A lot of offices are looking to bring printing and copying back into the office environment, so it’s not done in the print room or outsourced to the likes of pronta-print. We’re seeing lots of our bigger machines going into the office environment, probably more than I thought was going to happen. It’s the ‘want it now’ scenario I think, people don’t want to send it to the print room. A lot of increases in print and copy volumes have been generated by emails and attachments. And of course if it’s taken ten seconds to arrive at your desktop you don’t want to wait until the print room or copy shop decide to do it. So people want more and more volume and they want it in front of them now.
Emails and the internet are driving business colour.
Colour development is still very much in its infancy, colour in the office environment is still a very small part of the market. If you’re looking at the next 24 to 36 months that’s going to take one hell of a big chunk out of the market place. All the forecasts from Infosource for instance are showing a constant growth in MFP mono machines, taking away from standalone.
We’ve got relatively high speed devices, but we’ve got developments that are faster than that and so have a lot of other people, and that’s what’s going to drive it.
Colour capable earlier generation,. Good mono but slow colour. If you bought a machine to do volume and you’re doing mono at 45ppm, you’re going to be pretty miffed if it suddenly drops down to 10ppm in colour. Especially if you’re using colour more and more.
Then you’ve got colour-centric devices which have single pass colour, that gives you higher speed, they offer you the speed and the volumes in colour that you’d expect from a mono machine, and that’s the way the market’s going. You’re going to find fewer colour capable devices and more colour centric.
At the moment there are about four different versions that all mean the same thing – sooner or later somebody is going to come up with a single catch all.
Today it’s all about consultancy, the salesmen and the dealer have to talk to the customer, it’s not a case of box-shifting certainly on high-volume. High volume is a solution to the company in its own right. Quite often it’s mission critical, if that machine goes down it costs the company money, because it’s producing invoices or documentation that’s needed in volume. All the machines in that market are reliable products, they have to be to survive. You need to look at the organisation you’re buying from and the support that they offer you company to keep that machine up and running, it’s all about uptime.
More about the company than the device.
You will see these colour capable devices/colour enabled devices, whatever the market decides to call them, they will become integral to the office environment. A lot of this has been driven by end users, not manufacturers. The customers are looking for higher speed colour because their colour laser printers, and certainly their inkjets, cannot do the jobs they’re starting to ask for. So you’ll see a lot of sweeping changes across people’s ranges. We’ll end up with manufacturers offering two types of machines, mono and colour-mono products. So there’s going to be a lot of choice for users in the next 12 months.