Print in the Channel - October 2022


October 2022

Canon MAXIFY GX6050 – an eco-friendly printer for an eco-friendly Farm – page 24

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Challenges and opportunities Welcome to the first issue of Print in the Channel .

Print in the Channel is a new magazine aimed at everyone who is involved with the print sector, from manufacturers to dealers, and will cover everything involved in it, from topical issues to the latest news, product launches and features. Our launch issue comes at an interesting time for the print sector, and the wider economy in general. With troubles in the economy – rising inflation, energy prices etc – affecting business confidence, it means there are new challenges and opportunities for companies in the sector. This comes on top of existing issues. As Alex Tatham notes on p18, the market for traditional print continues to decline – accelerated by the pandemic and the resulting changes in working practices – but there are still plenty of opportunities out there for businesses if they are bold enough to take the chance and make changes to what they do and sell. For instance, demand for mobile scanners continues to grow. For hybrid workers, getting equipment that is on a par with that they would use in the office is becoming a necessity and these devices, which have a smaller footprint than their office-based brethren, can do just that. Read more about that on p28. Then there are other areas of print that are growing, such as for labels, and for security products to keep networked devices safe to name but two. All these are set for growth for the foreseeable future. There are also new products being launched, such as HP’s E800/E700 series, which has been designed

to cater for hybrid working, as well as catering to increasing demand for secure printing and greater sustainability throughout the product’s lifecycle. This goes to show that, despite the economic and sector-specific challenges present currently – and which show no signs of abating in the immediate future – there are still plenty of causes for optimism for the future of the sector and the businesses operating within it. And, as the past two years have shown, businesses in the sector can adapt quickly to new ways of working and trends to ensure that they keep on making money and providing the services that customers want and need. Here at Print in the Channel , we want to help businesses in the sector to do just that. In the coming issues we will be covering the latest innovations along with insights into the industry from leading players and features containing practical advice that can be applied to your business – whether that is sales tips, new products to feature or ways to run more efficiently and more – to help you to not just survive but thrive, now and in the future. I hope you enjoy the issue. If you have any feedback or suggestions for what you would like to see covered in future issues – and we are always on the lookout for thought leadership pieces, features and the like – please email me at

Dan Parton

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News You should know p6 Product News New on the scene p9 Product Launch New from HP p12 Colin Bosher Pushing forwards p17 Interview Alex Tatham p22 Cover Story Canon eco-friendly p24 Cloud MPS for Hybrid Workers Rod Tonna-Barthet p26 Mobile Scanners Hybrid scanning p28 Rising Costs How are businesses reacting? p32 Cloud-based print management The journey p36

HP Product Launch – p12

Colin Bosher Profile – p17

Colin Bosher has been a technology innovator within the office automation, print, and fintec/XaaS sector for more than 30 years. However, his desire is to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, shows no sign of diminishing just yet.

HP has launched its new LaserJet Managed E800/E700 series, designed to help the workforce to be more productive in a hybrid world.

Cloud MPS for Hybrid Workers – p26

Managed print services hosted in the cloud can provide efficiency benefits for businesses, especially those using a hybrid working model.

Mobile Scanners – p28

Energy Saving Print Products p40 On the Move Appointments p44 Printer Trend Analysis Major trends p50

Interview: Alex Tatham – p22

These are challenging times for those involved in the print sector, but, as Alex Tatham explains, there are still opportunities out there – but businesses may have to be prepared to diversify their product offering.

Demand for mobile scanners continues to increase thanks to the rise of home and hybrid working, and the technology means that they are now as powerful and have the functionality of their static counterparts.



Energy Saving – p40

On the Move – p44

HR changes at Konica Minolta, Brother UK, Exclusive Networks, XBM, Exertis, and Softcat.

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of Print in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2022 In the Channel Media Ltd.

With the cost of energy seemingly ever increasing, employers are looking at ways to reduce the energy their print devices consume, whether in the office or for home/hybrid workers, and manufacturers have the solutions.

Rising Costs – p32

Rising costs are impacting businesses at all levels of the print sector – but how are businesses reacting and what are they doing to mitigate the effects of it?

Most businesses now expect to use cloud-based print management in the future, as IT continues to change structure away from physical servers, but for many businesses it is a journey they are still on.

Printer Trend Analysis – p50

Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:

In the first of a new series, statistical analyst Wickus Bester investigates some of the major trends in the printer sector. Here, he rounds up what happened in October.

