Friday, November 6, 2009

Anyone else notice that so much cool stuff comes out of Texas? KBA in Dallas.

It sounds to me that KBA users group has it just right. It's exactly what I would expect from the industrial newspaper part of the business. Sooner or later, I'm hoping the newspaper folks see the business opportunity in using newspaper product to fill the vacuum created by the implosion of the textbook industry.

Consider the information density and close to real time delivery that is just a part of doing business for a printed newspaper. With the new technologies, they have exactly the right infrastructure to deliver content to schools, supported by advertising by NGO's, health and social service agencies.

The path is to personalized newspapers. The Nov 16th launch in Berlin of an Oce supported business model should demonstrate that tech is ready for prime time. To make the transition, split runs are normal. Kodak's microzone makes it easier. The Prosper Stream Inkjet is out there.

At any rate, here's what KBA is doing.
Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
KBA web offset users group continues its annual meeting -

"KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, continued its popular traditional annual meeting of its KBA Web Offset Users Group by utilizing a new webinar format.

More than 40 KBA web offset user members at 14 different print sites participated in the two-day event over a three-hour time period each day in this first-of-its-kind meeting. The KBA Web Offset Users Group is a formally-chartered organization with bylaws, a board of directors, and its own website.
. . .
the goal of the annual meeting is to maintain communication between members and KBA management, look at efficiencies, share opportunities, and provide feedback to sustain member operations. "The main focus, however, is our relationship with KBA," says Letto. "By purchasing a KBA web press, we've undertaken an important partnership with them. We want to fully preserve that two-way conversation."
What a nice, simple idea.

BPO is a good game, until you lose a customer.

Working at the top of the pyramid is good, but very dangerous.
R.R. Donnelley 3rd Quarter profit drops 92%
- Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink

"Substantially all of the restructuring and impairment charges in the third quarter of 2009 were associated with the previously reported termination of a significant long-term customer contract in the business process outsourcing reporting unit within the International segment."

Xerox wins Gegenheimer award. Awards are nice. Literacy and selling color cubes is better.

Xerox wins Gegenheimer award -
Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:

"Xerox Corporation has been awarded the 2009 Harold W. Gegenheimer Corporate Award for Industry Service from NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies.

Xerox is the first manufacturer of digital printing equipment to win the award, which recognizes leadership and participation in NPES and industry activities, civic leadership and technical innovation."
One of the partner organizations of NPES is
ProLiteracy Worldwide - an organization sponsoring educational programs and services to empower adults and their families by assisting them to acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively.
America is facing an epidemic of high school dropouts. The real problem is that they are adolescent illiterates.

The opportunity for Print is that "readers" are a small but growing niche market. It takes about 150,000 copies sold to get on the NYTimes best seller list. As the globals are searching for "emerging markets" around the globe, they are blind to the emerging market here in the States.

President Obama has made it clear that the reader market will increase. Even if it means the reorganization of High School education.

As the emerging reading market grows in the States, print will grow. Xerox, especially with the power of the Xerox Foundation, can do very well by doing very good in helping to solve this problem and sell lots of color cubes into learning enterprises on the way.

PODI makes it easy for printers to eat their own dog food. Very Smart !

"There's no better way to demonstrate what you can do for your clients than by doing it first for yourself." says Todd Crosland, Marketing Strategist at direct2one.
After many years in the education business, I know that the best way to learn is to do, with a little help from your friends. It's much more effective than spending ad dollars to "educate."

- Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
PODi offers members new end-to-end self promotional campaign

"Rochester, NY - PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, has launched its newest program for Service Providers, Self-Promo-in-a-Box. Designed to help companies promote their digital print and marketing services, Self-Promo-in-a-Box combines the latest ROI-building technology from four PODi industry members who have donated their services to help other PODi members: direct2one, EasyPurl, USADATA, and Xerox/XMPie. The concept is unique –

1. companies can use customizable, professionally designed templates,

2. choose a targeted list,

3. add PURL technology and tracking services,

4. utilize the latest in VDP support to create a lead-generating direct mailer.

All they need to do is add the printing and mail."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The land grab continues in MPS. This time in Amsterdam.

European Managed Print Services Conference Hits Right Notes with MPS Market:

"In addition to Platinum Sponsors FMAudit and HP, other European MPS Conference sponsors and exhibitors included Gold Sponsor MWA Intelligence, Inc., media sponsors BERTL Research and DocuFacts, LRS, Netaphor, Newfield IT, PerformIT, PrintFleet, SCC and other prominent MPS players.

'The interest in MPS has no boundaries. Attendees came from as far away as South Africa, Australia and Dubai to learn about MPS strategies,' said Ed Crowley, CEO and Senior Partner of the Photizo Group, which hosted the MPS 2009 European Conference.

