Archive for April, 2008

   Copier Firmware Upgrades – Does your Servicing Dealer Perform These?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

In today’s digital market, manufacturers are continually releasing upgrades to customer’s office equipment. Digital copiers run off of an operating system similar to Windows on a PC. Manufacturers release patches and upgrades on a daily, monthly, and quarterly basis, depending on the make and model.

The process to install the upgrades or patches is simple – a technician uses a service support tool, found on their laptop, that they get from the manufacturer. The technician takes this information and uses a crossover cable or thumb drive to install the upgrades on the customer’s equipment.

The benefit to the customer, is that their machine will work at optimum performance and may in fact acquire additional features that were previously not available prior to the upgrades. Always choose a dealer that equips its technicians with laptops. A dealership that is willing to invest in its technicians will provide its customers with the technology that is needed to keep their equipment performing at optimal levels.

Original post April 29th, 2008

   Merger Mania in the Copier World!

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

On April 9, 2008 Konica Minolta acquired Danka a supplier of Canon, Toshiba, Kodak and HP office equipment products. In 2007, Xerox purchased Global, also a provider of Canon, Ricoh, Konica, etc.

There was a backlash from Canon. Canon USA refused to supply Xerox with any parts, supplies, technical support for any of Globals’ Canon customers. This will most likely occur again with Konica Minolta. Why would Canon want to support another manufacturer?

This leaves many customers wondering NOW WHAT? ….Who do I call for service? Who is my provider? The answer is simple, find a local independent dealer.

For example, Offix, a Canon dealer in Northern VA, has been able to help many of the Global customers who were left in a lurch by the Xeorx purchase.

If you are a customer who has been affected by all this merger mania, switch to an independent dealer who is Authorized (key) to service your equipment. Do not allow a non-authorized dealer to fix your equipment – you will receive after market products that will void any warranty and affect equipment performance.

Original post April 24th, 2008

   Canon imageRunner Scan-to-Print Demo

Monday, April 21st, 2008

How do you make poster size or larger charts/graphs for meetings, conventions, etc?  Canon has created a way for you scan your originals into a Canon imageRUNNER copier and output them on an imagePROGRAF Printer.

Original post April 21st, 2008

   It’s a Great Time to Buy a Copier

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I read an article in the NY-Times this weekend that many of the leading copier manufacturers profits are down. This is great news for the consumer! I work for a copier company and I have seen an increase in promotions and rebates that we (dealers) can offer the purchaser (you). Be sure to ask your local dealer about these promotions – as sometimes a less than reputable dealer will keep the rebates for themselves.

Canon, Ricoh profits hit by firmer yen – paper

TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) – A firmer yen and slowing U.S. copier sales have hit profitability at Ricoh Co Ltd (7752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and Canon Inc (7751.T: Quote, Profile, Research), causing Ricoh to miss its latest annual earnings outlook, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.

Ricoh’s pretax profit has likely come to about 180 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in the year ended March 31, narrowly missing its own forecast of 184 billion yen, the Nikkei said.

That compares with a consensus of 183.7 billion yen in a poll of 14 analysts by Reuters Estimates.

Ricoh, which competes with Canon and Xerox Corp (XRX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in printers and copiers, already cut its full-year pretax profit forecast in January from 192 billion yen to 184 billion.

The newspaper also said net profit at Canon has likely totalled about 110 billion yen in January-March, down 16 percent from a year earlier and in line with a consensus estimate of 110.2 billion yen.

Canon enjoyed brisk sales of printers and digital cameras in emerging markets, but the yen’s appreciation against the dollar and sluggish copier demand from U.S. corporate clients dampened profitability, the Nikkei said.

A firmer yen eats into exporters’ foreign sales when they are converted into the Japanese currency.

For the calendar year 2008, Canon’s net profit is expected to total around 500 billion yen, up 2 percent from a year earlier, but falling short of the company’s own forecast of 520 billion yen, the paper said. Analysts on average expect Canon to post net profit of 488.6 billion yen this year.

No officials were immediately available for comment at Canon or Ricoh.

Canon’s business year ends in December, while Ricoh, along with many other Japanese companies, closes its book in March. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Jan Dahinten)

Original post April 14th, 2008

   Canon USA Partners with Sepialine

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in imaging solutions, and Sepialine, Inc.,today announced the immediate availability of Sepialine’s print accounting software for the Canon imagePROGRAF large format printer series. The new software extends Sepialine’s Argos Cost Recovery System by integrating directly with imagePROGRAF large format printers to provide detailed print records that include total ink consumption.

