Manufacturer Menu: Industry OEMs Provide Scorecard for 2024 Plans and Releases

OK, the calendar reads March, so we’re already at 2024’s one-quarter pole. To those of us who just packed away the last of the holiday decorations, this is unbelievable and just a tad bit alarming. Clearly, Father Time seems to have some place to go, and we’re all just along for the ride.

Before the year slips too far from our grasp, we felt it important to answer the pressing question, “So, what are the manufacturers up to this year?” Obviously, you could peruse the back issues of ENX Magazine and read six or seven Channel Insight articles generally dedicated to the OEMs and their exploits. You could read stories or watch videos on other publication websites. These suggestions, enticing as they may sound, would take too much time. Frankly, I’d like to think you have more urgent issues.

Instead, we’ve decided to pester the industry OEMs ourselves for a quick breakdown of what we can expect from them in 2024. They’ll provide a glimpse at A3/A4 plans, ancillary/partner releases, reseller tools, hosted events and a big-picture perspective on the year, keeping you abreast of what to expect.

Avision Inc.

A3/A4 Plans: Avision will add five new models in 2024, giving us a total of 28 units for black-and-white laser printers and MFPs in the 50 page-per-minute range and below. Color A4 Laser printers will be available in September.

Ancillary/Partner Releases: Last year, Avision added two new partners—one will be private branding and one will be partnering in a large state contract. The partnership will be announced later this year, and we continue to seek OEM/private branding partnerships in providing A3 and A4 units in North America with any vendor that fits.

Jun Huang, Avision

Reseller Tools: 2024 Avision printers and MFP product line as well as the 2024 Avision Scanners product line.

Hosted Events: Avision will exhibit in the PRINTING United Expo 2024 at Las Vegas Convention Center, which takes place Sept. 10-12.

Big-Picture Perspective: We’re looking to continue our momentum in 2024 through excellent service and technology. We have a lot of scanner and printer products on the future roadmap, and our foray into color this year should go a long way toward carving out a market share in the United States. We’re excited about what the future holds for Avision.

— Jun Huang, general manager, Avision Labs

Epson America Inc.

A3/A4 Plans: Epson introduced new printers to its business print portfolio in 2023, including the WorkForce Enterprise AM Series A3 line head MFPs, WorkForce Pro Supertank A4 MFPs and WorkForce Pro A4 MFPs. All these devices use our patented innovative PrecisionCore Heat-Free technology. In 2024, Epson plans to further expand its business imaging lineup with new A3 and A4 models that will offer best-in-class performance, reliability and productivity benefits to meet a range of business needs.

Ancillary/Partner Releases: Last year, our partner launched a high-speed, high-capacity envelope feeder that’s compatible with our WorkForce Enterprise MFPs. The feeder dramatically increases envelope print productivity. In 2023, we increased the number of ISV partners that work with Epson Open Platform. We anticipate several announcements from our hardware and software partners in 2024 that will expand the pool of customers for Epson’s dealers.

Elliot Williams, Epson

Reseller Tools: In 2023, we launched our “Less Hassle. More Hustle.” marketing campaign featuring Shaquille O’Neal. We continuously update our sleek and user-friendly partner portal with new assets and collateral to help our resellers. The Epson Solution Suite is a group of client- and cloud-based tools to help resellers manage devices more effectively. We’re increasing the functionality and capability of these tools this year with some key additions.

Hosted Events: Epson’s world-class Executive Briefing Center located at our North American headquarters office hosted several customers every week in 2023. We plan to continue this in 2024.

Big-Picture Perspective: For 2024, Epson’s focus will be on its dealers. We want to help them improve their own profitability and increase their customers’ satisfaction. We plan to help them achieve this by utilizing the broad portfolio of Epson products, software and solution offerings in addition to those of our partners.

—Elliot Williams, director of product marketing, Epson America’s business imaging group

Kyocera Document Solutions America Inc.