Cloud-Based Print Management – p36



Lexmark announces CarbonNeutral® Certified Printers and Lexmark OnePrint Subscription Service

Global imaging and IoT solutions business Lexmark has announced new offerings that enable small- and medium-sized businesses to print more simply and sustainably. Certified CarbonNeutral single- and multi-function laser printers are now available in the Lexmark GO Line of smaller footprint devices, while Lexmark OnePrint offers access to a simplified print subscription service. “Lexmark is pleased to bring these simple and sustainable print solutions to small- and medium- sized businesses,” said Brock Saladin, Lexmark senior vice president and chief commercial officer. “As an established leader in enterprise print, Lexmark is utilizing our cloud and IoT technology expertise to simplify print for smaller businesses while delivering enterprise-class capabilities and value.” Two flagship devices in the Lexmark GO Line series are now CarbonNeutral certified products. All Lexmark single-function black and white B3442dw devices and multi-function colour MC3326i devices sold after 27 September are certified as CarbonNeutral products by Climate Impact Partners. These devices provide certified carbon neutrality by default, right out of the box and with no additional fee. “These CarbonNeutral certified single-function and multi-function laser devices allow small- and medium- sized business customers to be more sustainable in their printing, without additional cost or sacrifice,”

Saladin said. “This is a significant milestone in Lexmark’s ongoing journey towards more sustainable products and is part of our longstanding commitment to helping protect the environment.” Carbon neutrality for these products begins with Lexmark engineers working to measure and minimise the greenhouse gas emissions in the full lifecycle of the product’s production, transportation, use and retirement. Lexmark then supports third party-verified climate projects to offset any remaining carbon emissions. Climate Impact Partners’ CarbonNeutral® certification is the global standard, managed for over 20 years to deliver clear, conclusive and transparent carbon neutral claims. Lexmark GO Line products, including the new CarbonNeutral Certified models, are available at and other ecommerce sites, as well as through select Lexmark partners. Lexmark OnePrint is a simple subscription print solution that helps small- and medium-sized businesses save time and money. Customers select the monthly plan that matches the number of pages they expect to print each month. Leveraging Lexmark’s proprietary AI-driven supplies replenishment system, enrolled Lexmark GO Line devices are automatically monitored and managed, and genuine Lexmark toner is shipped just when it is needed, eliminating the risk of running out of toner. Service and support are also simple, with Lexmark guarantee service.

Apogee Corporation announce sponsorship deal with Lincoln City FC

with a growing focus on strengthening connections in the community.” By hosting activities and programmes that help local people connect through a mutual love of football, the community work undertaken by The Lincoln City Foundation will now be supported by Apogee Corporation. “Alongside our recent partnership with Lincoln Women FC, we’re delighted to be able to support the Lincoln region and wish them every success for the season ahead,” said Dom. Operating nationwide, Apogee is supported by HP Inc, and provide managed workplace services that enable clients to improve their print and IT operations for greater efficiency. Apogee is playing an increasingly prominent role in local communities. The company recently announced investments in local teams such as Lincoln City Women, and Aylesford FC.

Apogee Corporation has become a bronze sponsor of the men’s and women’s teams for Lincoln City Football Club to support its work in the local community of Apogee’s National Operations Centre. As Britain’s first community-owned football club, Lincoln City – affectionately known as ‘The Imps’ – enjoy an active relationship with its supporters across social media, online forums and face-to- face events. “Apogee have been actively looking for opportunities to support our local communities and supporting a football club so close to our National Operations Centre was the perfect fit,” says Dom Gryszan, Apogee’s marketing director. “We’re proud to announce this partnership and hope to see our relationship flourish over years to come, alongside the progress of the team. The clubs core values are closely aligned to Apogee’s,



Epson research reveals focus on climate change

Climate change is seen by the public as a primary threat – on a par with the ongoing financial crisis – according to new research by Epson. Across the world, people are stepping up personal efforts to avert climate change, according to the findings from Epson’s second Climate Reality Barometer. Epson’s research suggests that while the world economy proves to be a distraction from efforts to address climate challenges, climate change remains a primary concern for many. Despite a year of unprecedented climate impacts, the survey also reveals that people are increasingly optimistic that climate disaster can be averted in their lifetime. But data also shows that there are significant variations in confidence levels, driven by factors such as economics and age. Unsurprisingly, immediate financial issues are people’s main concern. While ‘fixing the economy’ (22%) and ‘rising prices’ (21%) top the list of respondents’ priorities, climate change ranks a very close third (20%). Despite global economic downturn, conflicts and soaring energy bills, the climate crisis remains front of mind for many people around the world. Climate concerns, however, aren’t leading to pessimism. Prior to COP 26 in November 2021, 46% of global respondents were optimistic that climate catastrophe could be averted within a lifetime. As the world prepares for COP27 in Egypt this year, optimism has risen to over 48%. This comes despite the impacts of climate change witnessed over the last year, suggesting a ‘reality deficit’ in people potentially misunderstanding the full future impacts of climate change for the world. But global averages mask regional variations in confidence levels. Optimism is lower in most developed economies, for example, than in emerging ones. The individual country members of the G7 all record levels of optimism significantly below the 48% global average: Canada (36.6%); France (22.5%); Germany (23.8%); Italy (25.2%); Japan (10.4%); the UK (28.4%); and the US (39.4%). Rapidly emerging and fast-growing economies record levels of climate optimism significantly above the global average: China (76.2%); India (78.3%); Indonesia (62.6%); Kenya (76%); Mexico (66%); and the Philippines (71.9%). Yasunori Ogawa, global president of Epson, said: “As the world gathers for COP27, our Climate Reality Barometer aims to raise awareness and empower transformational change. “We hope that the Barometer’s insights will help governments, industries and individuals to step up

