Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Does HP Really Need an IPG Channel? Really?

2009 -

The answer is Yes, HP needs a channel. But read on...

What's more, HP just may be "getting" this MPS thing. (tongue in cheek)

As we have witnessed over the past few months, Hurd's herd, has openly marketed their old, tried and true MPS programs(SPS?).

The HP "guarantee" being the latest salvo.

To be sure, HP has been pushing the MPS program at the Enterprise level for years and any HP IPG VAR has had, in the past, little reason to fear the "mother ship" swooping in on their smaller, B2B business.

Everything changes, that's a fact...

With few new equipment releases, reduction in R&D, and decentralize MPS programs for the channel - through partnerships with Great America, Synnex, Ingram, etc.- comparatively, the HP MPS plan for the channel seems a bit less focused.

There's nothing like the 23 module behemoth from Ricoh, or the easy to use Xerox PagePack 3.0 or entry level, scalable programs from Toshiba, Oki and Samsung.

What gives? Gartner's analysis sheds some indirect light on the subject:

"HP lost 3.4 percentage points market share to total 40 per cent market share in the first half of 2009 as it maintained a tighter control over its channel inventory levels amidst weakening demand."

Hardware sales are soft so where does one look to increase revenue in an equipment slump?

Managed Print Services.

HP's existing client base is huge and contains large enterprises that utilize 1,000's of HP printers - MIF.

And what's the number one place to look to for that low hanging fruit? Your existing client base.

Unlike a good deal of VARs and dealers in the channel, HP is not afraid to let their highly trained MPS specialists waltz into an ITG account and start pitching MPS.

That's the easy stuff.

As for SMB MPS channel; if equipment sales are down, why bother working through an unproven, inexperienced channel partner when the plan is to REDUCE the number of units sold?

So,

The best way for HP to dig into the SMB Managed Print Services treasure chest is directly, not through a channel.

Woah...wait, what, huh?


That's right.

The hot, new revenue stream is MPS, and does not require selling equipment - indeed, the exact opposite should happen.
There is no reason to work with a VAR selling pure MPS services, services which reduce the number of HP's or xerox, lexmark or anyone's boxes.

HP can provide MPS directly on a national, global basis - why not locally? Why not right in your backyard?

So the recharger folks are freakin scared ? The rest of us are simply in bliss.

Fear not, dear HP VAR and IPG SVIP OPS reseller - the news is good and it comes from across the pond.

Alan Hatfield, Channel Development Manager at HP, out of Gloucester, United Kingdom, was looking for a UK growth target of 100% between the months of May and September.

To increase ANY type of business by 100%, in only 6 months, is a lofty and seemingly unrealistic goal, but Hatfield expects to see a 90% increase.

And within this growth, Hatfield believes MPS sales are split 50:50 between direct and the channel.

“HP is very committed to having a good platform for our partners, because MPS is the future,” he says. “Most of the conversations I have with channel partners are around managed print services.”

Our friends over at Photizo Group estimate the MPS market be more than $50bn by 2013, with more than 50% of all devices coming under MPS contracts.

If the ratio's from the UK/Europe hold true, that's a paltry $25 billion for us in the channel...so who cares if HP needs or doesn't need a channel - figure it out.

One source article here.


A Year Ago Was The Right Time For Managed Print Services


Where is the Managed Print Services niche, today, August 2009?
------

I just read an interesting comment on LinkedIn regarding the lack of "buzz" around the MPS Summit from the recent ReCharger show.

Bob Chernisky was asking aloud, "Did anyone attend?

Did no one say anything worthwhile?

Was the juxtaposition of MPS with toner remanufacturing a mistake? Are most of the prime-movers of the industry turned off by that association (too low-tech for us)?"

I know people attended, but I did not.

I do not think the juxtaposition is a mistake.

And if the "prime-movers or any movers, think the toner guys are too low-tech, so what?

To speak directly about the Re-Chargers, I think they should worry as business paradigms shift to MPS.

I also think that this shift could be a great opportunity for the bold.

