OKI dives into MFP market

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OKI Printing Solutions is making a play for a share of the growing multi-function printer market with new products in this category that it has claimed offered good reseller margins.

OKI Printing Solutions is making a play for a share of the growing multi-function printer market with new products in this category that it has claimed offered good reseller margins.

Its new C5000 and C9800 series printers use LED (light emitting diode) technology rather than laser. The 5000 series starts at $1100 retail for the printer only and $2300 retail for the 5200 multi-function product.

The company claims the 5200 and 5450 MFP models print 16 colour pages a minute (ppm) in colour and 24 in monochrome.

The higher-end 9800 series model could print 33ppm in colour and 40 in monochrome.

“They are arguably the best products in this category at the moment,” claimed Stead Denton, managing director at OKI Printing Solutions.

He claimed that the 9800 series products had the equivalent features of a $35,000 copier for $22,000 retail. Resellers could earn hardware margins “of no less than 15 points” with the new range, he said.

“We don’t know of a product that delivers the quality and speed and multi-function benefits for that cost,” he said. The company had pre-sold 50 of the 9800s to resellers on announcement.

LED technology at these speeds was superior to laser, he said. “Single pass laser needs to have four engines to give you four colours, we don’t,” he said. HP and Kyocera were also using LED technology, he said.

OKI had traditionally focused on selling “back room” dot matrix printers and fax machines to the corporate and government markets. Now, however, it had products in the market that would be sold against comparable offerings from the likes of HP and Brother, Denton said. “The new products broaden the market that we have historically addressed,” he said.

OKI had attracted office equipment resellers to sell the 5000 series products. “A lot of resellers have a copier company as the lead product but don’t have a multi-function offering,” he said.

Specialist regional and metropolitan resellers would lead with the 9800 series products, he said. Only “Platinum level” resellers -- of which there are 42 nationally -- would buy the 9800 products direct from OKI.

OKI would also be selective as to how many resellers it appointed to sell the range, ensuring it did not saturate the market, Denton said.

Resellers could also on-sell finance packages to their customers via OKI finance arm IPL Finance. The company also signed a shirt sponsorship deal with the St George Illawarra rugby league club for the 2006 season.

St George’s home ground is also named OKI Stadium.

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