Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day One Lyra Symposium Recap

This is 13th annual Lyra Imaging Symposium, and we're "at the turn", with a full day of the agenda in the books and one to go. The conference traditional brings together the latest thoughts and thinkers in the business, and covers the range of the printer industry, from consumer and home printing, through the enterprise and the corporate printing scene, and then up to print-for-pay worlds of wide-format and, this year, signage and industrial printing.

I've attended at least 10 of the 13 conferences, and have been offering a blogger's perspective for the last four, so it's tempting to think I'd have some historical perspective to add to the discussions, while throwing out the intentional bias that the Lyra staff has built in based on their selection of an agenda and speakers to go with it. For example, this year's conference title, "The Road to Recovery", implies that the worldwide economic woes of the recent past, are behind us or at least will be soon. Picking up on major themes to go along with that arc, small business and consumer printing seems to be moving ahead without much change, and moving from those realms into the office, there's a long-sought improvement in ink jet's perception compared to the perennial favorite laser. The jury is out on whether the razor-and-blades model of printer-and-supplies pricing is seeing its end, with the recent data points indicating some change, but not a radical shift at this point. Managed Print Services continues its reign as the high ground for enterprise printing activities, and the conference keynote by HP's Tom Codd, and numerous other presentations and panels, offered ample evidence. For the vendors involved, including OEMs and resellers, the long-term challenge seems to be creatively going beyond cost-cutting from fleet consolidation and less printing.

A quick summary of a full day of stimulating discussion can hardly tell the story, and as always, "you had to be here". But, I'm pleased to at least try to give a real-time update, and have found Twitter to be a great solution. Blog posts imply at least a little insight and thought (and thus, time), but the tweet streams at @jflyons and @lyrainc (mostly overlapping) tell the hour-by-hour (if not minute-by-minute) story of the conference, so stay tuned, there and here, for highlight of the symposium's final day.

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