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 user 2008-06-10 at 11:19:56 am Views: 137
  • #20101
    Samsung makes aggressive printers push in Europe

    * Plans printers push in Europe
    * Aims to overtake HP in lasers by 2012
    * Plans to widen its portfolio

    June 08 – Korean technology group Samsung plans an aggressive campaign
    to sell more printers in Europe and says it aims to overtake rival
    Hewlett-Packard in laser printers by 2012.”We’re incredibly committed
    to this market,” Graham Long, newly appointed head of European printing
    at Samsung, told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Printing is
    something that is recognised by the group as a growth priority.”"I
    think now is a particularly interesting time as organisations are
    looking to consolidate copying and printing, one of the last areas
    enterprises can look to cut costs.”

    Samsung has a record of
    meeting aggressive targets it sets for itself and is the biggest or
    second-biggest player in the major markets in which it is active,
    including memory chips, flat panels and cellphones.”I think everybody
    ought to be very wary and watch what Samsung’s doing because they do
    have that track record,” Malcolm Hancock, principal analyst for the
    EMEA print market at research firm Gartner said on Friday.Nonetheless,
    it has a long way to go. Samsung had 17 percent of the Europe, Middle
    East and Africa market in A4 laser printers last quarter, according to
    research firm Gartner — a distant second to Hewlett-Packard’s 48
    percent.”It’s a big, big target to have,” Hancock said.Still, it
    improved its market share from 14 percent a year earlier, while HP’s
    share slipped very slightly.Samsung has been growing fast in the market
    segment of A4 laser printers and multi-function devices — printers
    that have additional functions such as scanning or photocopying.The
    business turned over $550 million in Europe last year — a 41 percent
    increase in dollar terms over its 2006 sales. For this year, it targets
    a 52 percent increase.Long, a recruit from HP, recognises that Samsung
    needs to widen its portfolio to be able to add more large enterprises
    to its customer base, which mainly consists of small and medium-sized
    companies today.”Until now, Samsung’s offering hasn’t necessarily been
    strong enough to meet requirements across the board,” he
    said.Specifically, he wants to add A3 printing capabilities within the
    next 18 months, and may look to acquisitions to gain complementary
    technology.”Currently, we’re looking at various strategies. Acquisition
    isn’t off the table. We will look to grow primarily organically,” he
    said.Long also plans to hire more staff, about another 20 initially in
    addition to the 250 Samsung currently has in its western European
    printing business. “I’ll be looking to recruit other top talent from
    competitors,” he said.He is also talking to top systems integrators
    such as Fujitsu and Capgemini to help sell Samsung’s offerings to
    larger companies, though he said he had no definite agreements with
    such partners yet.Gartner’s Hancock said persuading customers to switch
    to Samsung from HP would be tough.”In enterprises, people buy printers
    without thinking; they buy HP without thinking. They’re not going
    through all the players in the market to compare them,” he said.Long
    said if Samsung could make a breakthrough in Europe, where some markets
    are already mature and a multitude of languages provides a challenge,
    it should be able to repeat that in other regions.”If we can achieve it
    here, we can replicate it,” he said.