their efforts to avert climate disaster. While we know there is a long way to go, we believe we can build a better future if we work together and act now.” Growing global optimism appears to contradict climate reality. In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that “Human- induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world….” This year alone, disruption has encompassed adverse climate events across every continent, including: decades-long ‘mega-droughts’ in Africa and South America; rapid warming of the Arctic and Antarctic; deadly floods in Asia and Australasia; unprecedented temperatures across the whole of Europe; and vanishing lakes in North America. Unqualified optimism might be seen as wishful thinking, but Epson’s findings show that respondents do recognise the impacts of climate change; 80.2% cite the evidence of their own eyes – witnessing climate change in their daily lives – as the most influential factor in building awareness. Other significant climate information influences include: l 75.7% cite government action and/or campaigns l 75% cite on and offline news l 74.2% cite social media l 64.8% cite business or community campaigns l 64% cite COP conferences This optimism is also being converted into action. Between 2021 and 2022, the number of respondents who have, or plan to walk and/or cycle more has grown from 83.7% to 87.2%, and 31.8% have done so for more than a year. Likewise, the number of those who plan to change to renewable energies has grown from 78.2% to 82.4% and 18.6% have done so for more than a year and those planning to reduce international business and leisure travel has grown from 65.1% to 68.2% and 23% have done so for more than a year. Epson Europe’s director of sustainability, Henning Ohlsson, said: “We have a responsibility to younger generations to ensure that we leave the planet is a better state after decades of damage. “There is no one single solution to this problem, we must all play a role. Governments, corporations and communities all need to pull together to avert this catastrophe. As a global technology leader, our duty is to refocus our efforts on developing solutions which will help reduce the environmental impact of our products. By cooperating and finding solutions, collectively we can all inspire action and bring about change.”

A survey of 26,205 people across 28 markets suggests that despite increasing climate impacts, climate optimism has grown to over 48%



Sustainable office technology supplier XBM Ltd has acquired iDOC Services Ltd, a London-based, UK-wide reseller of Epson heat-free inkjet printers and other digital document solutions. XBM is Epson’s second largest MPS reseller and one of only three Epson Solutions+ Platinum Partners. Meanwhile, since its foundation in 2017, iDOC Services has established a diverse and loyal customer base, many also committed to the energy and waste-saving proposition of Epson’s heat-free inkjet solutions. “We want to lead the expansion of our business with future-proof technologies, and Epson’s eco-conscious print portfolio is standing out in this area,” said Richard Taylor, managing director of XBM. “Sustainability has never been more prominent in the print industry and acquiring another dealer and customer base that shares this XBM acquires iDOC Services

sentiment only strengthens our pursuit to become the UK’s leading managed print provider.” Mark Moore, the outgoing managing director of iDOC Services, added: “Our priority for the acquisition is ensuring the consistency of good service for our customers across the country, and with XBM I know we’re leaving them in good hands. It’s also important to know iDOC is remaining a part of the Epson family and that its legacy for reducing the environmental impact of its customers through the technology they use will live on through XBM.” Following it’s rebranding in 2021, Yorkshire based XBM announced its plans to expand rapidly through acquisitions and new business at their Q3 Launch in July, and this is the first publicly announced takeover as the company aims to be the UK’s largest managed print provider.

