Friday, September 26, 2008

Copier Crime - From the "Dirty D"


Copier deal is targeted.

City Council panel agrees to begin process to nullify $10M agreement.
Christine MacDonald / The Detroit News


"DETROIT -- A City Council committee voted Thursday to begin the process to rescind a $10 million contract awarded June 2007 to Olive Delivery Service LLC, owned by former state Rep. Ken Daniels, D-Detroit.
The former Democratic state House colleague of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's is not authorized to sell or service the copiers involved, city records and interviews show. City audits of the six-year copier contract, the most recent of which is dated Sept. 17, show most of the work is performed not by Daniels' Olive Delivery, but by Leader Business Systems Inc. of Oak Park in Oakland County and the city's own information technology department..."


This is grand.

First off, who in their right mind has a "six-year copier contract" ? That's 1.6 million a year.

Good lord! And how many Kyocera's can that be?

I also see that A-1 Leader Business Systems is a Canon dealer - I wonder how long before Canon comes knocking, looking to convert that 10 million dollar Kyocera deal...wowzie...

But wait, there's more.

"...He acknowledged he is not authorized to sell or service the Kyocera machines specified in the contract but insisted city audits are wrong when they say he does not come close to performing 80 percent of the contract work as required..."

Ok, so "...he is not authorized to sell of service the Kyocera machines..." yet he claims to performing up to "...80 percent of the contract work as required...".

Yeah, right...no cronyism there...eh?

So this guy's delivery company won the 10 million dollar bid, Ken Daniels claims to be doing at least 80% of the work, but audits reveal A-1 Leader Business Systems out of Royal Oak, is performing "most of the work". (If you go to the map, you will see...yup, located on 8-Mile. You remember the movie...admit it...)

Again, you can't make this stuff up.


Copiers and Crime...This Stuff Can Not Be Made UP

Copiers and Crime...The Blotter..It Grows...




Click to email me.




HP Reveals It's Supply Chain's Carbon Footprint

Self Examination Goes Deep.

Continually examining, investigating and reducing it's own footprint, HP now exposes the carbon output of their Tier One and Two suppliers.

As time goes by, HP will require all suppliers to conform with a consistent method of reporting this information.

Shades of Wal*Mart managing the "chain"?


Thursday, September 25, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different: The Ultimate Liquid Cooled Data Center

Google Data Barges - The Man from UNCLE and SPECTRE meet Google

I know this has little to do with MPS or printers - maybe.

Google has applied for a patent on “water-based data center”.

The floating data centers would be located 3 to 7 miles from shore, in 50 to 70 meters of water. And generate it's own electrical power and use sea water to cool the center.

If perfected, this approach could be used to build 40 megawatt data centers that don’t require real estate or property tax.

Now this is nothing new, and is akin to the "data center in a box" approach put forward by Google back in October of 2007.

What is interesting is the ability, or at least the idea, of a self-sustaining data center outside of any particular country's jurisdiction (wait...didn't the author of Battlefield Earth do something like this?)

But, What About Printing? --- Well, I guess anything to help us print from the internet.
Click to email me.




Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HP - Above the Fray...

With the re-org at HP IPG there are a few new faces in prominent positions.

Faces from all over the world and people who have fresh ideas and a passion for printing.

As I talk to and work with these people, here are some of my reflections, observations and ideas:

1. The HP/Global acquisition-

I had first thought Xerox had "stole" out from under HP - I was wrong.

HP, after long consideration, and a detailed accounting review, did not want Global. And if they didn't want Global, they sure as heck wouldn't want IKON.

2. HP doesn't know how to market the Edgeline-

I had once thought that HP was trying to slam a square peg, through a round hole, when they tried to work with their existing IT integrators and that they had no plan.

On this issue, I was right and wrong.

The square peg thing - yes, I was correct.

My feeling that they had no plan, I was wrong.

HP had a plan but it was a flawed one.

I am speaking to Edgeline and the space the unit resides in the market.

Nobody has said this out loud to me, but when Edgeline hit the market, some felt "if you build it, they will come...". By adding it to the top of the price list, IT managers will naturally gravitate to the Edgeline as they have for decades with the other HP printing products.

The idea sounds great - present Edgeline to IT through HP's already developed and well trained IT integrators in the field. After all, the current HP integrators are as close as family, know HP's quality, have established relationships with clients' IT divisions and can easily add Edgeline to their product portfolio.

Unfortunately, if you throw some of these technology folks into a selling situation against seasoned copier people, the techies will get slaughtered - and move back into their comfort zone.

This issue will be magnified when the 100+ pager per minute Edgeline hits the streets(not that far in the future) - at 100 plus, isn't that a Segment 5? Well, ok, but it's not production, it's office/business color output at 100+ pages a minute. So do we now redefine the Segment system? And how did all those Segments get determined in the first place and by who?

This is what I believe HP understands now:

Edgeline can not be sold like a laser printer.

Traditional copier dealers are more likely to sell an old school copier than Edgeline - so authorizing within that channel is foolish.

The traditional dealer can find enough "faults" with Edgeline compared to the "cheaper" copier-de-jour, to pivot an HP lead into a copier sale.

-Or even worse, the copier dealer may be motivated to sell HP MFP's, place the client on a supplies inclusive agreement supported by third-party supplies...shudder.-

I wonder if that has ever happened.

Authorizing existing HP integrators -

The Edgeline competes with copiers. I.T. integrators know little about that market. For instance leasing, Cost per copy, meter reads and first copy out times are all foreign phrases.

