Monday
Jun302014

Xerox lays out inkjet ambition

Xerox chairman and chief executive Ursula Burns has said that the group may make further acquisitions to boost its production inkjet business.  Ms Burns made the announcement as she opened the new Inkjet Innovation Centre.

Xerox acquired Impika in February 2013, and has now made a further multi-million dollar investment in expanding the company’s facility in the south of France.

Ms Burns noted that the $21.4bn turnover technology and services giant intended to capitalise on the double-digit growth in production inkjet printing to build a business that rivals its xerography operation.

High-end production printing kit accounted for 21 per cent of all the company’s document technology division during the last year.

Ms Burns said:

“We need to build the same depth of portfolio in inkjet as we have in xerography,”

"We could have thrown a lot of money at building it up from scratch, but we didn’t have to. Impika was a great fit and we’ll do that [acquire] every single time if we have the chance. It jump started us in the marketplace.

“As we continue to grow, change and diversify our business you should not be surprised about us acquiring capabilities.”

Jeff Jacobson, the chief operating officer of Xerox Technology, said that the group was intent on achieving market leadership in production print across both toner and inkjet systems.

“We want to become number one overall in the commercial graphics space,” he said.

Impika currently makes use of Panasonic and Kyocera print heads, but there were hints that they may begin to develop their own print head manufacturer.   The opening of the new facility was combined with a two-day inkjet summit attended by people across Europe.

Impika’s own product line-up includes a number of different drop-on-demand inkjet systems that can be configured as hybrid and overprinting systems, or complete presses, and to work with various types of ink.  Xerox now has more than 200 people working in its inkjet business worldwide.

Tuesday
Jun032014

Xerox win major Medicaid contract

Xerox have pulled off a substantial victory, winning a $500 million, five-year contract in order to administer the state's Medicaid claims at a time when the system - which is designed to benefit the under-privileged - is being streamlined and revamped.

Though the deal hasn't been 100 per cent confirmed, it's believed that the renowned company have beaten out their other main competitor, Hewlett Packard Co.

The current state billing contractor, Computer Services Corporation, chose not to compete for the new contract, contending that the 18-month period for assembling the bid was simply too short.

CSC currently employs around 800 staff in the Capital Region, with offices in Albany and East Greenbush.  It has not been made immediately clear if the new Xerox deal will lead to the jobs being retained.  There has been some talk of an office being maintained in the area, but no firm details have been made available.

Bill Schwarz, the State Health Department spokesman, has stressed that a full written contract still needs to be executed, and that the state controller and attorney general - as well as the federal government - all need to approve the deal.  When completed, though, the victory will be a major one for Xerox, who like HP are competing for deals in multiple US states in the process of upgrading their billing systems.

Medicaid is one the largest budget items in the state, currently set at $52 billion.

In an attempt to control costs, Governer Andrew Cuomo ordered a Medicaid 'redesign' in 2011, which included a shift to the use of managed care programs similar to HMOs.  The aim was to save costs by improving co-ordination of medical care.

Similar efforts are taking place in other states.  As a result, the battle for the rights to administer the new systems is fierce.  Xerox and HP are continuing to move from manufacturing - to services such as Medicaid billing.  Xerox - as readers of PaperGear know - has always specialised in high quality printing and copying equipment, whilst HP's background has been in both printing and home-computing.  The implementation of these new systems represents a new challenge for both firms.

Wednesday
Apr302014

Xerox released Versant in place of retired DocuColor range

Xerox has announced the launch of a new production printer, the mid-range Versant 2100 Press, which is designed to sit between their entry-level J75 model and the Colour 800/1000, with the revolutionary iGen still heading the luxury end of the scale.

The new Versant will replace the DocuColor 8080, which was the final model remaining in that line.  As such, the DocuColor range will become defunct when the Versant platform launches.

Chris Irick, worldwide product marketing manager for the Xerox Business Group, emphasised the fact the Versant as being a “brand-new, ground-up design”.  He said:

"This is not a dust-off of DocuColor technology. This is not a dust-off of Color Press technology. It is a brand new platform with an exciting set of features,"

New features in the Versant rage include (amongst others):

  • A compact belt fuser capable of printing 100 A4 ppm on stocks between 52 and 300gsm, and 80ppm on stocks between 301 and 501gsm.
  • The ability to handle the same array of media as the Colour Press (including vinyl, poly and linen),
  • A new auto-sheet cleaning system
  • Improved 4/1 printing

Mr Irick was keen to emphasise the value that the new capabilities could offer:

"If you're printing CMYK on one side and black on the other, in competitor presses the press can slow down to 15%-20% of rated speed,"

"With the Versant 2100 you will be able to print up to 90% of rated speed; this is important for our customers."

The average monthly print volume for the press is currently 75,000 to 250,000, and the unit boasts a 660,000 impression duty cycle.

Another notable feature in the Versant is the Xerox Full Width Array.  This is an automated tool for helping to optimise the Tonal Reproduction Curve (TCR, density uniformity (SMILE correction) registration (including the ability to edit skew, magnification and to correct the layout) and colour management.

Xerox has also included a new Production Accurate Registration feature, which comprises hardware, software control and sensors, registering each sheet and monitoring it through the system to ensure accuracy.

"Everyone is saying 0.5mm front-to-back all sides registration," said Irick.

"What Xerox has done that is different is that we're able to deliver it from page-to-page, run-to-run. We don't drift."

The press also features the company’s new Ultra HD Resolution, capable of rendering at 1,200dpi as opposed to the standard 600dpi.  Mr Irick highlighted this as being genuinely ground-breaking, noting that this new Ultra HD Resolution would offer 300 per cent more colour precision when rendering things like gradients.  As a result, he noted, customers would have a “huge edge”.

