FOLLOW-UP REPORT: What the Ricoh investment in Avanti means to printers

I talked to Stephen McWilliam, Partner and Executive Vice President at Avanti this morning about the recent multi-million-dollar investment in the Canadian company by OEM giant Ricoh. Specifically, what will this mean for Avanti’s existing 400-plus customers across North America, non-Avanti customers and current Ricoh shops?

Stephen McWilliam, Partner and Executive Vice President at Avanti.

Stephen McWilliam, Partner and Executive Vice President at Avanti.

“This is a win-win-win situation for everyone,” said McWilliam. “First, this transaction will give us the ability to accelerate our product development in an unprecedented way. This is great news for our current customers as well as for Ricoh shops, as we pride ourselves on being known in the industry as the most open system on the market today – able to easily integrate to all the key vendors’ equipment and software applications. Our solutions will integrate seamlessly with Ricoh’s products and further streamline and automate workflows in these shops. Furthermore, by speeding up our research and development, existing and potential Avanti and Ricoh customers can expect some bold new breakthroughs in Print MIS to be announced at Print 13 this October,” he added.

McWilliam stressed that “this announcement should put to rest any rumours or concerns printers may have had about Avanti being acquired by another Print MIS vendor, resulting in the potential ‘mothballing’ of our software” – as has happened with other players in the Print MIS market recently. He added that “Avanti will continue to be an industry leader in the business of developing leading-edge software, improving and supporting its Print MIS based on industry changes and customer requirements for years to come. With Ricoh’s support, we’ll continue to operate independently and be able to expand our geographic reach in other parts of the world as well. We have always based our solutions on reacting quickly to customer feedback, so as we add more customers and they add ideas to our products, everyone will benefit.”

McWilliam added that Ricoh’s intent is not to influence how Avanti works with its customers or what vendors’ hardware it supports. The investment, he stressed, will ultimately bring easily integrated world-class solutions to printers from two world-class companies.