HP knows now, but might not have before, that you can not work with an existing copier dealer and expect them to get Edgeline and HP's Print 2.0 methodology and how to articulate the differences between and the advantages of going with a "printer" company over a "copier" company.

This is good news, missteps are part of growing.

By the way, speaking of missteps and growing, nobody knows better than the current "honchos" at HP (at least the ones I talk to) about learning how NOT to integrate an acquisition: Compaq is in the forefront of "learning opportunities".


HP is growing the channel organically.

This will take a while - 3-5 years.

This will not be pleasant - converting I.T. order tackers into output solution providers.

HP is not getting into the copier fray and will be taking the high road.

This will change everything.


And my recommendations:
  • Stop bringing in so many people from competitive printer manufactures
  • Cultivate your base of IT integrators
  • Hire from the Copier industry(gag, j/k)
  • Think more like a copier provider, but not too much
  • Develop a Pull marketing campaign around the best integrators
  • Market answers to business problems
  • Develop and replicate the "Ideal HP Printing VAR" as though the VAR was employed by HP
I am sure I can think of more...but this is enough...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Canon U.S.A. Acquires San Francisco-Based NEWCAL Industries

Wow...I was just talking to someone from NewCal last week in Napa...


LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Sep 23, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Expanding its support for business in the San Francisco Bay area, Canon U.S.A., Inc., today announced the acquisition of the NEWCAL Industries business.

The San Francisco-based NEWCAL Industries is an independent value-added reseller of document and print solutions, including document imaging hardware and software, printer fleet and facilities management services. Founded in 1991 by Steve Tarpley and Ken Wilkens, NEWCAL is a leading independent provider of technology solutions to businesses in the Bay Area.

-------

This strikes near to our heart - NewCal is a decent HP-SVIP/OPS, Edgeline dealer...the report goes on -

"We are thrilled to continue to offer our customers Canon products, considered by most to be among the best in the industry, and are pleased to be part of the Canon family," said Steve Tarpley, president of NEWCAL.

Ken Wilkens, chief financial officer, NEWCAL, added, "Our customers will continue to receive the outstanding service they have come to expect from NEWCAL."

According to Jason Montgomery, vice president, Strategic Development, NEWCAL, directed the acquisition for NEWCAL, and states, "NEWCAL is now positioned for continued growth in the Northern California marketplace with a wide solutions portfolio and a serve-centric reputation."

------

This should be a good move for all involved.


Who in The World is "TeknoForce" from Ricoh/RiKON ?


Ricoh has hired an advertising agency, Gigante Vaz Partners, to create a brand and program to promote its service technicians. The brand is called; “Teknoforce”, and Ricoh is hoping it will boost its image with IT Directors in the U.S.

Johannesburg, 23 September 2008 - Ricoh expands Teknoforce

"Gigante Vaz Partners and Ricoh announced that Ricoh is expanding its Teknoforce programme in selected markets across the country, reports Marketwatch.

Teknoforce was created as a response to Ricoh's desire to find a way to monetise the skill and depth of knowledge of its sales and IT force.

The programme will also be used as a way of adding to Ricoh's awareness within the IT market."

---------

WOW -

It's like HP's strategy with printing only in reverse.

Ricoh, a traditional copier manufacturer is tip-toeing into the IT world...credibility is the issue.

Unlike HP stepping "down" into the copier/facilities world, Ricoh is trying to step "up" into the IT realm - and unlike HP getting into waters filled with "copier, sales, sharks" Ricoh is getting into a more sedate selling sea.

From Atlanta to L.A. -

I find it most interesting that the only returns on a Google search of Teknoforce are related to the advertising campaign. Apparently, the ad campaign tested nicely in Atlanta so Ricoh decided to roll it out in certain markets, across the US.

Part of the marketing campaign includes vehicles adorned with loud decals, a la 'Geek Squad' -



Just a little food for thought, as the two worlds, IT and "Facilities" continue to collide and converge.

Teknoforce


Monday, September 22, 2008

Canon Says Little Regarding RiKON

In response to the sale of its largest distributor, a Canon executive finally commented on the sale of IKON.

Off the Print4Pay Hotel site -

Canon’s managing director, Masaki Nakaoka, stated; “The acquisition (of IKON) will trigger a further reshuffle of sales agents for us and others. We will now aim to expand our sales network.”
Ricoh reported that if the acquisition of IKON falls through:
  • IKON will pay Ricoh a termination fee of $66.7 million
  • IKON will also pay $16 million to reimburse Ricoh for legal fees.
According to some reports, on 9/16/08, IKON conducted a conference call notifying its employees that Canon would cut off IKON from acquiring any new hardware inventory as soon as the Ricoh acquisition is finalized. IKON will however, still have access to Canon parts and supplies.

Because Ricoh does not offer high end production print equipment (as Canon did with imagePRESS color and imageRUNNER PRO relabeled Kodak b/w units), IKON may be in discussions with Xerox to market some of their equipment.