Brother UK has secured the PC Pro ‘Best Printer Manufacturer’ award for the ninth year in a row. The business technology solutions provider achieved an overall score of 89%. Brother was also the top brand for loyalty, receiving a buy-again score of 96%. The annual PC PRO Excellence Awards has run for 25 years, with thousands of readers voting in the Manufacturer of the Year categories. This includes the printer category itself, which is judged on the results of a three-month survey that asks PC Pro readers to rate products and services released in the last 12 months, on a range of criteria from quality to reliability. This year, Brother UK was again the standout brand in the printer category, receiving the most Brother UK wins PC Pro award

votes for value (89%), reliability (90%) and customer support (83%). This success follows Brother UK’s recent refreshing of its entire inkjet line-up, including the reimagined X-Series, A4 Mini Business and J5/J6 ranges. The models have been further strengthened by new patented MAXIDRIVE technology that demonstrates how Brother is pioneering innovation in the inkjet category. “Our record at winning this award and the scores we’ve achieved show that we live and breathe our ‘At your side’ ethos – providing the support our customers need with the products and solutions to help them do great work, in any setting,” said Russell Brown, head of SOHO sales at Brother UK.

KLM UK extends relationship with PaperCut MF

PaperCut has extended its relationship with KLM UK Engineering Ltd, in line with the engineering company’s long-term strategy to reduce its print output by 60%. The additional licences procured by KLM UK Engineering for PaperCut MF – which provides print management for printers and MFDs – will also support its growing print estate located across its recently expanded site in Norwich, which accommodates 500 users, 500 endpoints and 54 virtual machines hosted on 12 physical hosts. KLM UK Engineering provides maintenance for a range of aircraft. Each aircraft check currently generates between 5,000 and 20,000 sheets of paper. To bring that down, PaperCut MF will

work with a new maintenance, repairs and operations process scheduled for 2025 which will help KLM UK Engineering to reduce print output by 60%. The implementation of PaperCut MF is already giving KLM UK Engineering a head start on achieving that goal thanks to its eco-friendly policies. In addition to reducing paper and print volumes, they also help save on toner, while making sustainable print habits the status quo. PaperCut MF is also helping to drive efficiency and productivity on site. It’s Find-Me printing function provides users with the convenience of printing to one queue and picking up their output at any printer with a simple ‘tap and release’ workflow.



Konica Minolta and MGI launch of the AlphaJET 4.0 digital printing system

MGI Digital Technology has launched the AlphaJET, the world’s first Single-Pass B1+ Digital Inkjet Press from printing to finishing, featuring a unique combination of water-based CYMK Inks with in-line Digital Embellishment and Eco-Spot UV Coating & Green-Foil Technologies. Together with Konica Minolta, the first AlphaJET Democenter has been established for customers in a dedicated Center of Competence at Konica Minolta’s premises in Paris. Partners Konica Minolta and MGI Digital Technology also announced that a second dedicated AlphaJET Democenter will open at Konica Minolta’s premises in New York early next year, to further accelerate the companies’ digital transformation journey and customer engagement. A first customer for AlphaJET has also already been announced. ISRA, an industrial cooperative that operates in the packaging sector has chosen the advanced MGI AlphaJET system to optimise its entire production flow and benefit from the advantages of Industry 4.0. ISRA’s CEO, Jean-Pierre Chauvin, said: “Today, five main steps are generally required in order to produce our products. MGI AlphaJET will enable us to simplify the production flow and free ourselves from certain printing constraints, without load breakages, without waste and in a time-efficient manner, with unparalleled productivity that is impossible to achieve using conventional equipment.” The Factory 4.0 single-pass concept, with complete automation of manufacturing processes for customised and flexible mass production are at the heart of the partners’ digital water-based four-colour inkjet press. It produces up to 1,800 B1 sheets per hour, with the highest Inkjet print resolution of 1,600 dpi. MGI & Konica Minolta are bringing the factory 4.0 revolution to various graphic arts market segments, including packaging, folding carton, web-to-print/ to-packaging, commercial printing, books and magazines. The substrates compatibility ranges from a minimum 135 gsm thickness up to 2mm. They include coated and uncoated papers, folding carton, e-flue cardboard and synthetics from B2 to B1+ size. The eco-friendly single-pass production includes CMYK water-based pigment inks, eco-spot UV coating & green-foil (flat, raised & embossed) stamping, OPV lamination effects. The factory 4.0 AlphaJET digital inkjet press is certified deinkable by INGEDE for: CMYK water-

based inks, Eco-UV-Coating & green-foil, on certain substrates, as well as FOGRA certified. Other selling points for the AlphaJET include a patented flat paper transport with electromagnetic substrate transport with Smart Trays systems for perfect registration and movements, resulting in high resolution printing and jam-free operations. There is also CMYK and spot UV coating registration using intelligent scanners and colour calibration with complete automation, IoT system and MGI connect cloud-based platforms. Software enhancements include interactive digital proofing validation with a digital value-added sales assistant, pre-press automated workflow, and state-of-the-art cloud solutions using MGI Connect.

