Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greg's Top 12 Events of 2008 - Managed Print Services, Edgeline and Napa

from 2008...

It's just my view. These are MY "top of mind" events and posts in 2008, in no particular order:

1. Ikon/Ricoh - Easily the biggest event of the year. After much rumor and guessing, Ricoh NOT Canon steps up. 

 2. WEB 2.0 - The Wild, Wild, West The BlogaSphere, social networking. From MySpace to LinkedIn. It is crazy out here. There are no rules, everyone is an expert on how to "monetize" your site, but nobody has a track record - it's all new. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can instantly become an "expert' - I do not understand this phenomena and I have practically given up trying.

 2.1 Andrew Keen's book, the cult of the amateur. Monkeys with typewriters - that's what we are. Thanks to him, I no longer reference Wikipedia.

3. The Death of The Copier - Why Do You Write? I write to read what I write. The "success" of The Death of The Copier is not measured by how many views occur(16,000/month) or the average time spent on the blog(two minutes 48 seconds). I measure the success of the blog by how often I go back and add to it. If my interest is still there, than the blog is succeeding for me. An unforeseen and added benefit of TDOTC, has been all the people I have met out here; unknowing mentors, colleagues, cohorts, planners, visionaries and all around great peeps.

4. Photizo - defining and elevating Managed Print Services From start up, first two newsletters, now two locations, a conference and more, the folks over at Photizio, Ed and the gang, I have found to be the most knowledgable group in terms of Managed Print Services and the industry. I found them quite by chance, via a google search, and it has been a pleasure ever since. I look forward to watching and working with them in 2009.

5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking". I do not tweet.

6. Napa - The Dump, the Wine and the Hot, Microbiologist - Huba, Huba As I mentioned in point #3 above, The Death of The Copier is for my entertainment and one of the most "entertaining" posts I have(in my opinion) is about an HP Green Symposium in Napa. It still makes me laugh right out loud.

7. Magic Castle, A Week in The Life - Every now and again, I am suddenly reminded why I like it so much out here.

8. Single Unit Install - Not the biggest sale of the century, not even close, but a significant and fulfilling experience. One that I did not write about. This past year, one of my clients involved a 90 day cycle which included a 30+ day trial for a single Edgeline.

The total sale was for ONE Edgeline.

But, this one particular engagement had every nightmare available: bad lease, terrible service, a color machine (K/M) that did not perform, a single line of color text costing a dime each. Monthly volumes were around 10,000 images, mostly color and 95% printed. 

Today, as I click over to the PrintSolv tab in my Mozilla browser, I can see that total life count on the Edgeline is 99,000 images. (Since August) This month they have 5,900 color images, all of them printed - no color copies. We solved many issues: Recommending they purchase instead of lease (because of the benefits of the Economic Stimulus package of 2008) was "refreshing" and negated any "bad taste" they had from their current lease. 

Although they went with a new Edgeline, the existing lease is still in effect, the old machine is tucked away and relegated to "back-up" duties. Color overages - a perfect fit for Color Accent, saving thousands in "click" charges. Automated Supplies Ordering - the machine emails us when it needs supplies. 

This in addition to the information available via PrintSolv. Easy to use scanning, and simple mis-feed resolution with "live" video walking the end user through the process. 

And this is as good as it gets: 

“Greg, I just wanted to say that we love the CM8060...it prints consistently and much faster than the Konica c500. I’ve noticed it handles its tasks much better. I can scan large document sets to myself via email while it is printing other jobs, and continue to scan while it is still processing the previous scan batch – all with no hiccups. Your response time to our requests has also been very good. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to work with the HP Edgeline..." 

9. The Hardware Begins to Disappear; Customers get Smarter - Machines are all the same but people still care 

Are clients smarter? As the commoditization of output devices continues, does it really matter if there is a little blue label that says "HP" on your printer? 

Clients are looking for more - more help, more business, more control, more vision...but they are not in our industry, they wake up in the morning thinking about their business model, not printers, copiers or Managed Print Services. So, how can they be "smarter" then us? Maybe more informed then they use to be, but they should never be smarter then us - ever. 

I've  found (once again) the smart clients are the ones who understand that they do not know everything and need to surround themselves with experts. Experts who posses business acumen, people who are not walking spec sheets. 

10. Gas Prices/Mortgage and Credit Crunch - The Gas Price restricted the miles I would travel, the Mortgage crisis eliminated two of our largest customers, the Credit tumble slowed or delayed commercial purchasing decisions - but all of these factors shot the interest in Managed Print Services through the roof. 

11. Managed Print Services - Changing the copier model and creating another. The Photizo Group, as do I, call them the Hybrid Dealers

12. Bill Caskey Bryan Neale and Brooke Green - These folks are on the cutting edge when it comes to Selling and the sales process, the mental attitudes and beliefs needed to succeed. And they are overall good people. 

13. Web 3.0 - The Death of Print? I still have not figured out Web 2.0 and now there is talk of the Web 3.0. The next decade will be the decade when printing is truly redefined into something we can not fathom today. 

 It should be fun.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Photizo Group Appoints Datum Inc. to Represent MPS Leader in Japan

Press Release - North America, Europe and now Japan -

Expands industry-leading MPS research and consulting services for Asian market

Lexington, KY ­­– December 17, 2008 – Photizo Group and Datum Inc. announced an agency agreement to make Datum the exclusive distributor in Japan for the Photizo Group’s information products and services. The agreement goes into effect immediately.

The Photizo Group is the leading provider of consulting and multi-client research services for the Managed Print Services (MPS) market. Eight of the top ten firms in the imaging industry are Photizo Group clients, and the company has established itself as the authority on this rapidly growing segment of the imaging industry. The exclusive Photizo Managed Print Services tracking studies for North America and Western Europe are the only on-going research of its kind targeting the MPS market. Datum is an established research and consultancy company based in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in providing IT marketing information to Japanese companies requiring data on overseas markets.

"This agreement with the Photizo Group provides clients with unique insight into the market and opportunity for outsourcing hardcopy fleets under Managed Services contracts," commented Shuji Hirooka, President of Datum Inc. "Our customers will now have access to the best insight and expertise on this key growth market, with full back-up and support available in their home country."

Photizo Group CEO Ed Crowley added: "We are excited to be partnering with Datum Inc. and look forward to ensuring our Japanese customers receive the most insightful information in the Managed Print Services market backed up by a full service support operation based in Tokyo."

# # #

About The Photizo Group

The Photizo Group is the market’s main source for ongoing business intelligence about the rapidly growing opportunity of Managed Print Services. Since its landmark MPS study released in April 2008 to ongoing research covering North America and Europe, Photizo has emerged as a leader in dynamic business intelligence about the MPS market. Clients include eight of the top ten imaging manufacturers in the digital marketplace. Vendors, dealers and enterprises can find MPS information and resources at http://www.managed-print-services.com.



“Photizo” is a trademark of the Photizo Group. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


HP Printers Sold in Iran - The Unholy Alliance -

"HP has a policy of complete compliance with all US export laws.", David Shane, a spokesman for the HP.

He would not say whether HP plans to stop sales of its printers in Iran.

In a story first broken by
Farah Stockman, at the Boston Globe, and now breaking all over the internet, HP, through a third party distributor, Redington Gulf is reported to be selling printers in Iran.

Lot's of printers.

According to sources withing Iran, HP holds 41% of the printer market, this, in the face of a comprehensive embargo that prohibits HP from sending its products to Iran.

There is a good argument that selling consumer based goods may not tip over into a national security issue, but neither do cigars and rum.

Indeed, HP is not breaking any laws.

