Print predictions 2016
What will be the major developments and trends in printing in 2016?
PITR asks industry experts for their thoughts…
“The march by vendors to secure recurring revenues under contract continues with pace, and channel partners are recognising the importance of this in terms of protection of their own customers from competitor cannibalisation and large direct vendors moving down the stack in search of new pages.
“The concept of one big machine in the corner is being really challenged by the distributed print environment and page prices are becoming more competitive as print-centric vendors take on the battle for the mid-market against copier-centric-only propositions.
“Smart resellers are continuing to invest in skills, IT platforms and services to maximise and protect their print revenues for the mid-term, but also to address the growing requirements in digitisation, workflow, collaboration and mobility.”
Nigel Morris, Marketing Director, Beta Distribution
“Continuing pressure on OEM-branded consumables’ margin seems inevitable, both at the dealer and distributor level. Compatibles and remanufactured products do represent an opportunity for the dealer to make more margin and the end user to enjoy lower buy prices, but there are a couple of factors that will impact this market in 2016.
“The ongoing presence of clone products (copies of OEM products) will keep a downward pressure on the prices of legitimate remanufactured products The requirements of the WEEE regulations, which come into force in January 2016 and include most types of toner cartridge, will need to be considered by remanufactured toner brand owners. They also serve to threaten the clone toners, which can’t be recycled.
“In general terms, dealers have had to look outside traditional office products as demand has declined and they will need to take the same approach with OEM-branded consumables. MPS has been talked about for many years as one answer, but it is still a challenge for many dealers whose business is transaction-based rather than ‘cost per click’. However, 2016 may be the year when MPS finally makes a breakthrough in many more dealers’ businesses.”
Bob Davies, Commercial Director, Integra Office Solutions
“Thirty-three per cent of OP dealers’ business is EOS, of which the lion’s share is toner and ink. Remanufactured and compatible cartridge share of the market has not materially changed in the last 10 years, at just under 25% overall. Consequently, compatible cartridge manufacturers are all fighting for the same sector of the market. In the last five years or so we have seen a significant reduction in market prices, a key driver behind the recent price reductions in Initiative brand toners (which are now very competitively priced).
“On the upside, whilst market share of compatibles has plateaued, the market is still growing and predicted to continue growing at 6.2% through to 2019. This is driven largely by positive growth in the hardware sector, particularly multifunction and colour devices, so the aftermarket should still deliver positive revenue growth. Mobile printing is also predicted to help drive future growth.
“MPS remains both a threat and an opportunity for OP dealers. Solution selling is trumping product selling and MPS is continuing to gain traction, with signifiant growth coming from the IT and VAR channels. IT specialists are in the main perceived as more trusted to install monitoring software on users’ systems, but many OP dealers are not really embracing MPS and the changes required in their own businesses to make a success of it. The biggest challenge is finding out who the printer contract decision-makers are and understanding how to address the market.
“OEMs and their channel partners are embracing the ‘walk in and takeover’ (WiTo) mentality rather than the old ‘rip and replace’, thus increasing opportunities for OEM alternative cartridge solutions. All OEMs now offer ‘brand agnostic’ MPS programs and all are partnered with cartridge remanufacturers. HP’s MPS program, for example, manages both HP and third-party printers and copiers. HP acquired a remanufacturer, Printelligent, a few years back and Xerox (the world leader in MPS for the last four years) acquired Laser Networks. Whilst these OEMs have grown their MPS business in the large enterprise sector, they are now well placed to scale down to address the SME space with brand-agnostic products.
“The 3D print market is also a growth area. It’s anticipated that twice as many 3D printers will be sold in 2016 as in 2015. Whilst still in relative infancy, the shift to 3D printing production is not only likely, it’s inevitable. Integra has launched entry level 3D printers starting from as low as £599 retail for the Magic 3D Cube aimed at the education market.
Nigel Allen, Marketing Director, KYOCERA Document Solutions UK
“Print will continue to be both relevant and critical to businesses in 2016, although we see signifiant growth potential in three areas in particular – 3D print, Cloud and managed print.
“Although the technologies behind it have been around for over 20 years, we’ve started to see 3D printing hit the mainstream this year as prices have come down and it has become more commoditised. We expect that trend to continue in 2016, and anticipate the demand for 3D to be bigger and better than ever, as many customers are now more aware of its potential and practical applications.
“More and more services continue to move to the Cloud, and print is no exception. Given the potential cost savings and the increased security now offered, we would predict further growth within Cloud printing as businesses become ever more mobile.
