IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Epson Adds New Model to A3 Color Inkjet Line

Slower but also less expensive than the A3 color multifunction printer Epson introduced in March, the new device features a stationary, margin-to-margin print head that produces up to 75 pages per minute. By Rich Freeman

Epson America Inc. has added a new model to its portfolio of A3 color inkjet multifunction printers for SMBs and corporate workgroups.

Designed to compete with 55 page per minute color laser copiers and available starting next month, the WorkForce Enterprise C17590 is a slightly slower and less expensive alternative to the WorkForce Enterprise C20590 that Long Beach, Calif.-based Epson introduced in March.

Both models are engineered to provide high energy efficiency, and share common accessories and parts. Though they use different ink cartridges, both offer the same print capacity as well: 100,000 black ISO pages or 50,000 color ones per cartridge.

Both also feature Epson’s PrecisionCore Line Head Technology, which accelerates page-per-minute speeds by replacing the normal moving print head with a stationary one that applies ink margin-to-margin all at once. While the WorkForce Enterprise C20590 generates up to 100 simplex sheets or duplex images per minute, however, the new WorkForce Enterprise C17590 produces up to 75 simplex sheets or duplex images in the same time span.

Like its predecessor, the WorkForce Enterprise C17590 utilizes Epson’s Open Platform technology to integrate with the eCopy ShareScan document capture solution and Equitrac Office/Express print management system from Nuance Communications Inc., of Burlington, Mass. Epson and Nuance announced a strategic partnership in July.

Solutions from PaperCut, Ringdale, nddPrint, Preo Analytics, Gespage, and Drivve also integrate with both the WorkForce Enterprise C17590 and C20590 via the Epson Open Platform.

“We continue to expand our ISV solutions with Nuance and these other partners, and will continue to announce more and more of these as we go forward over next year,” says Larry Trevarthen, Epson’s director of business imaging for North America.

Trevarthen emphasizes that the world “enterprise” in their name doesn’t mean that either the C17590 or older C20590 are meant for large businesses.

“The SMB market is a target for us up and down the line,” he says, noting that all Epson WorkForce products, including more modestly equipped WorkForce Pro SKUs like those the company unveiled in April, are designed to offer the manageability all businesses want in a printer while bringing color printing within range of SMB budgets.

Epson, which sells inkjet printers exclusively, sees them as an economical alternative to costlier laser printers.

The addition of a more affordable model to Epson’s color A3 roster comes in response to feedback from partners. According to Trevarthen, Epson is actively soliciting input from resellers in an effort to fine-tune a still young product family.

“Epson’s new for the channel [and] ink is new for the channel,” Trevarthen says. “We’re in the process of making some adjustments to our pricing strategies and to our promotional and positioning strategies based on that feedback.”

Epson sells WorkForce Enterprise products exclusively through its commercial channel, Trevarthen notes. Even deals negotiated by the company’s own salesforce are fulfilled through partners, and pricing for WorkForce Enterprise devices has been removed from Epson’s website.

“We are fully committed to not competing with the channel [through] the direct sales organization,” Trevarthen says.

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