For the forward thinking companies who are willing to remake their current business model.

The reman's can be a component of a good MPS practice; one of the team. Right now, there aren't as many devices hitting the streets. These older machines, the ones finding a spot on new, MPS engagements, will need toner and parts.

And entering this niche may give them a better talk track than the current "we're cheaper and we're Green..."

But back to Bob's questions, where is all the buzz? Come to think of it, the last few weeks have been a bit quiet.

Especially considering all of the announcements - the big HP guarantee, PagePack 3.0, Okidata Managed Print, the MPSA national elections. ;-)

The recent Gartner data showing combined copier and MFP sales fell 30% over the past year should be center stage and all the buzz - but if I read one more post, article or Tweet about the Magic Quadrant, I am going to upchuck.

Maybe it's just that people don't want to talk about bad news. Well, boo-frickin-who - where there is turmoil, chaos and fear, there is opportunity.

The Bad News:

Lai-Ling Lam, senior research analyst at Gartner said this,

"The market witnessed a weak demand as both businesses and consumers reduced spending and the drop in shipments was also impacted by tighter inventory controls in order to minimise inventory levels in the channels.."

Dire news to be sure, and nothing terribly new for any of us selling in the office B2B.

Unfortunately, it's worse than we think; it usually is...

Our bread and butter, office printing devices, showed a 24.5 per cent decrease in the first half of 2009.

"...businesses are delaying or eliminating purchases of new equipments altogether. The global downturn has also forced them to review their printing needs which could change their print consumptions in the long term. At the same time, it also makes print vendors increasingly look at alternative hardware strategies such as managed print service (MPS) and smart MFP adoption as ways to increase revenue..." added Lam.

We in the MPS world, recognize this 30% avalanche as a huge opportunity - a huge MPS opportunity.

I understand where Ms. Lam is coming from and I take exception to her above statement, "print vendors increasingly look at alternative hardware strategies such as MPS...as ways to increase revenue...".

Successful Managed Print Services strategies should not be hardware driven - an assessment looks for areas of cost reduction, not hardware placement.

Why So Quiet -

Maybe there isn't as much 'buzz' from the MPS niche because we in it are actually doing it, day in and day out. And by we, I mean we selling, infrastructure, marketing, branding, research and MPS training types.

Perhaps we are all on the same spot in the MPS Adoption Cycle - execution(or re-execution) and it is now more important to operate the practice versus talk about the practice.

That 30% deficit is a hole waiting to be filled with MPS services, not equipment. A boon for us, a board room challenge for the big manufacturers.

The Silence of Activity - humming along.






Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dare To Compare: Dealer Managed Print Programs

Ed and the gang at Photizo are conducting a free Webinar illustrating some of the current dealer programs - in a "compare and contrast" manner, I believe.

Should be good, general information for those looking to get into MPS, those who are just starting and for us who have been slammed in the head a few times, but keep on chuggin.

Register here.







Friday, August 21, 2009

Now IS The Time for Managed Print Services - Hardware Sales Down as Much as 30% by Year End

Focus shifts to print services as hardware shipments slump

by Billy MacInnes
20 August 2009

Pressure on vendors and channel partners to diversify into print managed services is expected to intensify in the wake of a huge slump in shipments of printer, copier and multifunction products (MFPs).


The steep fall in shipments has been thrown into stark relief with figures from Gartner showing the market for printer, copier and MFPs in EMEA dropped by almost a quarter in the first half of 2009.


Gartner’s numbers were supported by HP’s recent third quarter results which showed a 23% fall in overall printer unit shipments, including a massive 42% decline in commercial printer unit shipments.


Worse still, the market research company predicted shipments would continue to experience a double-digit decline in the second half of the year that could reach 30%.


Todd Prabhakar, senior analyst at Gartner said vendors were looking at areas such as managed print services and document-managed software to try and increase revenue in the face of customer reluctance to spend money on new equipment.


“Vendors must sell services to businesses that will help them better control costs, save on running costs, reduce cost-per-page issues and consolidate devices,” he argued.