“Managed print is still quite new to many businesses – Quocirca estimates that around 50% of UK enterprises use managed print services, which means that 50% don’t. We think this balance will tip in 2016, as organisations realise the benefit of having greater visibility and control over their print environment and the potential to increase efficiency whilst cutting costs.”
Alpesh Unalkat, Managing Director, Capita Document & Information Services
“The market is moving towards fewer, larger and more capable players, and we are now seeing new entrants from other sectors, who are able to provide MPS as part of a wider range of services. 2016 will see further market consolidation, with strategic mergers and acquisitions continuing within the MPS space.
“Key players will provide ‘services beyond MPS’. The ‘version one’ of MPS which included simple printer rationalisation and migration of usage to MFDs is definitely yesteryear. Organisations are now looking for integrated services related to MPS, such as scanning, storage, hybrid mail and workflow solutions. We see this trend continuing and growing, with clients demanding joined up solutions from a single provider.
“The workplace and workforce are changing, with the advance of mobility, flexible working and workspace solutions. This trend is set to continue and will impact ever more on the requirement for Managed Print; the changing face of the client will alter and shape MPS solutions in the future.
“New technologies, such as Cloud, 3D, mobility etc., will continue to gather momentum. Their place in the market will in many ways contribute to the changing shape of MPS solutions.”
Carl Day, Sales Director Indirect Division, Toshiba TEC UK
“I believe we will continue to see unit sales stabilise in office print with more users turning to faster devices to deliver shared printing. The line between traditional desktop printers and MFPs is blurring further as more providers offer a balanced deployment based on true client requirements.
“We have seen more dealers diversifying their product portfolio to include thermal and barcode printers in order to demonstrate value to their customers and new ways of working, and this is an area that Toshiba will continue to focus on and expand.
“I think the biggest change to the market will be in how we engage with our clients. Organisations are now addressing their operational strategy with much more of a focus on brand, reputation, CSR and ethical decision-making. Professional bodies such as the Association of Professional Sales (APS) are already demonstrating how companies can grow their business by ensuring their values and ethics are conveyed through their staff to their clients.
“Toshiba will continue to deliver growth in partnership with its dealers by offering insight and education for the development of people. This, together with an exciting new range of products and services due for launch in 2016, means that I am predicting another growth year for Toshiba TEC UK.”
Francis Thornhill, Product Marketing Manager, Canon Europe
“At Canon, we are seeing working practices evolve rapidly as customers seek to do more for less and quicker, through greater operational efficiencies in their business. This is driving the adoption of new technologies and services. The focus of conversations is therefore shifting away from the traditional realm of ‘product’ and ‘hardware’ to complete services and solutions that can deliver operational efficiencies and allow customers to focus on their business priorities.
“The fastest growing area for managed print and document services is the SME market, as technologies such as mobile and Cloud bring new possibilities for smaller businesses to be quicker, smarter and bolder with innovative processes that were previously available only to larger companies because of the in-house IT complexity. This trend will be creating great opportunities for suppliers to secure recurring services revenues next year.
“In the face of such change, print and scanning technology is evolving to help suppliers meet the needs of customers. At a basic level, there is seamless integration with IT and Cloud systems, as well as mobile technologies. New remote service capabilities help provide a range of services and assistance quickly. With the rise of smarter and more connected devices, customers will also expect security features as standard.
“Demanding clarity on how vendors protect customer information and documents will become commonplace. Next year, we may see businesses rationalise the number of suppliers that are helping them manage their information and documents to minimise potential information leaks.
“In 2016, modern multifunction devices, document solutions and service providers will prove to be the critical links in helping businesses bridge the worlds of paper and digital efficiently and securely. Canon’s technology, solutions and expertise will continue to centre on helping businesses run document and business processes that have the capacity to integrate seamlessly with digital services such as mobile and Cloud technologies.
Phil Madders, Managing Director, Print Audit Europe
“We all know the feeling that we should take the advent of the New Year as a prompt to improve something and our customers are no exception in the quest to improve their businesses.
“During 2015, we were involved in more integration projects than ever before. Our partners were taking all the individual silos of data they use in their back office to manage their businesses, looking to integrate them and wherever possible automate and streamline processes. Their objectives clearly being to reduce cost and increase efficiency.
“In a well-established market, I would expect this trend to accelerate in 2016 as businesses look to improve their back office processes, identify and remove inefficiencies and hidden costs and accelerate their digital transformation.
“The buzzword we hear most is ‘leakage’ – the phenomenon of revenue draining away due to lack of visibility or gaps in processes, ranging from doublehandling meter readings to managing just-in-time delivery on toner fulfilment.
“We find ourselves delivering data integrated directly into the billing process, service management and shipping functions of the business, achieved by partnering with other software developers or through our own solution offerings. The focus clearly being on eradicating leakage.