Products being supplied to Iran are not likely to be mentioned in a specific "ban" list and the third party distributor provides insulation from legal harm. Of course, if HP is sufficiently aware of Redington Gulf's sales in Iran, it may be in violation of US export laws.

Andrew DeSouza - US Treasury Department, said US companies are barred from selling their goods to a distributor if they have "knowledge or reason to know" that the goods are intended for Iran.

But what of the publicity damage? Xerox may provide answer.

After reviewing the Xerox website in February of 2006, SEC contacted Xerox, asking about the third-party distributors Xerox used to sell its copiers in Iran, Sudan, and Syria.

"We note from your website that you may have operations associated with Iran, Syria, and Sudan, which are identified as state sponsors of terrorism by the US State Department and subject to economic sanctions imposed," stated the letter from Cecilia D. Blye, chief of the SEC's Office of Global Security Risk. "We note also a public media report that Xerox products are sold in Iran."

Xerox said they had entered into legal distribution agreements with foreign distributors who were within their legal rights to sell in Iran.

By August, Xerox announced an end to the those distributor agreements.

HP is on the right side of the law on this. Whether Hurd acquiesces to the predictable media attention remains to been seen.

Sourced article, Boston Globe by
Farah Stockman, here.

Click to email me.


Ricoh In Times Square - Wind and Light, wind and light


Its "green", has windmills, solar panels, and is printed...

Ricoh is putting the first green, self powering billboard in Times Square - the $3 million sign will be completely powered by wind and sun.

The eco-board weighs in at 35,000 pounds and will be 55 feet off the ground at 3 Times Square, wrapping around the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street.

The sign will be the first of its kind on Times square. Ricoh has a similar board in Japan.

Fitted with 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, Ricoh spokes person, Ron Potosky, says the unit will produce enough electricity to power six homes for a year. This green "spectacular" also eliminates 18 tons of carbon released into the atmosphere each year.

Passive Sign -

This is a "passive" sign - it is not populated with bulbs or light-emitting diodes. 16, 300-watt floodlights will illuminate custom-printed opaque vinyl sheeting.


Bullish on MFP's? Good News in a World of Bears?


"By leveraging the multi-functional devices (MFDs) they already own with software that expands its capabilities, you can add measurable value to your clients’ existing investments. More importantly, you can build loyalty by helping them to be successful in times that are as challenging for them as they are for you." - Laurel B Sanders

Great report over at imageSource Magazine, here.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Death of the Copier Sales Person - The Return


I wrote about the struggles of a copier sales person back in August.

As the year comes to a close, I am vividly reminded how difficult Selling is by a string of posts over on Copytechnet.com- one simple transaction through the eyes of a customer.

I think anyone can view the string at "First time copier buyer, need advice.." - I will summarize.

It seems that a small software developer finds itself with some extra money at year's end. In an effort to shelter some of this excess, capital investment(s) back into the company abound -

From the forum:

"...originally they wanted to buy a color laser printer (HP) and a document scanner (Fujitsu). then they said that it would nice to have a copier in the office. so I did some research, and came to the conclusion (right or wrong I am not sure) that a color multifunction will be best.
the speed requirement also came from them.

it is probably an overkill, but the owner needs to spend money by the end of the year (also getting three 52" LCD TVs, server, laptops, phone system expansion, etc)..."

The poster has been charged with "making the decision" on a new copier 0r printer or scanner based on a $7,000 budget and some rudimentary specifications dictated by the "owner"(oblivious to print, copy, scan and the overall impact to the bottom line of each).

After at least three separate "flip-flops" the company's final decision was to go with a Kyocera TASKalfa 400ci color system. The Kyocera was ordered without a service agreement.

The decision evolved through single function color laser with a separate scanning unit, Canon and Ricoh color, finally to the Kyocera.

In the final act of this odyssey, I posted the following comment:


"AVI,

I must commend you for posting the history of your transaction - waving your dirty laundry out like that is exceptional, even in the age of "internet anonymity"

Congratulations should also be extended to your "boss" and CFO - for sheltering a few thousand dollars at year end.

Unfortunately, this is as far as the congrats will go...I personally have not been involved with a "simple" transaction like this for over a year now, and I find myself even more relieved after witnessing your company's decision process - indeed, I even feel a little sorry for you.

Put aside manufacturer representations, "dual scan" capabilities, service, output quality or even first copy out times(gag) - the internal PROCESS you let us view is invaluable.

Your company just helped commoditize an industry.

You say:

"I highly recommended that we get a maint contract, and if we do not want to, we should just get a plain color printer, but both the owner and the CFO overruled me... They want to "control their costs".

it is their money after all.

-avi"

Again, thank you for your transparency.

I know I am not the only one shaking my head as I read your post - technician, sales or end-user, I am sure that most of us have seen this too many times - usually AFTER the purchase, coming in to clean up the mess, debate why the service call call is so expensive, and then decide to never deal with a small-time, yahoo again.

But, no service agreement in order to "control their costs" ? It's so laughable, I won't even bother going into it.

By the way, what kind of Kyocera dealer sells his product without a service agreement? Is this the ilk that become Kyocera dealers? Does Kyocera certify anyone with "a pulse"?

Customers like this cheapen the industry and the talent within, but primarily because we inside the industry allow it. Whoever sold this machine saw a quick 6k out the door before year end - no concern about customer service, no discussion of "true" costs, no value-add.

However, one of the smartest sales managers I have had the privilege to work with once said, "...we tend over complicate this. Sometimes, a sale is just a sale..."

Yeah, sometimes you need to dumb it down, hold your nose, and take the order...


See also,

Damn The Torpedoes, Fire Your Customers!



Click to email me.




Saturday, December 27, 2008

Amazon Declares - Best Ever Season???


The Death of Print, may be a little premature...

Until you see that Amazon's best season, has little to do with books.

AMAZON called its 2008 holiday shopping season "the best ever," despite a series of predictions that even online sales would weaken as US consumers cut back amid the recession.

Amazon said that on its peak day, December 15, it received more than 6.3 million orders, at a record pace of 72.9 items per second.

This is a surprise of sorts, when viewed through the prism of "recession".

Amazon said top-sellers from November 15 through December 19 included Nintendo's Wii, which dominated the videogame category.

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Australia:

"...Among toys, the best-sellers included Jakks Pacific's Eyeclops night-vision goggles. In the electronics category, Samsung Electronics’ 52-inch LCD High-Definition television and Apple's 8-gigabyte iPod Touch led the gains.

Also a strong seller was Acer's Aspire One 8.9-inch netbook. The devices, which have little processing power, screens between nine and 12 inches wide diagonally and typically cost less than $US500 ($729), have been rising in popularity, according to technology-research firm iSupply.

Among DVDs, Amazon said Wall-E, The Dark Knight for Blu-ray and The Dark Knight sold well. Top sellers in books included The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling, and two works by Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

Amazon didn't comment on its selling prices or margins for the 2008 holiday season..."


Not a mention of books or the Kindle.

Damn The Torpedoes, Fire Your Customers!


Well, just the customers who are wrong, and will not take your advice..

I hope good Admiral Farragut is not spinning in his grave over my adulteration of his famous quote - it just seems fitting, especially when sailing through today's torpedo filled, economic seas.

Ken Stewart has a great post, The Customer Is NOT Always Right! where he expresses the need to steer clear of certain customers and sometimes make a few walk the plank.

But that is just the surface subject of his post.

I read the underlying message as "Know thyself, to thy own self, be true..." - yes, I know, I just mixed The Oracle at Delphi and Shakespeare, but you get the point, hopefully.

In order to steer clear bad customers and to fire clients, we must posses a level of confidence gained after knowing what it is that we do best and who we like to "hang around".

