Category: Solutions

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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What makes a channel SuperStar?

Deborah Hawkins
Sep 24, 2019

The channel is vital to the document technology industry as it serves the main backbone of small and medium sized customer businesses. As the office equipment market adapts to new market trends such as changing work styles which are more IT-centric, the channel’s portfolio needs to adapt to support “smarter” workplace trends as well as compete with the IT channel. At the same time, we have observed a consolidation of the office equipment channel as customer needs shift to more IT facing technology. All resellers must invest in digital capabilities to offset the perceived threat of declining print volumes and digital conversion.

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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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Making Printers & MFPs More Accessible to All Users

Christine Dunne
Jun 20, 2019

Document imaging OEMs have taken many steps to make their products more accessible to people with special needs. While this may be the right thing to do, it can also make business sense—particularly when selling into government agencies, other vertical markets (e.g., education, healthcare), and environments that put an emphasis on accessibility. Furthermore, in many instances designing for accessibility provides the added benefit of delivering a better experience for all users—regardless of their physical and mental capabilities.

In a recently published Market & Vendor Insights report, Market & Vendor Insights: Accessibility, Keypoint Intelligence analysts outlined specific efforts OEMs have undertaken to support accessibility, as well as scored these manufacturers on relevant product features, processes, and initiatives. Categories evaluated are shown in the below scoring table, which for the purposes of this blog post omits the names of manufacturers (they are included in the actual report). The darker blue the cell, the better the OEM performed in our assessment.

MFP/printer accessibility scoring by OEM (specific names omitted for blog post)

Office CompleteView subscribers have access to this market insight report, which also includes print accessibility primary research, OEM profiles, and analyses of PaceSetter award winners. Anyone else interested in this document can contact Christine Dunne at christine.dunne@keypointintelligence.com for more information.

New Research Document Scores OEMs on MFP Platforms, Apps, Cloud Readiness

Christine Dunne
Jun 17, 2019

Recently, Keypoint Intelligence analysts published a new Market & Vendor Insight report: MFP Platforms, App Ecosystems, & Cloud Readiness. In this document, we identified the trends surrounding multifunction printer software platforms as well as their associated app ecosystems and cloud readiness features, laid out the competitive landscape in this area, and showed how major OEMs performed in our latest platform and apps ecosystem evaluation (for which cloud readiness is a new scoring rubric).

As a basis for this evaluation, we surveyed the leading document imaging equipment makers in the United States and Europe, and conducted independent research to determine the progress path of MFP software platforms and their associated app ecosystems. Interested in a snippet of this report? Here’s a visual showing that office equipment dealers believe MFP apps that scan directly to cloud locations will be most important to customers over the next year.

In the next 12 months, how important will MFP apps be in your customer’s overall office environment?

Interested in more information about this document, including PaceSetter award winners? If you’re an InfoTrends Office CompleteView subscriber, the report is included as part of your subscription. Otherwise, please contact Christine Dunne at christine.dunne@keypointintelligence.com.

WHEN DID SNEAKERS BECOME ACCEPTABLE BUSINESS ATTIRE?

Deborah Hawkins
Feb 11, 2019

I haven’t done the rounds of many exhibitions the last few years. My focus area of office print is generally served by Vendor specific events and the one global event the industry had, CeBIT has now finally been put to bed. So I was quite surprised at my first visit to ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2019 in Amsterdam. It was full, thriving and so many people were wearing sneakers.

Does this have something to do with the meeting of two worlds that ISE has emerged from?  The vibrant Audio Visual (AV) high tech hardware focussed industry and the IT world that can integrate practically anything without having to heed to standards or obligations?

