FDA Approves First Drug Made with 3D Printer

The ways in which 3D printing can be used in the field of medicine continue to expand. Aprecia Pharmaceuticals has created a new version of Spritam, a drug used to treat epileptic seizures, using 3D printing.

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Ricoh Sees Another Decline in Operating Profits

On August 6, 2015, Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Ricoh) announced its first quarter fiscal year 2016 earnings. Net sales for the quarter were ¥539.1 billion ($4.34 billion), a 6.4 percent increase year-to-year (YTY). Operating profit for the quarter was ¥20.6 billion ($0.17 billion), a decline of 23.9 percent YTY. Figure 1 is a graph of Ricoh’s…

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Epson Knows U.S. Consumers Hate Inkjet Cartridges, Offers EcoTank Solution

Epson introduced its EcoTank printers to the U.S. market. The five new all-in-one color printers come with large ink reservoirs that Epson says will provide up to two years of prints without replacing the ink. This new ink system not only provides convenience, but offers benefits to both the pocketbook and the environment – fewer cartridge changes mean less expense and less waste. Epson says that compared to a traditional printer, the ink included with the EcoTank is equivalent to about 20 sets of ink cartridges or more, depending on the model.

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Best MPS Brands in 2015? Customers Speak.

While other analyst firms are patting vendors on the back about their completeness of vision, we thought we’d explore the only opinion that really matters—your customers’ opinions (you know, the one’s with the checkbook). Starting with over 2,000 business customers, we pared our panel down to a little over 600 MPS decision makers who are…

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Konica Minolta Reduces Expenses But Experiences Operating Profit Decline

Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) reported its first quarter fiscal year 2016 results on August 6, 2015. It reported net sales of ¥248.6 billion ($1.99 billion), an increase of 9.7 percent year-to-year (YTY). Operating profit was ¥10 billion ($0.08 billion), a decrease of 30.3 percent YTY. Profit before tax was ¥10.3 billion ($0.08 billion), a…

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Office Imaging Hardware Market Displays Pockets of Optimism

The office imaging hardware market continues to trend downward, led by inkjet shipment decline and overall decreased revenue. However, patches of growth and opportunity have been identified, leaving select growth opportunities for the strategically aligned.

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Pressured by Q1 Results, Sharp Exits TV Business in Americas

Sharp Corp.’s latest earnings announcement shows a net loss of ¥33.98 billion and a group operating loss of ¥28.76 billion on consolidated sales of ¥618.30 billion. In response, Sharp announced additional restructuring steps: the company will stop producing and selling TVs in North and South America and will sell its Mexican production unit to the Hisense Group. Hisense is a Chinese white goods and electronics manufacturer that sells products under a variety of brand names, as well as selling televisions under its own brand. The $23.7 million sale grants Hisense the right to use the Sharp brand name and all its channel resources in North and South America.

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Independent Investigative Team Finds Toshiba Profits Inflated

Toshiba’s ongoing accounting scandal saga hit a significant marker last week as the independent investigative team released its final report and the company’s current president Hisao Tanaka stepped down from his post as a consequence. Joining him were the two presidents immediately prior: Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki, Tanaka’s immediate predecessor as president, and Atsutoshi Nishida, an adviser who was Sasaki’s predecessor. These three were identified as central to the company-wide efforts to manipulate earnings. They were not the only casualties – the scandal forced eight of the company’s inside directors to quit the company’s 16-member board (which includes four outside directors), with a 9th member resigning yesterday.

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Old Ricoh Copiers to Find New Life in China

Ricoh is starting a used copier business in China, collecting old copiers from Japan and shipping them to its printer plant in Fuzhou, China, for reconditioning and sale. Ricoh did not yet have a recycling business in China because replacement demand has been relatively low, but it is now seen growing.

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New Products Expected to Drive Canon’s Positive Outlook

On July 27, 2015, Canon reported its second quarter 2015 results. Consolidated net sales for the quarter were $7.9 billion (an increase of 5.1 percent year-to-year (YTY)). Gross profit for the quarter increased 4.2 percent YTY. This increase in revenue is due to the steady demand for multifunction and color devices. Canon has also experienced favorable currency exchange rates. However, even though Canon has focused on cost-cutting measures, cost of sales and operating expenses increased through the quarter. Consolidated operating profit was reported at $858 million (a decline of 5.3 percent YTY).

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Xerox Second Quarter Performance Falls Below Previous Guidance

On July 24, 2015, Xerox announced its second quarter 2015 earnings. Total revenue for the quarter was reported as $4.6 billion, down 7 percent year-to-year (YTY). Xerox executives have adjusted full year guidance to indicate revenue is expected to decline 6 percent YTY in constant currency. The company also announced a decrease in the amount to be spent on acquisitions for the year. Ursula Burns, CEO, stated that Xerox’s direction will remain consistent, but it is making several shifts in execution.

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Amazon Running With the Wind?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced on July 13 that it will build its own wind-power farm in North Carolina to power its data centers. The energy generated will be delivered to the electrical grid that supplies current and future AWS Cloud data centers and shared with other business and residences in the grid.

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Lexmark Exhibits Stellar Enterprise Software Growth; Wall Street Not Impressed…

On July 21, 2015, Lexmark announced its second quarter 2015 earnings. Total revenue was flat for the quarter year-to-year (YTY) or 7 percent YTY disregarding currency impacts. Excluding the Inkjet Exit revenue, core revenue grew 3 percent YTY, with growth in the Enterprise Software division offset by laser supplies channel optimization. Higher Value Solutions, which is comprised of Enterprise Software and Managed Print Services, saw revenue grow 37 percent YTY.

