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The future of office printing: Part II

PrintIT recently asked leading printer vendors for their thoughts on offie printing in 2016. In the last issue we printed their answers to the questions ‘What printer features/qualities do you think will be most important to

Carlos Osuna, Panasonic
Carlos Osuna, Panasonic

printer buyers in 2016?’ and ‘What factors do you think will have the biggest impact on printer and consumables sales in 2016?’. Now, we give their thoughts on the likelihood of further consolidation in the industry.

Our experts agree overwhelmingly that a new era of consolidation is on the cards, as printer vendors adapt to a changing market.

“For smaller printer manufacturers, the printer business is no longer a profiable one, as the price of the main unit is decreasing, yet development costs are not. Print volumes for the lower speed models are too small to bring enough profit through consumable sales to compensate for this.”

Carlos Osuna, Panasonic

“Today, more and more businesses are looking towards the Connected Workplace to enable effiiency and mobility within the offie. The print industry needs to adapt its offering accordingly, and this carries a Research & Development cost that will cause consolidation within the industry. Samsung is well placed to ride this wave; we are a leader in mobility and, by using open source technology, we enable any device to be connected to our printers, thus helping to bring the Connected Workplace to life.”

Mark Ash, Samsung

“Anyone in the print industry who is not willing to adapt or embrace new technologies runs the risk of quickly falling behind the times and not being able to fulfi client needs.”

Tony Burnett, Altodigital

“Yes – there are a few consolidations happening at the moment, with a shift to contractual print management, which is preventing some of the market competition from staying competitive, as well as new technology introductions that are making some vendors obsolete. There is a huge amount of innovation in the market from HP, and this puts pressure on our

Gary Tierney, HP
Gary Tierney, HP
Mark Ash, Samsung
Mark Ash, Samsung

competition to keep up. The challenge is really just how quick any consolidation will be.”

Gary Tierney, HP

“Several of the large enterprise focused printer manufacturers will most likely continue to lose inflence in the offie printing market in 2016, as they increasingly become orientated towards workflw and business process services. This will eventually give way to some degree of consolidation in the market, contributing to a reshaping of the landscape for the offie printing industry in particular. So, in short, yes; it is time for a new wave of consolidation, for a focus on cloud adoption and for a more streamlined offering in the printer market.”

Jason Cort, Sharp

“I suspect that we are going to see much more M&A activity over the coming year, driven by the market’s shift to cloud and end users’ preference for providers that can offer multiple services. A lot of print resellers that haven’t developed a cloud proposition yet will fid it diffiult to maintain their margins and may put themselves up for sale. Similarly, resellers that can only really offer one service are going to start to lose business to multi-faceted suppliers, so there’ll be some big changes in the market.”

Joe Doyle, Annodata

Tony Burnett, Altodigital
Tony Burnett, Altodigital

“Without a doubt, there are signifiant forces that are driving change and evolving customer requirements. The resulting pressure on hardware and traditional service revenue and margins means consolidation is round the corner. Yet, for those that are willing to innovate, there are signifiant revenue and margin opportunities from new services, as well as document and business process optimisation.”

Francis Thornhill, Canon

“2016 will see several Managed Print Service specialists adding IT services organisations and capabilities to their armoury, through acquisitions. Meanwhile, resellers covering the market will continue to consolidate to realise the benefis of economies of scale. This will enable them to deliver services for a wider market and meet ever more sophisticated customer requirements. Therefore, coverage of the market will largely fall to independent resellers, with print and multifunction device manufacturers focusing on the largest accounts and developing associated products, services and solutions to meet customer expectations.”

Steve Hawkins, Xeretec

“Current business trends, such as globalisation, cloud computing and mobile, create an environment of increased innovation and competition. As established and up-and-coming companies prove the value of their solutions and add more customers, the market will gravitate to those who can provide the best solutions, customer support and innovation. It is only natural that as new technologies and services progress from being disruptors to incumbents, the market shifts and consolidates around them.”

Simon Hill,Nuance Communications

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2018