Life is short. Why not surround yourself with clients(or friends, or family members)that have the same ideas and ideals as you?

Makes sense, don't it?

Now, Damn The Torpedoes, march into your Sales Manager's office and tell him you are firing the three most irritating customers you have...er...well...ok, wait...before doing that, update your resume...

Check These Out:

The Death of The Copier Sales Person




The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"



A Return to Selling



The Single Most Important Tool In Managed Print Services





Friday, December 26, 2008

Bill's Pay Millions for Xerox Multifunction Printers

Buffalo Bills like Xerox


Although the team is off until the beginning of next season, at least the print production segment is being handled.

The Buffalo Bills have renewed a multimillion-dollar, 60 month long contract naming Xerox Corp. the team's preferred print services provider.

The big "X" has been with the Bills for 20 years.

According to Xerox, the Bills use the company's color multifunction printers, including the WorkCenter 7665.

In addition, the renewal includes short term rentals of Xerox's WorkCentre MFPs and Xerox's Phaser colour printers used during summer training camps at St John Fisher College in Rochester, USA.

The team's print production area will output playbooks and half-time reports in short time with digital production presses such as the DocuColor 7000AP Digital Press.

According to reports, an on-site Xerox document adviser insures the print unit is operational at all times.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ricoh Introduces Xythos Enterprise Document Manager Solution


Press Release
RiSVP Member Software to Enhance Collaboration for the Enterprise

WEST CALDWELL, N.J., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Ricoh Americas Corporation, a leading provider of digital office equipment, today announced the availability of the Xythos Enterprise Document Manager on-premise document management and collaboration software to the Ricoh sales channel through its recently introduced Ricoh Independent Solutions Vendor Program (RiSVP).

Xythos Enterprise Document Manager empowers distributed organizations to safely access, manage and share content over the web. The solution enables users to easily scan, index, search and securely store any type of document, collaborate around them using the latest Web 2.0 technology and manage them throughout their lifecycle. Enhanced for Ricoh, the Xythos Connector provides the ability to scan directly from most Ricoh multifunction products (MFPs) to Enterprise Document Manager without intermediate products or hardware devices.

"We have built a close relationship with Ricoh and look forward to engaging with the Ricoh channel to further drive enterprise document management solutions in the marketplace," said Ed Miller, chief executive officer, Xythos. "We offer a flexible and scalable option for Ricoh customers seeking a solution that easily integrates with their existing environment."

One of three Ricoh Alliance programs, RiSVP, developed in cooperation with Ricoh solution partners and Ricoh's direct and dealer channels, focuses on two key areas: expansion of channel marketing opportunities for RiSVP members and simplifying solution access for Ricoh sales channels. By providing RiSVP member products directly from Ricoh, the direct and dealer channels have more opportunities for new revenue growth combined and simplified sales operations. In turn, RiSVP members enjoy faster and greater financial return on the investments they have made in developing solutions that when combined with Ricoh's award-winning product portfolio address customers' key concerns.

"Our enhanced relationship with Xythos underscores our commitment to empower customers' holistic approach to enterprise document management," said Hede Nonaka, executive vice president, Ricoh Americas Corporation. "The ease of sharing data and documents is a key pillar in any document management initiative. Included in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Content Management(1), Xythos is a world-class solutions provider and its products will further demonstrate their value through successful implementations with Ricoh customers."

For more information on RiSVP, please visit www.ricohalliances.com.

(1)Gartner "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management"; Karen M. Shegda, Toby Bell, Kenneth Chin, Mark R. Gilbert, Mick MacComascaigh; September 23, 2008

About Xythos Software

Xythos Software is a subsidiary of Blackboard Inc. and a leading developer of document management and collaboration software. Its online services and products are licensed to millions of users at commercial, education and government organizations around the world for managing and sharing content throughout its lifecycle. Information about Xythos' complete range of products and services can be accessed on the World Wide Web at www.xythos.com.

About Ricoh Americas Corporation

Ricoh Americas Corporation, headquartered in West Caldwell, N.J., is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., the 72-year-old leading supplier of office automation equipment and electronics, with fiscal year 2007 sales in excess of $22 billion, a 7.3 percent increase over the previous year.

Ricoh Americas Corporation is a leading provider of document solutions. Ricoh's fully integrated hardware and software products help businesses share information efficiently and effectively by enabling customers to control the input, management and output of documents.

Ricoh Americas Corporation directly or through its network of authorized dealers markets and distributes products in North, Central and South America. Information about Ricoh's complete range of products and services can be accessed on the World Wide Web at www.ricoh-usa.com.

The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2008 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.

Ricoh Web Site: www.ricoh-usa.com

Contact: Linda Montefusco Alyson Buck
Ricoh Americas Corporation Peppercom
(973) 882-2172 (212) 931-6122
Linda.Montefusco@ricoh-usa.com abuck@peppercom.com

Website: http://www.ricoh-usa.com/


The Death of The Sale: It's Called a Free Market - Doesn't Mean Everything is Free of Charge


"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something..."

Bailouts are not Loans - did you read your mortgage documents? You did? Good, than you know what "ARM" stands for, correct?

There is a great post over at the Caskey blog, here it's about Free Markets, recession and "You, Incorporated."

Bill really got me going on the subject of whining and feeling sorry for yourself and how easy it is to become a "victim".

As an aside, I have been listening to The Advanced Selling Podcast since the beginning, some 2-3 years ago; Bill and Bryan have really good advice and a pleasant, mid-west style delivery - I like it. Go Check it out.

Here is my full article :

The Death of The Sale: It's Called a Free Market - Doesn't Mean Everything is Free of Charge

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Equitrac Professional Print Management and Cost Recovery Solution


"Today's Equitrac solutions are secure enterprise level management tools that are increasing productivity and reducing print waste in support of dual initiatives to maintain the bottom-line and be environmentally friendly," said Michael Rich, CEO of Equitrac Corporation. "In a challenging economy, these initiatives rise in importance. Equitrac remains committed to working with its partners and customers to leverage our experience and technology innovation to deliver solutions that streamline and centralize print and cost management throughout the networked print environment."

Press Release here.

Some of the highlights, Equitrac Professional 5.2.3 :


Increased productivity

-- WAN Optimization - For multi-office, distributed deployments of Equitrac Professional, this feature improves print workflows by allowing IT to configure caching options and the use of locally configured servers.

-- Pop-up tracking of print processes - A new status tool will help administrators evaluate the status of print requests direct from the desktop. The pop-up gives a complete view of all steps and decision points in the print job progression.

-- Microsoft Active Directory Synchronization - New attributes are available for synchronization with MS Active Directory, such as phone extensions, locations and user class association.

Enterprise-class document scanning and output:

-- A default network addressable "Home" folder has been added to this latest version of Equitrac Professional to support efficient and quick scanning. Home folder association can be controlled via the System Management console, file import and Microsoft Active Directory synchronization.

-- Scanned document output type conversion - Equitrac Document Capture can now be configured to offer document output type conversion to end users. Whether an MFP scans as PDF or TIFF files, this latest version of Equitrac Professional can convert the final output to PDF, Multi-Page TIFF, Single-Page TIFFs, JPEG, or PNG file formats.

-- Improved scan workflows - Site administrators can now predefine scan workflows as scan aliases for efficient selection at TouchPoint Consoles. These aliases can be customized to specific business requirements and are also customizable to individual user classes.

Expanded Partner Support

-- Canon - Equitrac Professional 5.2.3 adds extended copy attribute support for older version Canon printers. This support will allow customers to implement print and cost recovery management solutions across a printer network that includes both older Canon MFPs that don't currently support extended copy attributes through the copy cable, and newer model Canon MFPs. This new feature enhances productivity and more effective cost management by enabling tracking that discerns black/white vs. color print jobs and includes device log readings and synchronization of the data with TouchPoint sessions.

