Walmart Introduces QR-based Mobile Payment System

Walmart has announced plans to add a QR code-based mobile payment system to its smartphone app. Some 22 million customers are said to be actively using the Walmart app each month, and the company hopes that this further tie between the online and offline shopping experience can help it compete with Amazon.

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Imaging Industry Readies for a Low-Carbon Future

Over the weekend, an agreement emerged from the UN climate summit (COP21) in Paris. Several companies in the U.S. imaging industry had already signed on with their support for the broad goals of the talks, pledging their support for “the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.”

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Y Soft Software Subscription Service Just Upped the Ante

On December 7, Y Soft announced its Software Subscription Service that includes software licensing, support, and reduced infrastructure requirements (via private cloud). Is Y Soft Crazy or did it just up the ante?

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Xerox Finds Consumers Want to Live in a Single-Brand Technology Ecosystem

Xerox’s new survey report, “The State of Customer Service 2015,” shows consumers are increasingly willing to sign on with a single company to provide all of their technology, communication, and media needs. 51 percent of the 6,000 consumers surveyed said they are comfortable with this single-brand “ecosystem” idea, with 40 percent already having at least two devices from the same brand.

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FTC and the Canadian “FTC” challenging the Staples & Depot Merger

Hot off the presses – the FTC is throwing a wrench in the proposed acquisition of Office Depot by Staples. Not only is the FTC claiming the deal will be a violation of antitrust laws, the Canadian equivalent of the FTC is also challenging the buyout.

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Canon Advances CISS Battlefront to UK with Introduction of Refillable Tank PIXMA Models

Canon has announced the introduction of three new refillable ink tank printers to its PIXMA series in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month, Canon had introduced these devices to the Indian market, joining Brother in competing with Epson in the refillable ink tank printer space this year.

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HP Supports Organizations With Improved Solutions

On December 3, HP announced updated digital capture solutions, three new ScanJet Pro scanners, and the expansion of the HP S900 Series MFPs. Setting the stage for its new products, HP cited an AIIM study that said 68 percent of organizations believe “business-at-the-speed-of-paper” will be unacceptable in the near future. Additionally, HP mentioned that 40 percent of organizations are converting more than one process to digital each year. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the workplace continues to evolve from paper-based workflow to digital workflow. HP is intent on supporting IT’s efforts to make this happen.

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HP, Inc. Prepared to Face Challenges Ahead?

Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015 revenue on November 24, 2015. The separation of HP into HP Enterprise and HP, Inc. was completed on November 1, 2015. This is the last financial statement from the combined company – the two companies will report their financial performance separately beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016.

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U.S. Regulators Seem Set to Deny Staples/Office Depot Deal

The New York Post is reporting that the planned acquisition of Office Depot by Staples is in trouble with Federal regulators, who may be planning to block the tie-up. Two of the four commissioners are believed to oppose the deal. The Federal Trade Commission has until Dec. 8 to make its decision. The European Commission…

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Will Icahn Catalyze or Crash Xerox’s Future?

Carl Icahn let the world know he had taken a 7.1 percent stake in Xerox, becoming the second largest shareholder. What’s in store for Xerox’s future with Icahn’s maneuvering? Will he create real friction with management or be a strong catalyst to help the firm reach orbit?

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Breaking News: HP Prevented from Selling PageWide XL Series in Germany

A German court has granted Memjet a preliminary injunction against HP Deutschland GmbH regarding the HP 841 printheads that are used in HP’s large format printers.

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Paper-Free Pays For Itself

November 6, 2015 was designated as World Paper Free Day. To celebrate, AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) released the results of its new research on digital content and reducing paper use.

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Robotics Revolution

The use of robots in many industries has more than tripled in the last five years, raising both concerns and opportunities.

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Will There Be Another OEM Joining the CISS Party?

Canon has announced its first foray into the continuous ink supply system (CISS) printer market. This brings the total number of major printer OEMs with CISS products up to three. HP, Ricoh, and Kodak (Funai), among others, have not taken the step to join these manufacturers in this low-cost ink strategy. CISS products from Brother, Canon, and Epson are compared, and the strategies of OEMs both with and without CISS products are discussed.

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Will Fossil Bring Fashion to Wearables?

Fossil Group – which owns the Fossil and Skagen brand, as well as licensing other well-known brands such as Michael Kors, Diesel, and DKNY – has agreed to acquire Misfit Inc., a startup maker of wearable fitness trackers.

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Ricoh Sees Improvement in Operating Profit but Lowers Outlook

Ricoh Company, Ltd. announced its second quarter fiscal year 2016 earnings. Net sales for the quarter were ¥556.0 billion ($4.51 billion), a 5.7 percent increase year-to-year (YTY). Operating profit for the quarter was ¥35.4 billion ($290 million), an increase of 23.5 percent YTY.

