Kodak scraps silos, plans ‘one Kodak’ face to customer

Jo Francis
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Kodak boss Jim Continenza says he plans to ditch the group’s old divisional structure so the business can present a simplified “one Kodak” proposition to its printing industry customers.

Continenza took over as executive chairman and chief executive in February when former CEO Jeff Clarke left the business abruptly. 

Speaking at opening of the European Graphic Users’ Association (GUA) conference in Berlin, Continenza said Kodak needed “clear direction”.

“We had to fix a lot of things in the last six months and there’s been a lot of change,” he stated.

“We lost our way with divisions when the customer is the same customer. We are moving to one Kodak – the divisions will be collapsed by 2020 and we will have a Print Group and a Film Group.”

He said Kodak was “totally committed to this space”.

“Print’s not going away and neither are we,” he added, as he addressed the assembled customers: “Thank you for staying with us as we figured out the direction we’re going.”

Kodak’s current divisional structure encompasses Print Systems; Enterprise Inkjet; Software & Solutions; Consumer & Film, Advanced Materials & 3D Printing; and Eastman Business Park.

The three-day GUA event in Berlin is celebrating 20 years of Prinergy workflow, with the next generation ‘workflow on demand’ Prinergy VME with Managed Services being showcased at the conference, as well as a preview of the upcoming Prinergy MTE Multi-Tenant SAAS product planned for Drupa next year and which will be targeted at smaller customers.

The first European customer for Prinergy VME is Wilco Printing & Binding in the Netherlands. Chief operating officer William Schuring described working in the cloud as "the future".

"We have an excellent, long-standing partnership with Kodak and utilising Prinergy VME with Managed Services gives us unprecedented data security and a much better ROI compared to an on-premises server environment," he said.  

Todd Bigger, president of Kodak’s software division, said the manufacturer wanted to correct the mistakes of the past that stemmed from the failed introduction of Prinergy 6.0.

“It’s important we reconnect with customers. Fear of failure slowed innovation. We were stung by Prinergy 6 and slapped down by customers over problems with integration.

“We can’t be fearful, we have to continue to push limits. We lost that over the past few years and we are here to regain that,” Bigger stated.

“Prinergy has to become an ability to connect to every piece of software and every piece of equipment in your organisation. We have to release the power of our entire organisation, focused on you.” 

Kodak is developing three platforms of engagement with Prinergy. It will retain the ‘on-premise’ option for customers despite the focus on new cloud offerings, which Kodak believes deliver a better solution in terms of critical issue of cyber security. 

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