-- Equitrac Embedded for eCopy - eCopy Scan Station client support has been enhanced to include full authentication and roaming user profiles, favorites and history. In addition, Equitrac Professional version 5.2.3 adds support for the recently released eCopy Cost Recovery Protocol version 3 that features Single Sign On (SSO). This feature is available for Equitrac Embedded for eCopy and TouchPoint Consoles.

-- EFI SendMe and IKON DocSend - This embedded option allows for EFI SendMe and IKON DocSend users to log-in, allocate billing information and conduct a scan right at the EFI or IKON device.


SOURCE: Equitrac

Who Are They Calling On?

Over at ChangeForge, Max Rosenthal has written an interesting article about selling and contacting at the right level - the C-Level...I have re-published below, and you can find the original and more from Max and Ken Stewart at ChangeForge.


Who Are They Calling On?

Published by Max Rosenthal at 10:15 pm under Business, Change, Culture, Solutions Selling

At a recent sales manager executive training meeting, I asked the question, “Are your reps calling on the executive level decision maker?” The hands ceremoniously shot up in compliance. I then rhetorically asked, “Who do you think you are fooling?”

We have been down this familiar path too many times before. At the most fundamental level we all know that we need to present first to the decision maker. The decision maker must initially see the potential of our services being a fit. And now through the power of clairvoyance, I am betting that little voice in your head is whispering something like:
  • “Normally I would agree but he does not know our marketplace in X state.”
  • “It is IT that makes the decision on the solution we offer.”
  • “The way we do it is to start at the ground level and then work up the ladder to the decision maker. That way we have developed our case ahead of time.”
  • “Well, my tenured reps do, but I have a bunch of newbies who do not have that type of experience yet.”
  • “You know, everyone still thinks of us as just a copier company. Our contacts will not like it if we go over their heads to the CFO.”
  • “The CFO is not interested” or “The CFO delegates these types of things to the to decide and merely rubber stamps it.”

The following two analogies help to clarify my position:

A six-year old child is savvy in asking his father for a new tool for the “family” toolbox. He prepares a carefully thought-out argument for a new power drill that works as a screwdriver, too. He purposely avoids asking his mother, who believes the tool is too dangerous for his small hands. Although he knows he cannot get past this reality, he hopes his father will agree with the clarity of his argument, relent and then buy the drill (which, of course, he wants too, because it will make his jobs around the house a lot easier).

Maybe just this one time, the father will give in and make the decision without discussing it with the child’s mother first. The truth is that even though the father completely agrees with the child — a new power drill is something the whole family would benefit from — he knows that these decisions require buy-in from the mother.

One of two things happens next. Mother will not share the logic and there will be no new drill. Or, she requires the entire presentation to begin anew, requiring the child (and father in this example) to explain, from the beginning, why the power drill is necessary when the old handheld screwdriver works just fine. Time is wasted. Had the “decision maker” been involved in the initial approach, the toolbox would be the home of a new power drill and the child would be well on the way to scheming his next desired toy.

If you are not into new power tools, consider this analogy:

When a case is brought to court, how effective would it be to plead to the court reporter? Sure, the court reporter needs to hear everything that is presented and will ask for clarity if necessary, but ultimately, no judgment can be made without the judge. Furthermore, the reporter has no effective power in the final outcome. It is only the judge who has the authority to decide the case, as well as the way the case is argued.

As sales managers, one of our top priorities is to discipline our reps to call on qualified opportunities and, therefore, to condense the time getting the order closed. The less time spent on any one deal equates to more time to stuff the pipeline. While it is important to have buy-in from others in the company, the parties that need to be at the initial meeting(s) are those who have the authority “to sign on the line that is dotted.” I cannot stress that enough.

So I will say it with a little more flare — if you do not have an executive level decision maker at your initial sales call, you are just spinning your wheels and falling prey to the most addictive and rampant sales drug on the street — “hope-ium.” Only until you have the agreement of this person or people do you have a qualified sales opportunity. Our job as sales managers is to guide, empower and teach our reps. Teaching them this one idea and helping them to understand it quickly should be one of your primary initiatives.

If you are still not completely sold on this idea, consider this scenario: We have two competing sales reps calling on the same six suspect companies. Rep “A” blissfully subscribes to any one of the six “voices” stated earlier and will schedule an appointment with just about anyone in the company willing to meet. As a result, he (or she) has convinced himself that he is productive and, for a short while, is perceived to be busy. However, he has only created the illusion of being busy — performing the right strategies, just at the wrong time.

With the exception of pre-call company research, it is a criminal use of time to be conducting on-site needs analyses, user interviews and any other activity that creates a falsely engorged sales funnel. Think of a snake after it ingests a fat rat. It looks so full that it will soon burst. However, time passes and that swollen bulge has not moved; it just sits there decaying with rot; nothing is coming out the other end.

On the other hand, the mantra of Rep “B” is to maximize the time calling on qualified prospects and he believes that this is systematically fulfilled by scheduling his first meeting with the CFO. He is not buried in piles of paperwork or onsite at a prospect’s company delivering unpaid consulting advice. In fact, although he thoroughly researches the company he is to meet with, he goes no further until both sides mutually agree on the potential of an engagement.

Click to enlarge the image and tell me which style rep you would want to help you hit your numbers.

And my final question: Currently, which style most resembles your team?



Max Rosenthal As the rules of business change, thinking must change as well. For us sales professionals, I believe antiquated thinking will only lead to frustration, unhappy clients and a dwarfed income. The purpose of my blogs is to provoke a deeper level of thought about achievement in business and to challenge the comfort zone in order to provide a new level of selling and lifestyle.

Max always welcomes questions and comments. Visit Max on LinkedIn.com



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remote Control Meter Read Systems - Big Brother?

12/21/08

"Big Brother" is watching the meters on your MFP, MFD, SMFP - but is it a bad thing?

Is the phrase "Big Brother" taking on a more accepted meaning?

London has approximately 10,000 closed circuit TV cameras all over the city.

It appears that all these cameras have little, if any effect in reducing crime.

I was reading a post over at Corey's site, "Why Legislating Behavior Never Works". In this article, he describes California's legislative attempts to bridle each households temperature through radio controlled thermostats.

Further, the document 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, available at http://tinyurl.com/225htc, outlines the mandatory use of Programmable Communicating Thermostats(PCT) on page 64:

"Upon receiving an emergency signal, the PCT shall respond to commands contained in the emergency signal, including changing the set-point by any number of degrees or to a specific temperature set-point. The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events."

"...The PCT specifications require them(home builders and home owners) to include a "non-removable Radio Data System device that is compatible with the default statewide DR (Demand Response) communications system, which can be used by utilities to send price and emergency signals..."

Final adoption of the revised standards is scheduled by April 2009.

As it is at Home, so it Shall Be at Work?

I believe that consumer's likes and dislikes at home, translate into behavior and expectations in the work place.

I expect a negative response to the State installing a remote control device to regulate or shut off one's heat(and who is to say the same will not be done for electricity, water, etc.). I would also foresee this negative feeling to be projected at the office.

I would expect resistance - and yet I have seen little concern. Of course, I am in California so...

Apply this to the CPC model -

Invoice and billing complaints are expected to be reduced by accurately recording monthly usage levels, automatically and remotely - no more phone or fax-in meter reads, and especially no more "estimated meter reads". And if a copy of the meter reads are sent to the client, transparency is achieved.

