Thursday, March 26, 2009

MFP Wars "The Final Five"

How many players do we have now....let's see Ricoh, Xerox, Canon, KonicaMinolta, OCE, Sharp, Kyocera, Toshiba, Muratec and Panasonic.

Many moons ago, I made a few predictions in reference to "what I thought" would happen with Ricoh Americas. To sum it up, my thoughts were that Ricoh would take all non performing dealers and ask them to become Lanier or Savin, while keeping the top Ricoh Dealer performers. It made sense to me in the fact that the Direct Channel would then have less competition for the Ricoh name and the emergence of Print Production Group. Ricoh then buys Ikon and the Direct Channel is now massive, who do you feed first? Do I think this will happen? We'll all seen stranger things happen right....

Xerox remains a strong force with the purchase of Global and then the Global purchase of Conmdoc, as a matter of fact there's a neat Poll on the RFG Family Group. It asks "What Dealer Will Global Buy Next?", there are three dealers listed and all three are giants in their market place. RFG P4P Hotel I'll try to repost here in a few days for everyone.

Canon, OMG!, seems they are signing any dealer that's still breathing, in my market place just a year ago we had two Canon dealers, we now have SIX dealers all competing in the same market place. What a way to errode your prices and saturate the market.

Panasonic seems to have thrown in the towel with their dealer network, and Muratec remains strong as a secondary source. I would have to believe that three of these companies will retire from the MFP market place in a few years. Rumors were rampant a few weeks ago that Toshiba was going to sell it's MFP division to Canon, until Mark Mathews, President and COO, Toshiba America Business Solutions announced that this was not true and they have never engaged anyone. However two weeks ago Norio Saskai was announced as the new President and CEO of Toshiba Corporate.

Toshiba seems like they are betting the ranch Mirco Nuclear Reactors (don't want one of those in my backyard). I don't think we've seen the last of the Toshiba rumors and if the economy keeps going the way it is, things will happen!

Rumors have also been rampant that Kyocera has or will sign an OEM agreement with Canon for their segment 6 systems. Let's be real, there are some great Kyocera Dealers out there, however how many really have the sales force and the bucks to play in that market. I see Kyocera's future as a dominating force for Global Solar Panels, you read more press releases about their solar technology than their MFP technology.

Sharp, your guess is as good as mine, they release some fantastic boxes, trying to play in Print Production and then they pass on the "On Demand Show" in Phili. Go figure.

So, that leaves us with the "Final 5" copier companies, Ricoh, Xerox, KonicaMinolta, Canon and OCE (rumors here with OCE that KonicaMinolta may make a move), these are my bets for who will make the final five. Maybe we can flip Kyocera and Oce.

The big conglomerates such as Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp and Kyocera may have bigger roads to hoe than MFP's.

-=Good Selling=-


Philip John said...

Eroding Prices and saturating the market is exactly what Canon has done in the Greater New York City area. There could easily be 15 - 20 Canon dealers in this area apart from Canon Business Solutions.

The rest of the market is now going to see the same of that.

If the rumors of Canon buying Kyocera have any truth to them - fuggetaboutit. Kyocera and Copystar has been signing on dealers like no tomorrow in the last 12 months. Talk about a double whammy if that happens.

Philip John

socalcopy said...

Kyocera just announced the introduction of three color systems is scheduled for July -- 55, 65 and 75 cpm. Are these coming from Canon? Only time will tell.