Prabhakar’s comments are likely to be endorsed by vendors in the print and copier world as they have become increasingly interested in managed print services.

Back in March, HP IPG channel development manager Alan Hatfield revealed it was aiming for 60% growth across EMEA for managed print services and the UK would achieve 30%. Lexmark UK channel sales director Marcus Harvey agreed it was “a key area for us” and Martin Tierney, UK services director at Kyocera Mita, said managed print services was “definitely the way to go”.


According to Gartner, the vendors worst affected by the global recession were Hewlett-Packard and Canon, which suffered market share falls of 31.5% and 25.8% respectively.
-------

Original here.




A Mockery of the Copier Industry: NOT My Words

This photo is a creation of Steve Reisman.

Steve is a talented photographer and in the copier trade. I encourage you to check out his work here. And hopefully, I will use more of his work in the future.
---------------------------

Sarcasm out here is cyber-land is a difficult convey, the writer takes a leap of faith that his readers will recognize it.

Here at DOTC, I take many things to task, and believe it or not, I re-write articles DOZENS OF TIMES, stripping out and watering down what some soft, timid souls may consider to be vitriol and venom.

So, when I see mockery and sarcasm applied by others I take note - when the example hits home, right in my backyard, I like to share.

I stumbled upon a good example via a Twitter Tweet.

I am going to cut and paste, these are not my words; a customer took the time to document his experience as witness to an interaction between a copier tech and his service manager - on site.

Enjoy.

Friday Guest Mock: Dear Copier Repair Area Manager Doing A Performance Review Of Your Employee In My Copy Room

2009 August 21

by mockers

I know that in this era of fast, responsive, and agile service that you are doing your best to model 21st century “go-get-’em” business habits to your employees.

May I suggest that your showing up at my place of business to do *your* business of delivering a bad job performance review to a guy we’ve been waiting two days to see may not be the best use of putting your management training skills “on the road?”

May I further suggest that taking calls from your office while in the middle of passive aggressively calling your employee “lazy” and “unmotivated”… all while he had the innards of our multi-thousand dollar paper shredder spread around the copy room doesn’t give me much confidence in the work that has been, or was being, done?

May I continue? I can’t print anything right now anyways so I’ll just keep typing.

The part of the conversation that went like this:

Employee: “Well, how long did it take *you* to get promoted to supervisor?”

Supervisor: “Three years. How long have you been with us again?”

Employee: Silence

Employee: Silence

Employee: “Three years. I’m seriously disappointed to be receiving this news today.”

*sound of something snapping, either in the employee’s head or inside our only tool for producing printed material in the whole building.*

Supervisor: “I’m sure you are.”

Listen buddy, I know that your two years of community college puts you into some kind of elite squad of management gurus.

I also know that your getting to wear the long-sleeved oxford shirt with your company’s logo rather than the golf shirt your employee was wearing means you have some kind of one-up on him, and us evidently since we are now your version of the back-shed.

However, my “take-away” to use your cheesy, uncreative, and stupid business-speak was that you just gave me a half-hour crash course in how *not* to manage, or lead, a team.

Once I clear up this paper-jam I intend to print a copy of this letter to bring to your office while you are in the middle of trying to do your job.

Sincerely,
Glad I Work Here and Not There

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

Honestly, you can not make this stuff up!



Thursday, August 20, 2009

Video In Your Newspaper. Inconcievable!! But wait..

The Death Of Print creeps ever so close - can video save print?

In next month's Entertainment Weekly, readers will see full motion video and be spoken to by stars of the upcoming Fall TV season - via a paper thin screen built into the page.

First singing greeting cards and now George Kastanza screaming, "Serenity Now! Serenity Now!"

It is finally here - the convergence of two media; video and print.

I bet my dad won't like it one bit.

When the unsespecting reader turns one of the pages in Entertainment Weekly, a commercial will run, on a small video screen, complete with motion and sound, pitching the new CBS fall TV season.

