Inkjet Wholesale News aims to provide updates on the latest significant occurrences in the field of printing. Whether it’s the launch of a new technology or volatility of market prices, we’ll be here to give you the lowdown on what happened, when it happened, and what it means!
Will Xerox Restructure Lead to the Same Result as the Infamous Kodak Fate?
In many ways, Xerox is the Original Equipment Manufacturer that started it all in the world of printing. The Xerox 914 is credited to be the first single unit plain paper photocopier in the history of printing. In fact, Xerox has been around since 1906, when it used to be called The Haloid Photographic Company. However, great achievements in the past and a rich heritage apart, Xerox has to cope with the business world just like all the other OEMs. So, it didn’t surprise a lot of people when the company announced restructuring plans last month.
Last month, we reported on the announcement regarding the Xerox restructure or split. This announcement was made by Ursula Burns, the Chief Executive Office of Xerox. Burns had earlier announced that the OEM was in the process of a strategic review of its business operations.
Now that some time has passed since the announced Xerox restructure and split, it isn’t all that surprising that a lot of industry watchers and analysts are beginning to worry that Xerox might go the same way as Kodak did, especially since both the companies hail from the same place i.e. Rochester, New York.
The similarity between the fates of these two companies has been remarkable. Kodak, a few years ago, started suffering because the market for its photographic films started shrinking. The cause for this problem was, of course, the digital revolution and the fact that people could store their photographs in digital formats.
In the case of Xerox restructure situation, the problem is shrinking demand for its hardware technology. There are fewer takers of Xerox equipment than there were a few years ago and the market is shrinking at an increased pace as well.
This similarity in the market dynamics of the respective industries of Kodak and Xerox restructure doesn’t automatically mean that the fate of the latter will end up like that of the former. The reason for this is that Kodak made a very specific mistake in the run up to its problem that Xerox, so far, isn’t making.
Kodak’s mistake was that when the market for photographic films started facing trouble, it started selling its patent portfolio to raise funds. This resulted in the company losing a large chunk of its patent portfolio, which in turn ended up severely restricting its research potential. Needless to say, without significant research, Kodak couldn’t create a new income stream.
Xerox, as a matter of fact, is taking the direct opposite of the path that Kodak took. Xerox has been enriching its patent portfolio in the last few years quite aggressively. For example, in 2015 in its local region, Xerox was the most prolific patent receiver. Not only this, Xerox had held onto that position for 11 years in a row ending in 2015. Furthermore, Xerox has been so patent driven that it is amongst the top 20 American companies with respect to the total number of patents issued.
Following the Xerox restructure and split, we can expect the company to gradually move away from the documents printing industry as its core business. Instead, we can expect the OEM to start focusing on other revenue generating industries and turn one of them into its core business.
Many patents that Xerox has received in the last few years have revolved around documents printing such as print head designs and toner formulations. However, many have also been focused around other more revolutionary sectors such as big data, analytics, and machine learning.
Another highlight of Xerox’s recent patents has been its focus on video analysis. The OEM has been trying to create and leverage its expertise in video analysis in various projected spheres of life. For instance, Xerox has targeted self-drive cars through its early warning system designed for spotting animals on the road, its thermal imaging system for assessing peripheral vascular disease, and even a video analysis system for deciphering user preferences in the retail sector.
These types of cutting edge technology patents is how Xerox restructure may not lead the OEM to Kodak’s unfortunate but infamous fate of bankruptcy through lack of vision.
Konica Minolta Announces Brand New Leadership Structure
Last time we reported on Konica Minolta was in the middle of January. The report was interesting too because it described rumours in the industry that Konica Minolta will acquire Lexmark. Since then, there have been more rumours surrounding Lexmark such as the receipt of bids on the OEM’s software operations as explained in our last post. With so many rumours surrounding the fate of Lexmark, we’re no longer sure about anything concerning that OEM.
Hence, with that in mind, when we come across information regarding Konica Minolta leadership restructuring, we can’t figure out why it’s happening. However, what can’t be denied that it has been announced and will happen soon.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the subsidiary of Konica Minolta, Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc., has been changed by the OEM. The new CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc. is Rick Taylor who has also been made an executive office of the parent company Konica Minolta.
Rick Taylor will be taking up the reigns of the American subsidiary of the global giant from the beginning of April, 2016. He will be taking over from Tom Taiko who will vacate this post for another position in Konica Minolta’s headquarters in Japan. Taiki will be the General Manager of the Worldwide Strategic Business Planning Headquarters of Business Technology of Konica Minolta Inc. The reasoning given by Konica Minolta for this leadership shuffle is positioning the company for long term growth.
Taylor is currently serving on Konica Minolta’s Global Strategy Council where he has handled projects involving company’s finance, legal, administration, marketing, sales, acquisitions, and mergers in the US. Essentially, Taylor has been leading more than 8000 employees while being responsible for corporate strategy and operations for Konica Minolta’s US subsidiary.