Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Color cube, color cube, who's buying how many Color Cube?

Today anon said

They are not competing on price either at present the price point is twice that of Canon and Ricoh!

Michael J said...

That's a problem for X. I assume the sell has to be the Lifetime running cost. While that is the sensible way to to think about it, it's going to be very hard to get too busy being busy people on the ground to have anything more than a "how much is this going to cost me now" bubble in their head.

I'm waiting for the next earnings call to see if any of the "analysts" can get hard information about firm orders or installs. If the numbers are good, X might have a winner. If not, then not so much. It could be a Betamax v VHS situation.

Here's the way I see it
The margins are the network, not the boxes. Networks increase their value in proportion to the square of the number of members. MPS is creating and selling networks. The metric for MPS is long term cost savings. The initial investment is handsomely paid back in forward-time. The challenge is that it is very hard to get a customer out of now-time into forward-time.

If Com Doc can sell into forward-time it should work. If independents are incented to incorporate the Color Cube into MPS that should work. But, if not, the Color Cube could turn out to be great technology that doesn't scale fast enough.

If Xerox releases Erasable paper as a sweetener to a Color Cube centric MPS deal, I think that would most definitely work. Erasable paper forces the customer to think in forward-time. Once there, the discussion is much easier to have.

It will be interesting to see how Canon and Ricoh, et al are responding on the ground. The reality is that the window will be open for a bit, but only for a bit. If Canon and Ricoh can duplicate the reduced toner prices, their lower cost of entry could win the day.

If Fuji gets into the game with both feet, all bets are off.

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