More details on what makes up IKON:
  • Original company founded in 1928
  • Formally incorporated in 1952
  • Revenue peaked in 1996 at $11 billion
  • Unisource, the paper distribution business, was spun off in 1996
  • Has currently completed only 2/3’s of its “One Platform Conversion” program
  • Copier division revenue peaked in 1998 at $5.5 billion
  • Stock value peaked in 1996 at $65 per share, but declined to as low as $2.50 per share
  • Has total of 24,000 employees in 400 office locations
  • Canada & Europe account for 18% of revenue
  • 6000 technicians
  • 9000 are FM or professional services employees
  • 500 work in the HQ located in Malvern, PA
  • Has 500,000 customers
  • Has 900,000 devices in field under service contract
  • GE Capital provides most of leasing
  • Includes 100 of the Fortune 500
  • Sales and service of copiers accounts for 75% of business
  • 50% of revenue comes from color and production print systems
  • 20% was from professional services or FM
  • B/W copier sales were declining by 7%
  • 8% of service revenue was coming from color clicks
In contrast, when Xerox bought Global, it acquired 200 offices and 200,000 customers for $1.5 billion
--------------

My reflections on the above:

  • Canon is not going to bid for Ikon.
  • Canon is out there expanding the "sales network" through purchasing some of the remaining independents.
  • Ricoh may take a while to digest IKON but I do not think they will "choke" on IKON.
  • We may see new product from RiKON as early as Q1, 2009 to fill the gaps in the product line or even see some short term partnerships with the likes of Xerox and Kodak.



Friday, September 19, 2008

She Speaks - CEO Anne Mulcahy

X Woman, by Michael Fitzgerald, Q & A

I found this article and pulled out some interesting parts -

--------------

You have things in your labs like invisible ink and erasable paper, which lets the print on the pages dissolve after a day or two so that they can be reused. Is part of your goal to reduce the amount of paper that companies use?

Absolutely. We want to help our customers print less. This is the information world, and content management is a very big deal. A lot of what we do in our services business is help people go from paper to digital, help people create content that’s searchable, help people really live in a world of smart documents versus dumb documents. Documents that actually have embedded intelligence in them.

You still sell copiers, but not very many of them.

We don’t sell any stand-alone copiers. Everything we sell is networked. Most of it is multifunctional. It copies, it prints, it scans, it faxes. So most of it is really part of the networked world. And almost half of what we sell is now full color.

You said that by 2008 you wanted 10 percent of the pages Xerox prints to be color, and right now you’re ahead of that. The company’s at 16 percent.

It’s going to be 100 percent, because the world we live in is in color. And color is growing by double digits right now. Also, digital technology is letting us do things like print-on-demand and one-to-one marketing. Offset printing, the method usually used for marketing materials, is a $400 billion market. Only a small slice of it has gone to digital. One of the things we’re starting to enter into is digital packaging for consumer-product companies. We recently did a demo for a gum wrapper. Consumers can create their own personalized packages, or companies can print regional versions or versions in different languages. It’s more flexible and it’s cheaper.

It looks to me—don’t get mad—I know that it’s supposed to be the globe, and that the soft X stands for Xerox, but it looks like a croquet ball to me. Was this a long process?

Well, there you are. It took longer than I thought it should have, because I tend to think that things should move pretty quickly. I mean, how tough is it? But the fact is that this is a corporate asset. You need to test it. You need to think about it. We wanted the logo to be more informal, and we wanted it to be more attractive in a three-dimensional world versus a two-dimensional world. We also wanted to make sure that the color palettes reflected the color business and the company.

Also, the new logo took a long time to roll out. The name is everywhere, so you have to transition everything. We immediately transitioned on the Web. But they were telling me it was going to take six months to get the logo on the outside of the headquarters building here. About two weeks after we made the announcement on the brand, I was in Egypt. And I’m coming out of the airport and there’s this huge billboard with the new brand on it. I was on the phone saying, “Guys, I’m in Egypt. [Laughs.] And there’s a billboard up. I think you can do better than six months on the headquarters building.”

---------------

LOL! "...it looks like a croquet ball..."


RiKON To Work with Xerox

Ricoh/IKON/Xerox

How big of a shock would it be if Ricoh Japan allowed IKON to ink a deal with Xerox to provide product in the gaps created by the Canon fallout(de-certification)?

Read the above again.

-----

Well, get over your shock because it's a doozy and it is happening...

Also, seems Konica Minolta signed a five year with RiKON - it appears that KMBS needs the channel too...

Espe may have this all planned out quite well with much more to occur in the next few days - the excitement level "on the ground" is electric.


- nod to "Scorpio"...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Canon To De-Certify as Soon as Ink Dry

September 17, 2008

Another question answered and oh so many posed...

During an internal conference call yesterday, IKON explained to it's employees that Canon would indeed be de-certifying IKON as soon as the Ricoh deal is final.

Falling back on "Policy" -

Canon expressed that this action falls within their policy on not certifying "competitors".

Indeed, this action is in line with their previous movements after Xerox bought Global dealers who sold and supported Canon.

-- Let the feeding Frenzy begin...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HP to cut 24,600 jobs worldwide

US technology giant Hewlett-Packard has said that it will cut 24,600 jobs worldwide...over the next 3 years...

Ok, I don't remember hearing HP say that the aquisition of EDS would mean "business as usual" like the RiKON announcement spawned.

Still, can we see the future of Ikon in this announcement from HP?

Hurd Speaks -

"HP has a strong track record of making acquisitions and integrating them to capture leading market positions,' said CEO Mark Hurd. 'HP now has the broadest technology capabilities in the market to meet customer needs today and in the future,' he added."




Monday, September 15, 2008

September "Bump" - Hold on to your Hat

With the recent Ricoh/IKON (RiKON) news, copier sales people are now more globally minded...