A3/A4 Plans: We’ll continue refreshing our A4 range with several new products that will enhance and expand our award-winning lineup, which includes the TASKalfa MA4500ci, the first product to directly compete on click price with an A3 device. In the A3 category, Kyocera is entering a new dimension with speeds up to 105ppm for the first time, coupled with a completely new engine. The production inkjet segment will also see expansion with the release of the TASKalfa Pro 55000c announced at last year’s PRINTING United expo.

Ancillary/Partner Releases: In addition to our cloud productivity solutions, Kyocera will introduce new applications in the ECM/DMS space—developed entirely by Kyocera—such as Kyocera Cloud Information Manager (KCIM). We’ll also continue to enhance our unique Kyocera Cloud Print and Scan (KCPS) solution with new releases, incorporating additional functionality requested by our dealers.

Reseller Tools: Kyocera is expanding sales enablement content, including new content and video programming, expanded advertising, and new online product configuration tools. The Kyocera Unlimited Plan has proven to be an exceptional lead generation tool for dealers, and we’re committed to investing in the success of this valuable program.

Hosted Events: Kyocera continues to offer monthly dealer roundtable meetings throughout the year, offering them a unique opportunity to provide direct feedback to senior company leaders. Kyocera’s Dealer Conference will return in 2025, bringing together dealers from around the country to learn about the latest Kyocera developments, strategies and future products. Kyocera will also participate in multiple regional events and national shows, with the highlight of the year being PRINTING United 2024. At this event, the company will once again showcase its newest production printing technologies as it expands its commitments in this space.

Jose Estebanez, Kyocera

Big-Picture Perspective: We believe this year will be a significant growth year for Kyocera. We’ve introduced many new products in our A4 lineup, expanding our offerings in this growing segment. Additionally, new devices at the high end of our portfolio, such as the TASKalfa Pro 55000c, designed for the unique needs of graphic arts production print, have been introduced. Kyocera continues its investment in cloud-based document solutions, with Kyocera Cloud Print and Scan updating to new versions and the upcoming introduction of Kyocera Cloud Information Manager. We believe we offer one of the most compelling product portfolios in the industry, along with top-tier service, support and commitment to our resellers.

— Jose Estebanez, vice president of corporate marketing


A3/A4 Plans: In 2023, we introduced a new A3 color MFP series with a focus on sustainability, including a 27% smaller carbon footprint than preceding models. We’re also planning to expand our A4 portfolio with the launch a new line of color A4 devices this year. Designed for lower-volume environments, the MFP and printer series will pair the company’s advanced imaging capabilities and workflow solutions support to facilitate information sharing for businesses, particularly in hybrid work models.

Ancillary/Partner Releases: One area where we see tremendous growth potential is the production space, and we recently partnered with Scodix to expand embellishment capabilities that can provide further differentiation. We’re also partnering with industry analysts such as Keypoint Intelligence to accelerate our dealers’ ecommerce strategies.

Reseller Tools: Ricoh recently launched Marcom Central for our dealer community to enable more robust and custom content for their customers. We’ve also launched our Dealer Portal, a simplified, single sign-on to quickly interact with all Ricoh platforms and expedite/automate lead delivery.

Jennifer Healy, Ricoh

Hosted Events: We hosted our Dealer Summit in October, featuring topics that resonated with 100 like-minded dealers. We’re planning subsequent virtual events targeted to mid-market dealer owners, and in the second half, we’re hosting regional, in-person, one-day events for the broader dealer community focused on sales and marketing enablement.

Big-Picture Perspective: In a word: growth. Ricoh is focused on partnering with our dealers to achieve double-digit aspirational growth. We do this by providing tools that help them expand their reach and grow their business through an expansive portfolio that includes production print, adjacent workflow solutions and the tools to enable them to change the customer conversation from trusted print provider to consultant.

—Jennifer Healy, director of marketing strategy and programs, dealer and partner channel, Ricoh USA

Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America

A3/A4 Plans: Sharp launched its first series of production presses in early February. The presses, which were announced during both the Sharp National Dealer Meeting 2023 and PRINTING United 2023, will be available this month. Additionally, Sharp’s proprietary A4 line is growing; look for more models to be added throughout the year.

