Posts tagged: InfoTrends

2016 Camera Wrap-Up

Carrie Sylvester
 Dec 6, 2016

IlovecamerasFor the last several years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.

57 models were introduced between January and December of 2016. Although 57 models is a respectable number, it is a marked drop compared to the 72 models introduced in 2015 and significantly fewer than 2014 when 98 models hit the U.S. market. (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker**). Although there were fewer models released this year, there is no shortage of cameras for those looking to buy or upgrade.

We have broken out the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless. Read more »

Building a Business Case for Attending ITEX 2016

David Ramos
 Jan 19, 2016

Okay, so up front, let me address the elephant in the room…I know there has been some less than flattering feedback about the direction of the show the past few years.  I know this because you’ve been kind of enough and trusted me enough to tell me directly to my face or on the phone.  You know me, I appreciate honesty and I love people who are direct.  I’m simply asking you to do me a favor, the favor is this, read this piece and allow me lay out a few points as to why I believe you should attend this year’s event.  Fair enough? Itex Register

First, our industry needs this show to be successful.  We need an event, and as “We” I include everyone who is dedicated to the industry, that is independent, unbiased and most of all an event that provides value to and for independent office technology companies.   ITEX National Conference and Expo’s team has been working diligently for the past year to dig deep and renew the position of this show as the go-to resource for the independent channel.

Second, we have Read more »

What does SaaS bring to CCM?

David Stabel
 Dec 21, 2015

The growing shift toward subscription-based software sales presents both challenges and opportunities for vendors in the customer communications management (CCM) sector—where on-premises licensing has previously been the norm. This blog post explores the impact of CCM as a Service on these vendors.

cloud-hosting

Read more »

The 2015 InfoTrends Holiday Card

Jim Hamilton
 Dec 15, 2015

This year the InfoTrends holiday card highlights Crossroads for Kids, a Boston-area charity that serves more than 1,000 young people annually with an immersive summer program. Many of those kids also participate in a comprehensive multi-year, year-round program of mentoring and enrichment designed to develop young leaders. InfoTrends has been contributing to Crossroads for Kids for a number of years, most recently through an office yard sale that we conducted in March.

The 2015 InfoTrends holiday card has two particularly interesting aspects. First, it makes use of a colorful and lively depiction of three snowmen, drawn by one of the young people who benefits from the programs provided by Crossroads for Kids. The second interesting aspect relates to the card’s production. A digital die-cut on the front of the card provides a peek into the stars and holiday message on the inside of the card. Printed at ANRO Communications in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the digital die-cut was facilitated using a Highcon Euclid. Many thanks to ANRO and Highcon for their support of this year’s card!

InfoTrends-Crossroads holiday card

The 2013 and 2014 InfoTrends holiday greeting cards also have interesting backstories. Read more »

Exploring the Future of Payments at Money20/20

Matt Swain
 

Loathed Tasks - Cleaning Bathrooms and Paying Bills

What is the most loathed household task for Americans? It turns out that it is cleaning bathrooms. The second most common response, however, was paying bills. In fact, 32% of the 2,000 consumers we surveyed had missed a payment due date in the last year, most often because they simply forgot to pay. Stress plays a significant role in why consumers dislike paying bills.

Why Consumers Dislike Paying Bills

These insights came from research that we conducted earlier this Fall in preparation for Money20/20, Read more »

Sharp National Dealer Meeting – Turning The Corner, Abounding Enthusiasm

David Ramos
 Dec 11, 2015

I have just returned from the Sharp National Dealer Show held at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas.  Quite frankly I could do a positive write up on the event based on that fact alone just because I love Texas!  But I’ll keep it professional and focus on the host (Sharp) and their event content but first let’s get some housekeeping items out of the way before I do a deep dive on the most exciting facets of the event.