From AP, World stocks soar after Freddie, Fannie bailouts

I personally do not participate in recessions. I don't like them.

I believe that as in sales, most "systems" built around humans are driven by as much emotional energy as cold, strategic planning.

So, even if I do not participate in recessions, my prospects and clients may succumb to the unfavorable economic, emotional bombardment - it's much easier to be negative.

Take this latest news article that explains world markets "soar" after the US government takes over Freddie and Fannie - some may explain this surge as an expected and temporary up-tic, I would agree. An emotions carry the surge.

The price of oil is falling - it may go below $100.00 per barrel this week.

This is good news and will affect business's purchasing mentality as people start to "feel" better.

This good news should effect the way YOU project your positive mentality as an Agent of Change.





"MPS Insights" - Second Edition out today


9/2008

Ed Crowley and Gang at the Photizo Group publish another great issue of MPS Insights

Culture Does Matter -

The theme of this issue is "Culture" and "...how managing cultural change is an integral aspect of a successful MPS engagement..." An issue near and dear to my heart.

As a matter of fact, not only is business culture an important
issues in MPS but as a true Agent of Change, our impact on every corporate culture we touch is profound. From Computerized Accounting, and Corporate Identity Programs(uniforms); from copier installs to Managed Print Services engagements - by just talking to someone, you effect change...

I recommend checking out the Photizo Group. Oh, and the folks over at Photizo have impeccable taste in editorial contributors...impeccable...



Sunday, September 14, 2008

Canon Profit May Miss Forecast, Fall 12% in 2008, Nikkei Says

Wow...12%...

Bloomberg

By Jason Clenfield

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Profit at Canon Inc. will probably fall in 2008, missing the company's forecast and recording the first decline in nine years, according to the Nikkei newspaper.

The maker of cameras and copiers is likely to report earnings of about 430 billion yen ($4 billion) for the year ending Dec. 31, a 12 percent decline from the previous year, the Nikkei reported today, without saying how it got the information. Sales of office equipment have slowed in the U.S. and Europe, according to the report.

The company has forecast earnings will rise 2 percent this year to 500 billion yen.

Company spokesman Hiroshi Yoshinaga declined comment on the report when contacted by telephone.


Gartner - RiKON

Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company - speaks:

"This acquisition deal helps Ricoh fortify its formidable distribution channel. Expect a minimal near-term impact for most customers, but watch for Canon’s distribution partnership with IKON to end after the deal closes..."

Gartner agrees with my analysis(RiKon - "Really, I Knew One Name...") and adds a few little tidbits .

First off - Capacity-

It is Gartner's belief that:

"...if Canon drops IKON, Richo's manufacturing plant in Japan will have to boost capacity to make up the volume..."

I had not thought of this, but I agree. I do not think that the "up-tic" in production would pose too much of a problem for Ricoh - and what a nice problem to have.

I wonder how the Ricoh plant in Costa Measa, California will be affected. From an article in the Orange County Business Journal, by Sarah Tolkoff:

"...Its(Ricoh's) presence here is huge: Ricoh has more than 1.4 million square feet of industrial space spread among eight buildings in Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin.

The local operation also has factories in Lawrenceville, Ga., and Toluca, Mexico.

Ricoh's name has been a fixture along the 55 freeway for more than 30 years. Proximity to the Port of Long Beach brought it here, said Jeff Briwick, executive vice president and group manager of Ricoh Electronics' corporate strategy group.

"Back then, product could flow from the parent company in Japan into the West Coast and then be deployed across the country to the East Coast," he said. "More than 35 years later, it still works mat way. Orange County is perfect from a supply chain and distribution perspective."

In Tustin, Ricoh has three buildings with about 475 workers.

One building doubles as the administrative headquarters for Ricoh Electronics and as a manufacturing plant for digital copiers.

In another building, Ricoh assembles chips onto circuit boards that go inside its all-in-one machines, which are built in the other Tustin building..."

So increasing output could be a good thing for Orange County.

Secondly -

Gartner's observation,

"...Based on Canon’s past reaction to similar deals with its channel partners, Gartner believes Canon will ultimately end its formal relationship with IKON, but will continue to support its products and abide by existing contracts until the deal closes..."

Pretty much a "no-brainer" here.

Looks like "business as usual" for now...


- Source Gartner.

IKON to cut 250 jobs: "Business as Usual"

Words From IKON's Espe - Internal IKON Memo

Ricoh to Buy IKON - Shot Heard Around the World

IKON/RICOH/CANON - Could there be a THIRD Shoe to Drop?

Gartner Report

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Copiers and Crime...The Blotter..It Grows...

I swear, I should start writing a screen play based on this stuff...victims include Applebee's, the YMCA and a catholic church.

The headline reads, "Raleigh, N.C. — An office supplies dealer has been charged with using bogus copier leases to scam area businesses and nonprofits." - it is never good when the words "bogus" and "scam" are in the same headline...

The crook even got time on the local TV news. By the way, check out the copy quality on the documents being printed, doh!

Apparently(or is it allegedly), this creep forged leases on non- existent deals for real companies and organizations. He was caught when the leasing company called one of his "customers" demanding payment on a piece of equipment that was never installed. The leasing company had not received monthly payments, but, obviously paid the perp.

Ten Years of Customer Service -

Yup, this guy had been working with his victims for 10 years. Selling supplies and even contributing to charitable events- some may have even considered him a "partner". I guess a lot can happen in Ten Years.