But what happens when a dispute regarding response time does occur? Sure, the meter reads are correct, but what if you(the client) feel slighted by the fact that your service technician attempted to sell your employees Gucci knock-off's while fixing your Canon?



Or, color quality is not what was represented during the sales cycle, this never happens, but let's pretend. You refuse to pay for monthly service until your complaint is resolved. One day, it may be easy enough for the vendor to send a message down turning off your copier, your fax, your printer(s), your scanning capabilities, your fleet.

Does this sound a little like the ability your cable or wireless services currently hold?

Things That Make You Go, Huh?

Yes, yes, I know your "firewall".

Safe and sound behind IT implemented security layers, your MFPs will hum along as long as you like, even if you, the client, never pay a penny for service, correct?

There is this new thing out, it's called "wireless". The field filled not only with players like, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint but also Equitrac, Ricoh, and Kycera.

Check this out, Equitrac Corporation Announces Patent On TelemeTrac(TM).


And this little device is a remote meter read solution for utilities, designed and built by none other than, Ricoh.


From Kycera - Kyocera 200 M2M Module and Verizon Wireless' Express Network® Selected by Comverge for PPL Electric Utilities' Real-Time Automated Meter Reading Upgrade.



Expand into Green 
    Do they manage print jobs, directing color to the most efficient device? 
    Do they recycle all the time?
    Are all the devices on the network set to duplex as a default? 
    Are they all Energy Star compliant? 
    Do they even know what size shoe the company wears when leaving its Carbon Footprint? Perhaps your client is simply printing too much 
     Tsk, tsk...but not to worry, all will be taken care of... 
     The State can see everything and The State is not amused - "click", your
    "...output devices have been disabled until your Carbon Footprint is in compliance with State, Federal and Global Green requirements set forth in the Copenhagen Accord of 2009. Thank you and have a nice day."
    None of this is happening now -
    There is little, if any, "bi-directional" communication occurring today between your copiers/output devices and the manufacturers/vendors/partners. I'm just asking questions, just questions...nothing more. I swear, I won't ask about your mother.
     
    Click to email me. 

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    Things That Make Us Go...ummmmm....


    I am currently working on my "12 Greatest Events of 2008" list...what about you?

    It's year end.

    Your manager is asking for Q1 '09 and the next 12 month forecast, complete with MIF rollover, net new and target accounts.

    Or maybe your sales people are struggling with 2009 planning and forecasting.

    But what about you and your PERSONAL goals - like, read a book this year or learn how to swim...or ride a bike.

    It is said, before you can plan ahead, you must first reflect on the past - so -

    what was 2008 like for you? What happened last year that changed your life?

    Post it. Let me know.


    Konica Minolta Named to the InfoWorld 100

    Press release follows - This award recognizes Konica Minolta’s successful implementation of the MyKonicaMinolta.com 2.0 Portal Initiative (MKM 2.0). Not too shabby for a copier manufacturer to be honored for an innovative IT project.


    NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Ramsey, NJ, United States, 12/15/2008 - Annual Award highlights Konica Minolta’s innovative use of enterprise technology.


    Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced that it has been named in the InfoWorld 100, InfoWorld’s highest honor. The InfoWorld 100 Awards honor companies for IT projects that exemplify intelligent, creative uses of technology to meet business and technical objectives.

    The award recognizes Konica Minolta’s successful implementation of the MyKonicaMinolta.com 2.0 Portal Initiative (MKM 2.0), led by Nelson Lin, Vice President, Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

    MyKonicaMinolta.com (MKM), Konica Minolta’s multi-faceted online employee/dealer portal application, provides users a flexible and scalable technology framework that significantly impacts and changes web development and delivery capabilities. The secure MKM 2.0 portal extends information, services and business processes to 8,000 employees and 15,000 business partners 24X7. Within this portal, users can choose when, where and how they wish to interact and conduct business with Konica Minolta. Available portal content focuses on information and business applications that support the sales and service of technology leading Konica Minolta office products and solutions.

    This year, InfoWorld chose the top 100 IT projects that were inspiring and energizing with the most valuable organizational benefits. The InfoWorld 100 Awards are held annually by the InfoWorld Media Group, who helps Senior IT Decision Makers choose the right technology for business impact at different organizations. Konica Minolta was recognized by InfoWorld in the technology category on November 17, 2008; a complete list of the winners is available at InfoWorld online.

    "Breathing new life into outdated operations, advancing business goals with inventive use of technology -- this year's winners demonstrate, once again, that innovative, business-minded IT is the lifeblood of successful organizations," said Jason Snyder, Senior Editor for InfoWorld.

    “At the outset, the IT department at Konica Minolta wanted to provide employees with a comprehensive technology platform that addressed pain points in a proactive manner,” said Lin. “The effort between business and IT reflects the notion of integrating technologies with enterprise applications to create a new company technology platform that has benefited stakeholders, business advisory groups, internal employees and management alike. We are truly proud to be recognized for this outstanding effort.”

    Watch the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on January 1st at 1.00p EST on CBS Sports.

    About Konica Minolta

    Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (kmbs.konicaminolta.us) is a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop. In 2008, Konica Minolta was recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys.

    About InfoWorld Media Group

    InfoWorld (infoworld.com) identifies and promotes emerging technology segments that add unique value for the organizations that implement them, as well as the vendors that provide those solutions. Using an integrated communications approach including online, events, research, and a continued investment in an independent Test Center, InfoWorld analysts and editors provide both hands-on analysis and evaluation, as well as expert commentary on issues surrounding emerging technologies and products.

    Konica Minolta is a trademark of Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

    Frank Tutalo Lois Paul and Partners P: +1 781.782.5761 - E: ftutalo[.]lpp.com.



    360° Digital Camera

    Document your Site Surveys with this cool camera from Giroptic.

    You can capture complete 360 degree pictures.

    Scan a room, upload the video, link it to a spot on a floor plan and now you have a virtual walk-thru to present to your customer.

    See doorways, loading docks, proximity to cubes and offices, power outlets, etc. And even your smiling cli
    ent utilizing one of your solutions.

    Bubble
    Scope and Bubble Blogs -

    Same type of 360 degree camera, different manufacturer - and different applications. Check this collection of "Bubbles".

    Nifty-Keno...




    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Canon to Lay Off 1,200 - In Japan

    Camera's are Canon's "sweet-spot", right?

    Reports say Canon is laying off 1,200 "contract" workers - workers that are not on the company payroll but get pay through accounts payable, on a temporary contract.

    At first blush, this does not seem as bad as laying off employees of the company - it is similar to firing your pool guy.

    But - Canon has been changing employment structures for years. Today, every third Japanese employee is on a temporary contract.

    Japanese efficiency.

    Posted at The Earth Times

    Sanyo and Panasonic -

    Panasonic gets the "ok" to take Sanyo.

    The impact of this merger does not carry the same significance as the RiKon deal, but still worth a mention- it's a nine billion dollar deal.

    The takeover also alludes a more financial and timing decision between
    cash rich Panasonic and the primary Sanyo stake-holders - financial houses, Goldman Sachs Group, Sanyo Electric, Daiwa Securities SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.

    "This shows that Goldman is in need of cash and wants to recoup its investment quickly," said Shigeo Kikuchi, an analyst at Takagi Securities in Tokyo, to Bloomberg News. "This is a symbolic event in this recession. Whoever has cash is strong."

    Good article here, by Chad Berndtson, ChannelWeb.

    With the assimilation of Sanyo, Panasonic bolsters it's consumer electronic presence - could this have an effect on Panasonic's copier and printer business? A "spin-off" perhaps?



