HP Enterprise logo launched ahead of split

April 17, 2015

HP Enterprise logoThe new brand image was intended to be “as transformative, flexible and agile as we are”, HP President and CEO Meg Whitman said.

In March 2015, HP announced that the company split – into HP Enterprise and HP Inc. – is due to take place in November 2015. HP Enterprise will “focus on the enterprise, both large and small” as it explores “agility, openness and partnership with our customers”. Whitman said “great technology” is not enough to succeed in today’s business world, but rather “it also takes an environment where collaborative people, empowering technology, and transformative ideas come together to carry out customers forward faster”.

She continued: “What I love about our new logo design is how it stands out among our competitors. The colour we picked is no accident. I wanted us to stand apart.” Another element of the logo that “stands out” for Whitman is its “simplicity”.

However, some reception of the logo was negative. Network World writer Brandon Butler said “it’s really boring”, while an article on The Register‘s news site called the image “bland and lifeless”.

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Staples recycles 60 million cartridges a year

April 17, 2015

Staples_store webThe retailer has collected 450 million ink and toner cartridges in the US since 2005, saving 234 million pounds of plastics and metals from landfill.

Staples has recycled 85 million pounds of electronic equipment since 2007. Vice President of Envrionmental Affairs, Mark Buckley, said: “As the largest recycling collector of ink and toner cartridges in North America, Staples ink and toner cartridge recycling program helps our customers and the environment.

“Our small business customers have told us they want to be more environmentally friendly, but they are pressed for time. That’s why Staples makes it convenient for them to recycle their old technology devices at Staples stores across the country.”

It also recently launched an energy calculator to “help customers save money and take control of their energy usage”. The calculator works by comparing a customer’s energy consumption to that of other parts of their local area, and then determining the most “power-hungry” appliances they have.

The Recycler reported on a merger between Staples and Office Depot in February 2015. It said at the time that the new partnership would facilitate enhanced recycling services for its SMB customer base.

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Cartridge supplier gains LGBT certification

April 16, 2015

Dawn Ackerman, far left, and George Pieper, centre right. Credit: NerdWallet

Dawn Ackerman, far left, and George Pieper, centre right. Credit: NerdWallet

OutSmart Office Solutions is certified by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), a support group for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)-owned businesses.

The group markets its office supplies to the Fortune 500 partners of NGLCC, who have pledged to work with diverse suppliers, NerdWallet reported.

OutSmart was set up in 2007 and sells office supplies and EcoSmart Toner Cartridges, the company’s environmentally-friendly toner cartridges. It is also works with other companies in designing, setting up and moving into new offices.

Owner George Pieper said: “We’re coming out as business owners every day, we don’t have to be in the close to serve our clients.” Being a part of the NGLCC will help the company market itself to other minority-run businesses as a “diverse solution”.

The company is small, with Piper based in Seattle, while co-owner Dawn Ackerman works in San Francisco and another employee is in Portland. Office supplies are sourced from vendors rather than held in its own warehouse. The proprietors try to work with other minority-owner enterprises, as the NGLCC recommends.

Ackerman said: “Before I got certified, I was just doing business. I wasn’t really thinking how or who I was doing business with.”

The NGLCC has 140 corporate partners, including IBM, American Airlines, FedEx and Google, as well as numerous other big internationals. Certified businesses become part of a database that the partners can access when looking for diverse suppliers. There are mentoring opportunities for certified enterprises and they can attend networking events with diversity representatives and other LGBT-owned businesses.

The chamber estimates that 1.4 million LGBT-run businesses exist in the country, yet only 650 have the certification. Ackerman and Pieper were among the first entrepreneurs to be certified, and Ackerman said their business grew by 50 percent in its first year because of the certification, with 75 percent of its 2014 gross revenue coming from interaction with LGBT chambers.

The first few years of Ackerman and Pieper’s business endeavours were difficult, as the recession hit their sales. As Ackerman said: “Funding is always a problem, you can sell and sell and sell and you’re making a profit, but cash flow is a very different story.”

OutSmart Office lost three months’ worth of orders as clients stalled on office furniture orders. The lack of lending from the banks forced the company to rely on credit cards and individual lines of credit for funding. It was impossible for a small business to approach the bank “without tying your personal house to it”, Pieper commented.

Ackerman has filed an application for a microloan, supported by the US Small Business Administration through Working Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-profit lender targeted at low-income and female- and minority-owned businesses. Securing the money will allow the franchise to complete a large contract it recently won with the University of Washington.


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New California tax bill may affect SMBs

April 16, 2015

california-golden-gate-bridgeSenate Bill 8 was referred to by a Cartridge World franchisee as “another tax and another financial burden”.

Folsom Telegraph reported on the proposed reform bill, which will “impose sales tax on services”, and which is currently “awaiting a hearing in the California senate”. SMBs in the US state would see operations “be heavily affected” by the Upward Mobility Act’s approval by the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance.

