Friday, February 29, 2008

Clients, Edgeline vs Xerography...

I had breakfast with a very important client today and he asked, "could you tell me what the difference is between Edgeline and all the other copiers? I mean, how does the toner get to the paper?" This is a large company headquartered locally with locations and plants across the country and over 1500 printing assets.

Well, he tossed me a slow pitch, hanging, softball and all I had to do was smack it out of the park - and I did.

And as I was explaining the process I started to relize, once again, how very evolutionary this period in time has become.

I was harkened back to the "good ole days" - when I saw the very first color VGA monitor, or the very first NEC MultiSync color monitor. The very first laptop I used was the Compaq SLT - the "lunch box" was worlds ahead of the "sewing machine".

Liquid Crystal Displays, the first IBM ThinkPad, and I remember the very first time I ran an Epson LQ-something next to the HP LaserJet II WOWZIE!!! And here I am nearly 20 years later feeling those same feelings - "THIS IS BIG, THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING"

As my conversation filled with "negative static, latent images, fuser oil, melting toner, corona wires..." I had to slow down, my passion was getting ahead of me - I actually took out a napkin and drew a diagram of the "zero-graphic" process ( you know of course Compaq Computer started on a napkin over lunch somewhere).

Explaining the Edgeline technology can be a great deal less complicated and I guess less sexy, “the machine squirts ink on the paper…really fast”
The excitement is there, the time seems to be now and I closed my discussion with,” let me ask you this, do you have a black and white TV? Do you remember when black and white TV’s were manufactured and sold and everybody had one? Have you seen a NEW black and white TV lately? There was a time when people just took black and white for granted in their TVs and color TV’s were too expensive”. – Interesting.





Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Paperless Offices, Killer Toner , Carbon Offset - "A World Without Sin"

7/2008

Read the email, print the email, throw the email away, print it again, write on the email, send a response, throw it away - again" - yeah, that's how WE roll...

I stumbled onto this article from N.C. and and it's illustrative of the next generation gap, and brushes up on the social reasons there are still newspapers being printed all over the world - and why we still cut down Ka-jillions of trees each year. And I really like it because the author uses the phrase "post-coital". One would usually need to got to a bowling alley to read something of this caliber.




The Killer Office - Dunder Miflin meets Resident Evil

I got this off of an article regarding "special" air filters -

"It has been indisputably proven by various international studies that ultra-fine particles are emitted by laser printers, fax machines and copiers. In 2005, the University of Giessen in Germany initiated a "Toner Pilot Project" on behalf of the Bundesinstituts für Risikobewertung (BfR) to assess the effect of laser printers and copy machines on the quality of interior air.

The final report published in 08.01.08 stated that emissions by toner-based office appliances significantly increased the number of ultra-fine particles in interior air. According to the study, the increase in the concentration of fine dust can be assessed as being quantitatively alarming from a hygiene standpoint and may also be regarded as being questionable from the point of view of health." Based on this current knowledge and seen from the standpoint of precautionary aspects, the FIRA advocates preventative measures in this case."

Just another reason not to be a cube-rat: killer toner and TPS reports.

Offset My Foot Print - Down Under

HP, never being accused of being a marketing powerhouse, (all those engineers can put a man on the moon, but wouldn't see the profitability of marketing Tang) has found itself in the center of a marketing coup - The Green Movement. And if you buy an HP printer, you can get Carbon Offsets to send to Al Gore, make yourself feel better and...oh wait....this program is for Australia and New Zealand!!!! - Nevermind.

This is off the HP Website:

"Terms and Conditions

HP Participant" means a resident of New Zealand of who purchases an eligible HP product in New Zealand during the promotional period and is the end user of the product. "Promoter" means Hewlett-Packard New Zealand, 22 Viaduct Harbour Ave, Maritime Square, Auckland."

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Managed Print Services - That "Hot, New, Thing..."

2008

It seems over the past sixty days, we have been approached by all sorts of "consultants" willing to teach our team (SIGMAnet -MPS) how to perform a detail Managed Print Service study.