Ancillary/Partner Releases: Sharp has ramped up the security of its MFPs through an agreement with ConnectWise and Bitdefender. This offers unique visibility into print security for Sharp MFPs and printers and provides built-in, advanced anti-malware protection. Additionally, as of Jan. 1, 2024, the Sharp and Sharp NEC U.S. teams joined forces and will be bringing a plethora of new commercial AV and projector products to the dealer community.

Reseller Tools: Sharp continues to invest in making it easier for dealers to engage in both marketing and sales activities. We’re particularly excited about expanding our online and physical production print resource and experience centers.

Bob Madaio, Sharp

Hosted Events: As part of our investment in the production print market, look for regional events and training sessions to complement our ongoing dealer engagement.

Big-Picture Perspective: We see 2024 as another exciting year in the industry as dealers continue to search for better ways to serve their customers and new ways to diversify. Between new commercial display and projector options, advanced laptops and even diversification within print with high-end digital presses, Sharp dealers, in particular, will have even more options to expand their businesses and bring customers simply smarter solutions.

—Bob Madaio, vice president, marketing, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America

Xerox Corporation

A3/A4/Production Plans: Last year, Xerox completed a full refresh of its Xerox VersaLink family of A4 printers and multifunction units. We’re adding updates to several of our production presses, new AI-driven enhancements to workflow and our Production EcoSystem throughout the year, as well as enhancements to our Xerox AltaLink family of A3 MFPs. Building on strong industry recognition, product security also remains front and center with our multi-layered security approach based on Zero Trust principles to heighten security measures for our clients. Named a leader in sustainability by analyst firms IDC and Quocirca, we continue to design our products to support circular economy principles and increase usage of PCR plastics.

Ancillary/Partner Releases: In Q1, Xerox is adding Xerox Workplace Cloud Fleet Management, a cloud-native solution that allows seamless integration of print and fleet management, as well as the Security Event Monitoring Service to Xerox Managed Print Services. The company will also introduce the Xerox Intelligent Filer scanning app that leverages artificial intelligence to provide automatic categorization, standardized naming structures and suggested filing locations. This enables users to easily find filed documents in the right location with the right name. Xerox continues to add new offerings to the Xerox Workflow Central platform. The newly introduced “Protect” workflow adds a protective wrapper around shared documents to track, restrict and even allow deletion when forwarded to others.

Reseller Tools: Regular updates to the Xerox Partner Portal provide marketing resources such as multi-touch digital marketing campaigns, analytics and web optimization as well as pricing and sales information for products and services, access to sales tools, technical details and support. In the first half of 2024, Xerox will expand its Digital Marketing Automation Center to include monthly newsletters and additional co-branded social posts.

Terry Antinora, Xerox

Hosted Events: Xerox will support our network of partners through global events and client-centric training and demos where we’ll showcase our end-to-end production ecosystem with everything from pre-press to workflow automation to print production to finishing. Xerox will celebrate our top channel partners who delivered exceptional results at our 2023 CEO Club trip, with an exclusive excursion this spring. Xerox also provides partners the option of hosting in-person or virtual client events using Xerox-developed materials and programming.

Big-Picture Perspective: In 2024, Xerox will continue to place significant emphasis on its Reinvention to become a services-led, software-enabled company. In doing so, Xerox will be easier to do business with, improving the experience for our clients and partners. The company will simplify its core print business to align to today’s hybrid workplace while increasing investment in a partner-enabled, go-to-market model that supports how clients prefer to procure their print solutions. In addition, Xerox will be putting a greater focus on emerging digital and IT services capabilities with a commitment to launch more channel-ready offerings in this space.

—Terry Antinora, vice president and general manager, global offerings, Xerox

Erik Cagle
About the Author
Erik Cagle is the editorial director of ENX Magazine. He is an author, writer and editor who spent 18 years covering the commercial printing industry.