Xerox named as top innovator

January 20, 2017

The OEM has been listed as one of the top 100 global innovators in a report by Clarivate Analytics.xeroxcentre

Xerox said in a press release that this is “the fifth time since 2011 that the company has been recognised” on this list, which Clarivate Analytics produce yearly and is “determined by analysing proprietary data”. The company is set to launch 29 new devices later this year, and has focused on leading the digital print technology and services market to enable communication and connection become easier for customers, resulting in more productivity.

Steve Hoover, CTO of Xerox, said: “Since its founding more than 100 years ago, Xerox has been a company built upon innovation. With more than 12,000 active US patents and a focus on setting the page free, we are finding new ways to improve the flow of work in the office be it in digital or paper form and developing new ways to print not only on paper, but even directly onto complex objects or directly print electronics for smart labels and packaging.

“This has been a stellar year for Xerox and our innovation team. We continue to be one of the world’s top 20 patent recipients, we have launched exciting new products like the Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press, the Direct to Object Inkjet Printer, the Xerox Healthcare Multifunction Printer Solution, the 6515 A4 colour printer (and we have received continuing recognition for our people like PARC scientist Alex Hegyi, who was named by MIT Technology Review in its list of top innovators under 35.”

 

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Canon to sponsor 2019 Rugby World Cup

January 20, 2017

The OEM announced that it is to sponsor the 2019 tournament in Japan.

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The company has renewed its contract and will become “the first company to serve as an official sponsor” for the event, which will take place in 12 cities throughout Japan from 20 September to 2 November 2019. The Rugby World Cup is hosted every four years, and is said to be “one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events”, with 20 national teams taking part to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

This will be the ninth tournament and the first to take place in Asia, and will be broadcast to more than 207 countries. The behind-the-scenes press will be supported by Canon, with the loan of cameras and lens maintenance services for photographers to enable them to capture the action, and Canon will also provide print and copying solutions to the Tournament Organising Committee as well as MFPs, video cameras, projectors and medical equipment.

Fujio Mitarai, Chairman and CEO of Canon, said: “Following on from [the] Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, Canon is delighted to continue backing the tournament, which will take place in Asia for the first time, as an official sponsor of [the] Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

“In addition to supporting professional photographers from Japan and overseas as they capture the intense action of the world’s top teams facing off in peak condition; Canon, working together with the organising committee, relevant authorities, local government and other corporate sponsors, will do the utmost to support [the] Rugby World Cup 2019 throughout Japan.”

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman, commented: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Canon as a Rugby World Cup 2019 official sponsor. Canon is an important supporter of rugby in Japan, an innovator in its field and a perfect match for our premier event. This exciting relationship underscores the significant global appeal of the first Rugby World Cup in Asia and we look forward to working in partnership with Canon to extend the reach and impact of the sport in Japan, across Asia and around the globe.”

 

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GIT joins Dubai web store

January 20, 2017

CEO Sassan Dieter Khatib-Shahidi announced on LinkedIn that GIT products are now available online in the Middle East.

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The remanufacturer has launched its products on Souq.com, an online store that sells a large range of products at competitive prices. Khatib-Shahidi said that “it[‘s] never been [this] easy to become green”, at a lower cost, while Souq.com is “driven by smart technology” and is designed for online shoppers who want goods delivered to their doorsteps.

The online service is said to be “exceptional”, making shopping easier. GIT’s new partnership with the online store broadens the company’s reach for its products, and it reported earlier this year that it continues to expand, announcing that it was looking to hire a new Reseller Management Manager for its LION brand.

Last year, the company opened a new East African subsidiary, and planned an expansion, which it later reported on the success of. Recently, it confirmed that it had joined a United Nations (UN) sustainability initiative to “align their strategies and operations with universal principles and human rights”, and was shortlisted for the 100 Greatest Brands for Asia-GCC, as well as being interviewed on local radio in Dubai.

 

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Armor and JCDecaux partnering on street furniture

January 19, 2017

The two companies are planning a new concept for street furniture that will be solar-powered and self-sustaining.

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Digital Signage Connection reported on the deal, the objective of which is said to be is a move towards a sustainable energy that will fit in with “tomorrow’s sustainable city”, and to transform urban communication methods with a new concept. JCDecaux SA, a global outdoor advertising company, and Armor will present their concept in Normandy on 24 January at the Secure Electronic Transactions (TES) Tech Cluster event, and show the “proof of concepts for self-sustaining, interactive, solar-powered street furniture”.