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Movers & Shakers: Personnel Changes in September/October 2015

Executive level promotions and moves for the months of September and October 2015.

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Konica Minolta Business Technologies Leads Revenue Growth in Q2

Konica Minolta reported its second quarter fiscal year 2015 (ending March 2016) results on October 29, 2015. It reported net sales of ¥258.6 billion ($2.1 billion), an increase of 4 percent year-to-year (YTY). Operating profit was ¥18.2 billion ($150 million), an increase of 11 percent YTY. Profit before tax was ¥16.9 billion ($140 million), a decrease of 2 percent YTY.

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Epson’s Q2 Printing Solutions Revenue Up, But Profit Down

On October 29, Seiko Epson (Epson) reported its second quarter fiscal year 2015 (ending March 2016) earnings. Printing Solutions revenue was ¥184.7 billion ($1.5 billion), an increase of 8.4 percent YTY. Epson experienced steady sales of high-capacity ink tank printers, business inkjet printers, and ink. However, a couple of environmental factors worked against Epson during the quarter.

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This Matters: CIO Magazine Goes Digital

Recent news that CIO magazine has published its last print edition should send shivers up the imaging industry’s spine. Is this much ado about nothing, or is there something to this?

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Canon Next Up to Bat with Refillable Ink Tank Printers

Canon has introduced its first refillable ink tank printers, joining Epson and Brother in this product category. The four new models are part of the PIXMA G series. The PIXMA G1000 is a single-function printer, the G2000 adds copy and scan functionality, and the G3000 adds mobile, direct, and cloud printing functions. The Rs. 11,900 PIXMA G2002 is a version of the G2000 that comes with two additional bottles of black ink as part of the purchase price. All four models have a black speed of 8.8 ipm and a color speed of 5.0 ipm.

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PrintFleet and Photizo Group Working on Predictive Analytics

PrintFleet® Inc., a global leader in managed print software (MPS) and data-driven solutions, announced today that they have joined with Photizo Group, a boutique group of imaging experts delivering market intelligence, to create a predictive analytics process for a just-in-time (JiT) toner delivery methodology. In this agreement, PrintFleet and Photizo Group, will combine their expertise in…

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Weakened Asia Forces Canon to Revise FY Outlook

On October 27, 2015, Canon reported its third quarter 2015 results. Consolidated net sales for the quarter were $7.7 billion (an increase of 6.1 percent year-to-year (YTY)). Gross profit for the quarter increased 8.7 percent YTY. This increase in revenue comes thanks to the steady demand for multifunction and color devices in developed markets, although the demand for monochrome devices declined due to the economic slowdown in China and Southeast Asia. Sales of consumables also declined compared to their strong showing in the same period last year.

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Lexmark Third Quarter: Challenges, Successes, and Strategic Alternatives

On October 27, 2015, Lexmark announced its third quarter 2015 earnings. Third quarter total revenue was reported at $868 million, a decline of 6 percent year-to-year (YTY) or nearly flat YTY disregarding currency impacts. Excluding the Inkjet Exit revenue, core revenue was reported as $837 million, a 3 percent YTY decline, with growth in the Enterprise Software division offset by currency, laser hardware and supplies softness, and inkjet exit.

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Static Control Announces Chemical Toner Breakthrough

Static Control Components, Inc. (Static Control) claims it is the first aftermarket vendor to release an OEM-quality, polyester chemically produced toner (CPT). Its first qualified cartridges in the new PolySphere Toner line will be used in the Dell 5130, with additional sets to be released for Fuji Xerox and Lexmark devices.

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Who’s Buying Lexmark?

With Lexmark’s recent announcement that its Board of Directors is “exploring strategic options”, inquiring minds want to know just who the various suitors might be. We thought we would expand upon some of our own internal musings and provide some speculative analysis on likely acquisition partners.

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Epson Continues to Put Pressure on Low-end Color Laser Market

Epson announced its fastest letter-sized inkjet small workgroup printer and multifunction printer as it continues its assault on the low-end color laser market.

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Xerox Considering Structural Options After Third Quarter Loss

On October 26, 2015, Xerox announced its third quarter 2015 earnings. Total revenue for the quarter was reported as $4.3 billion, down 10 percent year-to-year (YTY) including a previously reported pre-tax charge of $385 million, about $240 million after-tax, related to Health Enterprise Medicaid platform implementations.

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Teens Driven to Share More Photos

One-third (33 percent) of teens selected Instagram, the photo-sharing site, as their most important social network in a recent survey. Facebook was the fourth most popular social network at 15 percent. Both websites offer users the ability to upload and share photos with other users.

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