Will printing survive “digital disruption”?

October 14, 2016

An article from analysts Quocirca asked whether the printing industry will be able to innovate “in a market which may be rapidly reaching its sell-by date”.Printing

IT Director hosted the article by Principal Analyst Louella Fernandes, who pointed out a quote from Clayton Christensen, who stated that “companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly”. With printing a “business model predicated on selling hardware and consumables”, Fernandes asked how it can “innovate in a market” that is “rapidly reaching its sell-by date”.

She pointed out that “there has been much talk about disruption in the print industry” in the wake of HP Inc’s acquisition of Samsung’s printer business, especially as HP Inc “boldly claims it will disrupt the copier market”, and with the “wave of consolidation” across the industry – including HP’s split, Xerox’s forthcoming split, Foxconn’s acquisition of Sharp and Apex’s acquisition of Lexmark – she asks what the future holds for an industry “that is hardware-centric and reliant on the printed page”.

On “surviving the digital onslaught”, Fernandes outlines that “change or die” has “long been the mantra” for technology facing “disruptive forces”, with 3D printing and artificial intelligence set to “create more disruption” alongside Uber and Airbnb’s “new models of service consumption”. Printing already feels “the force of the digital age” because information is “read, shared and distributed online”, and so OEMs “must find new areas of innovation whilst protecting their core business”.

With the “ongoing revenue stream through consumables”, OEMs “face the dilemma of finding new growth areas” while “making their products relevant”, with print a “delivery mechanism for sharing and delivering information” that faces a “mammoth task” of reinvention akin to CDs and DVDs “being killed by the internet and digital streaming”. Fernandes believes however that “print is far from dead”, as its “tangibility and durability” and “credibility and trust can set it apart”.

Readers are “more likely to retain information on printed material”, and print “offers our undivided attention”, but OEMs “must connect to their customers in more meaningful ways” to “leverage their heritage in print” as well as connect “seamlessly into the digital and online world”. The analyst notes that OEMs much adapt to the “as-a-service economy” because consumers prefer services over products, and subscriptions over purchases, with MPS one such “established” printing model.

MPS offers “lucrative recurring services revenue” and “increased customer retention”, and channel companies could offer “digital services” for diagnostics or maintenance. She also adds that OEMs should “drive the digital transformation journey”, because paper “remains a key element” and “still plays [a] critical role” in businesses; increased use of MFPs can help OEMs “connect the paper and digital worlds” and “maximise the value of their hardware”.

They should also “leverage” Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and “exploit the enormous data generated to monitor” product and service and provide “better service performance”: finally, Fernandes believes they should expand “high value customised print services”, such as QR (Quick Response) codes, interactive printing and augmented reality.

She concludes that the industry “is not immune to digital disruption”, but that OEMs have “thrived” by focusing on “core engineering competencies to create competitive advantage” while others have moved into MPS. Software “competence” will “be one of the most important” factors going forward, and Fernandes believes that OEMs can “play a role in the digital world” by becoming “more open”, expanding outside partnerships and innovating to create new products and services.

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ETIRA to report OEMs to EU regulators

October 10, 2016

ETIRARlogosmallThe European remanufacturing association is set to file two complaints about “anti-competitive behaviour” from OEMs.

The association stated that it will file two complaints about anti-competitive behaviour from OEMs, including HP Inc for its recent firmware update, as well as Canon, because it “recently launched [its] printer model series PIXMA TS5050”, on which “some of its scanning and other functions will only work if you use original Canon cartridges”.

Vincent van Dijk, Secretary General of ETIRA, commented: “We are seeing an increase in OEM unfair competition actions against our industry. The HP firmware update brought major damage to the overall image of non-HP cartridges. It was a serious shock to end-users and could push them away from alternative brand cartridges.