The bill, submitted by Democratic State Senator Robert Hertzberg – who also chairs the committee where the bill’s hearings would be heard – would impose a $10 billion (€9.3 billion) sales tax on services. This would “apply to everything” from accountants to restaurants, as well as small businesses focused on the cartridge remanufacturing industry such as Cartridge World franchises.

Gary McConnell, co-owner of the Cartridge World stores in El Dorado Hills and Rancho Cordova in the state, spoke to Folsom Telegraph he was “somewhat” familiar with the bill, and called it “another tax and another financial burden on small business owners. I’m not in favour of it”. The bill would “lessen the state’s current sales tax but not eliminate it”, while businesses with less than $100,000 (€93,066) in sales would “be exempt” alongside health and education services.

Hertzberg defended the bill by stating that 90 percent of corporations in California are small businesses, “and maybe corporations of under $5 million (€4.6 million) wouldn’t pay at all”. He also stated that if it were passed and “enough money was generated”, then personal income taxes “would be reduced, and so would corporate taxes”. A recent study associated with the bill found that if passed, the bill would allow California to receive between $60 billion (€55 billion) and $130 billion (€120 billion) in revenue.

The current tax “captures about 30 percent of what it could” according to Hertzberg, as California is “subject to boom and bust budget cuts, partly because of California’s inability to capture taxes on services”. However, to pass the bill would require a two-thirds vote “in a senate that no longer has a Democratic super majority”, and would require Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.

John Kabateck, California Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, commented that excluding SMBs making up to $100,000 per year “is no big deal […] unfortunately, these days that’s about the equivalent of a paper route. If we’re going to have an honest discussion about California’s tax system we shouldn’t begin that process by placing fear and uncertainty in already struggling small mom and pop businesses.”

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Indian economy to see 7.5 percent growth by 2016

April 15, 2015

The International Monetary Fund expects the nation to overtake China in the next year.Indian government

Times of India reported on the new forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), coming only a month after the organisation predicted 7.2 percent growth for the Indian economy for the year. The growth rate of 7.5 percent comes “on the back of recent policy initiatives, pick-up in investments and lower oil prices”, the IMF stated.

In contrast, the Chinese economy is set to see a “deceleration”, with its growth rate falling from 7.4 percent to 6.8 percent in 2015, and to 6.3 percent in 2016, with a previous report highlighting that the Indian economy is already seeing better growth than the Chinese economy. The growth projections are lower for India, however, than the country’s own finance ministry and the Royal Bank of India (RBI) have predicted. These are eight to 8.5 percent and 7.8 percent respectively.

The predictions came ahead of the IMF-World Bank meetings taking place from 17 April, where India’s Finance Minister and Arun Jaitley and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan will represent the nation. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook, which delivered the results, improved its previous predictions “at a time when other economies are not likely to show improvement in economic performance”.

Global growth “will remain moderate” at a rate of 3.5 percent, with “uneven prospects” relative to 2014 thanks to “the outlook for advanced economies […] improving” and growth in emerging market[s] and developing economies […] projected to be lower”. This reflects “weaker prospects for some large emerging market economies and oil-exporting countries”. The IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde described India last month as a “growth bright spot”.

To ensure that the nation meets the figures, the IMF stated India should “endeavour to remove infrastructure bottlenecks in the power sector and implement education, labour and product markets reforms to raise competitiveness and productivity. In India, the post-election recovery of confidence and lower oil prices offer an opportunity to pursue such structural reforms”.

Business Standard highlighted Canon India’s expectation of 14 percent sales growth in 2015, as well as its announcement that it will grow the number of shops it has to boost its camera sales. The OEM is expecting 30 percent growth in commercial printing, with President and CEO Kazutada Kobayashi stating that “we are aiming to mark 14 percent growth, which is nearly double the country’s GDP growth”. The subsidiary contributes one percent of global sales for Canon each year.

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Nubeprint recognised as leading software provider

April 14, 2015

The company was named by CIOReview in its list of the 20 “most promising” business process management software nubeprint logo

The business publication recently produced a business process management (BPM) issue, in which it named Nubeprint as “one of the 20 most promising BPM software providers” for 2015. BPM encapsulates a range of technologies including managed print services (MPS), with Nubeprint recognised for its Enterprise software.

The programme is said to be the “only” BPM software that “provides the reliable automation of those tasks related to managing printers and copiers”. In turn, its “embedded intelligence” and “state of the art algorithms” allow resellers, distributors and manufacturers to “facilitate” and streamline processes.

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HP India sees domestic IT market as key to success

April 14, 2015

hplogonewThe OEM says there is a “huge opportunity” as the Indian government looks to develop “more in the digital space, than in the physical space”.

