Covering Developments in March 2021

  • The Big News: "Vendors’ Latest Plans Go from Mediocre to Bad to Worse" - The latest strategic plans from Ricoh, Canon and Epson lack quantitative details regarding inputs, outcomes and business segments; their goals are superficial and unpersuasive; there is no recognition of competitors; and the documents do not address why they will succeed when previous plans failed to deliver on their promises. So why bother at all?
  • The Editorial: "Production Reduction" - Vendors have long viewed the production printing market as an opportunity for growth to offset weakness in office printing. But the production printing hype has been ahead of reality for some time. And now too many vendors and observers are ignoring the fact that — as bad as general office printing was in 2020 — sales of new high-end print devices and page volumes on existing production machines have been consistently worse. And the path to recovery remains unclear.
  • In Other News:  "Canon Europe Adapts for Hybrid Work with New A4 Models" - What appears to be a cleansheet color engine is being used for a pair of new basic imageRUNNERS and a similar model for resellers. Will the US be next? ... "Vendors Quietly Add MFPs for Microsoft Universal Print" - Microsoft's Universal Print is now commercially available, so why are so few hardcopy vendors being clear about which of their models are UP Ready?
  • And Even More News - HP's UK-based Apogee has acquired its first dealer since it was purchased in 2018. ... Office Depot has spurned Staples again and it may be because it's hoping for a deal with Amazon. ... Funai has formed a new inkjet printer business unit, but it's targeting manicures, cupcakes and lattés. ... HP has quietly settled a lawsuit with Slingshot over old Funai/Lexmark inkjet patents. ... It looks like Xerox got a presentation on security weaknesses in its MFPs cancelled. ... What will the merger of SYNNEX and Tech Data mean for the MFP industry? ... After a UK partnership with M-Files, Kyocera's ECM strategy is more confusing than ever. ... Ricoh has an activist investor, too. ... It's out with fax modems and in with an etherFAX bundle on Lexmark's latest MFPs. ... YSoft is doing its part to get rid of MFP fax kits. ... Qualcomm has an interesting new use case fo its DirectOffice software. ... Toshiba turns once again to Lexmark. ... Xiaomi is selling another branded printer. ... A Microsoft glitch in a Windows 10 patch halted printing for some users. ... Plus a lot more!