So this is how small, independent dealers compete with the "big, international, heartless, copier manufacturers..." eh?

Just kidding - this guy is scum and his disregard for others, his overwhelming greed, hurts all of us in the industry and all of us who sell.

Lock him up.

The lesson here?

Like I even need to say it, "know what the heck is going on in your business..." the left and the right hand should communicate through the brain.


Even more. Check these out.

Copiers and Crime...This Stuff Can Not Be Made UP

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


Friday, September 12, 2008

The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"


"New Selling" and it's application to Copier Sales

I was reading an blog regarding selling and noticed some interesting information - from the post by Jonathan Farrington, The Sales Corporation:

"...various studies suggest that getting one sales person in front of one customer now costs $1000 - this cost has trebled since 1983. As a consequence professional salespeople have to be more effective than ever to justify the investment in a face to face effort..."

and...

"...Customer Focus Creates Competitive Advantage
  • The one term that sets top performers apart - customer focus
  • Outstanding sales results depend on:
    - The ability to think from the customer’s point of view
    - Understanding the customer’s agenda, buying cycle and best interests
  • Beyond a superficial reading of immediate customer needs, salespeople must gain a deeper understanding of both the buyer’s long-term goals and the overall business climate
  • At the heart of customer focus is the art of listening constructively - the best salespeople are masters at capturing information
  • Customer focus means taking the customer seriously - to-day the salesperson who clings to the product orientation of a decade ago is losing ground
  • As client companies branch into new markets and unfamiliar territories, they are demanding unique, flexible solutions from their vendors - customized to support specific goals
  • Another myth which can be exploded is that whilst customers value flexibility, being too flexible can undermine the sales relationship. On the whole salespeople imagine that customers value a vendor’s responsiveness above all. However recent research shows that their primary concern is reliability.
In summary, in order to maintain customer focus the best salespeople become facilitators, creating a partnership that extends the selling relationship within the customer’s company. The motivation to achieve this should be strong - it costs five times as much to attract and sell to a new customer as it does to an existing one!..."
-----
I think of the changes happening right now in our industry, and how everyone has started to "talk the talk" about being a different type of technical, selling professional.

I have often mentioned the ability of successful sales people to be Partners with clients, to constantly develop Business Acumen, and to learn to Empathize with customers.

So it is nice to read an affirmation of my thoughts - from somebody in sales, but completely outside of our industry:
  1. Partnership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Empathy and Disconnect
Partnership -


The "Partnership" mentality is a mature set of beliefs anchored in "...To Do No Harm...".

You're are in front of the prospect to Help them - you must find where they need you and if they are willing to accept your help.

And as an example, if you are in there to "..Do No Harm.." why would you "gouge them" on pricing, why would you make them sign into a 60 month, "captive", on-sided agreement? Why would you twist your client into a solution which only addresses the surface issue of "price"?

A real Partner is never an Enabler

We don't need to watch Dr. Phil to know this - if you are in a position comfortable enough to tell your client they are wrong, then you have the beginning of a partnership. If after you tell the client he/she is wrong, they take your advice, your partnership is built on solid ground.

Don't Enable Your Prospect to Make the Same Mistakes, over and over...

Business Acumen -

This is not product knowledge. This is not features and benefits. This is not easy. This will take time.

Business Acumen is ALL of the above and oh so much more.

In a nutshell, business acumen can be obtained through the observation and study of everything "around" your solution - That is, the study of the cause and effect of your position, proposals and projects - over time.

This knowledge is uniquely yours.

Yours to take with you into every appointment and in every conversation.

Think about this: your view and your opinions based on the history of your "installs" and implementations and proposals - is yours alone. Not your companies, your clients, your manager or your peers - all you.

If you have installed just ONE idea - the outcomes and ramifications of this one project, seen through your eyes, is an example for you to use in every single 'new' opportunity. And each new opportunity, not just installation, is a chance to learn more about business than from any book ever written.

Empathy and Disconnect -

These two words diametrically oppose - but the tight rope must be walked.

Empathy - Good sales people can put themselves into their client's "shoes"; see things the way their client does. In order to do this effectively, one needs to become "one" with the prospects business, his world, from his angle - and not through the prism of product or service. One needs to see the prospects world without "commission" or quota issue hanging over one's head. And to do this effectively, the Selling Professional needs to become disconnected from the outcome of the sale...

Disconnect - Difficult, but not impossible. First off, what do I mean by disconnect?

Disconnect, in this sense, is the ability cut away the your emotional connection to the success of the "sale".

More specifically, disconnection from the success of the sale, from the selling professional's view, is what I am talking about. But this is NOT being uncaring or aloof or unconcerned - a tightrope.

Perhaps disconnect is a strong word, maybe "compartmentalization" would be better.

Once the emotional factor is put aside, we can deal with the client in terms what "makes sense" for both he and me, instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole, at the end of the month.

In conclusion, common sense usually prevails and over complication of simple rules typically dilutes the results. If you focus on these three issues:

  1. Partnership
  2. Business Acumen
  3. Empathy & Disconnect
You will be well on your way to success.
Click to email me.



IKON to cut 250 jobs: "Business as Usual"

LDS, Legal Document Services

Ikon is reducing the number of LDS locations in the US and Europe.

"The company expects related pre-tax charges of about $7 million, a significant portion of which is expected to be taken in the fourth quarter."...