The two French companies said that the new concept is “a real hub of technological innovation for the benefit of citizens”, and the street furniture will use Armor’s ASCA brand photovoltaic film, which makes it “self-sustaining”, and the furniture itself will include a “very low-energy, interactive screen with a range of possibilities” to distribute information, such as a calendar of city events, and it can be used for polls. The public will be able to interact with the screen using their mobile phones.

 

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Four 2017 print and document trends shared

January 19, 2017

The four trends reflect “digital transformation”, which “should be” on every business’s “New Year’s resolution list”.office_printer

The article from Martin deMartini, Senior Vice President of Standardisation at Y Soft and hosted by BSM Info, notes first that digital transformation “includes changing operations to take advantages of technologies” including the cloud and software as a service (SaaS), alongside “ensuring the security of these services. DeMartini notes that some businesses “are sluggish to realise the benefits of extending this approach to print and digital workflows”, and some “have overlooked it altogether”.

This year, he states, there is a “phenomenal opportunity for organisations to reap the benefits of the latest advances” in odder to “drastically improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase document security”, and he cites Gartner research that found “print services typically consume one to three percent of IT’s overall budget”. Companies that “adopt digital transformation tools” however can reduce spending “by up to 50 percent” and use the money on “other IT projects”.

The first of the four trends is “cloud-based enterprise services on the rise”, as IT departments are “rapidly integrating” with these to “reduce costs and meet the needs of remote and mobile workers”. As a consequence, enterprises are “using hybrid or full public cloud services” to “integrate with their existing on-premise systems”, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) or MPS, and this year, companies should “expect all enterprise software solution providers” to offer a cloud option.

Second is “subscription-based models for print management”, with SaaS “not a new concept”, though mature industries including print and document imaging “have been slower than others to adopt it”, but this year “savvy customers looking for ways to efficiently manage infrastructure and operating costs will request SaaS for their print management”.

Third was MPS for “digital transformation”, with recent research finding that 80 percent of MPS users “were looking to grow strategically through efficiency in digital transformation”, and that as a result “customers are expecting more from their MPS providers in order to utilise” smart MFPs and “interconnected software to support digitisation initiatives”. Such models “often use direct integration” with enterprise content management (ECM) and “include automated document workflows”.

These in turn “support the transition to paperless operations and to support an increasingly mobile staff”, while MPS “also helps you improve document security”, because the MFP puts businesses “at risk of document security [issues] they may not have even thought of” due to sensitive information, and “may be the place where all previous security efforts are rendered useless”.

This year, deMartini notes that “the same attention to security that is afforded to other IT areas will be needed for document handling” to “ensure a more comprehensive risk mitigation strategy”, and “businesses should demand MPS providers help deliver their digital transformation”. Finally, “increased 3D printing solutions” will come from “the rise of 3D printing” continuing, and machines, “with the right strategy”, can “do more than just introduce modern technology” into education.

This is a market where 3D printing is particularly expected to grow, and deMartini notes that the machines are “particularly valuable when it comes to strengthening students’ motivation to learn”. As printer adoption continues, this year “will see a demand for tools that help educators manage access and costs”, and as “multiple” devices are installed, “efficient workflows and the ability to recover costs through student pay-to-print options will be required”.

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HP Inc split analysed

January 18, 2017

Over a year after the split, an article looks at whether this has helped the two companies to turn around.hplogonew-200x114

Yahoo Finance reported that since the split the two companies have been focusing on “restructuring and realigning” their businesses, which included job cuts, trimming down and making some acquisitions. Since 2015 HP has been concentrating more on its products and making them different as well as “enhancing the capabilities of its printing business” to steady the business.

HP Inc signed a deal with Samsung to acquire their printer business last year at a cost of $1 billion (€.936 million), which will help to expand the printer business, added to which they also acquired 6,500 printing patents in the deal. The company is also concentrating on its 3D printing systems mainly for industrial markets, but the article noted that HP Inc lags behind in this sector of the market despite operating in it for five years.

For HPE, having got rid of its content management software tools and customer communications management, which it sold to Open Text Corporation, the company saved more money as it cut nearly 4,000 jobs. The article said that this will “enhance productivity” and lead to “cost reduction”, saving the company around $300 million (€280 million) from “fiscal 2020 onward”.

