October 2019

  • The Big News:  As has been increasingly common when it comes to MFP vendor dealer meetings, Sharp’s focus at its October 1-4 Americas dealer event in Las Vegas was all about diversification. There were no new MFP product announcements and few previews of upcoming MFP hardware, although Sharp has been busy over the past year updating most of its product line. Instead, Sharp finally began delivering on some of the “Smart Office” promises it had made at its “Pulse” dealer meeting two years ago, and on its “Momentum” roadshow this past spring. However, the range of new smart office devices and solutions Sharp presented in Las Vegas presents significant near-term challenges and unclear medium-term financial upside for the company’s MFP dealers, as well as its direct branches. But in the long run, one supposes almost anything is possible.
  • The Editorial:  Back in 2014, 3D printing was all the rage. Over the next year or two, MFP vendors in the US and elsewhere rushed to announce reseller deals with 3D printer makers. And MFP vendors like HP, Canon, Ricoh, Sindoh and Olivetti previewed, promised or promoted homegrown 3D printing devices. But fast forward just five years, and oh how things have changed. The good news is that most vendors didn’t spend a lot on their 3D dabbling, but it was yet another detour off the path towards diversification.
  • In Other News:  HP told shareholders about a risky new printing business strategy that relies on still selling today's products with low purchase prices and high page costs, alongside a new lineup of devices that will cost more to buy but be cheaper to own and operate. ... With zero fanfare and no publicity, the EPA rolled out the new Version 3.0 Energy Star program requirements for MFPs, printers and other types of “imaging equipment.” ... Xerox raised its EPS guidance for 2019 after it announced better earnings on record low Q3 revenue ... Fujifilm announced its Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific subsidiary will pay just under $100 million to buy publicly-traded CSG, the largest multiline MFP dealer in Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps the largest dealer outside North America and Europe.