"The total pre-tax charges associated with these actions include severance expenses, asset impairments, and contract costs estimated to be approximately $7 million, a significant portion of which is expected to be reported in Q408. The estimated after-tax cash expenditures total approximately $4 million and consist primarily of severance payments and lease termination costs. IKON expects to complete the actions described above in Q408.
"

So, business as usual means this reduction was being planned for a while - and LDS had always been of to the "side" and been going through reductions for a while.

What Next?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

EDS - Mangaed Print Services????

EDS an HP Company

Found this the other day. EDS is now in the Managed Print Services business.

Yes, inevitable - but seeing it for real is making it real.

I wonder if EDS is hiring any ex-IKON peeps.

From the literature:

  • "EDS' Services include:

    Assessment Services
    — Helps you understand current usage, find hidden costs and develop a business case for change:
    • Industry Benchmark Assessment
    • Optimization Assessment
    • Managed Environment Assessment
    • Eco Printing Assessment
    • Workflow Discovery
    • Discovery and Design

  • Financial and Procurement Services — Helps you manage to the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), from planning and acquiring technology to retiring and replacing it. Reduce and manage capital outlay, manage older equipment effectively and environmentally, and simplify hardware procurement (HP and multi-vendor):
    • Hardware Procurement
    • Multi-vendor Hardware Procurement
    • Customer Fleet Acquisition
    • Asset Recovery Services
  • Transition and Implementation Services — Helps ensure the right equipment is installed and end users know how to use the devices:
    • Management of Change and Education
    • Deployment Management
    • Hardware Installation

  • Management and Support Services — Enables ongoing Return On Investment (ROI) through fleet uptime and optimization, award winning support and supplies management. Account delivery management provides a single point of contact and accountability as well as visibility into usage trends, capacity utilization, and expenditures for ongoing planning and management:
    • Account Delivery Management
    • Hardware Support
    • Multivendor Support
    • On-site Administrative Services
    • Priority Phone Support
    • Supplies Management

  • Document and Workflow Services — Helps automate paper-intensive workflows, as well as to continually improve and better manage the underlying infrastructure:
    • Technology Solutions
    • Industry Solutions
    • Consulting Services"
The integration or assimilation of EDS into HP.

First Annual Managed Print Services Conference - April 26th through 28th, 2009




Managed Print Services: Hitting Mainstream

Ok, here's the deal.

Managed Print Services is just about the hottest issue out there - with prospects and industry insiders.

And right now, MPS is still the frontier of cost reduction for both clients and providers - everything is being created today, in the here and now, without a "template".

Clients are not sure how MPS works. Providers are struggling with the concept, the services, how to best articulate the benefits and how to manage a Print Management Services program.

With this in mind, the first annual conference dedicated to Managed Print Services (MPS)will be held in in San Antonio, Texas on April 26th through 28th, 2009 and sponsored by the Photizo Group.

Now, for me, the Photizo Group is one of the very first groups, if not THE first group, dedicated to researching MPS and it's impact on the market. In addition to monitoring the market, the Photizo Group has defined the basic structure and phases of MPS -
  1. Control
  2. Optimize
  3. Enhance
These match my definition of the stages of MPS. I have incorporated these three stages into my talk-track. More importantly, I see evidence in the field that the above model is viable.

Having said that, I STRONGLY recommend everyone who is now in or thinking about getting into MPS attend.

- With the turbulence in our industry and with hardware dominating most vendor's and client's discussions, the most challenging task many face is differentiation. MPS is a differentiater - and the Photizo Group is out there on the leading edge -

The conference features three tracks.

"The first track is for those who are in the initial stages of an MPS engagement and who are trying to control or optimize the hardcopy (printers, MFP's, and copier) fleet.

The second track is for those who have implemented an MPS program, and who are now looking to drive business process optimization through advanced MPS services such as workflow consulting, document management optimization, and other activities to enhance the firms business processes.

The third track provides a focus on small and medium businesses and their specific MPS implementation issues."

There will be speakers, best practice presentations, case studies, market data, and many other sessions designed to provide attendees with actionable tips and techniques for the success of their MPS program.

You can register here.

Check these out:

For Those of Us In Managed Print Services - Wow!

A new look over at Managed Print Services Resource Center

Inaugural issue of MPS Insights Hits The Streets

New Report Delivers Definitive Analysis of the Managed Print Services Market




Click to email me.



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Open Text to Acquire Captaris

Consolidation Everywhere.

Waterloo, ON and Bellevue, Wash. - 2008-09-04 - Open Text™ Corporation (NASDAQ:OTEX) (TSX: OTC), a global leader in Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Captaris, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPA), a leading provider of software products that automate document-centric processes, today announced a definitive merger agreement in which a wholly owned subsidiary of Open Text will acquire Captaris. Under the terms of the agreement, Captaris shareholders will receive cash consideration of approximately US $131 million in total, or $4.80 per share in exchange for their Captaris stock. The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of the calendar year, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Captaris’s shareholders and anti-trust approvals.

Captaris’s software products include leading document and data capture solutions that let customers convert paper documents to digital content, and manage associated processes. The acquisition will expand Open Text’s partnership offerings by creating tighter integration with Open Text's invoice management solutions that work with SAP and Oracle. Captaris also offers business information and delivery solutions built on the Microsoft .NET framework which integrate, process and automate the flow of content.



Monday, September 8, 2008

Who's The Boss?

I am always amused when "Sales Managers" push getting a proposal in front of the prospect as soon as possible.