According to the article, HPE is not far behind HP Inc, and has also downsized by selling its software and IT services businesses, and it said that by doing this it looks like HPE intends “to focus more on fast growing and high margin businesses” like high performance computing, private cloud, all-flash arrays and hyper-converged computing.

It was noted that HPE bought Silicon Graphics in 2016, which “provides HPC services such as servers, storage and data centre solutions to clients in the cloud computing, oil and gas, e-commerce, social networking and other industries”, which corroborates the intention of the company’s direction. This and the amount of job layoffs last year means the company has cut costs, the article stated.

In conclusion, the article said that the split has “allowed a customised approach to two different businesses, which may not have been possible while they operated as a single entity”, and that the opinion of the article was that both companies’ “turn-around strategies are in the right direction”.

 

 

 

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US companies launch MPS financing

January 18, 2017

GreatAmerica Financial Services and Print Audit have launched the “first seat based billing financing contract”.1212595659_Print_Audit_logo

MPS Connect reported that the two companies, respectively “the largest independent small ticket national commercial equipment finance company” and an MPS software provider, have partnered “to present the market’s first” seat-based billing (SBB) financing options for MPS, with office equipment and imaging dealers now having “the option to finance managed print agreements under a seat-based model”.

The two revealed that they worked together to “ensure that all SBB variables were considered”, with Print Audit forming the Seat Based Billing Council, made up of “over 29 dealers and partners”, to “design the world’s first SBB model for managed print”. GreatAmerica meanwhile “was a charter member of the group and worked closely” alongside Print Audit in developing the “SBB financing agreement”.

SBB offerings, the companies added, are “already being used in other adjacent markets such as managed IT services”, as the model has “unique benefits and considerations that are different from the traditional” cost per page (CPP) model. They concluded that “as more and more office equipment dealers begin to offer SBB to complement their traditional practices it is critical that they have access to partners who will support them”.

Tawnya Stone, Vice President of Strategic Technology at GreatAmerica Financial Services, commented: “GreatAmerica is proud to lead the way with the world’s first financing agreement designed specifically for SBB and the office technology dealer. As more dealers offer SBB for managed print they will require support from their partners to ensure they can craft deals in new ways. Financing is a critical piece.”

West McDonald, Vice President of Business Development for Print Audit, added: “Print Audit is focused on saving the office equipment industry through transformation. In order to accomplish this strong and innovative partners are critical. We’re excited to know that dealers now have the ability to finance SBB specific deals. GreatAmerica has definitely led the way here and it’s exciting for the industry as a whole.”

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Airpack discusses 2016 in packaging

January 18, 2017

airpack2016The company’s Managing Director Rob Bishop discussed the year gone by in the packaging market.

Bishop wrote an article, Packaging – my year in review, on LinkedIn, in which he stated at the end of the year that “as 2016 comes to a close, it seems a good time to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve seen as the main trends in the packaging market during what has been a year of massive change and disruption in both business and social environments”.

He noted in turn that “predicting outcomes has become challenging even for the pollsters and professionals!” He first discussed customisation, adding that “with the growth of digital technologies and personalisation in general, perhaps it’s not surprising that personalised or unique packaging has been a big thing in 2016”, as “certainly, in our business custom or bespoke packaging continues to be in strong demand.

“With the continued increase in e-commerce and an ever-growing variety of products being dispatched, for example bespoke artworks, [this] means that customers are increasingly looking for customised protective packaging solutions”. On productivity, Bishop stated that “with costs under increasing pressure, improving productivity in the packing process has been a real area of focus for many customers this year.

“Whether that means faster packing processes, reduced mess and wasted materials, or reduced storage space requirements, customers have been constantly looking at ways to reduce packing costs and improve productivity”. He noted that Airpack has “worked with several customers to develop automated options and machinery for inflatable packaging protection, which has been an area of particular focus for our R&D team in our factory”.

On the environmental front, “consumers continue to demand environmental sustainability in packaging, encouraged further this year by high profile public campaigns”. Bishop pointed out that “despite financial and budget pressures, environmentally responsible and recyclable packaging has remained high on the agenda in 2016, and [is] an area we continue to focus on”.

