Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SMB Printing highlights

Small and Medium Business (SMB) Printing highlights

Glen Hopkins, VP/GM Printing Technologies, HP. “Desktop Printing for Small and Medium Businesses – The Emerging Battlefront Between Inkjet and Laser.” Hopkins continues HP’s push for inkjet, parallel to last year’s Edgeline MFP push, but this time in the Small and Medium Business (SMB) area. (Though the effort is at least as old as two to three years with the HP OfficeJet K550.) The comparisons on cost-per-page are dramatic when it comes to color – see his slide below. It’s interesting to watch HP continue this battle (the word comes up a lot) while candidly acknowledging it’s a bit of an uphill struggle with communications challenges, and perceptions about factors like print quality and water fastness being what they are. We’ll know the gloves have really come off when HP LaserJets (as opposed to Konica Minolta and Samsung printers, in this example) start showing up in their comparisons!

“Small and Medium Businesses Raise Their Voices: Recent Lyra Survey Results” by Larry Jamieson, Director of Lyra’s Hard Copy Industry Advisory Service, offered interesting results from recent Lyra surveys in North America and Western Europe. Has WiFi network growth had an impact on printing? How about the economy? What brands are hot (and not) in the two regions’ SMBs? Jamieson’s data present some surprises (Dell in the US and Epson in Europe strong in SMB installed base, and some fax machines are still on the shopping list) along with some predictable responses (WiFi and printing – not a big deal, nor does the economy seem to be when it comes to printing but purchasing may be another thing.)

The Toner Cartridge Lifecycle Evolves, Cortney Kasuba, Industry Analyst, Laser Consumables for Lyra Research. In a review of forecasts and other market trends in the laser toner cartridge business, the most interesting point I found was that “environmental concern is the Number One driver for returning empties” though Kasuba reports that 26% of all cartridges still go straight to the landfill.

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