Monday, April 29, 2013

Calling All Managed Print Services Participants!!!

Calling All Managed Print Services Participants!!!

It is time once again to participate in the annual MPSA Leadership Awards submission process.  These awards are highly coveted by the high-performance companies in the MPS arena. This year the MPSA has expanded the categories to include honors for:

·         Best MPS Innovation
·         Direct Managed Print Services Provider
·         Direct Managed Print Services Plus Provider
·         Independent Managed Print Services Provider
·         Independent Managed Print Services Plus Provider
·         Managed Print Services Infrastructure Provider
·         Professional Services Provider
·         End User (Buyer of MPS)
·         Software Provider
·         Regional Managed Print Services Provider

Please consider submitting an entry, and allow your company to be recognized for its efforts in the print management arena.  Companies interested in an MPSA Leadership Award are encouraged to review the Award Category Description Sheet and submission forms located under the MPSA Leadership Awards section of the MPSA website,  The forms will help determine which categories in which one can participate and allow appropriate submissions. Applications should be completed and submitted for review to no later than June 7, 2013.

Winners will be selected by July 1, 2013, and announced at the MPSA Awards reception, which will be co-located with CompTIA ChannelCon, taking place at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Orlando, Florida, July 29-31. Both MPSA board meeting and awards reception attendance includes a free CompTIA ChannelCon registration, which can be obtained by visiting and using the MPSA’s priority registration code, PartMPSA.

Please consider being a part of this worthwhile project, and thank you for your consideration.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Q1: Canon Reported 33.5% Net Income Decline

Canon announced its first quarter financial report on April 23rd. The company reported ¥816.7 billion (U.S. $8,688 million) net sales in the first quarter, 1.5% less compared with the same period last year. Operating expenses increased 7.4% year on year to ¥331.1 billion (U.S. $3,523 million) but operating profit decreased by 33.8% to ¥54.8 billion (U.S. $583 million). Net income decreased by 33.5% to ¥40.9 billion
Continuing weakness in the global economy, growing signs of a slowdown in China and Europe, and severe price competition are said to be the major reasons for its declines.

Sales for the Office Business Unit totaled ¥464.2 billion (U.S.$4,938 million), an increase of 6.0% year on year, while operating profit totaled ¥60.1 billion (U.S.$639 million) , an increase of 13.7%. The products in this unit include laser and multifunction devices (MFDs).

According to Canon, “Laser printers recorded a slight increase in sales volume year on year owing to sales expansion efforts centered on new products introduced last year offering exceptional environmental performance through such features as energy-saving functions and quiet operation.”

“Sales performance of color demand for multifunction devices (MFDs), led by the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5200/C2200 series, increased from the year-ago period, total sales volume for both color and monochrome models decreased slightly due to deterioration in business confidence in the United States and Asia. Sales of the Océ VarioPrint 135 series, which was jointly developed by Canon and Océ for production printing, showed solid growth.”

Inkjet printers are classified in the Imaging System Business Unit, which reported ¥298.1 billion (U.S.$3,171  million) sales, declined by 1.8% and ¥28.5 billion (U.S.$303 million) operating profit, a decrease of 39.1%. In the first quarter, new inkjet printers featuring improved designs and operability in addition to enhanced print quality and other basic functionality were recognized by the market. Hence, a significant increase in sales volume from the year-ago period was reported.

Canon expects the global economy to realize a moderate recovery in the latter half of the year. In the 2nd quarter, demand for MFDs is projected to grow moderately mainly for color models fueled by the recovery of the global economy, while demand in the laser printer market is expected to realize a slight increase from last year. As for inkjet printers, with the growth in emerging markets offsetting the decline in developed countries, demand overall is expected to remain around the same level as for the previous year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Xerox's technology business continues to struggle

An iffy economy and a new feature on some of its multifunction printers drove down sales for Xerox Corp. in the first quarter of 2013.

The Connecticut-based printing and business process outsourcing company announced its latest quarterly financial results Tuesday. And for the three months ending March 31, the Rochester area’s largest publicly traded employer saw its revenues — at $5.36 billion — down 3 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. While Xerox’s BPO services continue to grow — up 4 percent and now accounting for 55 percent of the company’s income — the technology side of the house is struggling more.

In a statement, CEO Ursula Burns said the technology business — the umbrella under which sits everything from office equipment to big digital printing presses, as well as the business of supplying and servicing them — was hampered in part by Xerox in February announcing its new ConnectKey software system for multifunction printers. Those printers, however, did not begin shipping until the second quarter. Equipment sales were down 11 percent during the quarter.

“We’re continuing to shift our business model to adapt to market trends by expanding indirect distribution and streamlining our supply chain and product portfolio,” Burns said. “These changes, along with implementing broader operational improvements across the company, will result in increased margins that will help us scale profitable revenue in services while maintaining strong market share in document technology.”
After expenses, Xerox had profits of $296 million or 23 cents per share, compared with $269 million or 19 cents per share a year earlier.

Xerox’s sales fell slightly short of Wall Street expectations, but exceeded them on profits. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected, on average, revenues of $5.49 billion and profits of about $254 million or roughly 20 cents per share.

Business services have been an ascendent part of Xerox’s operations since 2010, when it bought BPO company ACS. Since then, while Xerox’s technology business has been stagnant or declining, services have grown to now represent the majority of money the company takes in. That continues to raise questions about the fate of local Xerox operations, particularly the Webster manufacturing campus where the company makes high-end digital presses and toner. At the end of 2012, Xerox employed 5,800 locally.

