During each of the preceding era’s in the industry (scribes pre-electronic, impact, page, service and commoditization era) the combined forces of social-economic change and technology innovation have combined to transform the industry. And in every era, a new set of players rises to the top and, in most cases, the incumbents fail to make the changes required to maintain their leadership position. Now we are well into the next industry era – the data era. And this has big implications for the industry.
In exploring the past – and future of the imaging industry, we have looked at the transition from scribes to mechanical devices (typewriters) to the impact era and most recently the ‘heyday' of the office imaging products, the page era. Through much of the industry's history, progress has been enabled through tangible products and by technology innovations in them to generate documents. It has been an amazing history of innovation with price performance levels increasing at fantastic rates, and features being incorporated at lower or no cost premiums (remember when duplex cost extra?). Of course, the evolution continues.
In 1984 I was graduating from College (yes – that makes me OLD!). In that same year, IBM sold 2 million PC’s, Apple Introduced the 128K Mac, and the total PC market (including Atari/Commodare) had grown to a massive 6 million units! The office technology market for PC’s was just beginning to take off (for comparison, by 10 years later, PCs were selling at a rate of 40 million units per year). In 1984, and the following year 1985, two key office imaging products were introduced that would set the stage for the next 20 years of massive growth. The HP Laserjet and the Apple Laserwriter.
In the prior two blogs I sped through over 300 years of technology evolution from scribes and clerks through the typewriter era. While I remember (not too fondly) typing papers for College on my Brother typewriter, even by my graduation in 1984, with the advent of the IBM PC and word processing software, high speed 24-pin dot matrix printers were becoming standard office tools and displacing typewriters. As early as the 1960’s, impact printers were pervasive in large computing centers. A number of technogies were available including line chain (IBM), drum (DataProducts), and line matrix (Printronix). These were the printers which used tractor fed ‘greenbar’ paper (if you know what that is, you are already dating yourself). Their little cousin, the desktop dot matrix printer didn’t really rise to prominence until the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Have you ever really thought about how disruptive typewriters were. Can you imagine a time when clerks literarily hand wrote letters and kept handwritten entries in accounting journals? And this isn’t the dark ages we are talking about. Right up until the 1860’s, this was the norm.
Right now, there is a lot of discussion about what is going to happen with Xerox. How will the new management team achieve their objectives of expanding margins, and growing EPS by at least 7% annually in order to return 50% of free cash flow back to shareholders as outlined in their Investor Day meeting? Will they survive the fight with Fuji? How much cost can they shave by cutting sales and marketing expenses? I think this is missing the real point.
The world of imaging in the office is changing at an accelerating pace. In the five previous major eras of office imaging, we have seen each successive era become shorter in length, with increasing technology, economic, and social change. The pre-electronic era where typewriters ruled lasted 124 years. The last era, the services and commodity products era, lasted twelve. We propose that we are entering into the next era, the data era, where the focus shifts from technology, services, and products to using data to improve business processes, profits, and to ensure viability of the business. This new era has dramatic implications for who is at work, how they will work, and what their workplace is. Led by a new generation of workers, millennials, it will be fundamentally different than the eras which preceded it in almost every respect.
From a novice’s view, Python is easier than Java. If this is your first time dive into the world of data or programming, Python can give you a quick introduction to key ETL concepts. Python is more readable than any other language. Its simple syntax is straightforward for everyone from experts to novice programmers. All you need to focus on is how to make the program produce your desired output. . This simplicity has made Python an extremely popular language within the business world and academia. A recent survey from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) found that Python has surpassed Java as the most popular language to introduce students to programming.
Facial recognition is back in the spotlight again thanks to a recent test of Amazon’s “Rekognition” product performed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Rekognition is a system, provided as a service by Amazon, used to identify a person or object based on an image or video (commonly known as ‘Facial Recognition’). This facial recognition technology is one of many new products to take advantage of new advancements in machine learning.
Sales translate into profits for your company. However, in today’s cut throat competitive environment, is that enough?
Manager Print Services (MPS) programs are set up to curb client costs while enabling smooth operation of the fleet and payed for based on usage. Virtulytix uses advanced analytics to deliver the same benefits to MPS dealers.