This is a first and a test of technology developed by a firm out here in L.A., AmeriChip

Imagine the possibilities.

Can't get that out of a ColorCube or Edgeline, eh?



Check this little article from July of this year;


Odds are, One Day You Will Not Get Your News/Information in Print or On Your Computer





Tuesday, August 18, 2009

SEC Asked HP About Middle Eastern Dealings - Back in February


This story is old - real old.


So why would the Sacramento Business Journal prints a re-hash today, the same day HP announces earnings?

The complete article, dated August 18, 2009 is here.

Today's SBJ article reports on events that occurred back in February - it seems all the SEC questions have been answered and today the issue is a non-issue.

The story first broke, from the Boston Globe, on December 29, 2008, is here.

Indeed, DOTC commented with,

HP Printers Sold in Iran - The Unholly Alliance -

The Boston Globe article resulted in HP making corrections, as outline in,

HP To Stop Selling in Iran - Power of The Press

a few days later.

I guess the SBJ isn't a big supporter of HP.

Interesting.




RICOH Stock Could Rise 30% Over The Next Year


The Ricoh/Ikon/Infoprint odyssey continues...

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Ricoh Co Ltd (7752.T) shares could be undervalued as investors overlook the benefits of two healthy acquisitions that could help the stock rise 30 percent over the next year, Barron's reported.

The Japanese company has transformed itself from an office-machine maker into a global technology solutions provider that gets most of its revenue from software and services like consulting.

Ricoh's acquisitions of a majority stake in IBM's American print systems unit, InfoPrint Solutions in 2007, and its acquisition of Ikon Office Solutions last August will help the company compete with rival Canon, said Barron's.
----------

"The IBM purchase provides Ricoh with a solid foothold from which to launch further products in the high-volume document market," says Kunihiko Kanno, an analyst who follows Ricoh for Credit Suisse in Tokyo.

"Digital commercial printers are used to print big documents such as product manuals and direct mail quickly and in large volumes," he adds. "This is one of the fastest-growing segments of the office equipment market," he says.

Ricoh picked up "research and development, technology and skilled personnel from IBM that we could have never developed by ourselves," Kondo says. "This will be a profitable division once things pick up again." Because its clientele is mostly financial-services providers, InfoPrint hasn't turned a profit as yet. By 2012 analysts expect it could add ¥100 billion in revenue and kick in ¥2 to ¥3 per share in operating profits.

Ikon, which also hasn't delivered a profit to its new parent, holds even more promise. Ikon provides document- and business-processing services as an add-on to its conventional office-equipment lineup, Kondo says. The goal is to convert Canon customers to Ricoh products and introduce Ricoh clients to Ikon.

"We plan to assimilate their expertise, and turn Ikon's customer base of major global companies into our customer base," says Kondo. By 2012, analysts say Ikon should deliver ¥280 billion in revenues and ¥8 to¥9 yen per share in operating profit. Kondo says

Ikon will be an important driver of Ricoh's push into business and consulting services.

Article Here.




Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is Your Managed Print Services Practice Customer Centric or Process Centric? - Maybe We Should Ask Your Clients.

I know a few of you chuckled when you read the above headline; especially those of us in the trenches, we who sell against "no" all the time.

Not from customers, but from our own internal team.

And by internal team, I mean those sales managers who no longer sell, the owners/principals who confuse "taking orders" with selling, the inflexible cube rats who didn't read their own mortgage paperwork, the "inside people" who believe registering a client not only guarantees the lowest possible pricing(and 3 point margin)but secures a customer for life - I could go on, but why bother.

So deep in the forest, we can't see the trees.

Stop. Look around you. Look at what you are doing.

Are you furthering a prospect through the funnel, or tracking down toner cartridges to deliver to that church you just landed - fooling yourself into believing that shuttling toner is "customer service" - gag. (anyone remember delivering and installing ribbons?)

Has it become easier to Sell than it is to Process the order?...sound familiar Ikoners, X'boys, HP-er's, BTA folks, IT VAR's?