It is my humble opinion that one should "earn the right to propose" before throwing numbers and "closing techniques" at a prospect. I feel it's amateurish at best and more likely unprofessional.

So I ask you - WHO IS YOUR BOSS?

Is it Mark Hurd? Is it Espe? Is it the stock holders of your company? Is it the owner of the dealership you currently work with? Is it Obama?

I say to you NO.

This is a personal opinion, and for all you "bosses" out there this is for you too.

Your "boss" is the most complicated person in the world, the most befuddling, and confusing and although you have known this person all your life, you probably don't know as much about he or she as you should.

The "boss" I refer to is the person who looks back at you each morning while you're shaving or putting that stuff on your eyelids - you.

You are your boss.

Now, I ain't no Tony Robbins, loved him in Shallow Hal, but this isn't that difficult of a concept to get...your current place in life is a direct result of all the decisions you have ever made prior to this point in history - not Obama's or Espe's.


This epiphany can be liberating - but does carry a heavy burden for you- now you need to take complete responsibility for your life, the good and the bad - YIKES!

It's like the Matrix - once you "get it", you may ask yourself, "why oh why didn't I take the Blue pill..."

Ignorance is truly bliss - If you want proof, ask your manager.

Click to email me.




Wednesday, September 3, 2008

RiKON - XerGlo - KonDanka - What is an HP Dealer to do?

During an interview the other day, I was asked some good questions...Questions I really could not answer.

1. How will Canon survive losing 30% of US sales?
2. What will happen with all the existing, independent Ricoh dealers?
3. How many independent dealers still exist?
4. How many locations does CBS have?
5. What will the industry look like in 5 years? 10 years?
6. How does this affect the RBS channel?

Wow. As the dust settles, the huge significance of what just happened is almost more than we can bear.

The questions posed to me illustrated how much I really don't know.

How is Canon going to respond to losing 30% of its US sales?

Dang, that is a good question. From the Canon Business Solutions web site, there are only 53 locations in the US.

And Ricoh says it is going to convert IKON's Canon base into Ricoh MIF within the next 3 years...oh really? Do you think Canon might have other plans for those "Canon customers bobbing in the wake of corporate takeover"?

And, how is RiKON going to survive losing nearly 60% of it's business? Or not being able to service those existing customers after the de-certification?

Wowzie.

The bigger question - Why have all these manufacturers purchased the channel to begin with?

I don't see Ford or IBM buying up dealer associations - cereal makers buying grocery chains, or cattle herders purchasing McDonald's restaurants.

What gives?

The old manufacturers' beliefs were,

"...we manufacture and we manufacture very well...we don't have the infrastructure or the knowledge to successfully market, sell or support our finished goods, to the ultimate customer..."


Has this changed?

Has Konica Minolta discovered how easy it is to sell to the ultimate consumer?

Do Ricoh and Xerox think they know better then the folks who have developed and maintained the current channel and selling model?

--- Maybe "yes" AND maybe "no".

To me, this consolidation proves one of my theorems -


"All copiers are the same - every single one."

Look at it, now there are only three main channels each driven by a "manufacturer". Manufactures of "xerographic" machines - they are all the same.

The differentiating factors will be interesting to watch - and the marketing will be fascinating.

Oh How the Mighty Have...Changed -

Like a caterpillar suspended in it's chrysalis, the metamorphosis of the copier industry moves into a new phase. What emerges will be the "Hybrid Dealer" you have started to hear about. Never before, in recent hi-tech history, has a channel been assimilated like this. Change is guaranteed.

I go back to the PC -

In the 80's the PC market was booming but not one manufacturer tried to own the channels - what changed? I mean "consolidation" occurred but through manufactures buying other manufactures and software companies adapting or going away. The channels responded, contracted yet remained intact. The number of distributors thinned as did the quantity of machines - but the channel remained.

It's the Economy - Stupid.

I guess if we look at this phenomena in a macro sense, from 10,000 feet, as an investment, these acquisitions look good.

The stock holders realize a tidy return on their investment, the folks who built the channels(Global, IKON, Danka) can retire rich. The remaining, small independent dealers can now start looking at Canon, Toshiba, Sharp, etc. as equipment competitors more willing to work with then just 12 months ago. Especially Canon.

As for the employees - they can hang on, or move into one of the smaller competitors and help them thrive on all the industry chaos.

Ah...but what about the Customer? -

How does the Customer benefit? Does all this consolidation mean a more competitive industry? Does this give prospects more choices? Will prices and margins be driven down even further?

Right now there is Xerox, Konica and Ricoh - the Very Big Three - and Canon all by itself. So it looks like the customer's choices have just been limited - is that a good thing?

In the short run Canon customers looking to upgrade can leverage this change over Canon possibly resulting in lower pricing as Canon defends the base. But RiKON will go after all the Canon customers with a price point designed to "buy the business" - this could be good for the customer; these two giants fighting over the customer.


By the way, speaking of all by itself - HP

The company with the largest number of MIF (machines in field) is now nearly transparent.

And Edgeline is the humongous gorilla in the room of every single sales meeting in every single IPG office at HP. End of year for HP is October 31st - and I am sure that upper management is "monitoring" Edgeline cycles down to the minute - HP is not use to being in the copier industry.

Competitive pressures were not fully appreciated and channel breadth might have been over rated. How can you expect to push 3,400 units - big, huge, wonderful, new technology units - through approximately 120 dealers? And convert "direct sales people" into document management consultants, overnight?

Edgeline is not a new laser printer; you can not sell it off a price sheet, over the phone.

The selling cycle for these types of units(copiers) is much more complex and usually triggered by an event - lease termination. And if you have no machines in field to begin with, every single unit is a new sale converting a competitor's existing lease.

The sale of an unproven, relative to all the copiers, technology from a "new" player only adds to the pressure. And if this isn't enough- HP sales people are swimming in a part of the ocean inhabited by some of the smoothest, most savvy, and ruthless Sales Sharks in the world - Copier Guys(or gals). The copier folks know how to talk CPC, leasing, 4 hour response time, real service levels and of course, first copy out time(yuck).

And then there is the HP channel -

I don't even want to go here, except to possibly repeat what has been told to me -

"OEM toner is way too expensive..."

"If HP is serious about getting into the copier industry, why do they price CPC so high?"

"Why is there no 3-hole punch?"

"...you mean this big machine can't handle glossy?"

" ...the rebates are too difficult for us to manage..."

To me, all these statements are just examples of lazy people whining. Blah, blah, blah...

Be that as it is, perception is reality. Again, not my reality.

Edgeline is a great platform, HP just needs to work through the "growing pains". Some very good HP partners are here who DO believe and are willing to "tow the line" - for now.

Well, as with everything, time will tell - history will judge. And as Selling Professionals, Agents of Change, we don't hide from history, we make it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Xerox Reacts - In Predictable Fashion

If you have been in the industry long enough, you remember when the Xerox sales force could be summed up in one word...

Arrogant.


From the Democrat and Chronicle.com,

"...Xerox is dismissing the idea that the acquisition makes Ricoh a difficult competitive challenge.

"We see this move for what it is: a defensive play by Ricoh to try to keep pace with the industry's leader — Xerox," Xerox Office Group President Russell Peacock said in an internal message sent to employees last week.

Office imaging equipment means big bucks to Xerox. For the second quarter of 2008, the company had revenues of $2.5 billion in its office segment.

While Xerox's Global Imaging carries some non-Xerox equipment, Ikon likely will become a distributor solely of Ricoh equipment, said Andy Slawetsky, president of Industry Analysts Inc. in Rochester.

In his memo, Peacock said the Ricoh-Ikon deal causes more problems for other office equipment companies than it does for Xerox. He said it places competitors Canon and Konica Minolta "in a difficult position, especially considering Ikon delivers 35-40 percent of Canon's total revenue in the U.S."


There is a phrase I like that my high school football coach use to tell us, "...it ain't braggin if it's ture..." So, perhaps, Xerox's statements are not just bluster...

RiKON- Reactions Coming In

Lot's of buzz as expected - some tid bits:

It only took a few days, current IKON employees are starting to weigh in by articulating there emotions and thoughts on their personal blogs.

As well as some astute observations by some outside our industry.

Just a few to date:

From, Jason Found This Interesting:

"...So I used to tell my wife, "If I had to leave IKON for another copier related company... it would probably be Ricoh." What I didn't totally anticipate was Ricoh coming to me..."

From The Wallstrip Blog:

"The Dutch take over our beer, now the Japanese take out office solutions. What’s wrong with this picture?"


From "The Akbas Post:

"In the short-run, Canon is the biggest looser but in the long run HP will be. However, the biggest winner will be Xerox; It will help defend its turf against the print-centric assault by HP while aggressively targeting IKON-Canon customers during merger integration via its subsidiary of Global Imaging Systems. Having picked a much less problematic dealer group (Global vs IKON) to acquire, Xerox will have a window of opportunity to better compete against Ricoh particularly in the US middle market."

And from Corey's Blog:

"It is interesting to me Ricoh buys IKON for $1.6 Billion or $17.25 per share. A little over a year ago Xerox bought Global Imaging for $1.5 Billion or $29 per share."

And from itbusiness.ca:

"The Ikon acquisition should have minimal impact on Ricoh's dealer and IT channel partners", says Russell Marchetta, manager of corporate and public relations with Ricoh.

He notes Ricoh and Ikon have been partners for more than 20 years and they've always considered Ikon a separate distribution channel within their organization, in addition to the independent dealers and their direct business. "

HP Layoffs -

From the "Job Cuts Taking Place at Hewlett-Packard's Boise-Based Imaging and Printing Group"

"In what one employee, who asked his/her name be withheld, has called "Black Monday," a round of job cuts is taking place at Hewlett-Packard's Boise-based Imaging and Printing Group today, part of the company's global reorganization of the division..."


HP spokesman Scott Stalla issued this statement:

"As part of the HP Imaging and Printing Group's (IPG) continued Print 2.0 transformation, the business announced plans in June 2008 to realign and streamline its organization by reducing the number of its global business units from five to three customer solutions- oriented businesses. The realignment of IPG's business entails shifting resources from slower growing businesses to new business opportunities. In some cases, parts of IPG's business will experience reductions while investments will be made in high growth segments of the business. These decisions will be made at the level of the global business unit and are not specific to HP sites. Consistent with its transformation, IPG will continue to proactively manage the challenges of the current market and consider changes that will position the business to win today and in the future."

"...The reorganization of HP's Imaging and Printing Group was made public in June, when statements were issued that the company would reduce its five IPG groups to three. Layoffs began last week at HP's facilities in Corvallis, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash., where about 300 positions were eliminated..."