Sunday, March 23, 2008

Edgeline at 300 Page Per Minute

HP has purchased - Exstream, check out this blog entry for a quick primer. And word has it HP spent $915 million...I read this off of this a blog post, by Andrew Tribute at the Print CEO Blog:

"I have analyzed in depth all the HP white papers on Edgeline and from this have worked out that HP could easily make a 20 inch width color data center printer that could operate at a speed slightly in excess of 300 pages/min.


I know this is not as fast as the new range of high-speed color printers from Agfa, IBM, Kodak, Océ, Screen and Xerox, but Edgeline technology would allow HP to sell this 300 plus page/minute printer at a fraction of the price all of these new printers are selling for. Not everyone in the corporate data center market wants to run 1,000 pages/minute, and many would want to have multiple slower printers rather that relying on one super-fast device."

Perhaps the announcement of the planned acquisition of Exstream is also a pre-announcement of the HP Color Data Center Printing System. It will be interesting to see how this news develops in the coming months."

This is very interesting, no? See this post of mine and try to read "through" it - and see how HP "expands"into new market niches? See this post.

300 ppm!!? wha, wha, whaaaaaaat?

Friday, March 21, 2008

...Ramblings, without a Cause...

Anything you read in this post is rumor, innuendo..."I can neither confirm or deny, although I know the answer..." - Ronald Reagan, maybe.

Big meeting - lots of high-end HP dealers to review and share challenges and successes with HP directly. And a chance for HP to present future plans, programs and support for those VARs worthy. See "Loyalties".

- The take-away? HP responds instantly (
See this) and dealers whine about cost per copy.

A dozen Edgeline systems with meter reads at 6 million, and still printing...

- The take-away? I have seen many machines with 1 million or more; at the end of life.

Current engines easily getting to 94 ppm.

- The take-away? See it when I believe it.

Some VARs see current engines running at 125,000 color/month with no problems.

- The take-way? Some VARs employee "puffery" when discussing their successes.

Hole punch unit, RIP coming. The RIP, heavily disguised with duct tape, but still rumored to look like EFI.

Ramblings and talking about 225ppm for everyday business units; color.



Strap on your Goggles

...This changes everything...



Thursday, March 20, 2008

...This Changes Everything...

"How much difference would it make if the paper went in portrait instead of landscape?"

I was showing a client the CM8060 with Edgeline technology, I had them put on their safety goggles, and started a copy job. As they watched the print nozzle array move, the drum begin to spin and paper flowing through the system - my client, who is very smart asked, "How many pages does the drum hold?". "Three.", I replied.

"And the paper passes under the nozzles twice, right?"Another highly observant question. Now she has me interested, "Yes," my response, "Why do you ask?"

"I also noticed the paper is on the drum, length-wise, correct?"

Now I am getting really concerned, where is she going with this? "Yes, and what is your impression?"

"Well," she says, "if you change the orientation, you can get one additional page through the machine, increasing the speed by 33%- and if you could get the ink to be applied in one pass, won't that increase the speed as well?"

--- HOLY CRAP! ---

"er...yeah, I guess..." my very intelligent response, "what are you getting at?"

I know the internal drum speed is 142 pages per minute(hence burst speed on current CM8060 is 71ppm) - and I instantly recognize that if the unit could apply and dry in one pass, that would mean an output speed of 142ppm!

"you know, it would be nice if HP used these bottom two trays as one - maybe they could increase the internal paper source to 2,000 sheets and reduce the overall footprint on the machine...and Greg, I noticed that to service or remove a jam from the finisher, it needs to be slid out about 2- 3 feet..." she says.

"I see", I say, "and?"

"well, maybe they could put the finisher on a rotating platform so instead of sliding out a yard, it just moves half a foot or so and the rotates. This would allow me to free a jam and reduce the 12' foot print closer to 6 feet."

My response, "interesting...and, does your Konica Minolta do this now? How about the Canon you saw last week in Irvine?"

"No." she replies.

This changes everything.



Friday, March 14, 2008

If you Guarantee it, they will buy..

HP is standing behind their HP Edgeline Access VAR's and the CM8060/50 with one big stick.

"Overview

HP Products are designed and manufactured to meet both our customer's and our partner's performance expectations. If after working with HP Edgeline Support, an Edgeline Access partner is unable to bring an HP CM8060/CM8050 Color MFP's performance in line with specifications, HP will contact the partner within one business day to arranged for an HP representative to visit the customer site, schedule delivery of a replacement unit or initiate a refund of the unit price."

Ok, before you start picking the above apart (because one could) stand back and think about this, especially if you are in the copier industry - if you're a dealer, say...I dunno, let's just call you ICON - how easy is it to get a replacement unit out to your customer? Can you show your customer Canon's documented, replacement policy? How about K/M or how about Ricoh?

Sure you can get a like-for-like, meaning some old, returned, used but "functional" unit, pulled out of the service inventory.

And if you think even deeper - about a refund - who offers refunds on copiers?