Citing the economy, Xerox in October said it planned roughly $100 million worth of restructuring — which typically translates into layoffs — to get costs down. And Xerox said Tuesday it expects to spend about $35 million between now and the end of June on further restructuring. Worldwide, Xerox employs about 143,200 — down 4,400 from just three months earlier as the company goes through some restructuring.
Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena said she did not have specific information on the planned second-quarter restructuring and how many jobs might be affected, but that “we’re taking the appropriate actions to better adjust our cost base for market realities.”
“It was a slow start in document technology,” Arena said.

Monday, April 22, 2013

4 Tips for Mobile Email Marketing

4 Tips for Mobile Email Marketing

When was the last time you looked at your smartphone?
7 seconds ago? That’s what we thought. The same is probably true of your contacts.
The trend toward mobile might more aptly be called a tidalwave. It’s really wise to take some time to look at what your  email newsletter looks like on a smartphone. This will help you make sure you’re not hampering engagement as a result of poor display or layout.
These tips are from Claire Judson, email marketing pro at She’s given us some awesome info about layout and copy and how to manage email lists.
Claire writes, “According to Litmus, mobile opens have skyrocketed from 17% to 38% over the past 18 months— that’s a 123% increase.  There are a few basics you want to keep in mind to make your templates work better for all devices.”

4 Tips for Mobile Email Marketing

  1. Use a one column layout – Two columns will cause clients to zoom out making your email difficult to read.
  2. Make your text bigger – Remember, customers are reading your email on a screen that still averages only 3.3 inches wide.
  3. Increase the size of your calls to action – Instead of a small cursor, your mobile customers will be clicking with much larger fingers, so make it easy for them.
  4. Be wary of large images – they can slow the load time of your email and cause customers to lose interest. You can optimize all of your images for web in any design program or just try to keep them under 500 kb.
A smartphone screen means there’s less space to say all that you want to say. However, composing with a small screen size in mind might help you keep your content focused and to-the-point.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lexmark Finds Buyer for Inkjet Patents

Lexmark Finds Buyer for Inkjet Patents

Cathy Martin-infotrends
Apr 16, 2013
Last August, Lexmark announced that it would be exiting the inkjet business and was looking for a buyer. The printer maker planned to close its Philippines factory and cut 1,700 jobs worldwide, or 13% of its staff, to focus on high-end business printers, document software and services.  At the time, many wondered who would want to buy their inkjet segment given market conditions and forecast predictions. As the chart shows below, inkjet is declining and Lexmark’s portion has grown considerably smaller. It turns out the company, Funai that has been manufacturing inkjet printers for Lexmark since 1997 was interested and will acquire the patents and the Philippine ink manufacturing facility. The deal announced on April 2, 2013 includes Funai Electric Company Ltd. ( acquiring more than 1,500 of the OEM’s inkjet patents for $100 million and is expected to close during the first half of 2013. With US$26 billion/2,461 (JPY 100M) in annual sales, Funai has operations all over the world including North America, Europe, Japan, and Asia as well as other markets. The U.S. is their principal market with over half of the company’s sales.
Chart: 2012 U.S and Western Europe Serial Inkjet Populations by OEM
Three major business segments are the main focus for Funai: Audio Visual, Information Equipment (printers), and Other. The company’s Information Equipment segment represents about 12% of their sales. Funai has relationships with mass merchandisers and OEMs including Lexmark. OEM business accounts for about a third of Funai’s business. Funai depends on Chinese production for its products because it makes them more cost competitive which is important for their mass merchandiser customers. Over 80% of their products are made through consignment production in China. Funai had plans to commercialize printers developed in-house and last year announced that it had launched a laser beam printer business. This acquisition of inkjet technology speeds this process along for Funai which now has the capabilities to develop, manufacture, and sell inkjet hardware as well as inkjet supplies. In addition, Funai will become the manufacturer of Lexmark’s aftermarket inkjet supplies.
Funai Electric is a company that is known for a unique business model in that it MILKS markets to the end. The company has a history of investing in technology when it’s already proven and then building economies of scale in the production process. Beginning with sewing machines, the company moved on to transistor radios, then VHS. Only recently did they pick up LCD and this year they took over the entertainment section of Philips for their branded audio and accessories. Some wonder what this says about the inkjet market today? It’s certainly past its heyday but will we see Funai entering as a new inkjet brand – if we look at their previous pattern, then yes.
Market Impact
Our initial thought about this transaction is that it is good for Lexmark to have found a buyer for their inkjet business given what we know about inkjet. It will be interesting to see what Funai does with it. Since the serial inkjet market for consumers is in decline but business inkjet is growing, Funai may face challenges with that since what they know is centered around low-cost consumer electronics and relationships with consumer retailers. Funai has made it clear that they wanted to do more in this area and now they have more control over this process since they own the patents and facility. In the past few fiscal cycles, Funai did state in financial documents that orders for printers had been dropping so this deal may help them breathe new life into this area but may also present some risks for them in this very competitive and established market. Funai is not a known brand in the market and the question is whether they will be able to sell its inkjet printers to a wide range of customers under their own brand or even uncover new niches for inkjet? Our guess is that products developed based on this newly acquired intellectual property which may include new printers with new engines will be well suited for emerging markets versus established markets such as the U.S. and Europe even though the U.S. is a dominant market for Funai.

simple steps for growing your business, entrepreneur, startup decision | SCORE

simple steps for growing your business, entrepreneur, startup decision | SCORE