Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Samsung poised for ‘paradigm shift’ into printing

Samsung poised for ‘paradigm shift’ into printing

Conquering the world of smartphones and televisions would usually be enough for any one company, but Samsung Electronics has grander ambitions. The South Korean giant is readying a new, full-throttle foray into the exciting and sexy world of ... printers?

After announcing record quarterly profit on Friday morning of 9.5 trillion won (US$8.3 billion), a 47-per-cent jump from a year earlier, the move toward printers is unusual, to be sure, given the general sentiment about the business – that it’s dying.

Yet Samsung is aiming for $400 billion in annual revenue by 2020, or more than double its 2012 total of $187 billion. With market observers starting to doubt that the company can continue its momentum in phones, a key part of that projected growth will be expanding into previously untapped markets. That includes printers, or rather, "printing," as executives are keen to point out. There's a big difference.
"We're poised to lead a paradigm shift," says Hyusang Ha, vice-president of product strategy for printing solutions. "We feel the world of printing is changing."

Is printing dead?
Printing is indeed changing. On the consumer side it’s safe to say it’s drying up. Paper consumption has dropped off a cliff everywhere in the world, with the exception of China, since around 2007, which is – not coincidently – when the mobile revolution began in earnest. Since the arrival of the iPhone, consumers have finally been moving to the paperless existence promised by technology for so long. In North America alone, consumption has dropped by about 30 per cent over the past five years.
It’s easy to understand why. With smartphone and tablet apps dominating, people are finding fewer reasons to print out things like travel directions and boarding passes, especially with the exorbitant price of printer ink.

Samsung has fared decently in the consumer segment, claiming up to a quarter of the market, depending on the country. The company has about 5 per cent of the total global market, according to tracking firm IDC, after HP, Canon and Epson – three printing giants.
The problem, Ha says, is that the consumer segment accounts for just over a tenth of the total $200 billion market and, as the paper consumption numbers indicate, it’s flattening out. The enterprise side, on the other hand, is not only a much bigger market, it’s also growing at a healthy 7 per cent per year. That’s where Samsung wants to be.

The enterprise “printing” business is different than the consumer “printer” business because it’s about more than just hardware, Ha says. While consumers simply buy a printer and then refill it with ink every now and then, businesses require ongoing support, cloud hosting, set-up and maintenance, as well as continual supplies, all of which amount to regular revenue for the service provider.

NFC to be key
Pushing into the segment won’t be easy, since it’s currently ruled by established powerhouses such as Xerox and Ricoh. If Samsung has an edge, it may actually be its consumer electronics prowess.
The company is drawing on its mobile expertise by building near-field communications technology into the printers, the first of which will be available in North America in late July. The sensors will allow for a “tap to print” function, where the user will simply touch their phone or tablet to the printer in order to start a job, similar to how Galaxy S devices currently share photos.

Chin Yoon, vice-president of the commercial business group, says NFC is a technology that will soon be everywhere because it allows for quick, efficient and secure transmission of data. Putting it in printers will accelerate its uptake. “We expect that you cannot avoid it," he says.
Samsung also expects NFC will somewhat counter the trend toward paperlessness. Yoon points out that printing isn’t on the decline solely because people don’t want to do it, it’s just that they’re using mobile devices more and, so far, it hasn’t been very easy to print from them.

Ultimately, the company’s move into printing looks like someone driving a car in the wrong direction on a one-way street. While established giants such as HP and Epson are trying to lower their exposure to what conventional wisdom deems is a business in decline, Samsung is convinced there’s still gold in the printed page.

The problem that rivals are having, in Samsung’s view, is that they’re focusing on the wrong markets. Xerox and Ricoh are concentrating almost exclusively on Fortune 1000 companies, where there isn’t much growth, while HP and Canon are too tied to the shrinking consumer market. Small and medium-sized businesses is where Samsung sees the real opportunity. There is perhaps money to be made in those cracks, and as the established players look for opportunities elsewhere.

Staying the course with consumer printers, however, isn’t an option for anyone, Yoon says.
"We can only survive as a division if we're successful in B2B.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2013 MPSA Leadership Awards Winners Announced

2013 MPSA Leadership Awards Winners Announced

22-Jul-2013 5:03 PM |
Charlotte, N.C. – July 22, 2013 – The Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) is proud to announce the winners of its 2013 MPSA Leadership Awards.
The MPSA Leadership Awards were established in 2010 to honor those companies that have excelled in various areas related to managed print. Winners serve as shining examples to the community of their commitment to and expertise in managed print services (MPS).