Are you asking simple business questions or analyzing a 120 column spreadsheet?

Chaos is common place. We endeavor to reign in the chaotic by throwing Process at the fray. This is good. We all need process and procedures to work as a well lube'd machine.

And as much as we apply process to the Selling environment - quantifying qualifications, next step criteria, determining relevant influences, and navigating the prospect through The Funnel - And as much as there are required steps involved with delivering your service/product, credit application, shipping, space and power, sales forecasts, order entry, pricing, prospecting, etc.

- where is the Tipping Point when Customer Centric falls victim to Process Centric?

When is it more important to have the correct paperwork on file versus helping your client process their Pay Roll?

And more importantly, why?

Look at your most recent MPS opportunity. They can most likely save a grip of money because of their existing, flawed "process" - the process became more important than the result.

It's almost the classic Purchasing model. Grinding the price or "cost" down was all that mattered when getting a copier or a fleet of copiers. The process of acquiring the absolute best price overrode real end-user requirements and did not support the organization's, overall business goals.

Tunnel Vision -

In a sport I participate, there is a phenomena which occurs to all the newbies - "Tunnel Vision". Out of fear, stress, and the inability to process more than 12 things at once, the mind and the eyes focus on one, specific, detail.

Everything else is in a fog except the one guy you can barely see, you know if you concentrate and FOCUS, taking your time, slowing down, aiming...waiting, willing him to move into your sights, you can eliminate him. Wait for it...wait for it...when

SPLAT,SPLAT,SPLAT,SPLAT,SPLAT!

Some other player walks out of the fog and puts 5 into your back.

Welcome to Paintball, welcomed to Tunnel Vision.








Saturday, August 15, 2009

Governor French Academy files another suit alleging fraud in copier lease: Marlin Leasing


Ok - some people have enough problems with a single lease, but 3 in three years?

Just asking for trouble.

This is a re-print of full article, here.

8/11/2009 9:10 PM
By Kelly Holleran

A St. Clair County company has filed a second suit this year over allegations another business should have known of a man's attempts to defraud it out of money.

Governor French Academy filed a lawsuit Aug. 5 in St. Clair County District Court against Axis Capital.

The suit is nearly identical to a June 29 complaint GFA filed against Marlin Leasing.

In both complaints, GFA claims a man named Kevin Welch solicited leased copiers and printers to the company.

GFA entered into an agreement with Marlin Leasing in September 2005 to lease the equipment, according to the August complaint.

Later, the company entered into an equipment lease agreement with Axis in August 2006, the suit states. Welch claimed any money paid to Axis would be used to pay off debt GFA owed to Marlin Leasing, the company contends.

Again, GFA entered into another lease agreement with CIT in June 2008, in which Welch represented that a portion of funds paid to CIT would be used to pay off the Axis debt, the complaint says.

"In the spring of 2009, GFA began receiving bills for the lease payments related to Lease 2," the suit states.

When GFA contacted Axis to say that its payments toward Axis were supposed to also be going to Marlin, the company informed GFA it was still liable on the Marlin lease, according to the complaint.

"Welch entered into and promoted a scheme of transactions with GFA wherein Welch would make a lease with GFA through a financing company such as defendant, who then became lessor to receive payments from GFA," the suit states. "In each succeeding lease Welch represented to GFA that the monies received from the negotiations of a new succeeding lease would be used to pay off the balance of the prior lease, so that at all times, GFA would have only one lessor. Upon information and belief, Welch used the proceeds from the old leases for his own use, and not to pay off previous leases as represented."

Axis knew, or should have known, of Welch's fraudulent scheme, but failed to warn GFA of it, the company contends.

GFA is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

Kevin J. Stine of Mathis, Marifian, Richter and Grandy in Belleville will be representing it.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-410.





Friday, August 14, 2009

Death of the Copier Quoted Over At The Business Transformation Center

"For decades the printers were sold as a commodity, if not an oddity. And trying to mix 'copier guys' selling with 'IT guys' order-taking is a cultural challenge. But separating and allowing the managed print service provider to stumble and grow seems to be working. As well as establishing 'legitimacy' with the propeller-heads of the IT world."

