Friday, April 1, 2011

OCE's OBS Division (OCE Business Services)

So, this morning, while visiting OCE’s U.S. web-site, I saw a press release that said this:

Océ Business Services Highlights Records Management, Document Imaging and Managed Print Services Solutions at AIIM Conference (was held Mar 21-24 in Washington, DC)

About Océ

Océ is one of the leading providers of document management and printing for professionals. The Océ offering includes office printing and copying systems, high speed digital production printers and wide format printing systems for both technical documentation and color display graphics. Océ is also a foremost supplier of document management outsourcing. Many of the Fortune Global 500 companies and leading commercial printers are Océ customers. The company was founded in 1877. With headquarters in Venlo, The Netherlands, Océ is active in over 100 countries and employs more than 20,000 people worldwide. Total revenues in fiscal 2010 amounted to approximately €2.7 billion. Océ is listed on Euronext in Amsterdam. For more information visit

Océ Business Services provides high quality managed services and technology to manage, monitor and optimize document intensive processes so companies can improve operating efficiency and performance. Océ Business Services solutions span the document lifecycle and include records management, imaging, managed print services, mail and eDiscovery. Proprietary methodologies apply Six Sigma®. North American headquarters are in New York City and employment is about 5,000 (at OCE Business Services). Learn more at or follow us on Twitter.

Joel’s comments:

What “caught my eye” was the number that said that OCE Business Services employs 5,000 people. I would imagine that that’s a “worldwide-employment” number, not a U.S.-employment number. Still, that’s a very impressive number; I had no idea OCE Business Services had grown that large. As most people (but certainly not all) know, OCE entered the “FM” (print and mailroom management) business by acquiring Archer Management Services (in late 1997.) (*OCE may have already been in the “FM” business before acquiring Archer, but, if so, OCE’s FM operations in the U.S. were quite small, comparatively speaking.) OCE Business Services in the U.S. is, today, a lot larger business than was the case when Stan Katz owned Archer. (Archer actually began life as a “courier services” business.)

In previous posts on this blog, we’ve pointed out that OCE’s OBS division serves the non-A/E/C market segment in the U.S., but, apparently, does not serve the A/E/C market segment in the U.S., but that is not the case in Europe, where OCE’s OBS division serves both the A/E/C and non-A/E/C market segments.

I still think the “big question” is …. will OCE’s OBS division, in its quest for further growth in the U.S., begin actively pursuing the A/E/C market segment at some point down the road, or will that not be the case? We’ve opined before that OCE’s OBS division is not active it the A/E/C market in the U.S. because the A/E/C “reprographics industry” is not highly fragmented, like is the case with the reprographics industry in Europe. OCE’s wide-format division in the U.S. serves several very large A/E/C reprographics companies, ARC, Thomas, ABC Imaging, NRI and others, and OCE’s wide-format division in the U.S. has extensive dealings with members who are part of ReproMAX, RSA and The PEiR Group. Given the nature, and especially the scope, of OCE’s wide-format division customers in the U.S., any push by OCE’s OBS division into the A/E/C market segment would probably not make U.S. reprographers very happy campers and might, in the longer-term, cause OCE’s wide-format division to lose some of its customers. However, two factors have to be considered. Factor #1 – OCE is now controlled by Canon. Canon may not view the situation the same way that OCE viewed the situation. Factor #2 – Xerox’s recent decision to stop selling wide-format in the U.S. will give a boost in market share to OCE’s wide-format division and reprographers who acquire high-volume plain-paper, toner-based imaging systems now have only two real choices, OCE and KIP. In other words, OCE is now in a stronger position to push its OBS division into the A/E/C market than was previously the case when OCE was independent of Canon and when Xerox was still a player in the wide-format equipment market. In spite of that, I still don’t see that happening, for I do feel that OCE will not want to do anything to displease its U.S. A/E/C reprographer-customers.

Disclosure: I own a small position in Canon (NYSE: CAJ)

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