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HP will divide into two next year, but what will this mean for the professional print division? Nessan Cleary considers.

So, HP is to split itself into two halves, with all of its printing product operations, including wide-format as well as its big inkjet machines and consumer printers lumped in with the personal computing part of the business to form HP Inc. This company will keep the HP logo and be headed up by Dion Weisler, currently executive vice president of HP’s Printing and Personal Systems division.

Martin Morrissey, MD at Co-op Events, which runs Newtech: The Wide-Format Printing, Displays and Finishing Show, argues that new style trade events such as this are the way of the future.

Having experienced Sign and Digital, Ipex, Drupa et al, both as an exhibitor and as a visitor over a period of many years, like many others I felt strongly that there must be a better way to get new products in front of the print and graphics market. 

Martyn Eustace, director of Two Sides and Print Power, bangs the drum for greater collaboration between printers and creatives ahead of the organisations’ Autumn Seminar in London on 3 November, with speakers including Jonathan Harman from Royal Mail, Nicolas Sennegon from The Economist Group and futurologist Richard Watson. 

Can the software subscription model work for large format/sign providers? Jurgen Verhulst, applications specialist at SAi, explores the issue. 

In April this year, SAi introduced a subscription model for its signmaking software package Flexi. The ability to subscribe to powerful software programs on a monthly basis, funded from revenue rather than the capital investment required for an outright purchase, is becoming both more common and popular says SAi’s applications specialist Jurgen Verhulst. With advantages for large-format print/sign providers, software developers and dealers alike, this method of software delivery is seen by many as the future business model, but does it really make economic sense? Here Verhulst argues the point. 

Why consumables suppliers like Contra Vision are spending more time in collaboration with you  - and your customers.

With their expertise printers can add value to almost any project, if only they seize the opportunity. Of course many jobs require fast turnaround and low costs and it’s not always in a printer’s interest to up-sell solutions but, then again, thinking about unusual materials and novel applications can result in truly striking outcomes. Yet so often the focus is on price when it comes to print companies quoting on jobs, and that can really limit creativity – and the sales of higher end specialist media. Which is why some consumables suppliers, like Contra Vision, are turning their marketing and sales attention to end-users.

Understand what gamefication is all about and you just might become one, as Paul Simpson explains.

Why is gamification one of the buzzwords of 2014? There are two principal reasons. First, because more companies are realising that the factors that inspire billions of us to play games - desire, incentive, challenge, achievement, reward, feedback and our innate need to be the best at a specific activity – can be used to sell products, persuade us to like a brand or change out behaviour as employees. Secondly, this dynamic resonates most strongly with Generation Y consumers, also known as millennials, who will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

343 print companies involved in digital inkjet wide-format production from across the UK and Ireland completed this year’s survey, making it the biggest poll yet of the sector’s domestic players. Here are the key findings.

The data is in and the report is out. Widthwise 2014 is an analysis of the information provided by grassroots large-format print producers, the seventh consecutive year Image Reports has conducted such research. Get your hands on it and you’ll get a true insight into the shape of the UK and Ireland market – where the growth is, where the investment is going etc. The full Widthwise Report is available for free download, but here’s a heads-up on the key findings.

We’re doing well, but we can do better according to Fespa Global Summit speakers. Here’s the upshot of the two-day event.

Technology is driving convergence. And so is customer expectation. If there was one key takeaway from the recent Fespa Global Summit, it was that what we fear should be what we embrace. That we’ve got to get beyond the mindset of being a ‘printer’ and think about how we can become specialists in visual communication, whatever that might entail.