Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ricoh and IBM into InfoPrint and Now, rIKON -

Pssst...their going after the guys in I.T, not Purchasing...What? You didn't see this coming?

Back in Time - Friday, June 8, 2007

Ricoh counts on InfoPrint Solutions for growth...

Ricoh Co. Ltd. foresees job growth and increased market share for InfoPrint Solutions Co., its new Boulder hub for Ricoh's high-volume printer business.

That's notable at a time many computer industry mergers end in layoffs and closed facilities.

In the past two and a half years, Tokyo-based Ricoh bought the high-volume printer units of Hitachi and Danka Europe, now Infotec.

Its $725 million purchase of controlling interest in IBM Corp.'s printer division in Boulder -- renamed as InfoPrint Solutions -- is its biggest yet.

The move promises to give Ricoh a shot at a leading market-share position in sales of high-volume printers after years of being a behind-the-scenes manufacturer of parts for machines sold by other companies.

"We want contact with end-users -- customers -- so we can understand their needs to improve our offerings and grow our market share," said Katsuya "Kevin" Ochiai, InfoPrint Solution's vice president for strategy and business development.

Ochiai is one of four executives transferred from Ricoh offices in Japan to Boulder the week of May 28 to run InfoPrint Solutions.

Ricoh owns 51 percent of the Boulder-based venture. Its stake will grow in the next three years until it's InfoPrint Solutions' sole owner.

The new company, which designs production printers used in print-on-demand publishing and mass-mail billing, is based at IBM's campus in Boulder and employs 550 people there. Its worldwide payroll includes 1,200 people in 18 countries. InfoPrint Solutions will bring on another 1,000 IBM employees in a year, most of them involved in maintenance.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) received $725 million June 4 and expects to record $250 million in sales in the next three years, it said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Ochiai predicted InfoPrint will maintain 7 percent to 8 percent annual growth. If things go well, the company could double its $1 billion in annual revenue in five years, he said.

The company will use IBM's global sales force in the next three years while InfoPrint cultivates its own, and how well that goes will drive its near-term success, Ochiai said.

...acquiring InfoPrint gives Ricoh access to enterprise-level clients it didn't have before and products with a lot of customer loyalty behind them, he said.

"How you see this deal has a lot to do with your perspective," Hamilton said.

InfoPrint has a good chance of meeting its growth goals, he said. The key will be the company's ability to maintain IBM's reputation for quality and establish an effective sales force, he said.
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Friday, February 2, 2007

Selloff of IBM printing division could mean good news

IBM announced on Jan. 25 that it will sell its printing division to Ricoh -- creating a separate company that will be based in Boulder.

Richo initially will acquire 51 percent of the joint venture, called InfoPrint Solutions Co., for $725 million in cash and

will progressively acquire the remaining interests from IBM over the next three years as the company morphs into a fully owned subsidiary of Ricoh.

With Boulder becoming the worldwide headquarters of InfoPrint, the office will likely create more positions related to development, marketing, product management and maintenance, Paterra said.
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2007-06-14

Ricohs InfoPrint Ready for Print Market By Patrick Hoffman

InfoPrint Solutions Company, a joint venture between Ricoh and IBM, has announced it is ready for business.

InfoPrint Solutions Company, formerly IBMs Printing Systems division but soon to be owned by Ricoh, announced recently that it was ready for business.

Ricoh is buying IBMs Printing Systems division over the course of three years, an arrangement which gives Ricoh access to IBMs production printing software and provides Ricoh a way to market their MFPs (multifunctional products) and printer-based products. Under the terms of the agreement, Ricoh will own 51 percent of the joint company and IBM will own the remaining 49 percent.

"Our focus is to provide solutions that focus on quality of output and total cost of operations that improves a customers environment whether it be an office or commercial environment," said Bob Kilcullen, senior vice president and general manager at the Boulder, Colo.-based InfoPrint Solutions.

Kilcullen pointed out that although IBM had been involved with the printing industry for a number of years, it was not their main focus.

"It was a question of focus as IBM has been involved with the printing industry for a number of years, but it was not their main stream of activity," Kilcullen said. "Printing is the core business for Ricoh so it made a lot of sense to move the printing business to Ricoh."

According to Susan Lyon, research director of Hardcopy Peripherals and Document Solutions at the Framingham, Mass.-based technology research firm IDC, the IBM-Ricoh arrangement has two main benefits for Ricoh.

"[Ricoh] now has access to the services and solutions expertise that will especially be attractive to IT decision makers in all types of enterprises,"

she said, "as well as access to future transaction print high-speed color products and workflow solutions that IBM was developing with partners and internally."

Since InfoPrint Solutions inception, the company has released a number of new products including the IP5000 high-speed, full-color offering for the production environment that produces more than 900 full-color images per minute as well as a new family of light production cut sheet products ranging from 90 to 135 images per minute.

"We want to deliver broader solutions to the marketplace and we are in a position to extend in the print business," Kilcullen said.

"With InfoPrint Solutions, Ricoh will have added a strong product pipeline of production equipment and related services and workflow solutions," Lyon said. "It will be great for the industry that there is a player with a keener focus on the printing industry. As in any industry, stronger players make the marketplace stronger."

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Is Ricoh/IKON poised for a major thrust into the IT and transactional printing space?

Will InfoPrint be enveloped into the rIKON PS world?

Will IKON A/E's be trained in the art of talking to IT or will this fall to Professional Services?

Can Ricoh use the existing InfoPrint client list to build upon?

How will IBM and HP respond to having a "copier company" targeting the same prospects and contacts?

How drôle...
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