Rajiv Srivastava, Vice President and General Manager of HP Printers and Personal Systems (PPS) India, made the comments, adding that more investment is needed in the education sector and skill development, The Economic Times reported.

Citizen services and healthcare are two other sectors the VP said need to be enhanced digitally, while HP’s focus on enterprise mobility will aid the digitalisation process in India.

“Digital India is a way in which services are delivered to the citizen and the way a citizen interacts with the government – it’s easy, it’s transparent, it’s convenient, and it’s timesaving,” he continued. HP has collaborated with the government for more than 20 years on projects to do with communication and IT, as well as agriculture, education and finance.

Srivastava recently commented that digital, printing and PC markets in India were set to prosper, with smart cities leading the way in development. HP is set to split into two separate companies – HP Enterprise and HP Inc. –  in November 2015.

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Epson celebrates brand’s 40th anniversary

April 13, 2015

The OEM’s Epson brand will celebrate 40 years in June.

Epson's first printer, the EP-101

Epson’s first printer, the EP-101

The OEM reported that the Epson brand used on “many of its products and services” will have been in use for 40 years on 12 June 2015. The OEM will mark the milestone by showing its “appreciation to the stakeholders who have supported our brand over the years”, with a “retrospective look” to be taken on the brand’s “ongoing commitment to creating products that surprise and delight”.

Epson was founded in 1942 under the name Daiwa Kogyo, and manufactured watches before moving into other areas by utilising its “core technologies” and “compact, energy-saving and high-precision” methodology. It entered the IT business in 1968 with the EP-101, which it said was the “world’s first compact, lightweight digital printer”, before adding more peripherals in the 1970s. After entering new markets across a “broad range of categories”, the OEM decided to “develop a unique, original brand”.

In fact, the Epson name comes from the EP-101, as ‘EP’ stands for electronic printer and ‘son’ denotes the company’s “desire to follow the original electronic printer with many worthwhile descendants”. In future, Epson states that it will “refine” its core technologies and perspectives, and will develop its operations in printing, visual communications, quality of life and manufacturing.

A special logo has been created for the anniversary, with four colours representing each of the four market areas, and the OEM added that the logo’s design “represents our commitment to growth in each of these four interrelated areas and to creating products that bring delight to our customers”.

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HP admits cloud platform competition too fierce

April 9, 2015

hplogonewThe Senior Vice President of HP’s Helion cloud project said the move makes “no sense” as the public cloud’s biggest players already dominate the market.

The OEM did however also issued a statement affirming that it “is not leaving the public cloud market”, Tech Week Europe reports.

It continued: “We run the largest OpenStack technology-based public cloud in the US. This has to do with not competing head-to-head with the big public cloud players.”

The technology provider said that its EMEA strategy will remain the same as “we continue to work with our partners – resellers, service providers, ISVs, etc. – to deliver hybrid cloud solutions to our customers.

“In fact, we have launched the Cloud28+ community to unite all of these different players with the goal of expanding cloud adoption and the uptake of business cloud services across the region”.

Jonathan Brandon, Editor of Business Cloud News, posted an opinion piece about the news, saying: “It’s a shame HP didn’t pull a ‘Dell’ and publicly get out of the business of directly offering public cloud services to enterprise users, which was a good move.

“Standing up public cloud services is by most accounts an extremely capitally-intensive exercise that a company like HP, given its current state, is simply not best positioned to see through.”

He continued: “HP’s heritage is in hardware – desktops, printers and servers, and servers still present a reasonably large chunk of the company’s revenue, something it has no choice but to keep in mind as it seeks to move up the stack in other areas.” Nonetheless, Brandon also commented that OpenStack is “seeing much more uptake from the private cloud crowd”.

Tech Week Europe posted an opinion poll at the bottom of its story. At the time of writing, 40 percent of respondents said that HP should never have entered the market, while 24 percent were convinced that Helion will eventually become a major competitor.

In May 2014, HP announced it would spend $1 billion (€930 million) on its cloud enterprise in an attempt to “ward off competition”.

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Strengthened US dollar shrinks global IT spending

April 9, 2015

GartnerSpending will fall by 1.3 percent in 2015 to $3.66 trillion (€3.4 trillion), according to technology research group Gartner.

Devices including printers, mobile phones, tablets and PCs are forecast to suffer cuts of 1.2 percent to $685 billion (€637 billion), Reuters reported. PC purchases in Russia, Western Europe and Japan are down as local currencies weaken against the dollar.

Gartner was predicting a growth of 2.4 percent a quarter ago before the “currency shock” of the recent rise in the value of the dollar.

John David Lovelock, Research Vice President at Gartner, said: “This is not a crash, even if it looks like one. Taking out the impact of exchange rate movements, the corresponding constant-currency growth figure is 3.1 percent.”

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