There will be dealers out there who see this as a negative - who pays for pick up, how does this work with a lease, do I get a service credit from HP for all the time my tech spends trying to fix, and how come the service rates are so high - blah, blah, blah...as one of my characterized role models said, "I find your lack of faith...disturbing."

On the other side, there is a risk of dealers trying to "fit a square peg in a round hole" by using this as a closing tool - short sighted simpletons who will lead with this guarantee - they just don't get it. Indeed, the biggest risk to HP is in what the VAR channel does with this - but all things will be revealed.

The single most important aspect of this move is HP's
apparent feeling that they have a super-duper, grand slam, slam dunk product; a Tiger By The Tail - a true "Copier Killer"

And they do.

And this is just the beginning - I can "Bear"-ly stand it!

Much more to come -





Tuesday, March 11, 2008

HP looking to be a big commercial printer....Part Duex

This twin-engine duplex printing engine press runs at a speed of 122 meters/minute (400 ft/min) and this equates to 2,600 Letter or A4 pages/minute.

HP’s new Inkjet Web Press is built around HP’s Edgeline scaleable printing architecture.

The press has a 30-inch (762 mm) web width compared with all the competitions’ 20-inch web widths. This twin-engine duplex printing engine press runs at a speed of 122 meters/minute (400 ft/min) and this equates to 2,600 Letter or A4 pages/minute. This press is expected to sell for around $2.5 million.

HP says that a color page with 30% coverage will cost $0.01 and a monochrome page $0.0015. You can check out a really good article on this unit here.


Monday, March 10, 2008

HP looking to be a big commercial printer

Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's imaging and printing group, said
"the move to digital printing is more environmentally friendly because it gives distributors the ability to print on-demand. He said, for example, 40 percent of books that are printed today are never read."

Another angle on Green. Full article.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ricoh - A great, American Company? - Great ? yes, American? sorta...

I ran across this articlein on of our local papers about Ricoh. Sarah Tolkoff, of the Orange County Business Journal speaks with a 20 year employee.

Most don't think of Ricoh's being manufactured in the US - I've been through this plant, and seen the process and commitment to quality control and "Zero Waste to Landfill" philosophy in action.

Very cool.



Friday, March 7, 2008

Should HP Purchase IKON's PS Division? - Delicious!!

"At the beginning of the month we sell solutions (Documentum, Captaris, RightFax, Objectif Lune, etc.) by the end of the month, we sell copiers (Ricoh, Canon, K-I-Coe-Sera)" - famous IKON sales-dude.

Recent press:

"...In a conference call, Espe noted that IKON planned to work with vendors, adjust its go-to-market strategy and take steps to improve sales profitability. To that end, IKON is expected to reduce costs and expenses by $25 million in this fiscal year. Espe noted that the company does remain committed to a stock repurchase plan it embarked on in November 2007.

The bright spot in the report was in managed and professional services, which reported revenue growth of seven percent, to $206 million from $192 million in the same period last year.

Within that realm, on-site managed services, which comprises some two-thirds of IKON's managed and professional services revenue, grew 10 percent. The company noted that was largely due to the expansion of existing contracts and new sites. Professional services grew nine percent, owing much of that increase to strong European business. However, off-site managed services decreased three percent..."

The PS Division is doing better at IKON - as equipment sales stall, flatten and degrade.

How many monkeys does it take to...

How many people does it take to process, configure and deliver a copier? Would you believe 20-30, if all is well with the order and nothing is out of the ordinary? Of course these 20 or so people are just involved with the "pushing of paper" - add to this the technicians who stage equipment, the drivers who deliver and the techs and Professional Service Consultants who connect the unit to the clients' network.

Now, to make things really interesting, lets shift some of the higher end tasks like network connectivity, scan connectivity and set up, and user set-up LDAP or Exchange, onto the technicians plate - technicians who are the very best at fixing mechanical breakdowns and failures; twisting wrenches and banging hammers. -- Train Wreck

Honestly, selling the copier is the easiest aspect of sales at IKON.(at first)

I am not making any of this up, this stuff can't be made up, I have seen it
with my own eyes.

"OH, how the Mighty have Fallen"

Get this - A year ago IKN's stock was at 14.00 today it is at 7.14! Can you say, "DANKA"?!!

So now IKN is in the middle of a huge stock buyback, "reaching out to vendors" and looking to reduce more costs - while doubling or tripling the layers of management between the "trenches" and the "Towers" - classic!

Core Competencies

When the going gets tough, get back to basics, back to the roots, back to what worked and what got you to over 2 billion in revenues - copiers. Sell Copiers. Period. No EDM, no Documentum, no Captaris, strictly copiers. The Core. Reduce the number of people it takes to process an order and deliver a product. Get comfortable residing in a cell, on CPM's Vendor Analysis Spreadsheet. Get use to disappointment.

And in order to re-focus, get rid of the influences that can take you away from your focus - Professional Services.

What would HP get in the end?

1. A global network of established relationships built around solutions.

2. An instant increase in "brainshare" in the Analysis and application space of Managed Print Services.

3. Payback. See this previous post.

Off the IKON site:

"IKON's Value Proposition


At IKON, partnering with our customers to uncover needs, costs, current processes and future expectations is a critical part of developing a strategy that will be successful for years to come.

