Jul 15, 2015
In a nutshell, here’s why I think print samples are important. As new printing systems enter the market you can assess their market readiness by the vendor’s ability to provide print samples. Early on in a product’s development, vendors are very cautious with print samples. They don’t hand them out freely, sometimes even showing them under glass or in sample books that are chained to display cases. Once a product gets close to release, the system vendors begin to hand out prepared print samples and they also offer to produce output from files provided by existing customers and sales prospects. This stage is symbolic because it signifies that the vendor believes that the product is ready for market.
To underscore my point I have recorded dozens of print sample videos for a broad range of production digital print products. A couple of my recently recorded print sample videos are Read more »
Jul 1, 2015
Last week Canon Solutions America held a special inkjet event at one of its best customers, IWCO Direct in Chanhassen, Minnesota. IWCO Direct produces millions of letters a month as part of direct mail campaigns for many major brands. The variable component of these campaigns is printed and finished on a range of equipment including Canon Océ monochrome toner and color inkjet offerings. IWCO Direct is also active in Canon’s customer advisory councils and so they were a logical choice as the first site in the United States to have two of the latest inkjet products to come out of Canon: the cut-sheet Océ VarioPrint i300 and the continuous-feed Océ ImageStream 3500.
Both of these new products have strong potential, and Read more »
May 12, 2015
The importance of workflow and the matching software ecosystem has been frequently publicised and although not every user might have realised it yet, all production printing hardware vendors are strengthening their offerings in workflow and solutions nowadays. The importance of workflow is however in stark contrast with the lack of approaches in making the benefits of workflow visible in an exhibition or open house environment. Software remains intangible and while the benefit of some features can be calculated in time and money, for other features like customer satisfaction, error reduction, new services offerings and overall process efficiency calculating the exact value for a single business case is much harder.
Canon-Océ already organised several Commercial Printing Business Days, but for the event that took place in April 2015 the software portfolio was targeted to take centre stage. Presentations, workshops and customer testimonials focussed on workflow solutions. Canon-Océ invited users and prospects with interest in workflow solutions and had a total attendance of 550 visitors from around the globe at the three days of the event.
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Apr 29, 2015
InfoTrends just published the 2014 production placement numbers for the U.S. and Western Europe. In both geographies we had some growth in placements. In general Europe showed a much better growth driven by a stabilizing economy in 2014, while growth in the U.S. was marginal, based on the fears of a slowing economy. Of course growth rates differ not only by geography, but also by product segment. One of the fastest growing segments in 2014 were mid-volume color devices, the type of devices typically used at high-end print rooms or quick printers and small to mid-size commercial printers. Installations grew by 29% in the U.S. and 33% in Europe in 2014. This is no mean feat in print market under pressure.
2008 to 2014 Mid-production Placements
For a meaningful tracking of growth or decline in a market, as well as market share overviews, we try to define market segments containing products that compete against each other with similar features, price points and user profiles. Segmenting products can be a tough task however.
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Apr 21, 2015
It’s an interesting time for the photo industry. Cameras continue to get better, faster, less expensive, and, perhaps most significantly, smaller. These devices are taking pictures of everything from scenery to sports, capturing life’s moments from new points of view, from vantage points that were very difficult just a few years ago. Read more »
Apr 16, 2015
Three trends from last week’s ISA 2015 stand out as I think back on the show:
HP PageWide XL8000
- HP’s PageWide announcement, press event, and booth tours garnered the early attention and will represent a validation of the high-speed color, single-pass when the first product becomes available sometime in July 2015. That being said, Canon with its Memjet-based single-pass offerings (such as the ColorWave 900 & 700) can also look forward to a lift in sales as new attention is paid to this market segment. The first available product in HP’s PageWide XL Series will be the 30-PPM XL8000. To follow will be the 14-PPM XL 5000 (November 2015) and the 8-PPM XL4000 and 12-PPM XL4500 (January 2016). All products in the series are four-color and support a 40-inch print width. The speed is the prime differentiator.
Canon ColorWave 700
- HP took the second trend place with an extension Read more »
Feb 17, 2015
About a year after Canon Solutions America (CSA) announced that it was exploring the idea of forming a user group for its production print customers, it has announced a name for the group and the date of its first event. The group is called the thINK Customer Community and its inaugural event, the thINK Customer Conference, will take place September 8th to 10th in New York. The thINK Customer Conference will overlap with Canon’s Expo (the once every four year showcase of Canon technologies).
Though thINK is described as a “Community of Canon Solutions America Production Print Customers,” the focus is clearly on inkjet, Read more »
Jan 30, 2015
During the golden days of digital camera sales, Best Buy was a dominant retailer. It offered consumers a wide selection of compact cameras at good prices. However, with compact camera sales waning, Best Buy has seen its influence on the market diminish, as consumers and vendors focus on more profitable digital interchangeable lens camera sales (DILCs). While Best Buy has sold DILCs, the selection was limited, merchandising was lacking, lens selection was limited and locked away behind glass, and in-store personnel were not trained to answer probing technical questions.
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Jan 5, 2015
There were some BIG ticket items on people’s gadget wish lists during 2014 – from gaming systems, hybrid laptop tablets, and flat screen TVs. Another one of the most popular gadgets people want are digital cameras (aka Phoneless Cameras).
Although there were many new camera models introduced in 2014, there were far fewer than in previous years. In 2014, there were 98 camera models introduced compared to 127 in 2013 and 146 in 2012 (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). It is expected that the number of cameras introduced will continue to drop by anywhere between 10% to 20% in 2015.
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Dec 9, 2014
I’ve recorded nine short videos (each is three and half minutes or less) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2014: