Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oce CrystalPoint

Edgeline Meets Melting Wax Meets Thermal InkJet Interesting article by Cary Sherburne.

Oce has release a "new" technology - they started developing in the 1990's. It's a bit of a hybrid between ink and toner.

For now, the print heads move across the paper, but it is interesting to see another type of "liquid" system.

Oce has always been kinda "out there" on the fringe in some ways - not sure if we will see this in office systems anytime soon.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A new look over at Managed Print Services Resource Center

MPS - Managed Print Services Resource Center

The folks who gave us the New North America MPS Tracker has a new look and some new content.

I especially like the MPS Adoption Cycle found here. In this article, The Three Stages of MPS Adoption is spot on. I see this every day. And I really like the matrix of Key Questions for MPS Vendors. I just wish there was a better word to use instead of "vendors" - don't vendors push hot dog carts?

And Ken Stewart of ChangeForge.com has a good article about I.T. working within the organization to achieve business goals. I appreciate this statement from his article,

"
Innovate:

Innovation is not only coming up with good ideas yourself, but understanding good ideas flow in and throughout the people in your company everyday. Ensure you are seeking out advice from not only business unit leaders, but people on the front line as well. In seeking mind share, individuals will begin seeing that you care about their needs and aren’t just making decisions in your ‘ivory tower’."

To me, this one statement sums up the difference between a successful project and one that dies a million deaths. Everybody has great ideas - but seeing your ideas to fruition is truly innovation.

The Photizo Group site is a good one. Although I can not figure out how they came up with that name except maybe after the New Testament Greek Lexicon meaning
"to shed light". Their report is very illuminating as mentioned in this post back in April.

Managed Print Services is hot. So hot, I am seeing more and more "competitors" on the street. Unfortunately, most are "posers" - either I.T. integrators "coming down" to the Printer level or copier dealers trying to "move up" to the integrator level. It's all very delicious.

Go check it out.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

IKON and Steel Partners - How IKON Will Be Sold

Who is this Steel Partners? And what does it mean to IKON or to anyone in the industry?

Here is a time line of press releases:


A New York investor ... has acquired 5.4 percent of the outstanding stock of Ikon Office Solutions Inc.

Steel Partners II LP, a hedge fund run by Warren Lichtenstein, bought 7.55 million shares of Ikon for about $86.8 million between Nov. 11 and Jan. 13. Steel disclosed the purchase in a form investors must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission when they acquire 5 percent or more of a company's stock.

Steel said in the filing it thinks Ikon's stock is undervalued. It also said it intended to talk to Ikon's management and board of directors about the company's business, operations and future plans...

Matthew Espe, Ikon's chairman and CEO, said he's glad Steel invested in the Malvern, Pa., company, which is the world's largest independent distributor of copiers and printers.

"We understand their philosophy and they understand our strategy and we think it seems to be aligned," he said.

...In 1998, a shareholders group headed by Lichtenstein won control of the board of Aydin Corp., a Horsham, Pa., maker of communications and telemetry systems. Lichtenstein was installed as chairman and the next year the company was sold to L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. for $75.7 million.

In 2002, another shareholders group led by Lichtenstein was elected to the majority of seats on the board of directors of SL Industries Inc., a Mount Laurel, N.J., maker of power and data quality control equipment. The board subsequently installed Lichtenstein ...

...Steel has been investing in bigger companies of late. The Business Week article said Lichtenstein now focuses on firms worth around $2 billion.

Ikon fits into that category. And the company has been making the kind of moves Steel seems to like.

Last year, it (IKON) sold its U.S. office equipment leasing business to General Electric Co. for $1.5 billion and used the proceeds to pay down debt. It also began taking steps to improve its sales effectiveness, gain share in markets where it's under-represented and target product segments with rapid demand growth.

Espe said the recent cost cuts weren't related to the investment by Steel...Instead, he said, they were part of his strategy to clean up Ikon's balance sheet, boost its growth and cut its costs. Espe thinks that strategy, and Ikon's success in implementing it, is what attracted Steel to Ikon.

"They see the upside," he said, "and I like having investors that see the same thing I see."

-July 07-
IKON Office Solutions: Steel Partners II Recommends Recap Via $850M Self Tender Offer

The Death of Xerography

One of my installs.  We removed many XRX's.  This was the "Plant Holder".

May, 2008.

One of Corey's recent posts talked about Xerox not selling copiers...

This post talked about how Xerox's Chief Innovation Officer was quoted in a video interview by Scobleizer as saying, "Xerox doesn't sell copiers anymore..." Interestingly enough, I had just posted on my blog regarding an editorial in L.A. Times by Gary Gardner, May 9, 2008, which stated, "...Consider the idea of businesses offering services instead of goods in today's economy. Xerox has shifted from selling copiers (goods) to leasing them (a service), which gives the company, as perpetual owner of the leased machines, a strong incentive to manufacture them to be refurbishable. This greatly extends the life of materials and reduces waste..."

Of course I chimed in with a comments on both the L.A. Times and Corey Smith's board.

What is most interesting is that Sophie responded with a comment of her own on Corey's blog. She said, "...Fact is, our customers rarely want standalone copiers anymore. Our technology has evolved significantly since those analog days. The vast majority of our office products are multifunction devices, they’re networked; they also print, fax, scan, flowport, link to applications via EIP, etc… Maybe my statement was too broad brushed — but the intent was to say that we’re really not a copier company anymore. Our customers demand much more and that’s what we give them..."

And from this article at CW by Gary Anthes, Gary asks Sophie, "What do you say to people who think of Xerox as just a photocopier company?


- Within the research and technology community at Xerox, we no longer do any work on photocopiers. What Xerox really focuses on now is how do customers deal with document-intensive processes, whether it's a lawyer dealing with all the paperwork required to win a legal case or a mortgage company dealing with all the paperwork. There are many document-intensive processes, and in most cases, they are pure digital documents."

Did you see that? Read it again, the RED parts.

No new R&D in photocopiers - Xerography is Dead.

Ok, so I guess Xerox really doesn't sell copiers anymore! Oh and don't forget the 1.4 billion dollar investment HP made in R&D for Edgeline...

Ms. Vandebroek's statements reflect the marketing position that Xerox isn't a photocopier company, it's much much more. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is Anyone Really AFRAID of Edgeline?

From an opinion post on the Print4Pay Hotel Thursday, May 24, 2007 - Here are 15 points reflecting why Edgeline is not to be feared - remember, this is exactly one year ago, today. My responses in RED.


Who's Afraid of HP Edgeline CM8000 Series? ...


"1. No Offset Stacking: I can't believe they made this big of a machine with offset!
2. No 3 Hole Punch: Again WOW! - Big Deal.
3. Limited Card Stock: Only through the by-pass (I think this unit is rated for max 58lb only) - And? So?
4. 11x17: The trays are very slow on 11x17 and the by-pass seems faster! 11x17 is slower, but how often do you need 11x17 in business color environment?
5. Misfeeds: While it doesn't misfeed much at all, if a user leaves a misfeed in over the weekend it will dry out the print heads (ouch!) - Interesting, haven't heard that one.
6. Weight (725lbs): Can not use a stairclimber because there are no stress points! - not true
7. Black cpc: It's not the ink price that will get you but the cost of the maintenance kits! - LOL! service agreement covers that, but there are not any traditional "maintenance kits"
8. Availability for the next six months: slim enough that we are looking to pick up another line! - currently moot.
9. CPP for color: Business .05 and Professional .06 cents per page! - yup.
10. Strangely enough, the letter paper only runs thru the machine in landscape orientation from the LCT (can't even load portrait/speed). - this is true, see my post
11. Standard 1,500 sheet paper supply only! - LCT is 4k
12. VERY slow FCOT (First Copy Out Time) 12 seconds. - yup, 80-90% of documents are printed
13. Ink cartridges load from the bottom of the device (Oh my Back!) - LOL! give me a break
14. To protect the print heads from electrostatic discharge, be sure to touch the
horizontal metal bar to ground yourself before clearing jams that are near the print heads. The print heads are above the print-drum area. - Never heard of this.
15. HP recommends that you do not use this device for printing on sequential paper, such as pre-numbered checks or invoices." - OK, the Edgeline doesn't do MICR.


---
I guess I could further debate the above, but "facts are stubborn things" - it really does take 12 seconds for the first copy to come out. And there is not now, although I hear and friends of mine have actually seen, a three-hole punch option. I recommend pre-drilled paper. This reduces the environmental impact by eliminating "harmful" paper dust and litter(the little paper dots).

If we sweep all the technological advantages and perceived functional disadvantages aside what we have left is a product that is
immediately familiar to IT directors. A product that fits quite well "within it's designed parameters".

I caution all my prospects right from the get-g0; "this machine is not designed for anyone who will make their living off of the quality of color output." If the prospect pulls out a "loop", I have failed in the qualification stage begin to pack my stuff and exit.

The point being, Edgeline fits in a specific business space. Not production. Not desktop. Business color - oh and the above points, although a year old today, smell of fear.




The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - for just 73 copiers **UPDATED***

The good people of the Mt. Vernon School District are the victims of a bad sales person and an ugly purchasing agent should go to prison. School Purchasing Chief Indicted For Bribe Receiving
Posted on Tuesday, 4 of March , 2008 at 9:11 pm

MOUNT VERNON—The former head of purchasing for the Mount Vernon City School District has been indicted for bribe receiving, official misconduct and larceny.

Rose, 49, of Pease St., was arraigned Tuesday on two counts of felony third degree bribe receiving, three counts of official misconduct, one count of receiving unlawful gratuities and one count of petit larceny, all misdemeanors.

The Westchester district attorney’s office says that between June 21 and July 13, 2005, Rose agreed to accept and accepted a bribe of $3,500 from a sales representative of Ricoh Americas Corporation for his assurance that Ricoh would receive a five year contract from the Mount Vernon School District for 73 digital copiers, support products and related services.

On Aug. 3, 2005, upon the defendant’s recommendation, the Mount Vernon City School District awarded the contract to Ricoh. The cost of the contract was in excess of $1 million.

Between June 1, 2006 and Sept. 1, 2006, Rose solicited and accepted a bribe in the form of a $10,000 donation to his church, Upon This Rock Ministries, from the owner of a Tri-State Supply Company, a custodial supply company, in exchange for future business which was subsequently awarded.

In a third incident, between March 1, 2006 and Sept. 1, 2006 Rose secured and used a school district gas card for personal use.

The Investigations Division of the New York State Comptroller’s office assisted in the investigation.

Bail was set at $25,000 cash or $100,000 bond. Rose’s next court date will be on March 25. He faces a maximum of seven years in state prison on the felony charge. 3-05-08 - The North County Gazette

This still happens - it's a shame.


UPDATE - ADDITIONAL STORY - IKON

Bad purchasing procedures and "...a trend where capital equipment is purchased or leased without any regard to the operating costs or ability to run the equipment (lack of adequate power capabilities). This is like the Dell computer purchase fiasco at Lake County where they bought Dell computers without including the cost of an operating system, and installing servers in schools that do not have adequate air conditioned rooms for them to run without burning out. School administrators seem to ignore consolidating total system costs into one purchase request for capital equipment. Capital is in one budget and expenses are in another, and total system cost (including a review of environment to ensure the equipment CAN be used as justified) is not combined so it is all researched and disclosed before any equipment or capital expenditure is authorized..."

Dead peoples forged signature, free flat screens, IKON, and no regard to operating costs - a very bad combination...



HP Servers and Joshi - - -

HP now sells more servers then ANYONE ELSE -

"SAN FRANCISCO -(Dow Jones)- Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) has passed International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to become the No. 1 server seller in the world based on revenue, market data provider Gartner reported Thursday."


From a WSJ blog:

" Joshi’s printing division brought in $7.6 billion for the quarter that ended April 30and now gets about 50% of its sales from its 2,400 biggest customers. He’s increasingly trying to associate H-P services with those machines–a timely theme in view of the company’s $13.25 deal to buy Electronic Data Systems."

While Joshi wouldn’t get into specifics of how his existing print services could be integrated with EDS (which has a long business relationship with H-P print rival Xerox), he said H-P salespeople are trying to show companies how they can save energy costs by getting all their printers onto a corporate network. And about 30% of the clients who have such networks want H-P to run them, he added. “EDS is going to be a big opportunity for us,” he said.




Friday, May 23, 2008

All Print Jobs To Go .PDF

Print system turns everything into PDF
I saw this opinion by By James E. Gaskin -


He describes a product from Ingenica that converts a print stream into a PDF's and the PDF "...
becomes a print job that works on just about any Windows-supported printer. Still have ink-jet printers on every desk, but can't convince your 5250 terminal emulation program to upgrade the driver and support those ink jets? UniPrint makes it happen..."

This piece of information struck me because of a complicated implementation I recommended less then a year ago. When installing a "mini-fleet" of Canon devices( a few 5020i's, 105's, c518i 's and some 5570's) we ran into some difficulty printing AS400 streams on the Canons. Yes, it can be done and was being done on one of the older Canons but we could not get consistent performance out of one of the newer units. I think we could have used this product.(maybe)

Anyway, what I find interesting is the ability to change any print stream or print job into a PDF. I do not know that much about the difference between printing a job out of Word vs printing to a .PDF format and printing the PDF but this sounds to me to be akin to a "universal print driver".

More from James,

"...Print streams, designed for locally attached printers, look pretty bloated compared with PDF print jobs. UniPrint says a one-page document may be 1MB of normal print-control language stream, but only about 100KB as a PDF file..."

And now, all is clear to me. What was hanging my Canon up was the copiers inability to consistently interpret the print stream control characters; the copier would hang and wait for end user intervention. Usually waiting for a paper tray selection.

And something more -

"...

Pricing will seem high for those companies that have never priced "grown-up" printing support: $3,999 for one Windows server for up to 60,000 printed pages per year. Those companies used to fighting ornery print streams and a lack of printer drivers for AS/400 systems will realize the price becomes an investment in better printing. And if the company has AS/400s or the like, "cheap" as a product description disappears.

It seems odd to charge for pages printed, because computer people in small and midsize companies don't see that pricing model often. Yet those same companies pay for copiers on a sliding scale based on copy volume, so it won't be a total surprise..."

Now doesn't the above statement sum up one of the current issues in MPS?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Green from HP

Carbon Footprint Reduction..."


In an article, "HP takes steps to reduce carbon footprint" HP's plans to help it's customers reduce their Carbon Footprint.

Excerpt, "...The company has set its sights on its printing group in an effort to give customers more choices to limit their environmental impact. Similar programs will come later this year to HP's computer and server business groups.

The environmental effort includes the introduction of an HP Eco Highlights label that will appear first on two LaserJet printers and a new inkjet printer made almost entirely from recycled material. The label will list a product's environmental attributes such as its energy savings or Energy Star rating."

HP also is starting an Eco Solutions program that it hopes will allow companies to reduce their environmental impact by 30 percent. The program includes a carbon footprint calculator and a printing assessment that measures a company's impact and costs from its printing work."


Looks like programs and labels.

And from this blog off ZDnet, a post by Heather Clancy:

"...New HP ECo Highlights labels, which simply summarize the features in a particular product that could be consider “green.” Think of this like the label you find on pretty much everything you buy at the grocery story. Right now, at least, the criteria for this labeling is pretty arbitrary and it will depend on the product category, Coughlin admits. The labels will show up first on LaserJet printers: The HP LaserJet P4051x, LaserJet P4515x and LaserJet P4515xm models. One thing that is kind of cool about these new printers is the packaging, which mimics what consumer electronics companies have been doing for years with appliances to cut down on waste.

- Through HP Auto-On/Auto-Off features that enable a printer to go into a deep sleep mode in which it uses only 1 watt of power. (Kind of like an induced coma, only the printer wakes up a whole lot quicker than you would.)

- A new HP Carbon Footprint Calculator for Printing: This provides a way for companies to compare the environmental impact of their existing printers and imaging technology against new options. It looks at paper usage, power consumption, ink and other things that might affect a product’s overall carbon profile. There’s also a specific calculator for LaserJets. The company’s Eco Printing Assessment looks at a company’s entire printing consumption footprint, not just what it’s doing with just one printer.

- Also being introduced this week is the HP Deskjet D2545, a $49 printer that HP touts as being made almost entirely from recycled content (83 percent of the system). The printer uses HP 60 cartridges that also were made from recycled plastic.

- And what eco-announcement would be complete without the requisite corporate green pledges? As it relates to printers, HP has promised to improve energy efficiency by 40 percent by 2011, relative to 2005 levels. It will triple the amount of recycled materials that go into its inkjet printers by 2010, relative to 2007. It will continue its long-time printer recycling push, aiming for 2 billion pounds of computing and printing equipment by 2010. It will also put a big emphasis on making sure that the photo paper it sells is made from materials that are harvested under certified forestry program. Here’s more on its developing paper policy ..."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Xerox - HP - EDS

With most of the focus on the IT side of this acquisition some missed the fact that one of EDS's largest clients is Xerox.

From this recent post - "...Although HP's recent announcement to acquire EDS for $13.9 billion (£7.1 billion) may have sparked talk of consolidation in the IT services industry, spare a thought for the impact of this deal on Xerox, a long-standing EDS partner. With HP aggressively looking to widen its footprint in the corporate printing space as part of its Print 2.0 strategy, the acquisition of EDS will help it make further inroads to compete with Xerox Global Services (XGS), currently a $3.4 billion (£1.7 billion) organisation and a key growth engine for Xerox..."

and

"...HP is Xerox's most notable competitor in the MPS market, offering assessment, optimisation and management of the document output environment. Although HP has been ramping up its MPS portfolio, it currently lacks the document lifecycle and workflow and document outsourcing capabilities ... Another key differentiator is multivendor support capabilities—Xerox claims to have approximately one million competitive devices under ...(outsourced) management, made possible by its multivendor trained support staff. Also, Xerox's higher penetration in the high volume production and copy centres gives it the ability to better manage and optimise environments using these devices..."

It will be interesting to see how this all ends up.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Leasing Your MFP Fleet -

I have been running into more and more opportunities with I.T. folks who do not understand leasing.

**** THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE ****

**** THE FOLLOWING REFLECTS MY OPINIONS ****

I am currently researching for an in depth analysis of the leasing process from the end users' prospective - and it isn't pretty.

Because the subject is so vast and complicated, I have decided to post portions of the final white paper.

First off, I am familiar with leasing and all the "gotcha's" that contracts carry. I have seen, all sorts of leasing agreements in business technology and the Uniform Industry and I have been very fortunate to work with some of the most honest and open agreements in each industry.

For you I.T. folks, or anyone else who may not be familiar with leasing - here is a "Primer".

Leases are used to defer payments over time. If a company wants to avoid a significant capital outlay a lease is a great option. In addition, because the technology changes quickly, copier leases often include provisions to trade up to a newer model, allowing you to upgrade without buying anew.

You are paying extra for the ability to "pay over time".

For instance, if the purchase price of a machine is $20,000 and you would like to pay a monthly payment for 60 months, the monthly payment is NOT $20,000/60 or $333.33. The monthly would be closer to $586.00/month. If you multiply this out by 60, your total "cost" for the unit, over time, is $35,160.00 - this to say that you would be paying $15,160.00 for the service of paying a known monthly figure for a determined period of time.

The Vendor or Supplier does not usually make more profit on a lease vs. purchase. Although some vendors or dealers add “points” to the lease rate. This increases your monthly and adds to their profit margin.

After a client signs a lease and after the equipment is delivered and accepted, the leasing company cuts a check directly to the Vendor for the purchase amount of the equipment. You, the Customer now have a direct relationship with the leasing company for the equipment. You are establishing a "revenue stream" for the leasing company based on the equipment payment portion of the lease; when service is bundled into the payment, you are also working directly with your service provider, usually the copier dealer.


In a nut shell - When you sign a lease, you are forging a commitment to pay at least the dollar amount on the lease for the number of months stated. There is no other way to envision this agreement - there are no easy or painless methods of terminating a lease early once you "sign on the line which is dotted" - no matter what the circumstances. No matter what the "trusted" copier sales person tells you, you can not get out of the agreement easily and without paying for the privilege.

-- More to follow ---

A Return to Edgeline

Managed Print Services is Hot, but Edgeline is Hotter. Getting back to Edgeline.

To authorize by PIN or LDAP or Exchange, that is the question.

One of my recent installs required print, copy, scan and fax rights by authorization(login).

I know authorization is nothing new when it comes to connected copiers - I have worked with hundreds.

Yet imagine the impact on the end user in terms of the degree of "hassle" involved with walk-up copying.

- Example:

Copier sales person - "...it's easy, simply log into the copier the same way you do you computer at you desk"

I.T. guy - "...sure, our end users are familar with their login, and they don't need to remember two different accounts..."

End User(usually at the Executive Level) "...you mean to tell me, I need to log in completely, with my password, every single time I want to make a copy??? Forget that..."

Well, for this client, we decided to use the four digit employee number as the PIN. And each PIN has different rights, some can copy in color, some can not. Some users can scan back to a folder, some can not, etc. And all activity on the system can be tracked by PIN. That is to say, ALL printing, copying, faxing, scanning activity.

The four digits work much better then the network login. And with Edgeline, all the PINS with rights, can be copied or set remotely.




Tuesday, May 13, 2008

HP to acquire EDS for $13.9 billion

That's FOURTEEN BILLION...

HP said the deal, which has been unanimously approved by the HP and EDS boards of directors, will close in the second half of the year. HP expects that the addition of EDS will more than double HP's services revenue of $16.6 billion in fiscal 2007. At the end of 2007, HP and EDS had a collective services revenue of more than $38 billion and 210,000 employees, doing business in more than 80 countries, HP said.

Well, this certainly illustrates the level of HP's commitment to market domination

I found this statement by Peter Cohan, "...I think HP's most profitable business, printers, might be able to make better use of the $12.8 billion in capital. This Imaging and Printing Group earned a 13% estimated net margin. It grew a mere 4% to $7.3 billion in revenue and given that this unit is by far the most profitable in HP's stable of businesses, this would appear to be the best place to invest for future growth.

Now may be a good time to sell HP stock. Mark Hurd came into HP as a nuts-and-bolts operator. This deal suggests that Hurd has run out of growth options and that HP can't grow earnings through more cost cuts. I have no doubt that Hurd could cut costs once EDS has been integrated..."

This follows what Hurd said back in March, ""We are shifting our portfolio to drive growth and are aligning our portfolio to margin rich opportunities for investors," he said. "We continue to look for opportunity [for higher gross margins] in software and in services."

What does this mean for IPG, if anything? I don't know yet, but IKON sure as heck would not cost FOURTEEN BILLION dollars...

IKON Introduces New Printer Line

They are Ricohs with IKON labels. The Ricoh lasers are very good laser printers.

"While our customers utilize multi-function devices in the office and production environments, there is still a robust demand for single-function printers to complement these devices and meet workflow demands," explains Mike Dane, Vice President, Product and Services Marketing, IKON Office Solutions. "We created the IKON BusinessPro printer line to allow us to be a 'one stop shop' for customers by providing them with affordable, value-packed printers at three different price points, designed for a range of business environments." Centre Daily Times

Interesting, huh? Ricohs not HP's. Very interesting.

Well, been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

This has been in the works for almost a year - Ricoh has got to love it, and IKON can fill a market niche - I just wonder how well the copier techs are going to translate from copier to laser printer service.

And I wonder how much the CPC service will be on the Ricoh's - but I really wonder if any of the IKON reps will actually jump on this product and sell it.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Edgeline Success by being Green

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Newcal – Saving the World One Printer at a Time

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - San Francisco, CA, United States, 04/09/2008 - Using HP Edgeline solutions from NEWCAL Industries, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is taking another step towards saving the planet – one printer at a time.

...When it came time to replace one of MBARI’s copiers, Erin Lamb, Purchasing and Accounting Specialist, remembered the research institute’s goal of implementing innovative technology to reduce human impact on the environment. “We had done some research on other solutions, but nothing compared to HP’s Edgeline. We know we’ve made an eco-friendly choice and we anticipate cost-savings because the Edgeline doesn’t use as much power or ink as our previous copier.”...


Wow!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Opinions, Everybody's Got One

"...Xerox has shifted from selling copiers..."

I ran across this little Opinion from the L.A. Times - Here is an excerpt:

Conservation leads to innovation

By Gary Gardner, May 9, 2008

"A green industrial revolution?

...Does it matter if some staples..."(as in bread, milk, etc. not staples that hold pages together) "...run out...will the same ingenuity that produced oil refining in the late 19th century and the "green revolution" in the late 20th century save us again in the future?...

...Consider the idea of businesses offering services instead of goods in today's economy. Xerox has shifted from selling copiers (goods) to leasing them (a service), which gives the company, as perpetual owner of the leased machines, a strong incentive to manufacture them to be refurbishable. This greatly extends the life of materials and reduces waste..."

Well, if you read the above statement, what do you think?

When did Xerox stop manufacturing copiers?

When did leasing equipment (ANY equipment) become an act of “conservation”?

And didn’t Xerox sell off its leasing interest years ago? Xerox is not a “…perpetual owner of the leased machines…”. The leasing company owns the machines. This is the most basic, simplistic concept of leasing.

Also, these plastic, over-heated machines, which are designed with built-in serviceability, have an expected life of around 36 months with new machines hitting the market almost every 3-6 months.

The author's belief that copier companies have a "strong incentive to manufacture them to be refurbishable..." is naive and misguided. And unfortunately, naivety is a characteristic of the Greenie ilk.

Xerox/Ricoh/Canon/Toshiba/Konica/Sharp or NOT interested in being a "...perpetual owner of the leased machines..." they are interested in creating perpetual customers of new machines not used or referbed machines. And why would anyone be interested in “perpetual customers” ? The answer, of course, is to make more money and to increase profits – not save the world.

- Reducing costs can increase profit – again, a simple and basic micro-economic concept.

1. Managed Print Service programs reduce costs.

2. Lower energy consumption or machines that consume more intelligently reduce costs.

3. Printing on both sides of the paper reduces costs.

4. Reducing the redundancy of equipment (i.e. fax machine next to a laser printer, next to a connected copier) reduces costs.

These four issues reduce costs and impact the environment in a positive way. These four issues are customer driven and implemented to increase revenues, reduce costs and increase profits - CAPITALISM.

The Green movement is losing it's issue to it's arch nemesis - Capitalism.

Click to email me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Edgeline...and the BreadCrumbs...

A seemly trivial function "wows" the end users. AutoNav.

How many times have we walked past a copier that has been "tagged", a sheet of paper taped to it with the "Broken AGAIN!" message written on it?

Or, how often have we gone to the connected copier "de jour" to pick up a print job, and find not a stapled, 43 page Powerpoint presentation but the "blinking wrench of Death" on the control panel?(I know I shouldn't revel in the misfortunes of others but, HA!)

Or, who in the office becomes the "Chosen One" to Clear Jams"?

Or, how many support calls come into our IT Help desk from the folks in HR who can not print out next weeks company picnic agenda because the Toshiba/Canon/Xerox/Ricoh/Konica/Sharp is jammed?(first level support cost is about 20 bucks per call, additional if IT staff is dispatched to HR)

Well, HP saw this too often. So the scientist(I call them "Propeller Heads", and it is a complement) noticed that most, not all, errors at the copier or driven by mis-feeds coupled with the end users' perception that "they can not fix it" - the end user walks away!

That's right, the end user WALKS AWAY. Want to learn more? Click Here.

Enter Hansel and Gretel and the Bread Crumbs

Never mind that the Edgeline utilizes a new, 4 billion dollar in inkjet technology, or that it is built like a tank, or sets up and connects as easily as the HP LaserJet II, or that the 10 inch diagonal, color VGA control panel shows video of somebody clearing the exact jam the machine is currently experiencing - nope, users love to be lead around the machine by a series of yellowish LEDs!

It's like a mini-field trip.

Small LEDs placed all over the unit light up in sequence leading the end user directly to the source of the problem. And with Edgeline, the paper is usually in the finisher or stuck between the engine and finisher. Once the objectionable sheet is removed(or more) the system walks the user out the same way. And the the Edgeline recovers completing the original job.

As impressive as this is during the product demonstration(as is everything covered during the demo) the lasting and most significant features are the ones remembered and experienced 30, 60 days or 36 months after install.

Salute the Propeller Heads...and Gretel...

PS - this must work, the feature is on the newest color systems, the CM6030/40 - by the way, if you see the "M" in the model number, it denotes the common user interface for the control panel - CM4730, CM8060, CM6040.