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Benoit Chatelard of InfoPrint talks about the European markets

Published on May 2, 2011

InfoPrint's Senior Vice President and General Manager Benoit Chatelard updates Cary Sherburne about the current happenings of the European market.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m here with Benoit Chatelard, I hope I said that right.

Benoit Chatelard: Yes, very good.

Cary: More or less. Senior Vice President and General Manager for InfoPrint Solutions, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh. It’s a long introduction. And you’re in charge of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, right?

Benoit: Absolutely.

Cary: So, I’m very interested in understanding what you see happening with the Infoprint 5000, your inkjet offering in these other markets in Europe and the Middle East and Africa and so of what you see different there versus other parts of the world, North America, Asia…?

Benoit: Well, the… our IP 5000, which is our flagship is extremely successful in Europe. We have been the pioneer, in fact, the end of 2007 and in fact there was the first installation done in Italy in the world of the IP 5000. The second installation was in Spain, by the way. So the Latin country started the first installation and then has been followed by many other country. And we move from a zero percent market share with a  to now owning the range of 30% market share, as you know. So it has been a very good journey and I think we have meet market expectation in the past three years.

Now, what we are concentrating more so far, with say with the transactional market with the volition of elimination of the preprinting form and some transpromo or precision marketing kind of process. This is what really has driven us in Europe and we are now moving to a more mixed application where there is conversion of offset, migration of offset to digital, more collateral, book on demand, these kind of things. So I do foresee that the scope or our activity will also expand

Cary: Yeah, beyond the transactional environment.

Benoit: Now, because of the way the market was going very fast to outsourcing and because of the size of the investment, our market has been driven more in the past years by the very large service provider the postal print, and I must say we have a challenge with those customer to be extremely present with very large installation, extremely large volume with this kind of player. Our largest service provider has print so far cumulatively one billion color reform, since the installation of this several system that he have. And we are now counting in multiple billion of color reform since installation. So the trend is to a very high volume and heavy loaded kind of machine. You may know that just the line 64 meter; you can print three sheets, one million a day. So this is a beautiful system, so this kind of return on investment and that we have and is probably explained the good success of our platform.

Cary: Now, since the joint venture with… between IBM and Ricoh ended and now you’re a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh, I understand that in Europe that team work between Infoprint Solutions and Ricoh has been going really well.

Benoit: Yes, so in fact we started, now you know, like a normal independent venture, you are part of a go to market, you know, value spot of the group, the corporation is doing activities, but very early we identified that because of the spread of Euro, multiple company, multiple language, we needed to increase the teaming. So before the end of the joint venture the level of cooperation was extremely high. We even delegated in some country where we have no presence our operation, which we prefer educated, you know, train to have. And now the modern is spread out, so things we are 100% Ricoh, we act as a global corporation and we want to have a seamless approach of the market. So using you know, the thousands of people who has multiple relation with multiple solution and with all the cooperation around Europe and then we act, you know, as a specialized division of specialized unit to support this force of Ricoh.

When the opportunity or the project is extremely specialized and in our field and we cover 90% of the need of the customer, most likely the team of the division, Infoprint will do the job. And when you expand and you have a bigger process or a spread of services then we built a jointing. So that’s really what we are doing now and it has started in the small and medium country and we are expanding into the major country in the coming weeks.

Cary: It’s good to hear that success because sometimes these acquisition or integrations don’t always go that well, so it sounds like you’re doing a great job.

Benoit: Well you know, when I was in Europe at the time of the joint venture and I was looking from where we are coming from and I am personally a former IBM’er and it was very obvious as you will see, you know, a large customer there was the smaller customer, digital, there’s a bit more contradiction and the joint venture has been extremely complementary to the rest of the portfolio and I must say now, if you combine the cut-sheet environment, the publishing printing group of Ricoh and only for print together, seamless, all our software and many other things that Ricoh are doing, it’s probably the biggest and best production printing force that is here to help the industry.

Cary: That’s great. Well thank you very much for talking to us today.

Benoit: Thank you very much.  

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