Thanks, Greg. I like the way you put that.


Go on over and check it out, here.





Managed Print Services Market to Be More Than $50B by 2013: Photizo

Latest Managed Print Services Data: HP Takes Top Spot from Xerox in Global MPS Market Share

PRESS RELEASE:

New Photizo Group Forecast Signals Dramatic Expansion in MPS Market

Lexington, KY (PRWEB) August 14, 2009 --

The new 2009 Managed Print Services (MPS) Market Forecast from Photizo Group reveals a rapidly developing market with dynamic top-level changes in market share. The 2009 MPS global forecast describes a robust segment undergoing tremendous growth. The latest report projects the market will be more than $50B by 2013, and more than 50 percent of all devices will be under MPS contract. The data indicated that HP had overtaken Xerox as leader in the global MPS sector in 2008, with a 34 percent share of global market.


The Photizo Group specializes in research and analysis of the Managed Print Services market. The annual MPS Market Forecast Report is becoming the de facto standard for analysis of this rapidly evolving sector. Photizo defines MPS as the outsourcing of hardcopy devices (printers, copiers, faxes, and MFPs), including all aspects of management, servicing, and on-going maintenance. The MPS Forecast and Share Report covers both programs offered directly from manufacturers and those offered through channel partners.

This is groundbreaking information for MPS watchers. The dramatically shifting position at the top demonstrates how aggressively companies are pursuing MPS market share. No one with any interest in MPS can afford to sit on the sidelines, simply guessing what is going to happen.

Managed Print Services is one of the fastest growing segments of the enterprise printing industry in today's economy.

This report from Photizo acknowledges and validates HP's focus and commitment to be the leader in the MPS market.

Total Manufacturer MPS Revenue in millions (USD):

Historical data


* 2006 - $9,473
* 2007 - 13,811
* 2008 - 20,346


Revenue forecast


* 2009 - $25,764
* 2010 - 32,643
* 2011 - 40,593
* 2012 - 49,253
* 2013 - 59,678

Europe To Be Largest MPS Market By 2013

The forecast is updated annually and provides historical and forecast data for North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The global forecast cuts through the flux in market geographies and provides strategic planners with useful data for pursuing the most profitable regions for MPS. Although today the United States is the largest geography for MPS, significant changes are expected, with a new number one geography appearing by 2013. While Asia is the fastest growing, Europe will become the largest MPS market by 2013.

Companies pursuing an MPS strategy can gain an advantage by arming themselves with the most accurate, current data about this market. "This is groundbreaking information for MPS watchers. The dramatically shifting position at the top demonstrates how aggressively companies are pursuing MPS market share. No one with any interest in MPS can afford to sit on the sidelines, simply guessing what is going to happen," said Ed Crowley, founder and CEO of the Photizo Group. To assist MPS vendors, channel partners and other decision makers, Photizo is making a summary of the report available immediately at no charge.

"Managed Print Services is one of the fastest growing segments of the enterprise printing industry in today's economy," said Tom Codd, Director, Enterprise Marketing, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "This report from Photizo acknowledges and validates HP's focus and commitment to be the leader in the MPS market."

For more information about the 2009 MPS Market Forecast Report, and to obtain the free report summary, visit http://www.managed-print-services.com/forms/forecast_info.html.




Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another "GACKED" Sales Forecast: Idaho School District Reneges on Xerox Deal


More than $43,700, second place was $11,000 less, a month for copier services canceled and a bidding do-over. Not sure if the good guys won on this or not.

Either way, more mud in an already murky industry, slung for all to see.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the Xerox weekly sales meeting!

This story first hit a month ago - one of the losing suitors cried "foul" and gummed up the works for the winning vendor, and ultimately wrecking the school districts plan to upgrade copiers.

I felt at the time that there must have been more to the story than was written - hell, we have all been there before.

The risk of challenging a board's decision is daunting, and such a delta must mean a huge difference in offerings.

