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The Hard Work Introducing A New Brand

By Editor Morten B. Reitoft 

This is an update to the article published a few days ago since my good friend Per Arild from Fujifilm sent me some suggestions that could clarify - and to quote Per Arild "Yes - it is confusing."

Here on INKISH, we have written numerous articles about the break between Fujifilm and Xerox - but let me bring a short recap to bring everybody on the same page.

In 1962 Fujifilm and Rank Xerox (now Xerox Corporation) formed a joint venture Fuji Xerox to develop, produce, and sell printing equipment. In 1982 Fuji Xerox acquired distribution rights and essentially achieved a couple of things. In this context, maybe the most important thing, namely entirely eliminating Xerox as a supplier in most Asia, and secondly being one of the main suppliers of development and equipment to Xerox.

The company continued to grow, and with more than 40,000 employees, Fuji Xerox sought to acquire Xerox' remaining less than 50% stake in the combined company. First, that was agreed, but then investor Carl Icahn acquired a deciding stake in Xerox Corporation and called off the deal that Jeff Jacobson, the then CEO of Xerox Corporation, now CEO of EFI. Late November 2019, Fujifilm took over the remaining 25% from Xerox, and Fuji Xerox became a fully owned subsidiary of Fujifilm.

In 2020, Fuji Xerox was officially renamed Fujifilm Business Innovation and didn't renew its technology agreement with Xerox Corporation. What that will mean to Xerox, we will revert to in a later article. However, there are a few important takeaways.

First, Xerox does not have distribution in most of Asia right now - or at least not under its own name. Visiting www.xerox.com tells customers that Fuji Xerox is now Fujifilm Business Innovation. Second, some of the products formerly sold exclusively by Xerox and Fuji Xerox are now sold under the new brand Revoria.

There are now three brands to watch out for - namely Xerox (Baltoro, iGen, etc.), Fujifilm (JetPress, etc.) and Fujifilm Business Innovation (Revoria for now). For some time, you will probably see machines that resemble each other a lot. The Xerox Iridesse is almost the same as the Revoria PC1120 (however Per Arild states this as a brand new development), and I was wrong about the comparison of the Revoria E-series with Xerox Versant - which should have been the Fuji Xerox B9-Series. Over time, the two companies will market entirely new and different machines, but for now, the focus is probably on building up organizations that can handle sales, marketing, and service.

The long-term effect of the split is not easy to predict, but from the outside, Xerox is the company that seems to be hit the hardest, and I am not 100% confident that Xerox ever really wanted a split. If you remember back, things were not too good looking, as Carl Icahn also tried a hostile takeover of HP, which failed - and I believe Carl Icahn has only a few (if any) friends in any of the companies he has shares in.

Xerox has limited products that are not developed and produced by Fujifilm. They will now have to initiate sales in Asia and production of equipment - I believe?

A couple of weeks ago, Xerox announced the founding of CareAR, which will now be handling software like XMpie, etc.

Is this a move to make either the software- or hardware divisions attractive to sell? Let's see!

Fujifilm and Fujifilm Business Innovation are better off. First, Fujifilm is a HUGE company with resources exceeding most. The ability to develop and sell Xerox machines like Iridesse and Versant and Fujifilm's widely recognized JetPresses is their starting point is probably not that bad!

Both companies will, of course, need to survive the hard judgment the market will give them and will have to develop technology that fits the needs of future demanding PSPs.

The winner? As so many times before, the customer will be the winner.

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Paul Sherfield

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Guess it will be a little confusing for some market areas?

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