Unless you have been living on the moon, you know that Sharp has struggled financially.  In May, they unveiled an annual loss of $1.9bn.  However, my prediction is that Sharp will never die and they will continue to evolve and adapt.  This is not to understate the issues they face, only to emphasize the fact that Sharp, like many companies that have confronted this class of challenges before them will most certainly evolve and adapt.  Executive Managing Officer of Sharp Corporation and President of Business Solutions, Mr Kazushi Mukai stated in the General Session to open the event, “As you have read in the news, Sharp is struggling through the restructuring process of transforming from its legacy categories which have been accumulated throughout history.  However, while it has taken a lot of time, we are basically through that change.”  So, let me make the statement again, they (Sharp) will continue to exit certain businesses; they will most certainly evolve and adapt to the changing industry landscape, but SharpWillNeverDie.

The message throughout the event was on Sharp’s commitment to B2B business, not consumer expansion.  Doug Albregts, President – Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, stated “The B2B world is about relationships and we will work hard to expand your opportunities in this market” and have positioned Sharp for growth through B2B with a number of tactics:

  1. People
  2. Training
  3. Simplifying Programs
  4. Improving Delivery Times
  5. Working Capital
  6. Tech Data
Doug Albregts

Doug Albregts, President – Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America discusses relationships and partnerships.

How has this strategy and execution started to pay off?  Sharp had their 6th straight fiscal of revenue growth for SIICA despite exiting non-core businesses.  In spite of all the challenges, MFP revenues also grew 6.5% over the prior period and the profit story is equally impressive.  Last fiscal, the Sharp US Document Business was one of the most profitable in their history.  SIICA grew its operating profit by 145% vs. the prior fiscal period.  That is a foundation of results they can continue to build on.

The Sharp team was very excited and enthusiastic about this meeting, and rightly so, as it kicked off the strategy that Doug Albregts and his team had carefully been building over the last 2 years and of course, they also had some new print devices to launch.  New products from workgroup color to high speed mono…I want to be brutally honest here, I am NOT a widget guy.  The widget is the least fascinating piece of our industry to me, even back to the time when I was selling said widgets down the street in my first job at Xerox.  I am more from the business vein of building solid relationships with my clients and solving business problems, the widget is just a mechanism to help accomplish that (I can hear the collective whining from the industry “Gear Heads” as I write this piece, get over it Gear Heads).  Are we clear on my feelings about this?  Because it’s really important as to what I am about to write next, which is something I have never ever once said or written, ever.  One of the most exciting moments during the event, if not the most exciting moment was the launch of 10 new clean sheet design A3 product line in the 30 – 60 PPM range (click the link and read all about it). All models will use the same engine, accessories and most importantly common parts and supplies, making this one of the easiest product lines for service operations to support.

Did you read that last part?  This is how exciting it was for the participants, just so I paint you a clear picture.  When Shane Coffey, Senior Director, Product Management at Sharp Electronics, presented the new product line up, Dealer Principals, Sales and Services leaders, all in the audience literally shouted with enthusiasm and everyone in the audience was vigorously applauding…over a widget launch people, a widget launch!

image1

Shane Coffey, Senior Director, Product Management & Mike Marusic, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Supply Chain and Service discuss launch of 10 new models built on clean sheet design.

Now here is why the announcement was met with such enthusiasm by Sharp constituents.  Almost 70% of operating income contribution in the dealer business model (most commonly and affectionately referred to as the Tom Johnson model) is derived from service operations.  So when you create a product platform that locks in the same cost structure for the 30ppm device that you will receive on the 60ppm device and all speeds in between, and reduce parts and supply expense and oh by the way, reduce “Car Stock” for technicians, you immediately drive; improved cash flow for your dealers, improved operational efficiency for your dealers, and improved profitability for your dealers.  One of the number one complaints I hear from dealer principals and service leaders is that of their manufacturers developing too many models with no commonality from one product to the next and increasing the difficulty for the dealer to manage the service component of their business.

Dealer principals and service leaders repeatedly state their challenges when it comes to service efficiencies coming in variations of the following:

  • Predictability of service events
  • Risk of bad products
  • Parts and supply stocking and ordering
  • Financial risks due to improper inventory management
  • Parts car stocking and deployment
  • Territory structure at the technician level
  • Hitting service productivity benchmarks

The new product line up was designed based off Dealer feedback and will certainly have a positive impact for all of the Sharp partners.  Sharp’s product fair showcase was also excellent and one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, with over 60 partners showcased such as YSoft, DocuWare, MWAi Forza, Print Audit, the Business Technology Association and many more.

