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 user 2006-06-06 at 12:43:00 pm Views: 61
  • #15814

    A tale of two technologies
    is the word with 88 percent of medium businesses deploying colour
    printers-inkjet or laser.Printers are a crucial segment in the
    information technology sector.

    is volume-driven both in terms of revenues and units and also among the
    most dynamic. The concept of printing in the last couple of years has
    undergone a paradigm shift. One of the major reasons for this can be
    attributed to the rapid growth in printing technology. Rapid
    technological changes, reduced costs (both of printers and
    consumables), high usage of Internet, increasing functions and features
    in printers and multi functional devices (MFDs) have contributed to the
    growth of imaging and printing devices.

    Strong hold of network printers
    are investing in network printers to enhance cost efficiencies. This is
    an encouraging trend and will have implications for printer
    manufacturers. The most common network printing implementation is a
    print server accepting print jobs from clients tied to the server via a
    network cable.Says Samir Shah, Country Category Manager, Shared
    Printing and Connectivity, IPG, HP India, “Improved productivity along
    with reduced cost of network printers have led to the technology being
    favoured by medium enterprises. The increased IT adoption phenomena
    along with the use of the Internet have also aided the penetration of
    network printers.”Most respondents agree that efficient management of
    printing activities can save time and cost, and network printers
    provide these features. Informs Anand Sengupta, Head of IT Department,
    Daikin India, “We prefer network printing as it reduces our running
    cost and saves time. Our employees are using more than five network
    printers and these printers are helping us to reduce our running cost.
    Investing in network printers lets us monitor and control the cost of
    printing.” Mid-sized organisations with over 500 employees are
    realising that printing costs can be substantial if they aren’t
    controlled. Costs can escalate when organisations expand.A couple of
    years ago aspects like speed, functionality, and availability of
    printer drivers were the basis for choosing a product. The features
    that most enterprises now consider are workflow enhancement and degree
    of control from the desktop.

    Inkjet scores over laser
    key driver for growth would be PC bundling by major vendors. Medium
    enterprises and homes will remain the biggest buyers of bundled
    offerings. As per the survey, penetration of inkjet printers is
    relatively higher (85 percent) than lasers (55 percent) in the colour
    printer category. 88 percent of medium business houses are using colour
    printers. Colour inkjets have a stronger presence amongst medium
    businesses. This segment is slowly shifting to personal laser printers
    due to high printing and maintenance cost and lower print quality of
    inkjet printers and all-in-ones (AIOs). Ajay Tyagi, Manager, Systems,
    Relaxo Footware informs, “We look out for good after sales and service
    support as well as price and technology. Printers should consume less
    ink which reduces our running cost.”This segment uses a mix of both
    lasers and inkjets. Their buying pattern is centered on current and
    future printing requirements, the cost of printing, option of
    networking, and sturdiness and performance. The users of this segment,
    besides looking for low-cost printing, also demand a number of in-built
    features. Features like multiple card readers, ability to be networked
    and security are all important. Says Som Gangopadhyay, Marketing Head,
    Office Systems and Solutions, Canon India, “The high penetration of
    inkjet printers is on account of the fact that medium businesses are
    cost conscious. Though inkjet printers have better penetration, these
    companies are shifting towards laser printers. Enterprises should not
    look at the cost of purchase of printers but at the TCO (total cost of
    ownership). The various efficiencies that are introduced due to the use
    of printers are also important.”There has been an ongoing debate on
    which of these two technologies (laser and inkjet) is superior.
    However, many analysts believe that the two technologies will co-exist
    for sometime. Says Natesh Mani, Executive Director, New Office Group,
    Xerox India, “We see a major shift from inkjet to laser printers driven
    by the low equipment cost which makes laser printers extremely
    affordable. Laser printers have emerged as solutions which vendors and
    partners can position as a must-have for most corporate buyers.”
    Research highlights
    In the colour printer category, penetration of inkjet printers is
    relatively higher (85 percent) than laser printers (55 percent).
    * Penetration of colour printers among medium enterprises is 88 percent and is as high as 91 percent in manufacturing.
    * Colour MFDs have the highest penetration in IT/ITeS (26 percent).

    MFDs find middling acceptance
    is primarily the medium businesses and SOHO segments that are driving
    the consumption of MFDs, since large corporates with heavy-duty usage
    usually prefer standalone devices. Going forward, this segment will
    contribute substantially to the growth of laser printers and low-end
    MFDs.Explains Shah, “The various functionalities of MFDs along with the
    reduction in prices have led to better penetration of entry-level MFDs
    among medium enterprises.”In laser printers, SOHOs and SMBs are
    standardising on entry-level standalone and MFD models. This is
    primarily driven by low acquisition costs and low cost per page.
    Informs, Mahesh Chand Gupta, Senior Manager, IT, Jagatjit Industries,
    “We have seven plants and 13 depots where we are using eight MFDs.
    These MFDs are for both entry and high level. While making any decision
    to purchase MFDs we will consider the quality and the price.”Reasons
    for going colour with laser MFDs are convenience, increased security,
    fast turnaround and savings on cost. Ability to connect as a network
    printer and reduced total cost of ownership are also key factors.
    Gangopadhyay informs, “Lower TCO, easy availability, proper after sales
    and services support and advanced technology have helped the adoption
    of high-end MFDs.”Other factors spurring the growth of high-end MFDs in
    the document management space are decreasing acquisition and operation
    costs. With prices falling to affordable levels, MFDs are today seen as
    the first choice as an input device for many document management