Founded in 2004 and boosting 3500 visitors that year, the exhibition has grown to some 1400 exhibitors and an expected 90,000 visitors in 2019. For me, it felt far more than that. The growth has undoubtedly been supported by the portfolio breadth of AV boasting 8k, curved as well as inflatable screens and flashy displays and its acceptance across many horizontal and vertical sectors. What attracted me most to the show however, was the connection to IT and looking at how the AV industry hooks up with business IT, the hub of our digital world today. I see a lot of parallels to the office printing industry and I knew this industry was in a similar stage of disruption when I saw the likes of Google & Uber speaking about workplace trends at ISE 2019. Read more »

Kofax to Acquire Nuance’s Document Imaging Business

Christine Dunne
Nov 16, 2018

On November 12, Kofax announced its intention to acquire the Nuance Document Imaging (NDI) division of Nuance Communications. If the deal closes as expected in Q1 of 2019, the move will catapult Kofax—already the 800-pound gorilla in the document capture market—to the leadership position in print-management and cost-recovery solutions, too. NDI itself is a product of Nuance’s once-acquisitive nature.

Source: http://www.picpedia.org/highway-signs/a/acquisition.html

The division’s portfolio of document solutions includes a host of product families purchased over the past decade or so, such as Equitrac (purchased in 2011), Output Manager (which came with the NSi acquisition in 2014), and Safecom (bought in 2012) for print management; Equitrac Professional and Copitrak (added in 2012) for cost recovery; AutoStore (another NSi product) and eCopy (acquired in 2009) for document capture and workflow; Business Connect for mobile document imaging; and OmniPage, PaperPort, and Power PDF for PDF and document conversion (these products, or the seeds for them, came from the original merger between Nuance and ScanSoft in 2005). Read more »

Konica Minolta Acquires MWA Intelligence

Christine Dunne
Jul 11, 2018

On July 2, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. announced the acquisition of MWA Intelligence (MWA)—a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for the imaging channel. Scottsdale, Arizona-based MWA offers the FORZA ERP solution, which is built on SAP Business One.

The platform provides visibility and control over a variety of business operations, including accounting and finance, sales and customer management, inventory and distribution, purchasing and operations, service and mobility, and reporting and administration. It has an open architecture, and can be customized by dealers for various functions and industries.

MWA employees will join All Covered, Konica Minolta’s IT services division.

Acquisition in context

ERP software helps businesses manage their core business processes, often in real-time and with the goal of operating more efficiently and effectively. The global ERP market is valued at approximately $34 billion; market leaders include companies like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and NetSuite.

Of course, the imaging channel represents just a fraction of this opportunity. Within the United States, for instance, about 2,200 office equipment dealerships are in operation—including about 600 with branch locations.

These dealers often use ERPs like Compass Sherpa and E-Automate, or internal systems, to manage their business. Considering that declining profit margins are considered a top threat to indirect office equipment vendors (dealers and resellers included) in both the United States and Western Europe, it is clear that an ERP can provide valuable insight into opportunities for operational improvement.

What are the three biggest threats to your business based on shifts in the industry?

Source: Office Channels Survey (Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, 2017) Read more »

Smart Package Manufacturing: HP One Package Workflow Suite Brings New Levels of Optimization

Pat McGrew
Jun 25, 2018

Corrugated product producers have traditionally thought in terms of square meters and board feet. The goal: keep corrugated products heading out the door. For corrugators that meant keeping the corrugator online and in production which was managed with a Manufacturing Execution System tied to standard business management software suites. Corrugated board manufacturers often use their business systems to manage their manufacturing requirements, augmented with process-specific tools. The advent of digital corrugated production options adds many more requirements to the production workflow, most of which are closer to traditional commercial printing than traditional converting. With experience born from implementations of both digital liner preprinting ahead of corrugation and digital corrugated board printing (“post printing”) comes the HP One Package workflow suite targeted toward users of all HP PageWide Industrial corrugated presses.

HP PrintOS Site Flow Drives End-to-End Print Production for HP Corrugated

Source: HP

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The Smart Workplace, According to Konica Minolta

Deborah Hawkins
May 24, 2018

The traditional work environment is fundamentally transforming, and visions of the future Smart Workplace are emerging. Through the combination of the Internet, mobility, cloud, sensors, and the Internet of things, work can get done virtually anywhere people can communicate, collaborate, and transact.

To better segment and organize the “Smart Workplace,” Keypoint Intelligence has created a taxonomy of services related to our industry. This taxonomy helps define and categorize disparate technologies and services into a more concrete and comprehensive view of the Smart Workplace solutions and services. Read more »

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