Edmond Abergel MGI ALphaJET

“The MGI AlphaJET offers unlimited opportunities,” said Edmond Abergel, chief executive officer of the MGI Group. “The single- pass factory 4.0 from printing to finishing using water-based and UV inks is a breakthrough innovation for printing and packaging industries. One equipment operator, one press and one single factory. “AlphaJET has been a significant journey from concept to finalisation, but I know I speak on behalf of all the team in saying we are immensely proud of our achievements as we head towards full commercial production. Our all-in-one concept provides huge flexibility for value-added production from proofing to run-lengths of millions – all at a competitive cost.” Olaf Lorenz, senior general manager, Digital Transformation Division at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, added: “The global launch of the MGI AlphaJET is a significant step forward as we continue to accelerate our digital transformation journey – both internally as well as externally. MGI and ourselves continue to work closely together and with our customers in a collaborative approach, and we expect to make further announcements soon.”


PRODUCT NEWS adds new feature to its SaaS offering has released Device Radar, a new tool that the company says turbo-charges the printing device on-boarding process. Device Radar utilises multicast DNS (mDNS) and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) protocols to search for and identify all printers on a customer’s network. Network-connected devices are automatically onboarded to the directprint. io platform and the Device Radar tool leverages artificial intelligence to set individual devices’ best- known configuration and enable advanced finishing features such as staple, fold etc., where available. This latest upgrade delivers on’s commitment to provide an intuitive, seamless and straightforward customer experience (CX) for organisations looking to migrate print infrastructure to the cloud. The platform is feature-rich, compatible with all leading printer manufacturers and supports over 5,000 printer models. With Device Radar, customers can onboard and deploy an unlimited number of printing devices and make them accessible to end-users, in just a few clicks. The past nine months has seen continue to invest in its serverless print management solution. The company has focused on bringing

parity to its Microsoft integration vs its rich Google Workspace integration. has a consistent look and feel across all three major operating systems – Windows, Chromebooks, and Mac – and supports the two major cloud productivity suite providers, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. is now available to users via the Azure AD Marketplace and the company recently launched Edge Print for Microsoft Azure. With Edge Print, end-users can print on their Windows PC, Chromebook, or Mac device, whether they’re at home, on a guest network, or even between different office locations. Earlier this year, the company also redesigned its universal print driver and built a fresh new user interface. “Our focus is firmly on prioritising usability, performance and security to empower more organisations to create a secure, cloud managed print infrastructure,” said CEO David Jenkins. “The launch of our fresh new client application earlier this year paved the way for us to build in additional innovative features to enhance CX in the future. The release of Device Radar demonstrates our commitment to continual innovation and is the first in a series of planned new platform enhancements.”

Ricoh launches Ricoh Pro™ VC70000e

production print and discover patterns that power smarter operation. The feedback loop is continuous, helping print service providers build stronger relationships with their clients, due to a more accurate and efficient workflow process. High quality results are ensured on the Pro VC70000e by Ricoh’s proprietary undercoating technology. The optional undercoating process broadens the range of applications that are suitable for inkjet by further improving overall print quality with sharper detail and more vibrant colours. In addition, at a time when substrate choice is compromised by global shortages, the ability of undercoat to create a standardised print surface ensures outstanding results can be achieved on an even wider range of media. Text and line work have been sharpened, too, with new printhead developments. The Pro VC70000e is field upgradeable and interchangeable with existing Pro™ VC70000 models. This lowers barriers and costs of entry for existing continuous feed operations who want to broaden their application set. This is as a direct result of the feedback received from Ricoh’s clients.

Ricoh has launched its fully automated and media versatile Ricoh Pro VC70000e high speed inkjet press in a move to support organisations in attracting new business and talent. The continuous feed press offers high quality, image driven, customised marketing, direct mail, and publishing applications. The latest model in Ricoh’s award-winning continuous feed portfolio boasts significant upgrades to hardware, software and workflow. They support productivity and quality enhancements and the migration of analogue to digital production. Labour shortages are becoming a universal problem in the printing industry. Ricoh is leading the development of automation tools that can greatly simplify production. The Pro VC70000e’s software advances include production automation tools as well as business intelligence capabilities via the Ricoh Pro Scanner Option and RICOH Supervisor™. Ricoh’s Automation Suite combines Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning benefits to simplify operation and give greater feedback upon which business decisions can be based. These applications can collect information directly from clients’ workflow to drive accuracy and efficiency in

The solution

enables us to document print standards at any point in the production run for ourselves or our clients


