Print in the Channel - issue #13



Richard Wells , Head of office print sales UK & Ireland, Epson We have a strong sense of optimism for the business and the print channel in 2024 and beyond. We’ve started the year on a high, having recently announced Epson’s transition to 100% renewable energy across its global sites, and the increasing demand

will strategically join forces in a bid for a stake in the market — it’s a trend I expect we will see growing throughout 2024. But the economic climate in 2024 will likely play a big part in buying decisions, especially for the print sector. Ultimately, the cost-of-living crisis won’t be going anywhere imminently soon and so consumers and businesses alike will be looking to save costs wherever they can. The ability to calculate reduced running costs will only increase in value for the copier industry, and our ability to do so with the Epson Optimisation Report based on switching from laser to inkjet is a highly future-proof benefit for resellers. This is one reason we’ve seen increasing demand for cartridge-free EcoTank printers, as they offer a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution. But, with higher up-front costs the continuation of this trend in 2024 relies on companies like Epson and its channel partners communicating the cost savings to customers.

from customers for sustainable printing through reduced energy consumption and waste continues to be met with our WorkForce Enterprise AM-C series and our EcoTank range. Looking at the trends I foresee in 2024, the first is the continued supply and demand of sustainable solutions, where businesses are demanding more environmental results and vendors are increasingly having to walk the talk. The second is identifying the perfectly balanced deployment of printing, as businesses progress further with optimising their hybrid working environments. Then as acquisitions, mergers, and the rise of as-a-service offerings become increasingly prevalent, it’s predicted that more businesses

Richard Wells

Steve Holmes , Head of global sales & channels/EMEA GM, Papercut Broadly speaking, we’re quietly optimistic

organisations are now becoming ‘cloud only’ organisations, and we’re seeing customers who weren’t embracing cloud become ‘cloud first’. As end users move to cloud, we also anticipate that end user demand for subscription offerings will increase, which, in turn, will kick-start a transition to subscription pricing models in 2024. As customer needs evolve and the transition to cloud gathers pace, naturally we’re working closer with our partners to help them deliver cloud-based solutions for their customers to make print easier and more secure, while delivering tangible value, ROI and sustainability benefits for today’s hybrid workforce. I also believe that in 2024 we will continue to see a strong focus on security; not just because it’s a perennial, but because the threat landscape is ever evolving and AI alone could be used to unleash a new wave of threats we’ve not encountered before. Considering that, some verification processes may become more robust, but hopefully not at the expense of a positive user experience. Where print security is concerned, we’ll see a greater adoption of modern authentication

about 2024. Last year was bumpy for everyone, but we did see a market turnaround in the second half of 2023 and that brought with it a confidence that has spilled into the new year. It’s likely that ESG goals and sustainability initiatives will be drivers for growth as companies assess their print fleet to establish whether its eco-performance is in line with their targets. Remember too, that many companies missed a print fleet refresh because devices were under used during the pandemic, so they kept their fleets for longer; those devices may not be as environmentally friendly as newer devices, so we expect to see a bit more movement on fleet upgrades this year. Now the chip crisis is almost over and the production of printers and MFPs is back to meeting market demand, replacing print fleets should be easier. And, given that demand for software solutions often mirrors that of demand for hardware solutions, I think the second half of the year should be quite buoyant. I think we’ll also see the transition to cloud continue to pick-up pace. ‘Cloud first’

Steve Holmes


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