He concluded that “2016 has certainly been a year of change and surprises, and no doubt 2017 will throw up many new challenges and opportunities for us as professionals in the packaging industry”.

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PrinterLogic launches cloud MPS solution

January 18, 2017

The PrinterCloud enterprise printer and driver solution “eliminates print servers” and is the “first cloud-based” solution of its kind.printerlogic

In a press release, PrinterLogic stated that PrinterCloud “delivers the efficiency of print management without additional infrastructure, implementation and hassle”, with the SMB-focused solution building on the company’s “server-less enterprise print management solution[s]” that enable businesses to “eliminate print servers”.

The new platform provides “powerful print management, printer driver deployment, centrally-managed direct IP printing, self-service printer installation and pull printing” for “enterprise-class print management […] without any undue overhead”. PrinterLogic states that “previously, powerful print management was only accessible to big organisations with large budgets and IT staff”, but that PrinterCloud brings this “power” to SMBs “without the complexity and hassle”.

The functionality offered includes “printer driver deployment and management” as well as “print queue management” and “print job auditing and reporting”, and the software was “designed from the ground up” with SMBs “in mind”, as “it doesn’t matter if you don’t have expensive print servers or an IT staff who focuses on ensuring the reliability of your print environment”.

PrintCloud “provides easy management with a simple interface” and “greater visibility with SNMP monitoring”, and also “eliminates scripting and GPOs”, enabling “self-service printer installation with floorplan maps”, alongside being “easily implemented in minutes, not weeks”. As a cloud-based solution, it “replaces all other enterprise print management solutions without the overhead”, so businesses can “finally eliminate your print servers”.

In turn, “implementation is a breeze, so you can get up and running in no time”, with users able to “enjoy reliable, worry-free printing” and the “elimination of server-related outages, increased print management functionality, and a reduction in help desk calls”. The software is available now online, and starts at $1,200 (€1,121) a year for a 10-printer pack “with an annual subscription licence”, while licences can be bought “instantly” by credit card, or customers can take up a 30-day trial.

Ryan Wedig, President and CEO at PrinterLogic, commented: “Printer and print server deployments are just as big of a problem for small businesses as they are for our enterprise customers. The challenge we faced trying to serve the SMB market is that many of those customers are moving aggressively to cloud-based SaaS solutions to avoid infrastructure sprawl and to minimise operational costs.

“The introduction of PrinterCloud as a SaaS platform is a big day for PrinterLogic. We are now able to better serve the entire market and we’re already seeing the demand from the commercial and enterprise space come on strong as they look to move away from on-premises server-based solutions.”

Devin Anderson, Vice President of Product at PrinterLogic, added: “SMB IT pros already have to wear too many hats as it is, and they don’t have the time or resources to set up and manage additional infrastructure to ensure their print environment is reliable. By designing PrinterCloud from the ground up to meet the needs of SMBs, we immediately tackled the issue of complexity that plagues most print management products.

“As a result, you get all the enterprise-grade benefits and reliability, but with ultimate simplicity and without the cost and overhead of servers and additional infrastructure. And with PrinterCloud, you’ll be up and running in minutes, not days or weeks.”

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Kodak to sell Prosper at a loss

January 17, 2017

The OEM could lose $17 million (€15.9 million) in the sale of its Prosper Print business.kodakextColor

Democrat and Chronicle reported that the company could lose “$17 million in restructuring and related charges” on completion of the sale. It was first announced last year (http://www.therecycler.com/posts/kodak-to-sell-inkjet-press-business/) that Kodak wanted to sell its commercial inkjet business in Ohio that employs 400, so that it could “focus on developing its Ultrastream technology”.

Kodak filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week, and said that it would “incur somewhere between $12 [million to] $17 million (€11 million to €15.9 million) in costs”. $7 million (€6.5 million) of this will be connected to “separation benefits”; $6 million (€5.6 million) will be because of inventory “write-downs”; $3 million (€2.8 million) will go to write off assets; and $1 million (€.93 million) will be incurred by “cash charges”.

Other expenditures will be related to “special termination benefits from the company’s pension plans”, and these are expected to be between $3 million to $5 million (€2.8 million to €4.6 million). So far the sale details have remained confidential, but Jeffrey Clark, CEO for Kodak, has “remained upbeat” when talking to investors.

 

 

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