AD SECURE SCANNING SOLUTIONS FOR THE LEGAL SECTOR Safety and security of confidential information has always been of paramount importance for the legal sector. Therefore, in order to secure the business, the resellers need to be able to oer only the best in class, secure scanning solutions that meet the safety requirements. Luckily, with Canon imageFORMULA scanners, they can do just that. An ideal solution for medium size customers. The scanner comes with an easy to use, fully customisable large touchscreen making sure that documents are automatically registered onto the correct workflow. By using access control features, there is no risk of unauthorised access or distribution of the sensitive information. imageFORMULA ScanFront 400 With the DR-G2 Series device, you get the option of creating a truly digital mailroom. The mail gets scanned and distributed in no time. The scanned information can then be securely distributed into existing systems for further work. By using direct LAN connection to the secure internal networks, the customers can be sure that no information is put at risk. imageFORMULA DR-G Series production scanners Some lawyers spend a lot of time “in the field”. Be it during the face-to-face meetings or on-site visits to customer oˆces and archives. Using a Canon portable scanner they can securely digitise the most important documentation without the need to remove from customer premises or sending through unsecured networks. imageFORMULA P-215 personal scanner

To find out more on how Canon imageFORMULA scanners please contact one of Canon distribution partners: See the bigger picture



HP launches new printer range to boost productivity HP has launched its new LaserJet Managed E800/E700 series, designed to help the workforce to be more productive in a hybrid world.

HP has launched its latest range of workplace printers, the LaserJet Managed E800/E700 series, a new portfolio of multi-function printers designed to support and inspire a productivity-focused hybrid workforce, with intelligent solutions that can make workflow faster. Appreciating that workplaces have changed markedly in the past two and a half years thanks to the pandemic, the new series of six printers has been designed by HP to help streamline work process, work within the hybrid environment while maintaining high levels of security and increasing sustainability – two key considerations for end users. “As the hybrid work model continues to evolve, CIOs and IT departments have never been more challenged,” said Neil MacDonald, UK & Ireland channel director, HP. “They need intelligent printers with advanced features that streamline work processes. Our customers said they wanted to maintain productivity levels, customisable solutions, world-class security features, and sustainable accreditations.” Upgrades The HP LaserJet Managed E800/E700 series offers a range of upgrades on previous printers, including

workflow solutions with new FLOW 2.0 features, including the ability for users to make edits directly to their document on the control panel. HP’s E800/E700 series also boasts a fast-printing speed of up to 70 pages per minute (ppm) and 300 ipm duplex scan speed powered by HP’s custom-designed quad-core processor. Users can automatically save time with tone and colour management, two-sided document detection and automatic job separation features. This is all made possible through autosensing technology. “HP’s previous range was launched in 2017 but the workplace has changed massively, and the way people interact with products and the jobs they need them to do are quite different,” says HP’s A3 category manager, Andy Louch. “We still need high quality print but other things around it as well, which we have tried to achieve with these printers. The 700 and 800 series are flagship A3 managed products.” Andy adds that the development of the printer range has been informed by the new working dynamics post-pandemic, but that HP has also listened to channel partners and the improvements they wanted to see. Best service “For partners – we are reducing their cost when they put a product in a field in a managed print service,” says Andy. “They want to be able to give the best service they can but also the most cost effective.” HP has also looked to reduce pressure on the partners business in terms of maintenance engineer time. “We have synchronised maintenance cycles to try and reduce the number of times our partners have to send engineers out during the lifecycle of a product. In our previous product, it was seven times on a five-year contract but on the new range it is twice and that is down to synchronising when those core elements need to be replaced. This reduces the cost to our partners of maintaining those machines.” Another saving HP has implemented is with toners, Andy adds. He notes that the new machines have a hopper at the back so they can continue to print while they wait to put new toner in. “This helps to protect the investment as they get full yield out

Neil MacDonald



of those toners every time,” he says. The new machines also represent a step forward in technology. For instance, elements of artificial intelligence have been built in, Andy adds. “This builds on Smart Device Services, which we introduced on the last range of machines, things like sensors within the machines that give component failure predictions and can detect premature wear and tear, so engineers are more prepared when they go on site for the work they are going to have to do. “Machines also have a print quality service, so if there is banding or print defects they can print a page, scan it and the machine will check it and give

lifespan,” says Steve Coster, HP pre-sales consultant. “The range also supports zero deforestation, with fibre-based packaging which is 100% sustainably sourced and 100% recyclable. The toner cartridges are made from 68% recycled plastic and 100% recyclable.” Changing The printer series is even customisable to fit in with changing office décor, with six colour panels included so it can fit in seamlessly. “This is a first for industry – the machines can be customised as people are putting more effort making workspaces a place people want to go to, and why not have technology as part of that process and fitting in with the décor of the office?” says Andy.