Awards submissions were vetted and scored by an esteemed judging panel of nine industry leaders chosen from the call to membership, led by a member of the MPSA Standards Committee who ensured impartiality and adherence to guidelines. The company scoring highest in each category was deemed winner of the respective award.

“This is far and away the best run, most contested MPSA Leadership Awards, ever. It’s a  credit to the MPSA membership and our evolving industry on a global scale,” said Greg Walters, MPSA president. “If one wishes to see the future of MPS, just look at the list of winners.”

The 2013 MPSA Leadership Awards winners are:
Winners will be officially recognized and awarded crystals at the MPSA Leadership Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at CompTIA’s ChannelCon event at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
“The MPSA extends a hearty congratulations to all of this year’s winners,” added Walters.
About the MPSA:
Founded in 2009, the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) is a global, nonprofit organization that provides independent communications, collaboration, education, standards and success to MPS professionals. The mission of the MPSA and its members is to address and optimize businesses’ office document management while enhancing the growth, efficiency and profitability of the MPS segment through advocacy, marketing, education, research, standards and a general community of interest.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Two Ways to Hit 'Print' on a Mobile Device

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Managed Print Services: From Big Paper to Big Data

Managed Print Services: From Big Paper to Big Data

Louella Fernandes By: Louella Fernandes, Principal Analyst, Quocirca
Published: 30th May 2013
Copyright Quocirca © 2013
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Paper-based information is not often thought about in today's Big Data picture, which tends to focus on the proliferation of unstructured data from sources such as blogs, social media and video that is growing at exponential rates compared to traditional enterprise data. Yet paper documents are an important part of corporate business operations, often containing valuable information that must be captured, stored, organised and analysed.

Despite all the talk of the paperless office, organisations still rely heavily on paper documents. Every day businesses receive and print thousands of paper documents, mail, email and faxes that need to be captured and transformed for entry into business processes. Whilst some businesses have transitioned to electronic forms and transactions, many mission-critical business processes—such as billing, claims-processing and accounts-payable—are paper based. This reliance on paper is costly and inefficient and paper documents can be a huge liability.

As organisations try to reduce costs, improve process efficiency and establish compliance with various government legislation and industry regulations (e.g. PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, Data Protection Act), digitising paper documents through document capture is an important first step in business process automation. Document capture solutions are designed to remove the bottleneck paper creates at the onset of many business processes today.
When captured at the point of origination, paper documents can be directly integrated into business-critical processes. The full capture process includes scanning, data extraction from scanned images, document classification and sharing of content across electronic content management (ECM) systems. Documents become more accessible and easier to find, distribute and track. This increases productivity and streamlines processes, while supporting record retention, document security, and privacy requirements. Consequently, paper documents become part of the wider big data picture, enabling organisations to extract value from information to support faster decision making, for instance through business intelligence or big data analytics.
However, the challenge of document capture and processing can be daunting for many businesses, requiring specialist skills and resources. Despite the clear benefits of integrating all types of information into business processes and eliminating paper from these processes, employee attitudes and existing departmental systems can make it difficult to know where to start. Most organisations are resource constrained today, so many turn to outsourcing providers in order to focus on their core business.

The benefits of using an outsourced service include improved customer service, reduced business costs, compliance and greater efficiency. Outsourced services allow for easy scalability and can minimise infrastructure costs and disruption. One area where such business process automation is becoming more prevalent is in the managed print services (MPS) market. MPS is a proven approach to reducing printing costs by optimisating complex printer fleets, and deploying tools and technologies to minimise wasteful printing. As businesses move to next generation MPS engagements and are looking for further cost and efficiency improvements, many are working with their MPS providers to digitise paper workflows. With many organisations having already invested in multi-function printers (MFPs), working with MPS providers enables them to leverage these devices as sophisticated document capture and processing hubs.
Although many MPS providers are now competing in the wider and highly competitive BPO market, providers such as HP, Lexmark, Ricoh and Xerox have mature industry-specific services to automate manual processes such as electronic invoicing, mortgage application processing and health records management. With the core MPS services becoming commoditised, such business process services (BPS) are becoming key to differentiation amongst leading players in the MPS market.

Whilst big data and MPS may not have immediately obvious connections, many MPS engagements are advancing beyond the realm of device consolidation to encompass business process improvement. By accelerating the transition to digital workflows, paper based information becomes better integrated with enterprise data enabling organisations to extract business value from all data—both paper and digital.
Read Quocirca's MPS 2013 Report at