Aug 26, 2016
Lexmark’s National Dealer Show, May 9th – 11th, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida absolutely DID NOT SUCK. This was my first time attending a Lexmark event as an analyst and no offense to Lexington, Kentucky but did I ever luck out that my first Lexmark event was held in sunny Florida and bonus, just a few hours from home in lovely Orlando. Winning!
I arrived early on the 9th and was greeted by this scene right outside my room, which I thought was a great way to kick things off because Lexmark Dealers owned the beach that week, absolutely owned it!
Lexmark literally owned the Ft. Lauderdale Beach.
Mike Johnson, VP of North America Business Channels, kicked off Day 1 thanking the members of the press for their support, management for their support, dealers for their support…which I thought was a really nice touch to do in an in depth fashion, discuss how each of the mentioned groups uniquely contributes to Lexmark’s overall success.
I know the theme of the event was overwhelmingly about color and A4 potential for dealers. But one of my key takeaways from the event overall was Read more »
Apr 21, 2016
Back in October 2015, Lexmark announced plans to explore strategic alternatives for its business which many took to mean they were exploring a major move like splitting the company in separate two entities, selling a significant portion of the company, or to sell the entire company as-is. Six months later, Lexmark announced on April 19, 2016 that it entered into a definitive merger agreement with a consortium of investors led by Apex Technology Co., Ltd. (Apex) and PAG Asia Capital (PAG), under which Lexmark will be acquired for $40.50 per share, representing a 30% premium to the price back in October (the day before Lexmark announced they were exploring strategic alternatives). This makes for all-cash transaction value of approximately $3.6 billion, net of cash. Read more »
Apr 24, 2015
Despite the proposed acquisition of Kofax by Lexmark, Kofax is going about business as usual with the recent announcement of a $2.4 million deal with a leading U.S. financial services firm. Just days ago, Kofax, a leading provider of smart process applications that simplify the business critical First Mile of information-intensive customer interactions, announced that an undisclosed leading U.S. bank has invested in Kofax TotalAgility to automate their banking operations including new customer onboarding, and loan application processing. Read more »
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.Â 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 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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Dec 17, 2012
One unknown regarding Lexmark’s decision to exit the inkjet printer market is the impact it will have on Primera, a producer of small specialty printers, including tabletop color label printers. Primera uses Lexmark’s inkjet cartridges in both its LX Series Read more »
Nov 13, 2012
I’ve gotten in the habit of using Twitter as a way to take notes while at industry analyst events. Last month, while at Lexmark’s headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky for a two-day briefing with around 40 industry analysts, I tweeted 54 times during the corporate presentations. I alternated between keeping notes in a Word document, tweeting my notes, and watching for related activity from other analysts at the event. In this post I will share my tweets from the event and discuss the idea of using tweets for note-taking.
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Mar 16, 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.
Mar 9, 2012
Perceptive has been using Brainware’s IntelliCapture technology with their ImageNow software since 2009, so perhaps Lexmark’s acquisition isn’t too surprising. What is interesting, however, is how an increasing number of OEMs are shifting their focus on ISVs who can provide an added-value to what is currently lacking in their software portfolio. Last year, Lexmark acquired Pallas Athena, enabling them to expand in the EMEA region with a stronger focus on business process management and document management capabilities, while reinforcing the connection between Perceptive Software and Lexmark.
Now, Lexmark makes another acquisition under similar circumstances except with a document capture emphasis. Brainware will act as a division of Perceptive Software but will continue to work with their existing partners, like Oracle and KnowledgeLake. Brainware will maintain control of their data capture market which will help them grow their business much faster and drive product adoption through Lexmark’s and Perceptive’s customer base and channel partners. Read more »
Nov 3, 2011
Whenever I receive an e-mail on my iPhone that needs to be printed I mark it as unread and hope I remember to look at my e-mail that night on my computer. I occasionally forget to print these documents, so I decided to see if it was possible to print directly from my iPhone. As it turns out, there are a lot of options for people who wish to print from their smartphones, tablets, and other e-mail enabled devices, but some of these applications come from unexpected sources. Read more »