OKI wants bigger slice of SMB printer market

OKI Europe Middle East and Africa’s general manager John Ross has outlined his company’s plans to make inroads into the regional small-to-medium business (SMB) market.

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By  Robin Duff Published  February 25, 2002

OKI Europe Middle East and Africa’s general manager John Ross has outlined his company’s plans to make inroads into the regional small-to-medium business (SMB) market with its latest printers.

In a recent interview with ITP.net, Ross admitted that while the printer manufacturer had not penetrated the Middle East market particularly well in recent years, he has overseen an 8-fold increase in business over the last two years. Ross also said that, as the result of a major training initiative and distributor overhaul, he felt that the company was now in a good position to make more of an impact on the local market.

“We now feel that we are in a position to penetrate the business market with our monochrome and colour page printers,” Ross told Windows Middle East. “We believe that we offer SMB users a viable alternative to the market leaders by offering quality products that have a low cost of ownership. We have also invested time and money in the channel to ensure that the customer can be advised on what is best for an SMB’s needs, both in terms of capital purchase and running costs.”

Ross explained that OKI offers entry-level 8 page-per-minute printers all the way up to its OP14 series for text based applications, OP14ex for general use and OP14i and OP14i/n for small networked groups.
The company has been known mainly for its dot matrix printers in the past, but over the last two years, it has sold more of its innovative Light Emitting Diode (LED) based printers. LED is touted as a serious rival by OKI to traditional laser: laser systems rely on elaborate combinations of rotating mirrors and lenses that must remain in alignment through use.

LED technology, on the other hand, uses a Light Emitting Diode printhead as a light source within the imaging device. Unlike laser systems, the LED printhead is solid-state and has no moving parts. The LED bar pulse-flashes across the entire page width and creates the image on the print drum as it moves down. Ross explained how is would act as a direct benefit to the user?

“We are basically able to produce smaller machines which can produce extremely fine and crisp print, with the minimum of moving parts,” said Ross. “We have also removed the need for a waste toner container by designing our toner to be automatically recycled within the printer, giving cost savings to the user.”

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