Andy Louch

insights into what the problem could be. “It is all about maintaining productivity.”

Security Security has been another priority for HP, and the new devices include Memory Shield™, which helps detect malicious attacks on the printer and, if detected, automatically self-heals. Memory Shield™ monitors the execution flow of the printer firmware to help detect and prevent potential zero-day attacks. “These are also the first products with Wolf Enterprise Security branding,” notes Andy. “The level of security is unparalleled in the market. These new products have taken it to the next level with new elements introduced with Wolf Security.” Sustainability The devices have also been designed to be more sustainable that previous models, with features such as energy-efficient printing and toner cartridges made from more than 59% recycled plastic. “The new range uses less toner, which means supplies last longer, less needs to be produced, packaged and distributed, which all has an effect on reducing the carbon footprint of the machine over its

“Personalisation of the machine doesn’t stop there – you can change the speed of the device if the customer’s needs change or print volumes increase. For instance, if it is deployed at 40ppm it can be raised to 60 or 70.” The E800/E700 range is now available to order. Go to laserjet-managed-e800-e700-series.html for more information.

HP E800/E700 range features HP’s new printers have a range of new features, including: l HP quad-core processor powers

manageability with faster firmware upgrade and boot time performance, with improved features such as: HP Smart Device Services, HP Web JetAdmin and HP Command Center for device and fleet management l The printer also offers uninterrupted printing with low toner with its Toner Reserve feature. There are also high- capacity cartridge options for print intensive environments.

Memory Shield™ active system monitoring, Connection Inspector, and Whitelisting l Sustainability is also built in with an energy efficient design that meets the criteria of EPEAT Gold, Energy Star and Blue Angel standards l 10.1-inch colour touchscreen display with WXGA resolution at 1280 x 800dpi. In addition, flow models include a full-size keyboard l There is also improved

features such as FCOT (First copy out time), fast scanning, and print speeds up to 70ppm l Flow features auto sensing, on-screen digital editing, and scan/send to multiple destinations l 300ipm fast duplex scanning and enhanced OCR speeds l Print security is a priority – it includes HP Sure Start,


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Always pushing forwards Colin Bosher has been a technology innovator within the office automation, print, and fintec/XaaS sector for more than 30 years. However, his desire is to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, shows no sign of diminishing just yet.

EKM Global has a reputation for being an industry pioneer, and it is something that company founder places great emphasis on; Colin always seeks to be ahead of the competition by relentlessly developing innovative products, solutions, and services that proactively address gaps in the market, whilst also fulfilling specific customer requirements. Often shaped by historical trend data, logical creativity is part of Colin’s DNA – and it is something he has delivered consistently for more than 30 years. Although his story could have been quite different; he started out as a financial consultant with Cowie Interleasing in the late 1980s – and was successful at it – so much so that an Interleasing customer offered him a role in their company. It was that moment that his journey in the print channel and technology industry began. “I initially worked with a technology company called Misys Group, where after selling them a fleet of new vehicles they offered me a job!” he recalls. He was installed in their industry specialist VAD, Zygal Dynamics who as a subsidiary company were primarily a distributor for Fujitsu selling dot-matrix, system and line printers, as well as the first laser printers from Canon, HP, and Kyocera. “I worked for them for five years, building up a considerable business selling into the channel,” he says. “It was incredibly profitable; we were packaging up pallets every Monday morning and shipping them out to various vertical market system VARs.” From there, he moved to Kyocera. This was at the dawn of ECOSys and the total cost of ownership concept, where Colin was creating some of the first audit assessments for businesses to help migrate from products that were expensive to run. “We sold thousands of devices into corporates off the back of the total cost of ownership approach, making significant savings for those organisations,” he says. Later, Colin put together the first cost per page ‘Print-Plan’ for Cornerstone Estate Agents via Copymore (acquired by IKON ahead of Ricoh), which had about 400 branches. “It worked really well, there was healthy profit in it for our reseller, where the deal was capitalised up front, which made it easier to deploy from a commercial perspective,” he says. After further success in that space, Colin went onto work for HP as the company’s first Hard Copy

specialist ahead of taking on the role of global program director based in Bergamo in Italy, where he was responsible for developing relevant packaged solutions to accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies across the two-tier channel. “We had the first Digital Sender device, which was powerful enough to support up to 5,000 integrated applications, and could support 100,000 user address book,” he says. “It looked like an expensive fax machine, although the most successful engagement model was to apply and application centric approach to support technology & workflow optimisation. This was achieved by ensuring seamless integration into core client infrastructures that enabled users to share documents more easily via the network, and specific document processing applications, which further accelerated the industry migration from hard to soft copy document distribution shifting to scan > distribute > archive – print on demand/as required.” In parallel, Colin was also asked to join the global strategic win team for HP working with key stakeholders who were directly led by CEO Carly Fiorina and her husband Frank, working out of Reston, Washington. He then moved on to be European B2B program director for e-procurement and ecommerce before leaving the business in late 1999. Having seen the need to support the multi- brand channel, Colin felt ready to set up his own technology development company, and EKM was born. “EKM was dedicated to enabling the channel to move up the value chain so they could further protect their service business from equipment centric direct mono-brand hardware supply by creating a consistent, repeatable scalable approach