“A game-changing prediction for 2016 is the way MPS will be billed. At present, everything seems to be wrapped up into a cost per page contract to supply any MPS Solution. We all know the pressure of the competitive market we work in – falling print volumes, lower click charge, lower hardware cost and free professional services. It is hard to maintain a reasonable margin.
“There is also a contradiction at the heart of MPS offerings that stands out like the proverbial sore thumb – MPS broadly offers customers the benefit of cost reduction. The headline-grabbing, deal-closing Killer App is usually involved in reducing things – the number of devices, the number of emails printed in colour, 30% of costs … and so it goes on. Whilst this might please the customer, it is completely the opposite of what the supplier’s objectives are regarding their overall business. This contradiction needs to be re-aligned, so both customers and suppliers are moving together with shared objectives – reducing volumes and costs, and improving processes.
“My prediction for 2016 is that there will be a rethink on the current billing model. Ideas like seat-based billing adapted from the corporate IT market and familiar through models like Office 365 and Salesforce will start to be developed for MPS provision. It has clear advantages by aligning customers and suppliers in a model where any savings and improvements in efficiency reward both parties. It provides a clear pricing structure to the end user and protects the margin for the supplier.
“Of course, as software developers, we also have to develop product offerings to support the demand for flexibility and low-cost subscriptions matching these new developments. In a market exposed to concepts like the circular economy on the manufacturing side and the collaborative economy on the consumer side, it is hard to see the status quo lasting indefinitely.
“Without a doubt, we are in the middle of a transformation of the MPS market as we know it. It remains to be seen at what pace change progresses and who can keep up with it and how.”
Shaun Wilkinson, Managing Director, UTAX (UK) Ltd
“As the way we all work changes, so too does the way we print and manage documents, which makes it an exciting time for those dealers who are able to think outside the box.
“The need for maximum connectivity, the ability to print and access documents from a raft of different devices and integration of digital workflows with Cloud-based storage will only grow. Dealers that really embrace this culture change and shift their mindset away from selling boxes towards delivering solutions will thrive.
“Buzz words in business at the moment include digitalisation, productivity and collaboration, all of which can be delivered by dealers delivering the full gamut of managed print and document workflow solutions available to them. Fully customisable app-based software such as the UTAX HyPAS platform will become the bedrock of everything an MFP can do, thanks to the likes of time-saving onetouch rules-based printing, collaboration on documents from anywhere at any time and touchscreen-controlled scanning of documents into cost-effective digital workflows.
“Dealers have a greater opportunity to add value to print and document management than they have ever had before, especially through the integration of user-specific software, which enables solutions to be introduced into an end user’s business while also addressing other areas of concern amongst end-users, with security being a hot topic.
“The art of selling will become much more collaborative as dealers work closely with vendors to bring together packaged solutions that deliver real results to business and solve problems. No longer should we pigeon-hole multifunction printers according to how fast they can print or whether they’re A3 or A4. Instead we need to look at devices as the enabler; what can they do for the end-user and how can they enhance productivity, develop collaboration or allow truly mobile working?
“Sales and solutions need to keep pace with customer demands. Only those dealers who change their perception of what they’re selling will be successful, especially those who take advantage of new opportunities by highlighting the power of today’s print and document management solutions. The benefis of using the latest technology are wide-ranging so dealers need to ensure they provide relevant solutions that tie hardware and software together.
“As dealers are now providing solutions, market insight will become ever more important. When it comes to education, for example, effective school management is all about juggling financial and human resources. Dealers can therefore focus on the cost reduction and efficiency benefits of managed print solutions and talk about automatic replenishment of toner, hassle-free scheduled servicing and monitoring of print output that means devices can be interchanged if one’s being used less than another. And that’s before they start to discuss intelligent three-tier pricing, management of mono and colour output and the cost-saving benefits of follow-me printing.
“It’s this sort of specific information and solutions that dealers need to be sharing with their customers and then delivering with the support of their vendor partners in order to be successful in today’s super-competitive environment.”
Mark Ash, Head of Print, Samsung
“2015 really brought to life the possibilities of smart technology and I expect this theme to continue in 2016 as we see the rise of the Connected Workplace. From your car predicting at what point you’ll arrive in the office, ensuring that your desktop is up and ready to go upon your arrival, to your phone communicating with your computer and organising your agenda for the day, all technology in the workplace will be connected. In short, the Connected Workplace will enable efficient and effective working and is key to business transformation.
