WSJ Report: Xerox Exploring a Bid for HP

Jamie Bsales
 Nov 6, 2019

The Wall Street Journal reported last night that Xerox’s board of directors discussed the possibility of purchasing HP Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal worth north of $27 billion. While we don’t have any information about the veracity of the WSJ report or the likelihood of it coming to pass, the combination (in some form) of HP and Xerox has been speculated about for several years.

Xerox executives–the team put in place by activist investors in the wake of the scuttled sale to FUJIFILM Holdings– have spoken publicly about their openness to finding other engine suppliers beyond Fuji-Xerox, and with HP they would have that. HP could benefit from Xerox’s strong channel-partner organization. Indeed, the two companies already announced a closer working relationship earlier this year. And while the Wall Street Journal described the pair as “two fading stars of technology” (a characterization we don’t agree with), a combined company would be in a very formidable position in both A3/A4 office equipment and related software, as well as in the production print space. HP also has a growing 3D-manufacturing business, which could be an attractive growth area for a resurgent Xerox. The combined companies would also be an innovation powerhouse: Xerox’s PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) and HP Labs are already among the most prolific organizations in the country when it comes to patent applications.

Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that smart money was on HP purchasing Xerox. But now with Xerox stock trading at a 10-year high and the company flush with a $2.3 billion down payment available from the sale of its half of the  joint venture with FUJIFILM–not to mention HP stock trading at historically low multiples (until this news leaked, that is)–Xerox may be in the better financial position to leverage such an acquisition . The WSJ reported that Xerox already had financing commitments lined up. The company could also consider selling HP’s Personal System’s Group to help pay down some of the debt incurred by the purchase.

HP Moves Aggressively into MFP Apps with an Entire Ecosystem

Jamie Bsales
 Nov 4, 2019

We’ve been talking for several years about the “appification” of document imaging software: The emergence of MFP-resident apps that use the device’s underlying (and increasingly powerful) embedded software platform to deliver enhanced functionality and, in some instances, eliminate the need for traditional “middleware” workflow solutions. And while HP had its share of on-board tools and connectors developed for it OXP embedded software architecture, it lagged competitors such as Xerox (with is App Gallery) and Konica Minolta (with its bizhub Marketplace, now just called Marketplace) when it came to an app portal where apps reside for resellers and/or customers to download to compatible MFPs.  Which made us wonder: What exactly was HP’s plan for the Printing App Center and Smart UX Center infrastructure HP snagged in its acquisition of Samsung’s printing business? We now have our answer. Late in October, HP officially unveiled a complete ecosystem for the development, deployment, management, and monetization of apps that can run on select HP MFPs. Here’s a quick look at the various pieces and how the puzzle seems to be coming together.

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Ricoh Expands Workflow Portfolio with DocuWare Acquisition

Jamie Bsales
 Jul 16, 2019

Just when we thought the era of document imaging OEMs purchasing document imaging software developers had passed, Japan’s Ricoh surprised us early in July by announcing a definitive agreement to acquire Germany- and U.S.-based DocuWare, one of the leading content management solutions vendors. The move puts Ricoh’s worldwide operating companies on equal footing with Canon and Xerox, which both have content management development capabilities in-house with their Therefore and DocuShare divisions. (And for those who have been keeping track, Lexmark, too, had owned an ECM developer in Perceptive Software, before shedding its enterprise software business to private equity firm Thoma Bravo in 2017.)

The content management space is certainly a growth area for the imaging industry. Keypoint Intelligence’s analysis shows the market for such solutions growing at an annual clip approaching 4% each of the next 4 years. And in a recent Keypoint Intelligence survey of IT decision makers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, 35% of respondents overall reported that they are considering investing in a document management solution in the coming 18 to 24 months.

Are you considering purchasing document management software?

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