WSJ Report: Xerox Exploring a Bid for HP

Jamie Bsales
Nov 6, 2019

Update: On November 18, HP announced that its Board of Directors had rejected the Xerox offer. In a statement, HP said the deal undervalued the company, and cited concerns about the debt levels the combined entity would be saddled with.

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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PHOTOPLUS Expo Showcases New Products and Educates Attendees in NYC

Carrie Sylvester
Oct 25, 2019

PHOTOPLUS Expo (PPE), the East Coast’s largest photo and video trade event that draws attendees including professionals, amateurs, enthusiasts, cinematographers, students and educators, is being held October 24-26th in NYC. The showfloor was filled with exhibits from over 130 vendors. PPE showcased a series of new initiatives planned to enhance the attendee experience, including interactive photo, video and education spaces.

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Varjo Unveils New, Powerful Business-Level Virtual Reality Headsets

Colin McMahon
Oct 15, 2019

Finland-based head-mounted display (HMD) developer Varjo today announced its new virtual reality (VR) headsets, the VR-2 and VR-2 Pro. For those unfamiliar with the company, Varjo operates primarily in the enterprise-level VR hardware market, providing solutions for many companies in the automotive and aviation industries. Prior to this announcement, its primary piece of hardware was the VR-1, a VR headset released last April.

VR-2 and VR-2 Pro Virtual Reality Headsets

Source: Varjo

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Microsoft Plans to Reenter the Smartphone Market by 2020 with Surface Duo

Carrie Sylvester
Oct 9, 2019

The beginning of Fall saw new flagship phones from Apple and Huawei, but what many might not have noticed is that Microsoft announced its own plans to get back into the phone game. Since the announcement was made as part of a Surface press event, some people might have thought that Microsoft’s newest smartphone would use a Windows OS. Instead, the new Surface device is an Android-based “foldable” smartphone.

Not so long ago, Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting Windows 10 Mobile at the end of 2019. One may have thought that meant they were gone from the smartphone market for good, thus making this a surprise announcement for most.

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New Artificial Skin Expands Possibilities for Virtual Reality Control

Colin McMahon
Oct 8, 2019

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne have created a new silicone-based material that, when worn over the human body, simulates a sort of “second skin,” according to a recent article published in the Soft Robotics science journal. According to the preliminary findings this material, when used as a feedback device, marks a vast improvement over haptic feedback technology – which is a leading form of virtual reality (VR) control.

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The Soft(ware) Side of LabelExpo Europe 2019

Pat McGrew
Sep 30, 2019

Every two years LabelExpo Europe occupies the majestic buildings of Brussels Expo. It is a large venue with multiple halls capable of handling the variety of analog and digital print hardware and supporting accessories, finishing, media and software that enable the label printing industry. This year the show vibrated with software, AI and IIoT solutions in support of making label and packaging more efficient. While other team members will bring the hardware analysis, this is a quick review of some of the trends at this year’s show.

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Aspiring Photographers on the Rise

Ed Lee
Sep 25, 2019

Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends’ contribution to Digital Imaging Reporter’s State of the Industry 2019

Finding new sales opportunities in the photography market is an ongoing challenge. As part of Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends’ ongoing research into the equipment ownership, attitudes and behaviors of consumers, we recently discovered a very promising group of people. We call them “aspiring photographers.”

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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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Getting Ready for Print 19: The Keypoint Intelligence Pre-show Guide

Pat McGrew
Sep 23, 2019

Each year the schedule of shows changes slightly. Some shows merge, others grow organically, and still others disappear from the calendar. This year Print 19 closes out is long run with more than 80 education sessions, the Red Hot Technology awards, TechTalk panels, TechWalk guided tours, and a keynote from Nick Thomson of WIRED Magazine that should be on everyone’s agenda. Once again, Keypoint Intelligence will host the InfoLunch at noon on Thursday, reviewing the most impactful insights you can use to guide your business. Four members of the Keypoint Intelligence staff will also be presenting in the education forums. Print19 promises three days of opportunity for print service providers, in-plant printers, marketing service providers, and the users of those services.

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