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CeBIT 2001: New Business Models for Traditional Players in the Industry

Press release from the issuing company

3/01 - CeBIT 2001 - CeBIT is re-establishing it’s importance in our industry from its opening moments as announcements come from all directions highlighting new and expanded business models from Heidelberg, Océ, Canon, Konica, Minolta and others. Heidelberg took time to drive home their message today with a special announcement featuring Holger Reichardt, the Marketing and Sales Director for Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG, the parent to the Heidelberg companies. Reichardt looked back at Heidelberg’s early-adopter status in the digital print arena, starting with the introduction of the Quickmaster DI in 1995 at DRUPA, noting that they used time to their advantage to gain market acceptance and digital experience while their competitors looked on. Industry analysts like CAP Venture’s CEO Charlie Pesko credit Heidelberg with proving the generation of equipment that allowed the emerging Print-On-Demand technology flourish in the Quick Print industry. With a 900m stand in Hall 1, Heidelberg has the space to show off their technology. They are demonstrating hardware and software that embrace web-enabled print processes from the point of creation to the final delivery, including most facets of job management. With the addition of some new software in the Heidelberg toolkit to handle proprietary print formats Reichardt expects to go after the Xerox install base and expand their reach beyond where they are today. Add that to their goal of working more closely with media companies and it is clear that Heidelberg intends to expand their market share beyond their current 16%. Watch for more information on Heidelberg’s directions early next week when we interview Mr. Reichardt at CeBIT! Other companies are making big announcements at CEBIT, too. Minolta unleashed a number of announcements this morning, including an overview of their activities since CeBIT 2000. While they began as a camera manufacturer, Minolta has ventured into most communications facets at some point in their history. Most recently they have been concentrating their push in the Office Communication segment and the display technology segment, which they will highlight with their new corporate slogan: "The essentials of imaging." Part of the play is a series of joint partnerships and marketing relationships to expand their reach, and some key acquisitions. QMS (Mobile, Alabama) was one of last year’s targets and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Minolta to provide a high quality color product line. And, just last month, Minolta unveiled their new LED and tandem digital color copiers to service the demand for high-speed products in the growing mainstream business market. Relationships with Konica are intended to further their office communication products and their toner technology. And not to be left behind in the software department, Minolta is presenting their own document management and ERP initiative at CeBIT 2001. Oh… they do still make cameras. They have announced a new generation of megapixel cameras to launch soon. Oddly, this is an area in which they are now working to catch up to the pack. KIP UK, the European arm of Katsuragawa Corporation Japan, arrives at CeBIT with a variety of offerings in the reprographic sector. They specialize in wide format devices, including scanners and printers targeted at the architectural market. Like many of the traditional office automation and quick printing companies, they are embracing the web as a mechanism for document and job management, introducing some of their innovations this week. Their browser-based printing system gives KIP the ability to sell a variety of solutions for companies who want to give their customers more access to their services over the web. They will be showing their new range of scan-to-print and scan-to-file options for large format documents from a variety of industries. Canon arrives this year with a new slogan, "Imaging Across Networks" to showcase their iR series of "internet-ready" intelligent printers and copiers and their newest range of high-speed document scanners. Their CanoBureau software package will be on display showing their ability to share and manage documents across a network. In their professional printing offering they are showing their large format printers, including one that is internet ready. And, just in case you think that it is all printers at CeBIT, we want to mention the Danish company LinkWatch, makers of intelligent home automation infrastructure systems based on wireless technology. "Our basic idea is that the system should equal a mobile phone in usability and cost," says Jesper Thestrup, president of LinkWatch. The goal is that you should be able to control every facet of your home from your cell phone. Add a few more pieces to that concept and before long we should be able to monitor our critical customer jobs along with our morning coffee!

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