“It is like when you get in your car in the morning and it won’t start anymore because you filled it up at Esso instead of at Shell the night before! And although HP now finally apologised and promised an update, this solution came far too late. And what Canon is doing is just as serious: in addition to their unfair legal actions on patents against legitimate remanufacturers, they now offer inkjet printers that limit some of their functions to the use of original cartridges only.

“In the PIXMA TS5050, some scanning options only work when original Canon cartridges are installed. We consider this to be very strange, because these functions have nothing to do with the ink container. So in our view this is a violation of fair competition rules. Tying your hardware product to the use of a particular brand of consumables was ruled illegal many decades ago!”

He concluded: “We insist that barriers like these are removed, and remanufactured [cartridges] should get a free pass. Obstructing remanufactured cartridges goes against the trend of design for reuse and the circular economy. That is why we decided to report both these matters to the relevant EU regulators.”

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Canon discusses Egypt and India expansions

August 30, 2016



The OEM has plans for a new business division in Egypt and is expanding its retail in India.

The company has formed a new division to be based in Egypt, Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA), which will “provide on-ground support and will focus on developing the local technology market across all B2B and B2C product categories”. The Middle East print market is “expected to grow by 7.5 percent” per year to reach $26.3 billion (€23.5 billion) by 2018. The number of printers and manufacturers of printing materials estimated in Egypt is 8,000, and the OEM said that the future is “looking good”.

Somesh Adukia, B2C Sales Director CCNA, said: “The formation of Canon Central and North Africa will energise our operations across Egypt as we roll out our strategy of growing our reach and engaging our customers. We welcome our partners to this new entity and hope to continue building a mutually beneficial partnership in the days ahead.

Canon India, meanwhile, is set to expand its retail stores, and is aiming for 400 by 2019, with the OEM’s target approximately Rs 3,200 crore ($477 million/€427 million) in the next three years. President and CEO of Canon India, Kazutada Kobayashi, said that “we are growing 10 percent this year and hope to continue it for the next three years. We would be around Rs 3,200 crore ($477 million/€427 million) by 2019 […] this year, we would finish around Rs 2,350 crore ($350 million/€313 million)”.

Kobayashi added that “inkjet printers would have a growth of 14 percent and that office printers would have a 10 percent growth”, as at present B2B and B2C segments in India are level and the CEO wants this to continue, noting: “I want to retain this 50:50 ratio for the coming next three years.”



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Xerox cuts 1,300 jobs in quarter

August 9, 2016

The OEM has cut the jobs globally in 2Q2016, though this was actually a slower pace of cuts than previously.nr_Xerox_Square_Building_with_New_Logo_2008Jan7-prv

The Hour reported on the job cuts, with Xerox said to have “slowed the pace” even with the elimination of 1,300 roles worldwide. In turn, it paid severance to laid-off employees of over $73 million (€65 million), or an average of $56,000 (€50,545) per job, while in the first quarter of the year it cut 4,800 positions globally, and paid $124 million (€111 million) in severance pay.

This was said by The Hour to have been mostly “impacting its business process outsourcing operations”, which are in the process of being “spun out” as part of the plans split into two companies before the end of the year. The two new companies are Conduent and Xerox – for business process optimisation and hardware respectively – with the latter also being affected by the restructuring at this point.

Previous US job cuts have been reported in the last few years, including: 85 jobs in Colorado; 148 jobs in North Carolina and Florida; 98 in Seattle; 84 in Louisiana, 495 and later 48 in California and New York; and 178 again in North Carolina earlier this year; 123 in New York and 468 in Texas in 2014; 25 in Virginia, 48 in Canada,  439 in Texas and 300 in Oregon in 2013; and 2,500 across the company in 2012. Recently however, it also announced it was hiring 545 people in California, and recalled laid-off employees in Colorado.

The OEM had been in talks to acquire financial printing firm RR Donnelley, but rejected the merger because RR Donnelley proposed “that its executives take control of the combined operations, and sought several hundred million dollars in new cost cuts”. Outgoing CEO Ursula Burns said recently that the OEM was planning to spend $100 million (€90 million) on mergers during the remainder of the year, specifically on the business process outsourcing side of the business.