    Fires, Landslides, Floods, Blizzards, Earthquakes and VAR's

    So Cali is crazy nuts when it comes to "uncontrollable and unforeseeable acts of nature"

    An article over at ChannelWeb reports on how one of our local VAR's is responding to the latest fires here.

    His house was on the news, because his neighbor used a pump to pull water out of his pool, and save houses around his.

    That was just a few weeks ago - today, 26 inches of snow.

    I needed to be at a "mandatory" bid-meeting at 9:00 AM. The mountains had the biggest snow fall since 1997 over the past two days. I woke to a buried Land Rover and no electricity, at 5,000 feet above and 45 minutes away from the meeting.

    Leaving a voice mail apparently shed an extra 90 minutes grace in my direction - I began to dig the Rover out.

    With a great deal of help from two of my colleagues, one racing in from Orange County one "stalling" the sign-in, I ended up getting to the meeting although my co-worker signed in for us.(to be known from this day forward as "Speed")

    Over 70 people at this bid-meeting - I am contemplating a detailed article on the "benefits" of working with county/government purchasing types - let's just say, you never get to work "with" them, only "for" them...

    HP Q4 ConCall with Hurd

    Conference call on the 17th, with Hurd and Kathryn Huberty...highlights.

    Summary - Fourth Quarter Highlights

    Revenue totaled $33.6 billion, up 19% year-over-year or up 16% in constant currency from $28.3 million in 2007.

    - The firm generated 68% of its total revenue from outside the United States, revenue in EMEA was up 22%, the Americas increased 17%, and Asia-Pacific increased 14%.

    - Gross margin was 22.9%, down 180 basis points from 24.7% one year ago, driven primarily by the addition of EDS, which reduced gross margins by 140 basis points and, to a lesser extent, by a more normalized impact from commodity pricing compared with a year ago.
    -----

    - Imaging and Printing reported revenue of $7.5 billion, down 1% year-on-year as supplies revenue growth of 9% was offset by declines in Commercial and Consumer hardware revenue of 10% and 21% respectively.

    - Operating margin increased 100 basis points to 15.5% as strong Supplies growth and cost reductions were partially offset by discounting.

    - The firm gained share while total printer units were down 8% and Consumer and Commercial printer hardware units declined 8% and 9%, respectively.

    - Revenue in HP Software grew 13% to $855 million and BTO outgrew its primarily competitors, increasing 15% from the prior year.

    - Other software, which includes Open Call, Business Intelligence, and Information Management, grew 1% as the strength in the information management business was offset by declines in Open call.

    - Software posted operating profit of $195 million or 22.8% of revenue.

    - HP Services, with the addition of EDS, doubled its revenue to $8.6 billion and reported solid operating profit of $920 million or 10.6% of revenue.

    - For the period between the August 26 acquisition date and October 31, EDS delivered revenue of $3.9 billion as customers across all regions continue to respond favorably to the combined services business.

    - Demand remains solid, with a healthy mix of new and existing customers and integration plans are on track as the firm eliminated over 2,300 positions in connection with the EDS integration.

    - HP Financial Services had revenue of $691 million, up 5% year-over-year, and generated operating margin of 7.4%.

    - The firm continue to apply the same rigorous process for assessing the creditworthiness of its customers and the quality of its receivables.

    Fiscal 2009 Outlook:

    - The firm expects revenue of approximately $32 to $32.5 billion in the first quarter and approximately $127.5 to $130 billion for the full year.
    - It plans to cut over $1 billion on a constant currency basis from the cost structure in 2009.

    Brian Alexander (Raymond James): In IPG, what''s happening to the installed base in Consumer and Commercial hardware in light of the unit declines?

    Mark V. Hurd:The installed base is staying installed longer. That''s clearly what''s going on and you can see us gaining share. We believe our installed base is sort of - depending on what country and what segment and what price category - we believe we''re doing quite well.

    Certainly, you''re seeing a trend towards wireless in the home, which in some cases has fewer units doing just as much printing as the home used to, so for us, that''s not necessarily a bad answer. We sort of like the answer, where we can sell less hardware to effectively print as much as the ecosystem has been printing.

    We have to be cautious here because when we get too aggressive on price, in many cases we''re accelerating the movement of our own installed base. The reason we put the installed base out there is to print. So for us, lower unit growth is not necessarily bad unless it means we''re losing share.

    Catherine A. Lesjak: As long as people continue to print on HP printers so that we have a healthy installed base, having them hold on to their printers longer and delay upgrading is actually positive for earnings for us.

    They are buying the same amount of supplies and we are not having to make that kind of next investment in terms of placing a hardware unit that’s either at a negative margin or at a very low margin.


    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Print Management - Insight from Everything Channel's 2008 Print & Imaging Summit last week in Bonita Springs, Fla.

    Print Management Did Make a Splash in '08 - What about 2009?

    See this article:

    What Big-Spend End Users Want From Print & Imaging

    By Chad Berndtson, ChannelWeb
    1:53 PM EST Tue. Dec. 09, 2008


    The article is more specific, but here are some highlights -

    Budgets low, economy bad -

    "It's really important to our organizations to reduce the overall print spend," said Colleen Grant, manager of field support services at Interior Health Authority, Kelowna, B.C. "It's really difficult to manage that in any effective manner, and in 2009 we'll be analyzing what we should print and what we are printing."

    Print units are still being purchased, but:

    "We're down to looking at every single contract: here's how much we're paying you and how much less we can pay," said Anna Garrett, senior manager at Deloitte Services, of Wilton, Conn. "Our print and image fleet is probably about 4,500 printers or MFPs and about 700 copiers. We're looking to put more things together and reduce the number of devices. We've also done a horrible job of tracking what we print. In terms of spending, our copiers are always leased and our printers are always bought."

    Success story:

    "We've had all these functions centralized since 2001: all print, all mail, all our IT functions are under one organization, and we've seen some real benefits from that," said Lawrence McNish, director of document processing resources at American Family Mutual Insurance, of Madison, Wis.

    "We're headed for our second generation of MFPs and we partner quite heavily with our finance area and do a lot of tracking of end usage. We used to have 2,400 printers and 460 copiers and we have maybe 800 and about 225 now. We're seeing reductions because we're rightsizing -- it's not just for our budget."

    "Our copier and printer fleet from Xerox (NYSE:XRX) are all up for renewal this year," said Cynthia Meyer, senior buyer, IT, at Alliant Energy, a public utility holding company also headquartered in Madison.

    "We have less budget to spend like everyone else, but I don't like leases because of what happens at the end of a lease. I don't like the lack of flexibility. I'd like to put something in place that allows me to rent. Plus, even beyond putting ink on paper, you have plenty of issues with document management."

    Still measuring:

    "We're trying to get our arms around that, and trying to figure out our strategic direction," said Kieran O'Reilly, lead business systems analyst at UPS, Mahwah, N.J.

    "We're not looking to spend a lot of money -- basically to keep the lights on," added Greg Matkovich, strategic sourcing manager at The Home Depot, Atlanta. "We don't even know what we have, to be honest. Corporate [offices are] the Wild West, and we're looking to do a lot more self-assessment."

    Direct, Vendor, or VARs?

    "On our printer side, we had HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Lexmark both, and they're bought through resellers," said Greg Cunningham, manager of service strategies and optimization at IBM (NYSE: IBM) Canada, of Victoria, B.C. "It's my observation, though, that HP and Lexmark support the reseller and not necessarily the client. I don't see [client support] happening."

    A great deal of good information was shared at the summit - and it looks like Managed Print Services was discussed in detail, and is in place or top of mind for some of the "big" companies.

    Click to email me.





