Samsung unveils enterprise printers

At the launch of its first range of Samsung-branded business printers, the company said it would phase out its OEM deals in the long term
Written by Alex Serpo, Contributor

Samsung launched its first range of business printers on Friday and said it will phase out its original equipment manufacturer deals in the long term.

Samsung claims the CLX-3170 is the world's smallest, colour, laser, multi-function printer.

Samsung manufactures approximately 10 million printers annually for both the consumer and enterprise market. However, most of those printers are sold through original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreements, where other vendors re-brand Samsung's products as their own.

Speaking at an event in Bali on Friday, Park Sang Jin, Samsung's chief executive for south-east Asia and Oceania, said the OEM phase-out was part of Samsung's long-term brand strategy: "Step by step, because our priority is placed on our own brand, we will phase out OEM manufacturing."

When asked when the phase-out will be complete, Sang Jin declined to give a time frame.

In the long term, Sang Jin also said that Samsung would move beyond manufacturing and into print services: "Our core competence is components... from there we want to expand our business".

Samsung is a big player in microchips and digital televisions — markets which, according to research firm IDC, are worth $60bn (£31bn) and $100bn respectively. The market for printers is worth $132bn; Samsung currently owns around 12 percent of that market.

Samsung on Friday announced a full range of laser printers and printer-related products. The company's senior vice-president of digital media, Jang Jae Lee, said that the inkjet market was of no interest because it represents "less than 30 percent of the market".

The CLX-8380ND is an example of Samsung's enterprise-level multi-function printers.

Samsung's range includes what the company describes as the world's smallest and quietest colour, laser, multi-function printer, the CLX-3170, and "one of the world's fastest" multi-function A4 printers, the MultiXpress 6555N.

Samsung also touted its "green" strategy, which involves making energy efficiency part of the design process. The company was keen to share news that it topped the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics for March 2008. The guide noted that Samsung "scores well on toxic chemicals policy, [but] loses points for incomplete take-back practice".

To back up its push into the enterprise market, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft, IBM and EMC to produce a range of software options for enterprise customers. These include integration with Microsoft SharePoint and the ability to embed Java applications within enterprise-level printers using a technology called JScribe.

Alex Serpo travelled to Bali as a guest of Samsung.

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