Speed demons

Adrian Bridgwater examines the enduring need for high-speed high-quality paper printing technology for modern enterprise-level environments in the Middle East.

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By  Adrian Bridgwater Published  October 25, 2008

Adrian Bridgwater examines the enduring need for high-speed high-quality paper printing technology for modern enterprise-level environments in the Middle East.

The killer feature in today's enterprise printing marketplace is speed. Quality is still a key consideration of course. However, print quality has been at a certain plateau for some time now and the market's key players feel that they can be more easily identified by the speed and proficiency with which their machines could operate.

Companies such as Kyocera, Toshiba, Xerox, OKI and HP have been setting the benchmark for the 21st century high-speed printing for a good part of this decade already. The race now becomes a high-speed pursuit for fault-free performance under pressure.

The question is, considering these various elements, how does the competition in printing technology shape up under closer scrutiny?

Even the new breed of web-focused technology players will attest to the need for high-speed hard copy print in a majority of organisations.

Companies like Huddle.net, an online social collaboration platform for connecting inside and outside the enterprise say that their operations still have a need for traditional print materials.

"At Huddle, we champion the use of online data and aim to reduce our print usage to a minimum. Having said that, our sales and marketing teams heavily rely on high-quality print collateral.

It is inefficient, and sometimes not possible, to reach out to large audiences - at exhibitions for instance - with USB sticks. Thankfully, the sophistication and efficiency of colour print technology that is available today means great quality and no paper waste," said Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson, head of marketing communications at Huddle.net.

Control P: Print... at speed

There are many more manufacturers in this market than we have listed here and you wouldn't have to look too far to produce other big names.

Given the current state of the global market - and before you read the analyst's market predictions in the end text section - it is interesting to postulate as to the general state of the market for high performance printers and try and suggest how things will develop for the rest of this decade.

The market for printing products has arguably reached a plateau. Even proponents of a paperless office now know that we still want paper and, where we do want it, we want it in volume and delivered at speed.

The effect of electronic-only data storage has run its full course - and where demand is still strong, there is perhaps a much more clearly definable need. This means that printer manufacturers can now turn their focus to providing high-end, super fast printing units.

Where we go from here? Perhaps, you had better buy a newspaper or magazine to find out!

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