    HP Placed in Leaders Quadrant in “Magic Quadrant for MFPs and Printers” Report- ***UPDATE***

    According to Mike Feldman Vice President and General Manager
    Enterprise Sales and Services IPG-Americas

    Over at the HP’s Enterprise Printing Blog, you can read that HP is proud to find the Edgeline in Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant.


    *****Press Release *****

    HP Placed in “Leaders” Quadrant for Multifunction Products and Printers in Magic Quadrant Report

    PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 12, 2008

    HP today announced industry analyst firm Gartner, Inc. has positioned it in the Leaders Quadrant of its “Magic Quadrant for MFPs and Printers” report.(1)

    The Gartner Magic Quadrant positions vendors based on their “ability to execute” and their “completeness of vision.”

    According to the analyst firm, vendors are assessed on weighted criteria, including products or services, sales execution and pricing, market responsiveness and track record, marketing execution, customer experience, offering strategy, business model, and geographic strategy.

    “In my opinion, HP’s placement in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant in the leaders quadrant is a testament to our strong customer relationships and our ongoing commitment to deliver the most robust MFP solutions to customers all over the world,” said David Murphy, senior vice president, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “We will continue to set the industry standard by extending our MFP portfolio and complementing it with innovative software solutions that together deliver unequaled efficiency and performance for our customers.”

    According to the report, “Leaders are the most capable in providing MFPs, printers and the associated printing solutions and services that support the proper functioning of these devices in the broadest category of customer sites. Leaders have broad channel capability to deliver the products to customers where they want to procure them. Leaders consistently hold strong market share positions in both printers and MFPs worldwide and are capable of delivering nearly identical service levels in more of the regions where Gartner customers are located. Leaders tend to have the deepest global capability and the inventiveness and resources, skills and vision to deliver superior levels of support to existing and future customers globally. Leaders have a proven track record of channeling R&D initiatives into products and solutions that customers need.”

    HP’s complete portfolio of hardware, supplies, software and services offers both small to medium and enterprise customers a cost-effective, productivity-enhancing imaging and printing environment.

    About HP

    HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

    (1) Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for MFPs and Printers,” by Don Dixon, Sharon McNee, Vishal Tripathi, SJ Chae, Sergio Santos, Dec. 9, 2008.

    The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2008 by Gartner Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors’ measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

    © 2008 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    The 10 most influential leaders in business technology in 2008


    Last year he was "left off the list"...oh what a difference a year makes!


    Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief over at TechRepublic, in his blog listed his Top 10 Leaders - it's an interesting read.

    Number one with a "bullet" -

    "1. Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard

    Last year, I left Mark Hurd off the list and even remarked that Carly Fiorina deserved a lot of the credit for Hewlett-Packard’s resurgence because its roots are based in the HP-Compaq merger, which Fiorina had the guts to do. But, it becomes clearer every year that Hurd is making the right calls and motivating the various HP divisions to execute. HP is back on top in the PC market (having overtaken Dell), it is tied for the lead in servers with IBM, and it is even making strong moves in the networking market with its ProCurve gear. Plus, it bought EDS in 2008 to expand its footprint in IT services. All of the while, it has allowed its incumbent printer business to quietly take a back seat. That’s why HP is doing so well, even in the face of economic headwinds, and that’s why Hurd deserves the top spot on this list."


    And I found this post over at MediaWireWeekly from February, 2007 - "...He barely makes appearances, not to make a statement, but because he is actually huddled with his management team working..."

    Not bad, I doubt Hurd even cares which is cool too.



    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Last Year: Ricoh and IKON; Next Year HP and Canon? What the Heck?

    "I've advocated some kind of [agreement] between Canon and HP, modeled off the Fuji-Xerox joint venture," suggested Don Dixon, research director at Gartner, "They have complementary product sets and complementary capabilities from a best practice sense. Canon needs distribution and the IT affiliation that HP brings to the marketplace. There's a good fit there. Whether Canon has the temerity for something like that is the question." - Image & Print Summit, 2008.

    - Woah, Nelly!



    While researching for my "Best Darn End of Year Article", I ran into the 10 Burning Questions In Print And Imaging over at the ChannelWeb site.

    These questions reflect the hot topics at the Print and Imaging Summit from last week.

    All ten questions and the associated answers are ripe with direct information and heavily sprinkled with inferred strategic directions. I recommend you go there, read and digest.

    We all wonder how the the current economic woes will effect us, personally. As for Imaging and Print, Gartner Managing Vice President Peter Grant said, "...there are three areas that are going to be the lighthouses guiding you to the land of print cost savings -- smart MFPs, managed print services and software.

    I understand his belief about Managed Print Services and can see the software angle, but define for me what exactly a "smart" MFP could be or is.

    ***UPDATE*** 12.17.08

    Definition of a Smart MFP, SMFP:

    " A regular MFP can print, fax, copy and scan paper documents. An SMFP can also be programmed by a third party, the user or the technology provider to perform custom functions; easily integrates with office and enterprise applications; is management-friendly, with consistent architecture and user interface; works well on the network; and is based largely on open industry standards. SMFPs can perform usage tracking and other functions that help organizations actively manage their office printer/MFP fleets."
    -Source, Gartner.

    Who are the Heavy Hitters in MPS?-

    Specifically who are the players in the MPS arena and which ones are best positioned. At the Summit, Gartner Research Vice President Ken Weilerstein referenced the latest "Magic Quadrant" results stating Xerox and HP are the Leaders. IKON, Ricoh, Pitney Bowes, Lexmark, Canon and Toshiba are each mentioned in the "Qaudrant" report.

    Regarding an advantage the smaller, niche players may have over "big" players, "They [niche] may provide more personalized service and be more accommodating to your needs than large vendors," Weilerstein said.

    "I heard from one client who tried one of the big vendors that it took her five calls to get to the right person. It can be unwieldy."


    But to me, the big questions revolved around the IKON/Ricoh deal and Canon's response.

    What's To Become of Canon?-

    One of the biggest print and imaging stories of 2008 was Ricoh's acquisition of Ikon Office Solutions back in August for approximately $1.61 billion. And you also remember Ikon provided more than $1 billion of Canon's systems in North America.

    And according to reports from both Canon and Gartner, Canon is focused on expanding its national accounts, widening sales channels, more acquisitions and authorizing new Canon dealers to compensate for Ikon losses.

    "For the most part, the Canon box and the Ricoh box at certain levels are doing pretty much the same thing," said Don Dixon, research director at Gartner, "If you're an Ikon customer holding Canon hardware, well, you're in a great position to renegotiate your agreement. Canon is in a precarious position at the moment."

    What Will Be The Next Big Merger & Acquisition Event In The Space?-

    As you can imagine, one of the big subjects discussed officially and around various watering holes are the implications of Ricoh's acquisition of Ikon.

    There will be more M&A in 2009 as barely surviving firms run for cover from the current global recession.

    "We've advocated that there are too many players," suggested Dixon, "Some are staying in the marketplace but don't necessarily offer anything unique that customers are really asking for. They've just always been there."

    "Canon has a lot of money but is not showing well in managed print services -- their channels are getting attacked by their competitors," said Gartner Managing Vice President Peter Grant. "Ricoh is on a tear, moving forward -- it'll be interesting to see what Canon does now that it's back on the ropes."


    "I've advocated some kind of [agreement] between Canon and HP, modeled off the Fuji-Xerox joint venture," added Dixon, "They have complementary product sets and complementary capabilities from a best practice sense. Canon needs distribution and the IT affiliation that HP brings to the marketplace. There's a good fit there. Whether Canon has the temerity for something like that is the question."

    Could the above quote be an indicator of the "shape of things to come"?

