFINITY Press platform, opinions on forums and boards have ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. So just what is underneath that new paint job? Peel back the new press cover and you discover a bold strategy and advanced technology planted as the cornerstone of the NEXFINITY platform. Read more »

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