“Print will play a huge part in making the Connected Workplace achievable. End users won’t be restricted to printing just from their desktop; they’ll be fully mobile, printing directly from the device, remotely from their phones, tablets and smart watches, accessing data that’s stored in the Cloud. The same will apply to scanning – documents will be scanned into editable documents that can be stored in the Cloud and accessed remotely.
“Whilst print won’t define business transformation, it will enable the Connected Workplace, which will in turn have a huge impact on the way businesses operate for years to come.
“We also expect to see consolidation in the market, as traditional print vendors find it increasingly hard to exist without a converged offering. This plays to Samsung’s strength and we expect our position to grow and to take market share.”
Simon Hill, Sales Director UK & Ireland, Nuance Communications
“High profile security breaches, both in the UK and overseas, will be a big influence in 2016. I anticipate that more organisations will take a new look at their security policy, procedures and deterrents and will work to ensure that web-enabled devices connected to their network, like multifunction printers, have their security reinforced, so that they are protected from hackers and no longer present a weak link in the security chain.
“From a document security perspective, we’ll see pull printing build on the customer base it has established so far, as more companies work to prevent sensitive information contained in documents from being left unsecured and unattended on devices.
“But while security will be front-ofmind for many companies, they won’t lose sight of that business perennial – the need to lower costs. With office printing the single most unaudited business expense, I believe more companies will look to deploy a managed print service which can help reduce print costs by up to 30%. However, there is still work to be done in educating end-users that an MPS isn’t simply about the automated replenishment of consumables; too often companies have fallen into that trap and have not seen the promised return on their MPS investment. In 2016, vendors, the channel and providers of a truly effective MPS will have to do more to push the message that for an MPS to be effective and deliver on the projected cost savings, it must take a comprehensive view of print fleet management, encompassing proactive device monitoring, qualified and experienced helpdesk support, managed document services and, of course, device and document security.
“In the drive to further reduce print costs, I anticipate a healthy demand for intelligent print management solutions like Nuance Equitrac, AutoStore and SafeCom, which enable companies to track print costs, by detailing who is printing and when, and see which devices are under- or over-used. This information is useful for establishing whether a print fleet can, or should be, rationalised. Detailed reporting of information also ensures that departments, individuals or clients can be billed for their print more accurately.
“But my real hope for 2016 is that how print is perceived will shift; too often procurement views the cost of new devices in isolation of a fleet’s running costs. It’s time to look more closely at the total cost of ownership if companies are going to get a grip on their print costs, lower print volumes and understand where tangible cost savings can be made.”
Andrew Hall, Marketing Manager, OKI
“We have seen general printer sales in decline in 2015. However, certain trends continued and, in particular, increased demand for multifunction devices and larger format professional print products created a steady rise in sales.
“Demand for Smart MFP devices is fuelled by the need for end customers to address the requirement for some form of document management and space savings. Off the back of this, managed print services is still increasing at a steady pace. Resellers should look to vendors who can support them in delivering a managed service to their customers, and who also have the portfolio of products and solutions to back it up.
“In addition, when it comes to professional print, more and more businesses are looking to bring this inhouse. So being able to offer an A3 or even larger wide format device will be a major benefit for the channel. OKI will again be introducing some innovative products for the professional market in 2016, so the future of print does look brilliant.”
Gary Downey, Group Marketing Director, Apogee
“Irrespective of the size of organisation, from more progressive clients we have seen an increasing appetite to talk about integration of business processes across a managed infrastructure this year, and I think this will gather pace in 2016.
“Mobile and Cloud computing are becoming the norm and as businesses migrate away from the traditional server model to centrally coordinated applications provided to any device, there will be greater demand for providers of the document infrastructure to have the technical ability to support all these devices, and seamlessly integrate digital processes and communications to flow across all platforms. Professional services and project management expertise will be key to winning and executing these contracts successfully.
“After many years of hardware manufacturers hyping apps and widgets with limited effect, I think 2016 could see the best of these and independently developed versions becoming an important consideration on the buyers’ must-have list, and that will directly affect who wins business.
“Process-savvy buyers will look at the benefits of rationalising fleets and improving process efficiency in a single step, rather than the traditional 1-2 approach. Providers who can communicate the benefis of their solutions in terms of security, efficiency, productivity etc. will have the advantage over the commodity MPS competition.”
Alison Locke, Marketing Manager, Olivetti UK
“Independent research (Global Mobile Printing Market 2015-2019, TechNavio, February 2015) forecasts the global mobile printing market to grow at a CAGR of 32.5% over the period 2014-2019, with the key drivers for this growth being the increased implementation of BYOD in business and the education market.