    I am not sure, but those guys over at Gartner seem to have had a pretty good grip on things thus far, perhaps the crystal balls have been polished.

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    HP Offerings in Asia - Print Management Tools and Printers Aimed at Enterprise Customers

    HP Introduces New Range of Imaging and Printing Devices and Tailored Solutions to Accelerate Business Results for Enterprise Customers

    From SINGAPORE, via "Enhanced Online News":

    December 03, 2008 02:30 AM Eastern Time

    SINGAPORE--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--HP today announced its expanded portfolio of HP printers, imaging and printing devices, solutions and services to help enterprise customers boost productivity, security and environmental sustainability.

    “The expanded imaging and printing portfolio features a robust line-up of targeted, cost-effective solutions with the right mix services and devices to enterprise customers, helping them achieve better business results.”

    Building on HP’s leading position in enterprise imaging and printing, HP’s broadened portfolio comprises four specialized solutions, four assessment services, one HP LaserJet multifunction printer (MFP), three HP LaserJet printers and an HP Scanjet device.

    According to IDC, HP is the leading provider of laser single and multifunction hardcopy peripherals shipped to Enterprises(1) in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region, with 42% market share and strong double digit year-on-year growth (+13%)(2).

    “HP is continuing its efforts to help enterprises build an Enterprise Print 2.0 plan as enterprises optimize their infrastructure, manage their environment and improve workflows,” said Pierre Mirlesse, Vice President, Enterprise Sales and Services, Imaging and Printing Group, HP Asia Pacific and Japan. “The expanded imaging and printing portfolio features a robust line-up of targeted, cost-effective solutions with the right mix services and devices to enterprise customers, helping them achieve better business results.”

    Specialized solutions for enterprise customers

    Tailoring solutions to meet specific industry needs, HP has added new enterprise solutions focused on customers in the healthcare and manufacturing and distribution industries. HP also introduced two imaging and printing solutions and four new assessment services that span industry sectors to address specific business needs for enterprises.

    Designed to streamline information workflows, enhance security and help reduce costs, HP’s newest solutions offer customers industry-specific expertise with a single point of contact for simplified sales, service and support processes. These include:

    * HP Document Capture for Admissions and Electronic Medical Records help reduce medical errors and boost patient safety. Designed to safely capture and protect patient medical information, these offerings let healthcare organizations utilize the latest HP healthcare technology to more easily comply with government mandates, including patient-privacy regulations.

    * HP Automated Invoice Processing Solution allows businesses in the manufacturing and distribution industries to automate the value chain of invoice processing, from document capture and distribution across the organization to seamless integration with SAP. A joint HP and ReadSoft® solution, it captures data via an HP multifunction printer (MFP) and provides increased control over the invoice workflow to facilitate more rigorous records management and compliance; accelerated invoice payment process for better spending visibility; and improved invoice reconciliation through automated, business-rule driven processes.

    * HP Assessment Services comprise five modules that capitalize on HP expertise and knowledge to allow enterprises additional control over print-related processes. With a range of assessment services, HP will collect, analyze and monitor printer-related activities, giving customers a current, fact-based account of the imaging and printing environment. The five new services are HP Industry Benchmark Assessment, HP Optimization Assessment, HP Managed Environment Assessment, HP Workflow Discovery and HP Eco Printing Assessment.

    * HP Access Control Printing Solutions are designed to help mitigate security and compliance risks. These solutions, comprising HP Access Control Secure Printing Solution, HP Access Control Secure Pull Printing Solution and HP Access Control Job Accounting Solution, help control and protect access to imaging and printing devices and documents and also facilitate tracking and monitoring of the usage of documents.

    * Updates to the award-winning HP Universal Print Driver (UPD) 4.7 empower end users to resolve issues themselves by providing real-time print job and device information. New features include the ability to choose between automatic or manual print queue configuration, allowing for pre-configuration and installation of a queue prior to physically connecting the device to the network. Businesses also benefit from a single, intelligent, feature-rich driver replacing many individual drivers, thereby making it easy to connect to HP LaserJet printing devices without downloading separate, product-specific drivers.

    New line-up of imaging and printing devices to drive enterprise efficiency-

    HP also introduced new printing devices and supplies to better assist customers in saving time and money and to increase efficiencies for enterprise and mid-sized businesses through printing and scanning devices. The new offerings include HP LaserJet mono, color single and multifunction (MFP) devices and an HP Scanjet.

    * The HP Color LaserJet CM3530 MFP(3) is HP’s first legal-sized desktop Color LaserJet MFP that offers high performance in a space-saving, compact design. Fully equipped for seamless integration into a network environment, the user-friendly MFP has full document management and workflow capabilities, allowing for increased productivity within small work teams. The HP Color LaserJet CM3530 MFP and HP Color LaserJet CP3520 printer series come with HP’s improved HP ColorSphere toner, which helps customers produce professional-looking documents, marketing collateral and business-quality photos with consistent, true-to-life colors.

    * HP Color LaserJet CP3520 Printer Series(4) is reliable for the general office and cost-effectively prints eye-catching color business communications and marketing collateral. Making color devices more affordable than ever, this series offers monochrome printing for the same cost per page as in-class monochrome laser printers(5).

    * The compact HP LaserJet P2050 Printer Series(6) helps boost small work team productivity in enterprise and small to mid-size business environments with fast printing in black and white.

    * The HP LaserJet P2030 Printer Series(7) offers fast black print speeds with flexible connectivity options and can produce a broad range of crisp business documents quickly using HP Instant-on Technology(8).

    * In addition, HP expanded its document capture portfolio by introducing the HP Scanjet N6310 Document Flatbed Scanner(9). This versatile device can capture a variety of documents – including legal-size documents, business cards, photos and transparencies – at simplex speeds of up to 15 pages per minute (ppm). This easy-to-use scanner is ideal for businesses that need to digitize several types of office documents. The HP Scanjet N6310 also features powerful and intuitive software, effortlessly creating high-quality digitized files for archiving or sharing directly via email, and offers a simple task-based interface with dedicated one-touch scan and copy buttons to increase productivity.

    About HP

    HP, the world’s largest technology company, provides printing and personal computing products and IT services, software and solutions that simplify the technology experience for consumers and businesses. HP completed its acquisition of EDS on Aug. 26, 2008. More information about HP (NYSE:HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.

    (1) Refers to companies with employee sizes from 500+ onwards.

    (2) Source: IDC Asia/Pacific Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, 2Q2008.

    (3) Products are available via contractual basis and may vary by markets in the region. Please contact the local HP representative or HP Approved Channel Partner for specific country pricing.

    (4) Available in Asia Pacific with street prices ranging from US$599-US$1,299. Actual price and availability may vary by markets in region.

    (5) Compared to HP LaserJet P3005 Printer series, using the HP Q7551X Black Print Cartridge. Yields established using ISO/IEC test standards. Actual yields and costs vary considerably depending on images printed, number of color pages printed and other factors.

    (6) Available in Asia Pacific with street prices ranging from US$299-US$549. Actual price and availability may vary by markets in region.

    (7) Expected to be available in January 2009 for purchase in Asia Pacific with street prices ranging from US$199-US$249. Actual price and availability may vary by markets in region.

    (8) Instant-on Technology uses cutting-edge fuser technology to produce the first page faster when a printer is coming out of low power mode so print jobs are done sooner. An InfoTrends study shows the typical office print job is three to five pages long: www.infotrends.com/public/Content/Presentations/officeprinteruse.pdf. Time to Completion of a typical office print job tested on HP and select competing products. Actual results may vary.

    (9) Available in Asia Pacific with street price of US$499. Actual price and availability may vary by markets in region.

    © 2008 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.