Over 20 different sessions addressed a broad spectrum of topics with speakers from across Europe providing expertise and insights.

Along with the keynote presenters from FMAudit and HP, sessions featured MPS experts from Canon, DirectPointe, EKM4, IT Newfield, LRS Europe, PrintFleet, PulsarTec, Canon, Konica Minolta, Leads City Council, LRS Europe, Nationwide Insurance, Newfield IT, Relevance Biz and SolutionsWorx.

Lexmark selling at the Apple Store. Another connection to iPhone .Nice move.
Lexmark Web-connected touch screen AIO with customized solutions debuts at Apple Store:

"LEXINGTON, Ky., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) today announced the availability of its Web-connected(1) touch screen all-in-one (AIO) inkjet printer, Interact, at the Apple Retail Store and at

Interact, one of eight new wireless AIOs announced last month, is a wireless, 3-in-1 machine offering Lexmark's new Vizix print technology, SmartSolutions touch screen and an industry-leading 3-year warranty(2) priced at $199."

Here's the really cool parts:
iPhone/iPod touch photo printing - The LexPrint App is available from the App Store featuring wireless printing from an iPhone or iPod touch directly to the Lexmark Interact. --

MobileMe SmartSolution - Interact's compatibility with Apple's MobileMe will allow users to access their stored photos directly from their Interact touch screen.

-- Apple News RSS feeds - Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Apple Hot News directly on your Interact touch screen via direct RSS feeds.

Get the feed. Print it out. Share with the office. Pretty cool.

Yesterday it was Kodak with an iPhone app. Today it's Donnelly.

RR Donnelley introduces iPhone application
from WhatTheyThink:

"CHICAGO -- R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company today announced that the first in a series of mobility applications has debuted on the iPhone. The application brings mobility users the ability to shop for, select and purchase items from RR Donnelley's Socratesline of standard personal and small business documents. The company will follow with additional smart phone applications and enhanced mobility-enabled access to its proprietary CustomPointand RightProspectus applications.

'Our online resources are already integrated into our customers' workflows,' said John Paloian, RR Donnelley's Chief Operating Officer. 'For example, nearly one million users have access to RR Donnelley's on demand print portal, CustomPoint, and our Financial Services offering helps clients meet regulatory requirements and deliver a range of investment and capital markets products. These new mobile capabilities will put these resources into the palms of our customers' hands.'"

A biz model emerges in Texas for journalists and newpapers in the economy of "free."

On Monday, the Texas Tribune website went live. I tweeted:
"Texas Tribune "Everything . . can be republished on line or in print" <>

Everything the site produces can be used by others—the databases, including every state financial disclosure statements going back 10 years, can be downloaded; the stories can be republished online or in print.
From Forbes:
the Tribune will partner with 10 newspapers and six TV stations to distribute content. In the works is a Tribune series called a "Texas Politics Minute," expected to air three times a week.

If you give away the content, where's the revenue stream?
It already has one premium product—the Texas Weekly, a well-respected state politics newsletter acquired earlier this year; Ross Ramsey, the editor, came with it and is the new site’s managing editor. (Ramsey and Smith are acknowledged as cofounders.) Smith says the weekly newsletter has some 1,200 subscribers at $250 a year. The goal is to grow the circulation base for more “earned income.”
. . .
Tanya Erlach, who produced and programmed The New Yorker Festival for the past eight years, started as director of events Monday. “We think that there’s enormous amounts of money to be made on events if you’re smart enough.”
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. They have enough money for two years to pay reasonable salaries for the best journalists they could find.

The business principal is "do what you do best, leave the rest." The business model is "read for free (or very close to it), pay for stuff and events". It seems to be working in the music business and therefore plausible to believe it will work for many newspapers.

The good news for print and newspapers is that as more of the great journalists use this model, news-on-paper can focus on production, logistics, delivery and advertising. As 2 codes come into the mix, that will add another value. As versioned newspapers for audiences of tribes ( 20 to 150) become mainstream, non consumers will enter the market.

Writers write. Printers print. Advertisers advertise.

Added Nov 5, 9:24 am EDT : to give you an idea of the content of Texas Tribune
TexasTribune Here's your TT look at the day ahead, also known as,"The Brief":

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HP Makes another move at Insurance Companies

HP Offers up to 300 consulting hours for insurance companies -
"PALO ALTO, Calif. – HP today announced the HP Exstream Competitive Switch Program for insurance companies looking for the right solution in customer communications.

As a number of insurance policy production software vendors plan to discontinue support for their products, customers can move to the proven HP Exstream solution used by seven of the top 10 U.S. Fortune 500 insurance carriers.(1) Moreover, companies that agree to migrate to HP Exstream enterprise document automation software by Dec. 31, 2009, will receive up to 300 hours of free consulting services."

