For the second year running, Xerox tops the Multifunction Printers category introduced in 2011. And in that year, Xerox once again outranked Lexmark, but did so this year by wider margins and in every subcategory. Interestingly, this year's third-place finisher was Samsung, which entered the multifunction printer market only last year. With Samsung's showing, HP slid into fourth place.
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Xerox widened its lead over Lexmark in two of the three subcategories; its overall averages for each beat Lexmark by roughly five percentage points or more. Although ranking last, HP led the pack in two product innovation criteria--quality and reliability, and compatibility and ease of integration--and did so by a wide margin. But those scores were not enough to surpass Xerox, and it finished second in product innovation.
Xerox has the products to back up its product innovation win. Tom Gall, director of channel marketing at Xerox, characterized its new line of solid-ink color MFPs as a "solid upgrade in reliability and usability with functions such as scan-to-email." Also innovative is a three-level billing meter. Instead of counting black-and-white and color prints, pages are broken down by areas of useful color. "So, if there's just a color logo, most printers will charge for a full color job," explained Gall. But Xerox printers can measure the amount of color ink being used and charge accordingly. "That really changes cost structure for resellers," Gall said.
Building his business on Xerox innovations is Bill Loiacano, CEO of SPI Innovations, a longtime Xerox reseller based in Freeland, Mich. His company manages several hundred Xerox MFP devices. "PagePack is our program of choice," said Loiacano, referring to the Xerox print management solution. "Xerox has remote monitoring and management and it has data capture. We're able to collect data on consumables and impressions, and on parts about to go bad. That is all done remotely, so we're not sending a technician out on a wild goose chase."