The Versant 2100 Press will be available with a choice between Xerox’s FreeFlor Print Server or two Fiery-powered DFEs (the EX2100 or the EX-P2100).  A number of finishing options will be in place for the new unit, including a number of Digital Finishing Alliance partner devices such as the Horizon ColorWorks Pro or Plockmatic Pro50/35 booklet makers.  Xerox is also lining up a post-launch two-knife trimmer.

Those interested in the new Versant 2100 Press will be able to make orders from 1 July for installations in the third quarter of the year.

To find out how Xerox managed print services can help you save money, visit First Choice Ltd today.

Wednesday
Apr022014

Adapt to a mobile workforce with a smart Multifunction device

With technology developing rapidly, organisations have to decide how to best combine paper and digital workflows to maximise productivity.

Employees now have the flexibility of working in the office or remotely, anywhere in the world. The introduction of ‘Bring your own device’ policies also allows employees to use their tablets and smartphones to access server data or print.

To ensure continued high productivity, organisations need to be capable of creating a highly adaptable, reliable and secure print infrastructure – a smart multifunction printer can provide the hardware necessary to make this possible.

The smart multifunction printer

Smart multifunction printers provide an integral business process feature by combining a variety of digital and paper-based features into one central document device.

You can scan to the cloud, print from your mobile or use built-in software to synchronise payment or HR software with invoices or application forms.

This allows users to reduce their reliance on expensive paper-based processes, moving towards digital formats, reducing the opportunities for lost files and error.

The majority of printing firms now offer smart MFP devices, including Xerox, Canon, Dell, HP, Konica, Lexmark and Ricoh.

Examples include Xerox’s WorkCentre 7220, which comes complete with ConnectKey controller technology.

Cloud enabled

Software like Xerox’s Connectkey software allows you to scan a document and distribute it to a cloud solution of your choice, transforming a paper copy into a shareable digital format, which can be accessed anywhere in the world, from a digital device.

You can also scan can documents to multiple destinations, like your email, fax or network, saving you time from having to manually attach files.

Look out for an MFP that connect to the most popular cloud services like Google Docs/Drive, Evernote, SharePoint Online, Dropbox, Salesforce.com and Office 365. Just be sure that you control how information is copied to the cloud, you don’t want your staff copying intellectual property to their personal cloud services.

Create editable, searchable digital formats

One of the most impressive features with smart printers is the ability to convert paper documents into editable digital documents and text-searchable PDFs, through your scanner, via Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

This means you can do away with filing cabinets and files, storing everything digitally instead, saving you a huge amount of money in paper and spatial costs.

Integrated software

MFP’s allow you to connect and route documents across existing content management software, providing a highly efficient business process function.

For example, you can scan an expense receipt and automatically route the information to accounting for approval. You can also scan HR documentation, like written application forms, inputting all the relevant details into one central database, reducing the time taken to sort and file.

Look for a solution which allows the customisation of workflow icons to be created on the MFP panel, making it easy to route documents to the relevant enterprise application.

Print from mobile or tablet

Most Smart MFPs enable mobile workers to print directly from their mobile device through authentication to the network using either a user ID/password or ID card authorisation, allowing you to print wirelessly from the train, back to your office printer.  

Look for an MFP that is compatible with AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and third party solutions such as Cortado and EFI PrintMe Mobile. The majority of manufacturers will have their own remote-friendly printing apps, like Xerox Mobile Print or LexPrint.

Security

Mobile printing means that firms need to develop security processes to deal with external devices when connecting to their network. It’s good to make sure that your printer includes embedded security from someone like McAfee.

Look for hardcopy security, which ensures that documents are only released to authorised users, and hard disk security like hard disk drive encryption and data overwrite security. All your output should be tracked and monitored through comprehensive reporting tools for auditing purposes.

This post was written by First Choice, who provide managed print service solutions and stock a range of innovative multifunction devices.

Thursday
Feb272014

Five top iPhone printing apps

If you’re looking to take a few snaps on your iPhone or have an important report to print on-the-go, there are a variety of applications which allow you to get the job done on your Apple smartphone:

Xerox Mobile Print

The Xerox Mobile Print Portal allows smartphone and tablet users to print to Xerox and non-Xerox printers; whether it’s MS Office documents, Adobe Acrobat, web pages, email, images and more.  You can use GPS to find available printers, while adding printers easily by scanning the specific QR code.

 

Print n Share

Print n Share allows you to print documents, PDF files and photos from an in-built camera feature, supporting Google Docs, iCloud, Box.net, Dropbox and more. There’s plenty of handy features and an easy-to-use interface makes this one of the best apps out there. You can also print using 3G and it's really high-performing on PDF conversions too.

Apple AirPrint

AirPrint is an Apple technology that lets you print without the need to download or install drivers. AirPrint is built in to many printers from most popular manufacturers. Just select an AirPrint printer on your local network and select print. It’s free and easy to use, but doesn’t offer as many features as Xerox Mobile Print or Print n Share.

e-Print Free

e-Print Free is a highly versatile iPhone app, allowing you to print photos directly to a Wi-Fi printer without a listener application or print server. You can choose from a variety of quality, size, paper type and tray options, but can only print one copy in one format at a time – the version with extra capabilities also comes at a small charge.

ezShare

ezShare is a versatile file management iPhone app that allows you to log-in and access documents from WebDAV and cloud-based servers, as well as folders shared on a local network. ezShare will print most documents but won’t let you print photos or Web pages. At £10.99 it’s expensive, but is much more than just a printing app.