Score for RR Donnelley

RR Donnelley awarded large contract by Harriet Carter - "CHICAGO -- R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company today announced that it has been awarded a multiyear, multimillion dollar agreement to produce catalogs, forms and labels and to provide prepress and logistics services by Harriet Carter, a leading catalog and online merchant.

The agreement significantly expands the companies' long term relationship and includes prepress, production and logistics services for Fresh Finds, a catalog title focused on kitchen wares and cooking tools, accents, and cleaning and organizing solutions for the home."

Another score for Xerox in the UK.

"Anticipating" an increase is not the same as "reporting" an increase, but it's still nice.

Aldridge boosts digital print offering with two Xerox presses
"Aldridge Print Group (APG) is anticipating a 20% turnover increase this year, helped by investing in two new Xerox digital colour machines.

Mitcham, Surrey-based Aldridge has installed a Xerox DocuColor 5000AP and a Xerox 700 digital press to help it open up new markets and boost the capacity of its digital offering.

The commercial printer's latest investments complement its existing litho and digital portfolio and will allow it to complete more personalised short-run work."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Print technology is nice. Biz models that earn money in a free-to-the user economy change the world. Go Print!

In this morning's twitter stream I found a couple of things that highlight some emerging business models for Print.

edited 8:37 am.
Given that my focus is using print in education, the most interesting(2me) are;
"Texas Tribune: Everything . . can be republished on line or in print: . <>
This could turn out to be the game changer for newspapers and drive the use of newspapers to replace HS textbooks. Texas Tribune was launched this morning. It's a venture capitalist non profit journalism site with top editorial talent. It is worth the click to see the business model.

From the print centric point of view the point is that the revenue stream is not selling access to content. It's about events and others. Given the November 16 launch in Berlin of Niui, all the pieces are in place for another proof of concept project. The natural is Oce, but Infoprint or HP may turn out to be first movers.

For versioned and personalized paper back books
"@Bookboon: free online textbooks for students in PDF financed by a few in-book ads." < @hotprints does the print piece >

@hotprints got onto my radar a while ago. Posted Oct 14. They offer two levels of service for photo books printed directly from social networks. From their twitter stream it seems that there have been some bumps in the road integrating with Facebook, but I'm betting that will be fixed sooner, rather than later.

The point is that users can get a book for free with advertising, or pay for a book without advertising. Bookboon doesn't yet have a print offering, but it's just a matter of time before one of the many open source models adopt the free with advertisng, pay for no advertising model.

The 10,000 gorillas are Google and Amazon. Posted July 25.
kindlenews News: Amazon Plans For E-Book Advertising (AMZN) - The Business Insider
One plausible model for monetizing book content in an economy of "free to the user" is becoming clear.
Read the digital copy for free or close to free. Free print books with advertising. Pay for books with no advertising.
As the model is proven, the opportunities for print on demand books and newspapers reach the tipping point.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sir Speedy, Edwards Brothers, SPC, GAERF +SkillsUSA and Xerox with a magic bullet. Today's PR.

This morning's perusal of the Press Releases had some interesting(2me) stuff.
Sir Speedy. " in North, Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe ." scores 82 on top 100 franchises
The franchises are an important thread of the growing printernet, distributed print locally produced. Nice.
37 graphic arts companies selected as Best Workplaces by PIA. list at #twitterprint
The companies that are rated best workplaces are probably exactly the ones that will thrive. HR is the way to manage human resources. Human resources are the defensible advantage.
Edwards Brothers ..set up digital book centers in customer locations with numerous facilities in the States and UK.
Another example of printernet functionality. This time in publishing, as opposed to the retail space. Edwards Brothers is one of the best workplaces so it shouldn't be a surprise that they are well developed in this new functionality.
"SPC, a national print company. ..closed the books on their most successful sales month to date." #twitterprint
Another example that there are growth opportunities in a "weak economy."
GAERF & SkillsUSA offer a credential that validates skill sets all graphic communications students #twitterprint
This one has the potential to change the game. Many Community Colleges and Graphics Programs are offered that ostensibly prepare students for a career in the graphic industries. If this test gets traction, it will help improve the programs that don't and reward the programs that do.
#Xerox finds " the silver bullet that could make electronic clothing and inexpensive games a reality today."
The engineers in Xerox Canada may have come up with a real game changer. Once again Xerox demonstrates their extraordinary engineers. But it's still not clear to me whether the advantage will accrue to big X.

In my not-so-humble opinion, the rules for monetizing engineering breakthroughs have moved from locking up and licensing IP to bringing products to market. But I've been wrong many times before, so we'll just have to wait and see.