The Recycler recently reported that the OEM’s earnings and costs were better than analyst expectations, ahead of its split, with the costs of splitting the company into Conduent and Xerox would be “lower than previous estimates”. The second quarter results were said to have “beat[en] analysts’ estimates”, with costs falling by six percent to $4.24 billion (€3.79 billion), and revenue falling 4.4 percent to $4.4 billion (€3.9 billion).

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OEMs “must do more” to stop cartridge counterfeiting

July 12, 2016

A survey of Western European IT professionals found that 68 percent believe “more could be done” by OEMs to stop the spread of counterfeit cartridges.China counterfeit

PCR reported on the ChannelWatch report from market analysts Context, which found that “vendors must do more to clamp down on illegal print consumables”. The “majority” of the IT channel professionals interviewed were said to believe that OEMs “can do more to stop” the spread of counterfeit cartridges, with 68 percent believing “more could be done”, and 52 percent claiming that “a lot more” could be done.

2,000 business owners and senior managers were interviewed from “resellers, vendors, retailers and distributors”, with 59 percent believing that “the channel itself could do more”, while 55 percent of resellers claimed “it was easy for them to tell the difference between a real and a fake cartridge”, despite just 15 percent believing “the same was true for their customers”.

The “most helpful measure” that OEMs could take to “rectify the situation” was said to be “better packaging”, with 74 percent of those surveyed arguing that “clear labelling for any remanufactured and legal compatibles would be the best way forward”. The study also asked respondents about their view on distributors and recent OEM changes.

Over half rated their main distributor’s performance as “good”, while 31 percent believed their distributors “were excellent”, and in the UK the percentage of “excelling” distributors was over 40 percent, in stark contrast to Portugal and France, which had “the lowest number of ‘excellent’-rated distributors”. The leading distributor strength was “speed of delivery”, followed by “customer service”, while training was the “biggest weakness”, followed by “certification and technical support”.

On Dell’s acquisition of EMC, respondents believed this “mainly benefitted” the OEM, though over 50 percent approved of the merger, while 88 businesses were “thinking of adding Dell to their list in the next six months”, a figure only contested by Lenovo’s 59 businesses. HP’s split into HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise meanwhile was “greeted with a more muted response”, with two-thirds of respondents claiming the split “would have a ‘mixed’ impact on whether they’d choose HP products going forward”.

Those who were “positive and very positive” about the split numbered 22 percent, and “slightly outnumbered” the 13 percent of businesses in the channel that “reacted negatively and strongly negatively” to it.

Jeremy Davies, CEO and co-founder of Context, noted that “this the largest reseller survey of its type. Resellers are clear on their opinions, especially when it comes to how they rate their distributors where overall the verdict has been good”.

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ISC elects new chairman

June 28, 2016

The Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC) selects four new board members.


The new Chairman of the Board has been named as Kevin Weaver, who is Vice President of Brand Protection Group at Xerox, and who follows predecessor Andrew Gardner, Worldwide Brand Protection Manager at Lexmark. Other new members of the board are: Jeff Samson, Senior Manager Marketing at Samsung who was named Chair-Elect; Glenn Gillen, Senior Product Manager at Brother International. who was elected Secretary for a second consecutive term; and Gardner, who was elected treasurer.

The President of the Coalition, Allen Westerfield, said: “The Members and Board of Directors want to thank Andrew and Yuki Kawakami of Canon, outgoing treasurer, for their proactive involvement and support of the ISC. Our new Chairman, Kevin Weaver, brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the Chair and we look forward to continuing to build on our programs and initiatives under his leadership.”

ISC is a “non-profit association of imaging supplies and OEMs”, and members of the association include Brother, Canon USA, Epson America, HP Inc, Lexmark., Samsung Electronics America and Xerox. Westerfield added: “Each of these officers has broad experience in the imaging supplies industry and are their companies’ leaders in developing intellectual property rights protection strategies to defend their companies’ brand from illegal activity.”