And indeed there is a difference - the most stark, Xerox proposed 1.5 "bodies" in their recommendation.

District officials said last month they "...went with Xerox because the company offered to provide one full-time employee and one part-time employee based locally to oversee maintenance of the copying machines..."

Some really quick math, reveals and approximate purchase price or funded amount, of $19k/machine. Wow.

The offended competitor, Fisher's Document Systems Inc., said its proposal offered to provide service within four hours.

"We do have concerns. Our patrons have concerns. We have stepped back," School board chairman Mike Vuittonet said Tuesday. Funny how they "have concerns" now, after the deal had been awarded and after the second place vendor objected - spineless public, bureaucrats.

Two words - Home School.

So everyone here is looking out for the benefit of some 34,000 students whose teachers will be using old equipment come this fall, right?

Xerox was just trying to propose the best solution - 1.5 bodies for 120, distributed copiers? HUH?

Fisher's Document Systems Inc, is just trying to save the tax payers money. And recommending copier's for 60 months is a GOOD thing? Were they recommending Sharp? Over X? Even with 4 hour response time and promised 24 hour machine replacement? Bravo Sierra.

Ultimately, the responsibility, the blame, rests squarely in the lap of the District for short-sighting the RFP process. For looking at printing the same way the board before them did and the one before.

I wonder how many copiers sit right next to fax machines and feet away from single function laser printers. I wonder how many thousands of dollars worth of toner and ink supplies are stuffed into Principal offices, teachers lounges and class room closets.

Was the RFP a 1:1 replacement?

And finally, how many teachers will be standing in line at the local Kinko's, the night before a quiz, coughing up personal fundage and paying for "clicks"?

The stench of "fail" hangs on everyone in this deal - pity the teachers and the students...







Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vote For Me: If You Feel So Inclined - MPSA Secretary


The Managed Print Services Association is real. It must be, because it now has a charter.

Having been there at the very beginning I am honored and privileged to have been nominated for the post of Secretary.

For those who nominated me, thank you, the nomination alone is very satisfying.

To vote for me, go here.

"But Why Greg? Why would you ever want to be a Secretary in the MPSA?"

The answer is simple - I want to contribute as much as I can in creating a group unique and different within our niche. Something bold, a group that everyone would want to be a part.

Sellers, buyers, manufacturers, MSP's, MPS's, VAR's, clients, BTA, pundits, and experts.

I was asked a question on LinkedIn by Jim Fitzpatrick:

"...Greg, you are well-known throughout the industry for you “Death of the Copier Blog”, in which you identify everything within MPS Industry that doesn’t make sense.

In your possible ... new role as Secretary within the MPSA, outside of your Blog, will you help the MPSA make sense, out of everything that doesn’t make sense?

Sorry, it doesn’t hurt to ask …"

My response:

"...Yes, I will help make sense out of everything that doesn't make sense.

I will bring all I can to help and guide the MPSA through these most interesting times.

I do know MPS; I know MPS holistically and I see MPS from the clients' and the reseller perspective.

What is so very exciting about MPS right now, at this singular point in time, is it's uniqueness and ever changing form.

And I guess for me, this is a direction I was always heading; my past exploits unknowingly preparing me.

I intend to be part of building an association where it is easy to belong. A group with a simple, easy to understand purpose and common ideals.

So again, yes, I will help the MPSA in every way I can.

Not just by pointing out what does not make sense, but forwarding positive ideas and approaches..."

There you have it.

Now, anyone got a baby that needs kissin?

Would you like to know a little more? Article from March, 2009.

Managed Print Services Association: See Your Future, Be Your Future






Copier & I.T. Sales People - Skip the Product or MPS Launch/Training - Get Business Training

8/2009 -

As a copier sales person you know the stigma - you are just one notch above "used car" sales territory (not that there is anything wrong with that). Even your family wonders how the heck you settled into selling copiers.

The "consultative copier sales person" approach is stale and a joke. How are you a "consultant" if all you do is compare lease payments? LOL!

