Ricoh’s announcement this week that they will be acquiring IKON is big news in the office equipment industry and certainly is spurning lots of questions about the impact on MFP manufacturers, their sales channels, and customers. Let’s take a look at what this means for users of document imaging software:
1) This is the third acquisition of a large office equipment dealer. First, Xerox purchased Global Imaging Systems. Then, in April, Konica Minolta purchased Danka. And now, Ricoh purchased IKON. And many smaller office equipment dealers have been purchased by a variety of MFP manufacturers. We are certainly seeing a trend here.
2) There is likely to be more consolidation in the MFP industry because margins are shrinking and there are simply too many players.
3) If you are a customer of document imaging software that is used in conjunction with office equipment, it is more important than ever to invest in software that supports multiple platforms (vendors) so that you are protected from these events.
We have often talked on this blog of the importance of using document imaging software that works across multiple brands and types of scanning devices. This trend of acquisitions is another proof point for that message. As we noted in our blog post following the Danka acquisition, platform agnostic software is required if you want to make sure that you are not locked into a particular brand of MFP.
If you have any questions or comments about this acquisition, or its impact on you, please post a comment.