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Kyocera enter a Merger Agreement with one of their subsidiaries

May 17, 2016

kyocera_logo_3039Kyocera and Nihon Inter Electronics Corporation announced that they have entered into a Merger Agreement.

Resolutions were passed at each of the companies respective board meetings on 16 May for both companies to merge. The decision was made because Nihon Inter Electronics Corporation (NIEC), has been “significantly affected by the deterioration of its business environment, such as the slowdown of the growth of the Chinese economy”, and also the “tightening of regulations in the domestic amusement industry” and the slowing down of car manufacturing. The two companies have worked together for sometime and in 2015 Kyocera made NIEC a subsidiary for Development, manufacturing and sale of power semiconductors and purchase and sale of electronic components of other brand. After the decline in NEICs business environment, Kyocera concluded that “the best solution for deploying KYOCERA’s personnel, technology and funds flexibly and swiftly will be a consolidation by a Merger, rather than operating NIEC as a consolidated subsidiary, and in December 2015, KYOCERA requested NIEC to conduct the Merger”.

NIEC’s acceptance of Kyocera’s request means that it can utilise Kyocera’s wealth of management resources more “quickly and effectively” and therefore “improve its business value”.

“This is an absorption-type merger in which KYOCERA is the surviving company and NIEC is the merged company. The Companies plan to conduct the Merger with August 1, 2016 being the effective date. “

Shareholders of NIEC were asked to continue their support, now as shareholders of Kyocera.

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Raids take place at Remanexpo 2016

January 30, 2016

 Customs officials during one of the raids

Customs officials during one of the raids

At least three raids by German Customs took place on the first day of [email protected] 2016.

The Customs officials, alongside representatives from OEMs, seized products from three exhibitors at the show, including Sinocopy, Shenzhen Clord and Huaitech. The Recycler learned that one of the raids was undertaken by Konica Minolta, with Customs officials seen pushing a trolley around Hall 6.0 containing seized cartridges.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the show, make sure to visit www.therecycler.com, and for all the seminar and event information, visit www.therecyclerlive.com.

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Imaging Supplies Coalition discusses new officer

July 16, 2015

ISC-logoThe group’s new chair-elect, Tom Walter, works for Toshiba America, and previously chaired the organisation.

DotMed reported on Walter’s election as chair-elect of the Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC), with The Recycler previously reporting on the coalition’s new officers in June. Walter, Vice President of Distribution and Aftermarket Sales for Toshiba America Business Solutions, was previously chairperson in 2007 and 2008, and is “slated to once again lead” the ISC.

The organisation is “dedicated to educating, empowering and protecting consumers to combat counterfeiting and fraud in the imaging supplies industry”, and includes Brother, Canon, HP, Epson, Lexmark, Samsung and Xerox as members. Other elections revealed last month included Andrew Gardner, Worldwide Brand Protection Manager at Lexmark, as Chairman of the Board; Aki Nagata, Supervisor for the Legal Administration Division at Canon USA, as Treasurer; and Glen Gillen, Brand Protection Manager at Brother, as secretary.

Scott Maccabe, Toshiba’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “As someone with a passion for protecting our customers against the counterfeiting occurring within the aftermarket supplies industry, ISC is fortunate to have a member with Tom’s leadership qualities return in a management role. Coupled with his previous experience as ISC chair, Tom has vast expertise and influence in the aftermarket space, which will serve the organization and its constituents quite well.”

Allen Westerfield, President of the ISC, added: “Everyone here at ISC who knows Tom – from our board of directors to new and existing members, alike – is excited about having him return in a leadership capacity. When previously serving as our chairperson, Tom was at the forefront of identifying myriad incidents of unlicensed manufacturers selling toner to consumers and I am confident he’ll produce similar results as chair-elect and our chairperson starting next year.”

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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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