A few years ago I posted a blog that outlined the "MPF Wars the Final Five" copier/mfp providers.
Since that post on September 28th Xerox purchased Affiliated Computer Systems for $5.5 billion, which propelled Xerox in to the business solutions and information technology business. Soon after on November 16th of 2009 Canon announced plans to purchase OCE.
In some recent less noticed news Canon Canada closed an office and handed over the accounts to a local dealer in Nova Scotia, Ricoh Canada closed their Saskatchewan office and cut a deal with WBM Office Systems to take over accounts and took on many of the technical and sales staff and expertise previously employed by Ricoh Canada. RJ Young (USA) cut a deal with Ricoh for more than 6,000 MIF for the Columbus, Tupelo, & Biloxi, MS and Huntsville AL locations of Ricoh/Ikon. 6000+ MIF.
In the last month Canon finally sealed the deal with OCE to finish acquiring the outstanding shares of OCE (a group of shareholders held out for additional cash), and back on May 11th of 2011 Canon announced the creation of Canon Information And Imaging Solutions, Inc..
Ricoh Corporation announced that they are re-branding and uniting Ricoh and Ikon Office Solutions in the US under one brand. Ricoh is moving towards being known as a business solutions provider. KonicaMinolta acquired All Covered back in January of 2011 and has been on a buying spree for acquiring addition IT companies to put under the All Covered umbrella. Just last week Kyocera Mita America (didn't even know they were still using the Mita name anymore) announced that they are changing their name to Kyocera Document Solutions America, thus Kyocera Document Solutions America is re-branding also wants to be know as a business solutions provider also.
The last four years have been chaotic for the office equipment business, the downturn in the global economy, the floods of Thailand, the Great Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami and the continued rise of the Japanese yen has caused billions of dollars in loses for most of the Japanese Imaging manufacturers.
So, what's my take on all of this.....we're in for the ride of our lives! Many industry pundits are declaring the end of the paper is upon us, and these were the same pundits that declared many years ago that fax was dead and then copiers/mfp's were dead and behold the coming of Managed Print (the supposed holy grail of profit). But the entire industry is making the change from being imaging manufacturing providers to business solution providers.
"Those who manage the network will control the imaging devices" is another term I've heard lately. Dealers will need to evolve also, whether it's Managed Services, Business Solutions and or IT Services, or a combination of all three (and all three can be incorporated under IT services). It's much easier to change the copier company than the IT provider.
Not in any order, my picks for who will stay and who will leave the copier imaging industry:
Those that will stay (The Final Five):
- Samsung (as long as they don't buy Xerox)
I'm not happy about the transition but I understand where the business is going. Years ago we had a thread on the Print4Pay Hotel forums that read ""Every business needs to prepare for the total abandonment of everything that it does."