A Look at Where the Office Technology Industry Started and Where it is Today

By: Glenn H. Moore Jr.50's_copier

In 1938 a man by the name of Chester Carlson invented a process that would change the method of printing office documents forever.  In his New York apartment, he found a way to merge the electrostatic printing and photographic printing processes.  His “electro-photography” process was patented and renamed to Xerography.  By 1959 the first plain paper copier, the Xerox 914, was introduced using his method.  This method of copying became so popular, that within 2 years Xerox sales reached over $60 million and rapidly grew to over $500 million by the mid-60’s.  The term “Xeroxing” was as familiar as the trademarks Klennex or Q-tip.

As with all good things, others would later join the party.  By 1975, the large Japanese manufactures (Canon, Minolta, and Ricoh) entered the marketplace.  At the time, they had only been marketing products in the United States such as calculators, fax machines, and other smaller office offerings.  With them on board, there were more than 20 manufacturers marketing their versions of the “Xerographic” printing process.

During the 1990’s technology advancements in other areas (personal computers) grew quickly.  With that, the need to print documents also skyrocketed.   The “Digital Copier” was born.  New copying capabilities such as scan once/print many enhanced every day work functions.  Businesses needs continued to grow…and then Color was introduced into the world!  The first digital color machine was introduced by Canon at a cost of around $50,000.00.

With businesses using separate copiers, color copiers, desktop printers, fax machines and scanning equipment, the development of a combined technology was needed.  This led to the next major market innovation, the “multifunctional product”.  The now MFP, created an opportunity to merge copying, printing, faxing and scanning all into one device.  Although this would bring great functionality to the marketplace, it created a struggle for sales representatives and dealers to master the “new” technology.

As with all changes, the strong persevere.  Companies like CORE Print Solutions have invested the time and resources necessary to make sure that we can create a “Relationship Sale” with all of our customers; from the IT department to the CEO, from the end users to the CFO.

As we look at how far we have come, I am sure that we all can agree the progress made with scanning solutions and document management is just the tip of the iceberg. Just as Chester Carlson invented the Xerographic print process in his New York kitchen, we have to re-invent ourselves constantly to keep pace with the changes in business, the economy and the marketplace.  I, for one, am excited about the challenges and advancements.  What was once a very simple industry, is now an exciting, ever-changing development of new innovations.