“This trend is also driving the volume of printed documents being stored in the Cloud. This has created a growing need for people, in business and education, to be able to print from their device simply and easily while away from their usual printer, and there are now new and innovative ways to do this.
“As far as desktop printing goes, Olivetti’s market share grew in 2014 by around +6.7%, at the same time as the Western European market increased its share by around +9.4%, according to Gartner.
“Olivetti’s plan is to combine the continued launch of fast, highly featured colour laser printers with reduced energy consumption of 20%, and support for Airprint, Cloud Printing, Wireless printing and Mobile Apps, with direct access at the front for USB sticks, to enable the growing area of mobile printing from iOS or Android devices to flourish.
“New printer launches for 2016 have been designed to ensure greater data security and to fit neatly into managed print environments, another growing area for print. The printers will enable administrators to manage which users can print in colour, or just mono, and set the default to duplex all multi-page documents. These new models will feature new Data Security kits, interface block function and access control via IC Card or keyboard-based passwords to ensure that any increase in their use by guests can be managed and controlled.
“The demand for printing on different media types is an increasingly important factor for workgroups and our printers include options to feed media from fie different sources. In addition, preview features enable documents to be checked before a long print run and electronic collation takes the strain out of sorting large jobs.
“In Olivetti’s opinion, the desktop printer market will run alongside the MFP market in environments where there are small but highly productive workgroups, in small businesses and where there are branches and satellite offies to consider.”
Sarah Crumpler, Marketing Manager, Duplo UK
“The reseller market for Duplo is potentially our biggest growth opportunity for the foreseeable future, not just in 2016. We will continue to work closely to support our reseller partners to ensure that relevant information, marketing and product demonstrations are in place. They are critical to our success.
“While our heritage was traditionally in commercial printing, one-third of our business now goes through dealers, with printing trends meaning that this area is set for continued growth.
“The world of print finishing continues to move forward extremely quickly, particularly in a digital world where personalisation and fully automated precision are crucial. Looking ahead to 2016, it’s going to be even more important for resellers to continue to have discussions on a complete solution – embracing the full journey from print to documents – and not just talking about what comes off a printer. “Going forward, we’ll be encouraging our resellers to make sure their customers get the most from their print production by providing and sharing new services whilst growing awareness in the marketplace.”
Nikki Todd, Channel Director,VOW
“At VOW, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve and being mindful of industry vibrations and requirements. As IT resellers continue to look at expanding the range of products they can offer their customers, customer service excellence will continue to dominate service expectations and industry trends.
“Resellers will require an even higher level of care, attention and service from their wholesale partner to help them deliver a complete service to their customers via a ‘nurture’ path.
“It is of no surprise that in 2016, we are likely to see IT resellers adopt an even more discerning and selective approach when choosing who their wholesale partner is.”
“We will continue to see a reshaping of the office printing industry, with some manufacturers moving away from office printing to focus on developing their business process services for large enterprises. This will create market share opportunity for other manufacturers.
“While print will surely continue to decline, albeit slowly, the shift to colour will also continue with its higher value for external communications in particular.
“Cloud adoption by SMBs will continue to accelerate, but with a greater swing from freemium services to premium. This swing being due to the growing awareness and importance of data security which continues to become a priority. The business value of Cloud sourcing will become increasingly compelling – its low cost to deploy, low cost to service and flexibility provide affordable access to solutions and services, which many SMBs would otherwise not find viable.
“Workflow solutions and devices which simply and seamlessly connect to share content, predominantly through Cloud provisioning, will be the winners. As will be the resellers who are able to consult and configure these and deliver the expected business value.”
Jonathan Whitworth, Managing Director, DSales
“The old saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ will certainly apply to 2016 as the economic recovery continues, boosting sales in many business sectors including reprographics. The biggest driver for change and growth in digital imaging will be the increasing trend towards mobile working patterns.
“In August 2015 Ofcom reported that for the fist time more UK workers accessed the internet via their smartphones (33%), ahead of 30% who preferred laptops. This step-change is driven by the BYOD phenomenon, where workers have opted to use their own smartphones as their device of choice to connect to the internet.
“To stay relevant and meet the need of these workers to print and scan, MFPs must allow direct input from mobile phones using technologies such as NFC, and this will be an accelerating trend in 2016. It gives dealerships an excellent sales opportunity to re-engage with established customers about upgrading their existing MFP fleet to support mobile working and also to excite the interest of new prospects.
“In addition to the mobile working trend, the requirement to offer document management software as part of a total hardware and software solution for document processing and imaging will continue. Almost all sales of MFPs will include software and, once again, this is an excellent opportunity for dealers to offer value-added services that win customers and keep them loyal.
“It promises to be a very good year!”