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Lexmark to Restructure, Seeking $65 Million in Savings

As part of its second quarter 2015 earnings call, Lexmark International, Inc. today announced it will be engaging in restructuring activities. Lexmark expects these moves primarily to “capture the anticipated costs and expense synergies” from the company’s recent Kofax and ReadSoft acquisitions. The company is also seeking to reduce cost and expense structure in the Imaging Solutions and Services (ISS) segment and corporate organization because the strong U.S. dollar has continued to negatively impact the company’s earnings.

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Low-Energy Ultraviolet Printing Not Environmentally-Friendly

UV printing has been marketed by some companies as being environmentally-friendly after these companies changed from using mercury bulbs to energy-saving LED bulbs. While the LED bulbs decrease the energy needed to print, marketing the process as environmentally friendly could be seen as deceptive, due to the charge that prints made using the UV printing process are difficult or impossible to deink. Recyclers have found that even small amounts of UV-cured prints can contaminate an entire load of paper for recycling. In order to ensure that this does not occur, recycling organizations have to keep UV-prints separate to avoid contamination – although the process to identify and separate them is nearly impossible.

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More Technology to Protect and Provide for Seniors

The White House is holding its decadal Conference on Aging this week and will be hosting the White House Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to discuss the issue. Concern has been expressed over the rapidly aging population and the need to scale programs to protect and care for seniors who are unable to care for themselves in a way that does not sacrifice quality for costs. Technology has taken the forefront of this discussion.

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Is a Focus on Technology, Not User Experience, the Downfall of IoT Products?

A focus on gadgets and technology, rather than on the user experience, has characterized the wearables category so far, according to Accenture CTO Paul Daugherty. Wearables technology for consumers has the highest abandonment rate of any category, and while this churn profits businesses now, customers have not developed a loyalty to the technologies. For evidence…

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Robotic Salesman Taking Organizations By Storm

Softbank Robotics’ Pepper robot made headlines worldwide when on the date of its introduction, June 20th, all 1,000 units sold out within one minute. While some doubters pointed out that the technology behind Pepper is still very new and overpriced regarding its functionality, Pepper has surpassed the accomplishments of both Sony’s Aibo robotic dog and…

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Mobile Print: Savior or Sacrifice?

Look around and there is a lot of positive momentum around mobile printing. Software vendors are seeing an uptick in sales of these types of offerings. Hardware vendors are talking about this more and more. Even customers say they love mobile printing. The real question remains, “Will mobile print sentiment translate to pages printed, and thus additional revenues for the imaging industry?”

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Every Network Breached, But Most Not Yet Losing Data

A recent study on network security has found that every corporate network had been compromised by targeted intrusion, although most had not yet lost data.

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How Are Mobile Device Habits Impacting Printing?

Mobile printing is a hot topic in the industry, for many reasons. But one of the most optimistic of beliefs is that providing easier access to print from mobile devices may actually provide offsets to widespread page volume declines across the industry. With so many thinking that mobile printing was a great thing, we turned to U.S. consumers to find out if (and how) their printing habits have changed as a result of their mobile device use. (featuring Ken Stewart)

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Loyalty Programs: Millennials Willing to Pay for Best Rewards

A recent nationwide survey found that millennials, more than other generations, are open to the idea of fee-based loyalty programs. The survey of 1,005 consumers found that 62 percent of respondents said they’d consider a fee-based rewards program if their favorite retailer offered one. This number was even higher among millennials: 75 percent of 18-24 year-olds and 77 percent of 25-34 year-olds would consider joining such a program.

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Inside Navigator 2015: Executive Wrap Up

Navigator Meeting 2015 worked to spark the next wave of disruption in the imaging industry. Top industry executives and thought leaders came together by invitation, engaging in radical discussion, innovative thinking, and networking. Don’t get left behind a rapidly changing industry. Get the inside view of the radical discussion from Navigator Meeting 2015, join the…

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Kapow! Disruption Through Data Integration

Kapow has grown dramatically, winning business from notable clients around the world. Kofax, and now Lexmark, see the potential in such a solution—lauded as the first and only browser-based data integration platform of its kind.

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Should You Include Mobile Print in Your MPS Contract?

Mobile printing is a hot topic in the industry, for many reasons. Were decision makers as bullish on mobile print as the industry seems to be? Or do they really not care about the convenience of printing from a mobile device?

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Is Lexmark’s New Program Representative of MPS Trend?

Lexmark has announced the launch of its new Managed Print Services program, the Advantage MPS Core Program. This program is designed to assist IT resellers seeking to cater to a growing SME customer base. The reseller need not invest in operations or infrastructure, as Lexmark would provide supplies fulfillment, maintenance, and support to customers directly.…

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Movers & Shakers: Personnel Changes in May/June 2015

Executive level promotions and moves for the months of May and June 2015.

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Under Sanctions, Russian Print Buyers Wiser, More Cost-Conscious

In 2014, a number of states introduced sanctions against Russia that have inevitably affected the Russian economy. One result of the challenges presented by the sanctions was to cause Russian consumers to become more economical and better educated when it comes to buying and using printers and MFPs.

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Environmentalists May Scorn This Survey

“Things are not always what they seem,” or so goes the quote. Environmental concerns have moved to the top of most agendas these days. Some of these have influenced the decisions we make each day, including how often we print. Partly as a result, the paper industry has taken a beating – as evidenced by the closing of plants and sales of papermaking facilities. However, there is at least one outfit that is exposing the myths and misconceptions that some environmental groups have declared as facts. Two Sides, a paper and print sustainability organization, continues to tell the “real facts about paper production, use, and recycling.”

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