What sets IKON apart from the competition is our unique ability to provide the most knowledgeable people and integrate them with innovative technology, document expertise and best practices to create a framework for success. From this base of experience, we deliver a sustainable competitive advantage to your operation by eliminating inefficiencies and improving your administrative and document management processes."

I don't care how low their stock is, the above Value Prop is very impressive - not one mention of copiers, not one. Now, just replace "IKON" with "Hewlett-Packard"(or SIGMAnet - MPS... who?). It works, don't it?


Ok, I have both Hurd and Espe's email; I volunteer to broker the deal. For a small fee.

Introductions might go like this:

"Mark, meet Matt. Matt, this is Mark. Now, we're just three guys talkin here - no worries, ok? Yousse, guys work somin out, bada bing, bada boom - we got a big deal, we toast, we dance, we sing, we all go home happy, capice? Talk amongst yourselves - fogeda bout it.




Monday, March 3, 2008

Loyalties...

HP is looking for a few good VARs and continued Loyalty from their existing VARs. The challenge seems to be converting resellers with IT Service mentality into a “copier-type” mentality. Additionally, converting “copier-centric” resellers into HP minded, analytical partners, is a severe mind-shift.

In this space, HP has become all too familiar to forwarding leads to the “copier” guys and having the lead mysteriously converted into a Canon or Ricoh sale – or even worse, standing with a reseller in a Managed Print Service deal and watching the supplies orders dwindle to nothing as the reseller converts their customer from OEM supplies to third party.

Supplies – the “Holy of Holies” for HP is the Untouchable Goose – and HP needs those Golden Eggs to keep dropping.

And as much as this is an economical, sales and marketing issue it all seems to boil down to loyalty with HP. A bit naive? Yes and reality.

Quote:

"We need quality partners," Hurd said. "If we have partners that can't get it done, I don't want them helping us. I don't need bad partners. I need good ones. I need great ones. I need ones that will help us slay some dragons. I want some that can go help us compete. I want some that are willing to put skin in the game and willing to be just as consistent, just as simple, just as excited, just as fired up as we are. And if they're not, they should go partner with 'insert name here,' some of our competitors, and mess them up.

"And if all they want to do is whine about channel compensation, and they want to do the same thing they did 10 years ago and get paid more for it, go find some other place to partner with," Hurd continued. "If you want to get on the cutting edge and kick some butt and go get something done, then come hang around with us."

If you're a channel partner with anyone, even HP, read that again - do you feel the tone? This guy turned HP around in 3 years. He has the legitimacy to say this, to mean this and to not care what people think about it.

APC- Vegas

Hurd also said regarding the Americas Partner Conference:

"I didn't want to miss this because you are so important to us," said Hurd, who spoke in a hoarse voice. "You are an extension of Hewlett Packard. Being here is a big deal to me and I want to make sure you knew that."

We were there. We believe we are an extension and loyalty goes both ways.





the Color Copier

I can not tell you how many times I have walked into an account that uses a high-end, color copier to hear that prospect gripe about how long “it takes to print on this 30 thousand dollar machine and I print the same job in minutes on my HP color laser.”

I have seen this with my own eyes. K/M’s with all the bells, rips, memory etc etc – absolutely choke on .PDFs and the little HP chugs it out with no problems. Why is this?

Even after so many years of color, color copiers are still cumbersome. Color copiers with RIPs are still complicated and can be inconsistent – or worse, color copiers with RIPs and hardware and memory upgrades once configed and working with an application are now static. As long as nothing changes with the applications, or the operating environment all will be well.

But if the customer needs change, or a new software application is added or an existing application is upgraded – all bets are off. And this is a moving target for both the customer and the vendor. Copier hardware changes nearly every six months and the copier guys are going to talk about, sell, and support what is hot currently – they are not all that motivated to help upgrade or solve problems on a 2 year old color system. “All you need to do is go to the Canon site and upgrade the driver or flash the copier that’s all" - what kind of support is that ?!!

Committing service and support resources to the newest color system with the newest drivers and RIPs and ROMs and the minutia of details involved with supporting this specialized segment is daunting and expensive and unfortunately, well over the comprehension of most hardware tech's. Throw in shrinking profit margins and volume purchase commitments and monthly hardware forecasts and it becomes so much easier to just "sell the box".

Meanwhile, the HP 9500 color laser is spitting out 11x17 proofs.

Committing service and support resources to the newest color system with the newest drivers and RIPs and ROMs and the minutia of details involved with supporting this specialized segment is daunting and expensive and unfortunately, well over the comprehension of most hardware tech's. Throw in shrinking profit margins and volume purchase commitments and monthly hardware forecasts and it becomes so much easier to just "sell the box".

By the way, I hear that there is an Edgeline in some super-secret bunker outside of Boise churning out color at over 120 pages per minute. I also hear that an external RIP may be in the future for Edgeline.

And the I.T guys love this Edgeline thing.