Looking back at the past month, it’s safe to say that the year is beginning with a bang with some major product introductions, the consolidation of a major distribution channel, and a slew of acquisitions. So, without further ado, here’s a recap of the top 10 stories for the month of January. More detailed coverage of each of these announcements can be found in LiveWire on The Cannata Report Website.
Global Imaging Systems Rebranded as Xerox Business Solutions – The January 15th announcement that Xerox was rebranding Global Imaging Systems (GIS) as Xerox Business Solutions (XBS) had to be one of the least surprising news stories of the year to date. That news has been circulating throughout imaging industry blogs and in private conversations with different parties, including insiders at Xerox and Global, for the better part of two weeks prior to the official announcement. According to a Xerox press release, Xerox is focused on better serving the small-to-medium size business market with a more client-centric, simplified and integrated approach across the company. This approach will include better leveraging enterprise-wide the company’s capabilities in the areas of technical services, eCommerce, marketing and IT, to deliver more value to customers. What wasn’t noted in the press release was that some of the GIS companies in various markets have been consolidated into one organization within that market and most of the entrepreneurs who had built those organizations, and were still leading them after they were acquired, were axed by Xerox as part of this consolidation.
New Ricoh Technology Keeps Things Current – This month Ricoh introduced a new line of intelligent MFPs, Cloud Workflow Solutions, service tools, and most notably a subscription-based model for marketing its Cloud Workflow Solutions. The Ricoh IM C Series is part of Ricoh’s new Dynamic Workplace Intelligence approach to deliver continual improvements and ensure technical capabilities evolve in parallel with customer requirements. According to Ricoh, this new approach will change how customers interact with and receive value from Ricoh devices, enabling customers to work smarter. This is driven in large part by what Ricoh calls “Always Current Technology” as well as Ricoh Cloud Workflow Solutions powered by the Ricoh Smart Integration platform. Always Current Technology makes regular updates to firmware and other applications available to customers on demand, and as needed. Customers can download and install new features, applications, and upgrades directly to their device as they become available. Subscription models are the wave of the future, if not the present. The Cannata Report originally heard about this model for selling the Ricoh Cloud Workflow Solutions during our 2018 trip to Japan, and again at Ricoh’s dealer meeting in June of 2018. Now it’s here and Ricoh is about to find out if dealers, beyond those who have been beta testing these cloud-based workflow apps with, are ready to embrace it. We think they are.
EFI Introduces New Technology at EFI Connect – Printing, packaging and industrial manufacturing professionals from across the globe converged at Wynn Las Vegas at EFI Connect, January 22-25. The 20th annual Electronics For Imaging, Inc. users conference provided insights as well as news of digital print technology innovations, including a new FS350 platform for EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs), a new Fiery proServer Premium DFE technology, and EFI’s newest hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll superwide-format LED printer, the VUTEk h5. According to EFI, the new EFI Fiery DFE technology Fiery FS350 Pro will drive new cut-sheet and continuous-feed digital production presses from EFI partners, as well as single-pass inkjet presses from EFI.
Konica Minolta Purchases ECM Company – Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. announced the purchase of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) business segment from ThoughtTrace, Inc., a Houston, Texas based software company using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to streamline contract management for the Oil & Gas industry. Prior to its corporate name change to ThoughtTrace, Inc. in August of 2018, the company operated as Agile Upstream Group, Inc. Konica Minolta will continue to provide the ECM and Land and Land Administration solutions formerly provided by Agile Upstream to Oil & Gas organizations.
Marco Acquires Enterprise Systems Group – Marco announced that it has purchased Enterprise Systems Group (ESG), a business IT services company headquartered in Little Chute, Wisconsin. ESG’s employees have joined the Marco team and will be serving customers from their offices in Little Chute, Brookfield and Madison, Wisconsin. Marco currently has six other offices in Wisconsin.
Oval Partners Acquires Century Business Services – Oval Partners, a San Francisco-based, multifamily office private equity firm, and FlexPrint LLC have announced a new partnership with Century Business Services, a Konica Minolta dealer. “Century Business Services has an impressive business model that’s proven successful for the last 20 years. The company and its culture align perfectly with our growth initiatives,” said Frank Gaspari, CEO of FlexPrint LLC. “Along with Caltronics Business Systems, we will greatly expand our market share in the California marketplace.” Century Business Services will roll under Caltronics Business Systems but will continue to operate independently while leveraging the resources of the combined group.
Novatech Acquires Consolidated Copier Services – Novatech has announced the purchase of Consolidated Copier Services, an independent document management and copier dealership servicing the Greater Atlanta area. “For the past 32 years, Consolidated Copier Services has built a professional and well-respected reputation throughout the Greater Atlanta area with its customers and local business communities,” said Novatech CEO Darren Metz. “We are very excited for both companies as we move forward.” With the acquisition, Novatech will retain the Consolidated Copier Services name, office and staff.
Kelley Imaging Merges with CORE Business Services – Kelley Imaging Systems and CORE Business Services have announced their strategic merger. Preceding this merger, Kelley Imaging announced the acquisition of ABC Office Machines located in Grants Pass Oregon.
Advanced Imaging Solutions Acquires Desert Images – On January 10, Prosperity Plus Management Consulting, Inc. announced that Desert Images was acquired by Advanced Imaging Solutions (AIS). Prosperity Plus acted as an adviser to Gary Harouff and his team at Advanced Imaging Solutions throughout the transaction. “This acquisition is another great step in furthering our expansion plans toward achieving our long-term business goals,” said Gary Harouff, president of AIS. “We are excited to bring Desert Images and its client base into the AIS family. The company’s loyal customers will have access to more technology and we gain the experience of the Desert Images team. A win-win for everyone.”
Sharp Acquires Network Services Company – Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation, announced that it is expanding its direct regional sales coverage of managed network services in Los Angeles, California by acquiring the service contracts of Pink Hat Technology Management. Since 2012, Pink Hat Technology Management has been providing cyber security services and managed network services, including installing and maintaining servers, desktops, cloud solutions, backup and disaster recovery solutions and mobile devices in the Los Angeles area for its clients.
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