Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Enterprise printing highlights

Steve Reynolds, Senior Analyst, for Lyra Research, did his traditional succinct but complete overview of this segment of the business, this year entitled “Developments and Strategies for Office MFPs”. One of his slides, of the semi-facetious but on-the-mark category, was his “Valuation Sheet” for medium- to large-sized copier dealers, in light of the distribution “shortage” caused by Ricoh’s acquisition of IKON in 2008 (yes, this topic comes up a lot). See Graphic. Another point raised by Reynolds was the “color reluctance” holding back color page growth, partly at least economy- (and cost-) related.



Paul Preo, newly-named VP, Workgroup and Industrial Printing at InfoPrint had a very comprehensive and interesting review of the Enterprise Printing environment, including popular Symposium topics such as the linkage between print management and “green” initiatives as well as A4 encroachment on A3 placements. He, like Reynolds, links slower color adoption (at least that the industry would like) to economic problems, but also sees some printing coming in-house and away from out-sourced printing, albeit in lower overall volumes. Preo recommends learning more at infoprint.com.

Printer Industry and Channel Players. Moderator: Ann Priede, Lyra Research. Panelists: Mike Dane, IKON Office Solutions, Inc.; Greg Lamb, Global Imaging Inc.; Kevin Prewett, Ingram Micro. Acquisitions having an impact? IM no, IKON yes (!), challenge is migrating from heavily Canon to all Ricoh. The wide format industry is newer (13-14 years old) so not as much talk of consolidation. IKON was the last national distributor out there, but it’s not over – next logical thing? Perhaps a Manufacturer consolidation? Some foresee one printer vendor buying another, or someone from outside the space coming in? In wide format space, EFI has made 13 acquisitions; they will continue to be active. Trends in leasing? Credit got tight, noticeably when GE Capital exited the market. Manufacturers are working to improve capital availability. Among some others in the wide-ranging potpourri of topics for the panel included channel conflict, the Circuit City bankruptcy, and Samsung’s impending major thrust into the business.

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