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Home > Interviews > Optical Storage

Monday, June 7, 2004
Interview: Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Primera Technology

1. Interview

Primera Technology: One step beyond on CD/DVD Duplication

Headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota, Primera Technology, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of CD-R/DVD±R duplication and printing equipment. Primera was founded in September of 1998 on a tradition of innovation by the same management team that built FARGO Electronics, Incorporated into a printer manufacturer. Primera's mission is to produce technologically superior products that offer a high degree of customer satisfaction and value while conducting business affairs with integrity, courtesy and professionalism. Primera is known for its popular Composer line of optical disc duplicators, Signature line of inkjet optical disc printers, Inscripta Thermal CD Printer and the world's best-selling Bravo Disc Publisher.

Mr. Mark D. Strobel, Primera Technology's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, gave CDRInfo.com a detailed interview regarding the current CD/DVD media duplication market and the vision of Primera Technology for the future.

CDRInfo: Dear Mr Vice President we would be glad to hear from you what the vision of your company is.

Mark D. Strobel: Primera believes that bringing new technology to the market must be done in such a way that products are easy to use, affordable and offer lasting value to the customer. You can see this in the products we have developed for automated CD/DVD duplication and printing. Before Primera entered this business, most other CD/DVD duplication and printing products were highly customized, difficult to use and maintain, and (are still!) quite expensive.

CDRInfo: What is the position, worldwide, of Primera at this moment? What are your plans for future expansion? Do you believe that, besides CD/DVD duplicators, there are other tangential products you might be interested of releasing in the market in the near future?

Mark D. Strobel: We believe that we now sell more automated CD/DVD duplication and printing systems than any other company in the world. Our product line will continue to evolve, with CeBIT being the official launch for our new Bravo II Disc Publisher in Europe. And yes, we have several ideas for other related products that will be aimed at somewhat different markets. You will see some of these products introduced in late 2004/early 2005.

CDRInfo: Having been a leading figure in a profitable and expanding corporation, according to your personal opinion what are the main ingredients of your success?

Mark D. Strobel: It really comes back to providing true value for the customer's investment. Virtually all of our systems can be paid back in a relatively short period of time. Many companies seem to forget this one very important customer requirement! The measure we use is to ask ourselves one very simple question: "So, would we buy this product for Primera?"

CDRInfo: What are your personal estimations about the PC hardware market during the running year?

Mark D. Strobel: Things seem to be rebounding a bit. I'm cautiously optimistic about the PC hardware market. However, businesses seem to be much more careful in their IT purchases this time around. Money is definitely not flowing as freely as in the late 1990's. This is all the more reason for us to keep focused on payback efficiency to the customer.

CDRInfo: We have seen in the past some attempts by reputable far-east companies entering the market of recordable media, printers and duplicators now having been largely unsuccessful. What are the reasons for this outcome according to you?

Mark D. Strobel: In my opinion, this market is just too small for such companies to be successful. Their fixed costs of R&D, marketing, sales support, etc. are simply not appropriate for a niche business such as automated CD/DVD duplication and printing. The number of CDs and DVDs being recorded by individuals at home has little (or nothing!) to do with the number of people who wish to buy "prosumer" to professional equipment like ours.

CDRInfo: Please let us know about your own or your company's estimates about how and when recordable media printers will become more widely available to consumers. How the industry would respond to such an attempt.

Mark D. Strobel: A number of viable consumer options are starting to become available. Epson, for example, has two very nice models of their page printers that have been adapted for direct-to-disc printing. Casio has a very inexpensive thermal CD/DVD printer for printing titles on discs. I have been told to expect that several other similar products will be available later on in 2004.

We are encouraged by this trend. It makes the public more familiar and comfortable with the concept of printing directly to discs. When some percentage of those users eventually desire a more professional solution for duplicating and printing "all-in-one," we'll be there to help them out with products like our Bravo II Disc Publisher.

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