Epson Goes to Work

Epson Goes to Work


Epson Goes to Work

by Todd Turner (ENX Magazine)

Epson has entered the workgroup color print space and everybody is watching. In an arena historically dominated by laser, Epson just might disrupt the status quo with their Replaceable Ink Pack System devices that offer significantly lower costs per page than their laser rivals.

Long known for desktop and high-quality graphics inkjets, Epson now offers three printers designed for businesses utilizing the Replaceable Ink Pack System. These are the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590; WorkForce Pro WF-R5690 multi-function printers and the WorkForce Pro WF-R5190 single-function printer.

Larry Trevarthen

Larry Trevarthen

The question is will businesses adopt ink? Historical biases have always favored laser, but Larry Trevarthen, director, Business Ink Jet, Epson America, thinks that could change when they experience the differentiating value of the Epson products.

“The Replaceable Ink Pack System family of printers represents an entirely new way for workgroups and SMB offices to approach color printing because it allows them to print high impact color documents with low operating costs and low intervention rates,” he says.

The WorkForce Pro printers with Replaceable Ink Pack System feature Epson’s next-generation PrecisionCore™ technology, advanced thin-film piezoelectric (TFP®) elements, which are produced via a MEMS manufacturing process. At the core of this proprietary technology is the PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip that produces dots at the micron level. Each nozzle on the printhead delivers up to 50,000 droplets per second for increased precision and print quality.

Additional features include a wide range of built-in connectivity options such as Ethernet, USB, wireless b/g/n2 and Wi-Fi Direct. Other features include options for remote setup and custom settings for multiple printers. The Replaceable Ink Pack System printers also support popular security protocols, PCL3 and Adobe PostScript.

Trevarthern says that Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System printers are designed for environments requiring a reliable, high quality, heavy-duty, low cost color printing solution. He claims they are seeing an increase in interest from corporate environments, both in centralized workgroups and distributed print environments.

“These products are fully compatible with MPS reporting tools, and therefore allow IT managers to extend their MPS fleet to low cost color devices in more distributed placements,” he says. “In addition, we are seeing adoption from SMBs, who want the benefits of low cost color and low device intervention, allowing them to focus on managing their businesses, and not their printers.”

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R8590

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R8590

To better engage the independent dealer channel, Epson recently announced a distribution partnership with Impression Solutions. Epson is counting on Impression Solutions to utilize their reseller network to touch both the corporate and SMB levels.

“Impression Solutions will partner with Epson to recruit, train and support resellers in the BTA channel,” says Trevarthen. “As a value added distributor, Impression Solutions’ ability to communicate the Replacement Ink Pack System value proposition to the BTA reseller is a terrific asset for Epson, especially during this period of MPS transition where resellers are looking for additional profit opportunities.”

Trevarthen says that the comparative low cost of the Epson Replaceable Ink Pack System printers can save the end user up to 50 percent versus similarly placed laser printers without compromising on speed and print quality.

“Herein lies the value proposition to Impression Solutions and their portfolio,” he states. “The Replaceable Ink Pack System models are low-cost color inkjet solutions that work within an MPS environment.”

For those still skeptical of office inkjet, Trevarthen insists that Inkjet technology has made major advances over the last several years. He says that the Replacement Ink Pack System offers customers the print quality, performance, and reliability benefits of color laser at much lower operating costs.

Once more, Travarthen says the Replacement Ink Pack Systems products allow their reseller network to penetrate markets that they couldn’t before due to the high-cost of color laser.

“Now resellers are able to place distributed color printers within their MPS fleets where higher price color lasers would not have been affordable,” he says. “In addition, resellers are able to place these devices and still generate profit margins to support their business from hardware, supplies and service.”

“Impression Solutions is uniquely able to educate resellers and ultimately IT managers about these benefits because of their deep knowledge of printing technologies, reseller business models and how best to augment MPS fleets with the most appropriate devices,” adds Trevarthen.

One disadvantage to the Epson Replaceable Ink Pack System devices is their print speed, which is slower than leading laser equivalents. However, with greater awareness of print costs and increasing desire to control them, Epson’s venture into office color printing could lead to wider acceptance of business inkjet. We shall see.

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