Sharp has made significant improvements in its restructuring, they continue to invest in the office technology space, they have further expanded their partner network, and, most importantly, they are highly committed to the office equipment dealer channel with the right programs and product design to improve dealer profitability and operations.  With a strategy like this Sharp, will never die!”

DAM NY 2015

Other Posts
 May 21, 2015

On May 7th and 8th over 650 professionals descended on the Hilton Midtown in New York City for Henry Stewart’s 12th annual DAM NY Conference to see and learn about all things related to digital asset management (DAM). This year’s theme centered on ‘The Art & Practice of Managing Digital Media – all from the user’s perspective’ and was a common viewpoint amongst many of the speakers. HP, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Media Beacon were the marquee sponsors. However, a bevy of other vendors and consulting organizations sponsored and/or spoke at the show.

DAM NY Panel

Many of the topics centered on the current state of the market as well as where people see DAM going in the near future. There were plenty of well-known brands such as Comedy Central, 3M, and the NHL represented on the panels to share their insights.  Although there were endless puns at the show, we will spare you from any more by simply sharing our observations from the show:

Read more »

HP Flexes Its Packaging Muscles: Part 2

Ron Gilboa
 Dec 2, 2014

Hewlett-Packard’s Graphics Arts Division demonstrated its ongoing commitment to digital printing for packaging with two major events in Eastern Europe. The first event, the worldwide premiere of a printing and finishing solution developed and integrated by Kama and HP Indigo in Israel, was covered in InfoTrends’ blog on November 24. This blog covers the demonstration of the HP T400 at the Obaly Morava open house. The T400 is a high-speed inkjet press for the full color printing of liner stock that is later laminated to corrugated board and then converted into packaging and displays.

Obaly Morava (Otrokovice, Czech Republic) is a privately-held manufacturer of corrugated cardboard and packaging. The company manufactures corrugated packaging using three- and five-layer cardboard to create various configurations, including tuck-in flap boxes and specialized packaging. Obaly Morava’s equipment list includes the finishing elements needed to manufacture packaging (e.g., die-cutting, folding, gluing, sewing), equipment for various print processes (e.g., rotary screen and flexo printing for up to 5 colors), and now CMYK (with HP’s T400 inkjet press). Read more »

Mobile printing and those “in-between” moments

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Nov 24, 2014

Close to three months ago, my family and I moved into a new home. For anyone who has experienced a move (probably most of us), you know how crazy it can be. Not only do you need to physically move and arrange your belongings, but you must also handle various administrative tasks as well as acclimate yourself to your new surroundings.

Boxes in our new home

The first few weeks in our home we were largely living out of boxes. We knew where our printer was, but we could not find any cables to set it up on a network or print directly from our PCs.

Normally, we would have just waited until we found these cables, but I needed to print! I needed to print, sign, and scan a number of documents for work, my bank, our mortgage company, and our homeowners’ insurance company. Read more »

HP’s new enterprise ink series: user experience

Christine Dunne Dunne
 May 27, 2014

After providing an overview of HP’s new enterprise inkjet series, discussing its positioning and key features, and explaining its cost benefits, I will address the experience of using one of the models in our office. Over the last few weeks, my colleagues and I have tested the Officejet Enterprise X585z MFP, the top-of-the-line model in the series. While our office is not necessarily the size of an “enterprise” or large business (fewer than 50 people work regularly out of the Boston-based headquarters), our print volumes are likely in sync with the device’s recommended page volume of up to 6,000 pages per month.

The HP Officejet Enterprise X585z MFP in our office

We are not a testing company, but I believe our experience can be instructive as it represents a real-world trial of the device. Like most businesses, we have certain requirements and preferences for our printouts/scans/etc., and are able to evaluate how well the X585z meets our requirements. Read more »

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