It seems everybody wants to get on this bandwagon, the "I use to sell copiers, but now I sell this service to help you save more money - as long as we are in the beginning of the month..." band wagon.

Okidata, Lexmark, Konica Minolta, Xerox, Toshiba, Ricoh, can you see the pattern, trend, and characteristic of this new wave? These folks are all Copier Companies. So the problem with obtaining a true, honest, real-world Managed Print Services program is something I like to call being "Hardware Agnostic and Partnering with High Intent". 


It is true that HP is the leader when it comes to getting "marks on paper", but how many companies have 100% HP devices - for printing and copying? Or all Okidata, Lexmark or Toshiba? You can see my point.

With companies searching out every way to cut costs, printing and the reduction of costs associated with printing, is becoming sexy and attracting all sorts of "flim-flam" and "snake-oil" experts. Managed Print Services isn't Brain Surgery, it's Rocket Science!

A copier sales person does not directly translate into a MPS specialist. 


Nor does an IT Services sales person translate into a MPS Specialist. It takes both IT experience and copier experience and a great deal of general, C-level, business experience. That holy grail of Professional Selling, "Business Acumen" .  Someone with the "Big Picture" insight and manage the details of a solution.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

- Edgeline -


No Drum
No Toner Emissions
Low Heat
Nearly Silent
No Fuser
No Fuser Oil
No Static Charge...

This is impossible...and yet after 1.4 billion dollars of R&D, that is exactly what we have today; the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology.
If your looking for a color system you most likely will not hear anything regarding HP from the traditional Copier Dealers – there are roughly only 30 or so Edgeline Authorized HP dealers in the country today – this will change. HP has added some 2,000 new sales rep’s in the field and HP is attempting to utilize their extensive channel of IT VAR’s in helping move product.

On that subject – if you know anything about HP you know that as an American engineering company they are second to non, yet as a marketing force, not so good. So now you have a machine that can revolutionize the way every single business prints, and only 30 RESELLERS to “get the word out” and start evangelizing the opportunities.

HP is not a dumb company – they are going to go at this market directly and with their most trusted and experienced resellers. (Danka excluded, for another post)

How about a little background on the HP/Edgeline/Copier vs. Laser/go to market strategy?

HP has their sights directly focused on a segment of the business world that traditionally is ruled by the big copier companies – Xerox, Canon and Ricoh. Nobody knows more about copying then the copy companies and nobody knows more about printing then HP. With the convergence of these two functions resulting in the volume of copies made falling behind the volume of prints, a new dynamic is coming to light. Copier machines are connected and working as printers and printers now are scanning and copying. This issue is worth it’s own post – “To Print on a copier or to copy on a printer?” (later)

Anyway, when looking back at the relationship with HP and IKON (yes, there once was a bright and shinny future in that relationship) – HP seemed to be “testing the waters” in the copier market. Looking at distribution channels and establishing partnerships with “leading edge, technology partners”. HP tried and IKON pretty much kicked them to the curb without a kiss or dinner or anything.

The idea was great on paper yet in practice at the field level, copier sales reps tend to take leads generated for HP and “switch” to a more profitable line (i.e. Ricoh, Canon). And even more egregious, some sales reps set-up managed print accounts with original HP supplies, only to switch them out after a period of time, increasing personal and corporate profit. (Please note here and now, profit is good) So as the years past, just about three years, the IKON/HP relationship cooled, and then froze.

Meanwhile, just over a year ago, HP was rumored to have been in negotiations with one of IKON’s smaller competitors, Global Imaging. HP and Global were negotiating a purchase or merger of some sort. HP had at the time, this new technology code named “Condor” and wanted a channel – Global seemed perfect, HP had the cash and Global had the dealer network. Just about the only other company with more cash and as big a reason to expand its channel was the big “X”. Lo and behold, at the 12th hour, Xerox came in and scooped Global right out from under HP.

Nearly overnight, HP had a significant and expensive product with no way to bring to market – after TWO attempts to work within the copier industry, HP was spurned. (Big-time)

When times call for action, look to what you know best – and HP looked at their existing channel of IT VARs. And that is where the channel resides right now. I am sure there will be changes and additions in the near future. (Danka and HP)

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