Colin Bosher

EKM Global, Bracknell





seemingly adverse conditions, that helped EKM to grow exponentially during the pandemic. “What we observed then and continue to see is a big drop in output volume produced from devices our platform is managing, where some of the office equipment market would have been very concerned about the corresponding revenue drop during that period,” he says. “Around the world there was a similar trend. However, at this point, most have generally recovered to between 60% and 80% of their original volume prior to the pandemic, which is surprising, although we have witnessed a new load balanced approach with far more devices deployed to support work from home (WFH). “A positive we saw was an adjustment from centralised sharing of a single device in an office to many more devices being bought and managed remotely in homeworking environments. Home and hybrid offices had already started to become a reality and that process accelerated. But that aligns to what we have always recommended – i.e. a load balanced fleet design having the right devices to support the volume where it is being produced, which in turn reflects our commitment in enabling our customers to make confident and informed decisions that are based upon facts using objective and fully ratified data.” Trends Another post-pandemic trend Colin is witnessing is a change back to smaller, desktop A4 devices that are colour capable and much more accessible for the user. “We are seeing more incremental print, especially in the homeworking environment as the whole family can access the device – whether they should be or not is another matter and clearly beyond our control,” he laughs. Other areas of the print sector are growing too, such as thermal imaging and label printing, something EKM Global is increasingly working in. “This is going in the opposite direction to the overall office printing market which is gradually flattening out,” he says. “I wouldn’t say it is dying because I believe people will continue to print as paper is tangible, convenient, secure, and portable. “However, by 2025 thermal imaging is predicted to be a $42 billion vertical market opportunity. As such, we are now actively managing thermal imaging devices label printers in business-critical environments such as medical, distribution and logistics and manufacturing where if that device is down or not printing it is going to have a major disruptive effect. We are offering service critical availability via our core RMM platform, coupled to fleet administration and configuration of those devices, and also including Remote Technician with optional Augmented Reality, which are emerging

that deskilled the process, whilst fully supporting any brand,” he says. “We pioneered the audit assessment design methodology by creating the first industry technologies ahead of any other company and enabled the delivery of the significant multi-million- pound corporate enterprise contracts. For instance, we supported the UK’s leading corporate reseller of the time from January 2000 and secured a multi- million managed print contract for a major mobile telco by April, something that they had never delivered before, and into an account where they had lost the desktop business in their heartland a year earlier. “This immediate success with a major corporate enterprise organisation indicated there was something in this that could be made repeatable, and so that’s what we did. We continued to utilise the revenue income from consulting projects on behalf of corporate clients to develop the software from the ground up, which enabled us to support the channel to secure and implement significant managed print service projects. By fine tuning a highly detailed and comprehensive specification EKM was able to create the most advanced industry platform available. The plan was always to develop middleware to integrate a seamless set of processes from RFP to BAU and by-so-doing enable any industry vendor to deliver far higher value at significantly lower operational cost by using fewer resources than any other industry approach. “Because we delivered corporate enterprise scale consulting, we had a deep understanding and appreciation for the relevant bill materials and device usage data necessary to establish a comprehensive solution that reflects an established IT managed service. We wanted to be sure that what we developed would be acceptable corporate enterprise clients by enabling our industry partners to lead the field by delivering on the most efficient effective basis. Over the years, EKM Global has worked with major corporate and Fortune 500 clients such as KPMG, HSBC, Ernst & Young and Deloitte and delivered some of the most significant projects. “By 2005 we had created the first version of our own native RMM software,” he says. “That’s where we began to develop the series of middleware technologies that we have today. “Today, we are deployed across 110 countries with thousands of channel customers, hundreds of thousands of end users, whilst processing more than 70 billion impressions of volumetric billing.” Creating opportunities It is the strength of the RMM business, combined with a keen eye for creating opportunities out of

Today, we

are deployed across 110 countries with thousands of channel customers, hundreds of thousands of end users, whilst processing more than 70 billion

impressions of volumetric billing

EKM Global, Basingstoke


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