“Capturing print costs is critical to our customers, and that’s why our partnership with Sepialine is an important step for us,” said Jim Rosetta, vice president and general manager, Imaging Systems Group, Canon U.S.A. “For firms looking to monitor and recover print expenses, Sepialine’s ability to report costs based on actual usage is a unique and tangible benefit. Our relationship with Sepialine allows Canon to deliver truly outstanding cost recovery, and we’re gratified to count Sepialine as a partner.”

Inkjet printers such as Canon’s imagePROGRAF series serve a wide range of purposes, ranging from technical line drawings to full-color presentation materials. The versatility of inkjet printers presents a paradox: some inkjet printing consumes large amounts of ink and is, therefore, expensive. Other times, a print job requires less ink at a relatively low cost. Unless print tracking software can detect those differences in print jobs, usage reports do not accurately reflect total print costs. Sepialine’s new     integration software solves the inkjet tracking dilemma by categorizing and determining the cost of print jobs based on ink consumption, resulting in precise and accurate cost reporting.

The new imagePROGRAF integration software is the latest addition to Sepialine’s extensive support for Canon products, which also includes the newly announced Argos Embedded Copy Tracking for Canon MEAP devices, a pure software solution for tracking Canon MFPs. Together, the imagePROGRAF and MEAP cost recovery products offer Canon dealers and customers a complete view of their equipment  expenses.         “Sepialine’s goal is to accurately track and monitor 100 percent of our customers’ expenses,” said Mike Cahill, vice president, Engineering, Sepialine. “This new integration helps achieve that, bringing a new degree of precision and accuracy to tracking on Canon imagePROGRAF printers.”

Original post April 8th, 2008

   7 Hot Acronyms IT Pros are Talking About

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

In the copier industry we present to IT departments weekly, as copiers often need to be networked. I came across this article, and it helped me to understand the terminology that often flies around the meetings. I want to share it with all of you as it make us non IT people sound much more credible and it is really interesting.

“IT professionals adore acronyms and shorthand. That’s one of the reasons why normal people think IT pros are speaking a foreign language when they talk amongst themselves. If you want to keep up with the IT trends familiarize yourself with the following list of hot IT acronyms for 2008. (Adapted from article by Jason Hiner.)”

1. BPM Business Process Management is all about using technology to make business processes more efficient and less time consuming, and thus completing the same processes with fewer resources. In other words, it’s about streamlining operations to save money. Many IT departments and IT service agents – such as IBM – are focusing on BPM as a way to transform the image of IT from a cost center to a value center.

2. CMDBA Configuration Management Database collects configuration data about the various pieces of an IT infrastructure and store them in a unified repository that can be systematically analyzed and managed. In this system, the various pieces of data are called “configuration items” (CIs) and the goal is track changes to the CIs and to ultimately auto-discover new items. CMBD is a critical component of the ITIL framework, and it can be an extremely valuable asset for standardizing IT management.

3. BI Business Intelligence is a fancy name for the high-powered reports and dashboards that smart companies use to track the performance of their businesses. For example, Larry Dignan of ZDNet like to say, “BI is the way you get ROI out of ERP.” What’s he’s getting at is that BI is what gives full value for the hard work of implementing an ERP or data warehouse project, because BI allows you to mine the data to better understand the trajectory of your company.

4. MDM Master Data Management is the new buzzword for unifying data sources to provide a single, reliable source of information about customers, products, employees, and other assets. This may sound similar to data that are typically live and dynamic, such as customer and product data.

5. TCOTotal Cost of Ownership is a phrase coined by the Gatner Group in 1987, and it has developed into a useful formula for arriving at the full costs involved in deploying and managing technology tools. TCO calculations provide assistance  with product selection, because they are a valuable part of estimating return on investment (ROI). With tech budgets tightening in 2008, TCO and ROI will become even more critical in helping IT departments decide how to best spend their constrained budgets.

6. SOA Service Oriented Architecture has a few distinguishing characteristics, but it’s the same type of cloud computing that has been referred to as “Web Services” and Software as a Service” over the past decade. The difference with SOA is that is goes beyond cloud computing by breaking down software services into standard building blocks that can be re-used, distributed, and fed into other sites, programs and projects.

7. ITILInformation Technology Infrastructure Library has evolved into a set of standards and best practices for organizing and running an IT department.Originally developed by the British Government with inspiration from IBM, ITTL is now an international phenomenon and a hot commodity in the United States, where ITIL-trained professionals are in strong demand. ITILv3 was published in April 2007, and one of the most important revisions was stronger alignment between IT and business-another critical theme for IT in 2008.

Original post April 3rd, 2008