Andrew Unsworth

Carl Schell

George Mikolay

Jamie Bsales

Jessica Schiffenhaus

Joe Tischner

Kaitlin Shaw

Lee Davis

Marlene Orr

Priya Gohil

Rob Watts

Simon Plumtree










Editors Desk

The Mopria Alliance, a global, non-profit mobile printing organization, continues to expand its membership, with a number of Brother and Epson devices recently receiving certification. Founded in September of last year, the Alliance is made up of leading document imaging technology companies with the stated goal of providing simple wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Brother and Epson are joining the ranks of dozens of other companies, including Canon, HP, Samsung, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Ricoh and others.



While it seems the strategies of some OEMs is to focus on direct sales and enterprise solutions, leaving their independent dealer partners out of that loop, Xerox Corp. is looking toward its dealer base to help fuel further growth. During a briefing with key analysts, the company outlined several products and initiatives that should bolster its channel support and offerings.



“An opportunity to disrupt means an opportunity to grow,” said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America (SEA), during his presentation at the company’s 2014 National Dealer Summit in Dallas. This simple yet telling statement was an apropos precursor to the rest of his comments, which were rife with eye-opening statistics and lofty goals.



Samsung’s new Smartify campaign, which was highlighted at its recent National Dealer Summit, focuses on the “connected workplace,” which goes beyond just printers and MFPs. It’s about all devices—tablets, smart phones, laptops—working together as a “smart” ecosystem, where the MFP is the hub, letting users connect their devices seamlessly and get business done faster. This same campaign encourages Samsung dealers to sell the company’s other hardware products, such as tablets (including the new channel-only Tab 4 Education), Chromebooks and wide-format displays.



Samsung’s vertical-market approach to solutions was unveiled in June 2013 at the company’s national dealer meeting in Chicago. A week later at its U.S. headquarters in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung opened its first Executive Briefing Center (EBC), a facility that showcases proprietary technologies in industry-specific settings such as education and healthcare. Flash forward to last week’s meeting in Dallas, where Tod Pike, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Samsung Electronics America (SEA), said, “Everything we do and everything we think about is how specific customers in vertical markets can use our products. When you do that, it really takes you to not only the use case of the device, but also the interoperability of that device within that vertical market, the workflow that leads to that interoperability, and the connected partners with whom we would need to partner in order to make that solution work for our customers.”



Data security is serious stuff. Anyone who follows the news, whether it’s financial, retail or celebrity-related, has seen countless stories regarding security breaches of personal data. At an analyst briefing in NYC, HP highlighted the importance of IT security for business and introduced a number of products and solutions to help ease the pain of the IT director trying to make printing safer for their organization.



BLI recently attended a technology showcase at Konica Minolta’s New York City Customer Engagement Center. While much of the event was geared to the launch of the company’s new production hardware devices, the company also provided the latest on the earnings front and shared the latest developments on the software and solutions side. Attendees also got a first look at the 3D printers Konica Minolta will be carrying as part of its new partnership with 3D Systems.



BLI recently hosted representatives from 10 OEMs at its 2014 A3/A4 TAC (Testing Advisory Committee) Meeting, during which the topics of vertical markets and mobile printing were discussed at length. With countless years of industry experience in the room, the full-day event also included dialogue about the future of software and BLI’s redesigned Lab Test Report.



A few years ago, inviting several hundred copier dealers to a meeting in Las Vegas that focused little on the bread and butter of their businesses—copiers—might have seemed, well, pointless. Now, manufacturers are making it a point to do just that: shift the focus of the dealer community. Although still a significant part of the business, hardware is no longer in the spotlight. Instead, it runs quietly in the background while dozens of solutions work to leverage, limit, monitor or enhance its functionality. This was evident at KYOCERA Document Solutions America’s (KDA) fiscal year 15 Pan-American dealer meeting, which focused heavily on Kyocera business applications and encouraging dealers to become Total Document Solutions Providers. With the exception of a few new A4 devices, the technology fair was filled to the brim with business applications and third-party solutions, all of which, of course, embedded on Kyocera copiers.