Happy Snaps

Happy Snaps

A picture is worth a thousand words and can mean big bucks when getting the message into the corporate world. Today's photo printers are reinforcing this statement, providing power and simplicity.

From large format printers (LFPs) to portable photo models, resellers can pitch endless possibilities associated with the latest gaggle of gear to professional photographers, the artistic crowd and corporate users.

Digital photo printing has moved beyond the pure transfer of images from PC to printer, and can now be done directly from a camera or mobile phone. Dedicated photo printers are starting to show up more often in a corporate environment along with multi-purpose devices.

And while the top end of town is still sizzling, resellers are investigating opportunities further downstream. Epson is tracking the trend.

"There's a definite shift in the market," marketing manager, Mike Pleasants, said. "The large format has always caught the eye of the photo professionals and artists, but now there's a move towards the smaller machines.

"Interior designers typically use A4 machines to print off canvas and do a number of arty things, but we'll start to see these professionals come to the A3 printer."

Lower Pitch

Corporate resellers can look to grow business in the lower end of the photo printer market, which has typically been restricted to consumer sales, according to Pleasants.

"We know the [business photo printing] trend is big and we are starting to see it migrating down to the high-end desktop area," he said.

Simply put, the trend is being driven by the arrival of enhanced photo features including an array of colour management options, and slashed prices. The story is good news for partners, who needed to branch out into printer services and grab new market opportunities in the face of downward pressure on margins, Pleasants said. Traditional IT resellers - in addition to the specialist photo printer resellers - need to look beyond hardware margins and craft intelligent solutions to address specific industries and work groups.

Resellers need to take advantage of the digital camera craze, arming themselves with the latest devices. According to Lyra Research, the number of digital images captured is exploding.

In addition to the printing devices, resellers should be aware of the myriad of online, in-store and kiosk digital printing services on offer.

The popularity of digital photography coupled with the rollout of better quality photo printers is driving market demand.

Professional photographers, artists and companies are seeing the benefits and trawling for reseller assistance, HP market development manager, personal printing, Ben Vivoda, said.

"We're reaching into areas we never thought we would before," he said. "From the outset, we're seeing increased adoption in the corporate space. In the high end of the market, users want the traditional photo element. Further down, the adoption of digital SLR cameras is driving photo printer sales."

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