But - copier sales people know how to sell, they are tenacious and work around, over or through any obstacles to success.

And by obstacles, I mean competition from all fronts - in the field and from the chuckleheads back at the office.

You don't sit on your butt all day and you aren't afraid to walk the streets and have doors slammed in your face.

You know how to recover, adapt and prevail.


Iimagine for a moment, a segment of sellers that has indeed been sitting on their collective rumpus for two decades. A niche that has sold completely on price.

An upside down selling model where the "sales" person doesn't really sell, they just make sure the paper work is all in order, the deal is registered, and coordinate meetings in Outlook - they schedule WebEx appointments.

In that world, the real selling is performed by Tech-heads. Folks who never claim to be sales people and openly loathe Professional Sellers. Only these chosen ones, are worthy enough to hold audience, at the same level, as the prospect - give me a break.

Now imagine the Prospect in this niche.

He is use to empty headed sales reps presenting off a brochure and price list. He always takes appointments from the rep, if the rep is a "she" - bonus points if she knows the difference between ST TOS and TNG.

He doesn't know leasing because for decades he strictly purchased. His SLA expectations revolve around days, warranty periods and depot service. He is not familiar with Cost Per Image models and may even believe that the cheapest is the least expensive.

This prospect compartmentalizes everything - everything. He never answers his phone. Managing his time, his time does not manage him.

He reads all his emails, at his leisure.

When he finds something of interest he will gladly place it(and you) into a compartment. He does not like copier sales people.

The niche, Information Technology.

The sales people, VARs/IT integrators.

The prospects and clients, Corporate Information Technology (IT) professionals.

Now let's further the idea by turning the existing IT sales model upside-down (or is it right-side up) and inject these crazy, nutty, copier sales people.

How could we do this?
Re-train, Re-Brand, and Release "the hounds".

Re-Train.

I know, you are required to go to the quarterly or annual meeting. And the infinite wisdom of event planning is always looking for "sponsors". So your suppliers pony up some shekels for the hors d'oeuvres or box lunches in return for an hour or two of "sales(product) training".

Think about this. Do you even care that the new models are faster?(DUH!) Or use less energy? (DOH!) Or maybe you find the bundling of one year of free black and white prints the Holy Grail of your selling world?(good lord).

Wouldn't a class dedicated to arming you with real business training have more value? How about a session titled, "How to apply new technology to everyday business problems" or "Your Clients Accounts Payable Department: The Key to Successful MPS"; excite you a little more than "How to sell Scan Once, Print Many..."? It's an exaggeration, I know, but you get the point.

Here's another tid-bit; discover the differences and similarities between MPS and MSP.

Re-Brand

Remember "IT guys hate copier sales people..."? So DON'T BE A COPIER SALES PERSON. Brand yourself as the MPS specialist.

Create and name a MPS Division, "separate" from the copier side. Separate from the IT Sales side.

When talking with IT prospects, shy away from copiers/printers but relate everything back to operational costs, limited resources, expense reduction, budget constraints, end user satisfaction and ROI.

Want to know more? Ask for Darrell, here.

Release

They way I see it, if someone re-calibrated these battle weary selling professionals in the ways of solving real business problems, holistically, the competition would never know what hit them. Their customers would evolve into Partners.

And all would be right with the world.

Some IT Sales organizations still think of the printer/copier/output arena as the un-sexxy. The last stop for those leaving the IT industry and the first project for the newly recruited/recently hired.

Some use proximity to distribution as a selling point; one component of the corporate Value Prop. They think that an arm load of Professional Certifications is enough. Some still think people buy from people they like and all you need to do is be nice.

If you re-brand, and create a separate selling entity, like a MPS Division - release the hounds.

Let your new, squeaky clean MPS Team go after your existing client base, or your MIF.
If you are an IT VAR, most likely your competitors won't know what happened until they start losing "toner" orders.

You copier dealers are so nimble you could have an engagement up and running weeks before the "big guys" even get contracts in front of a prospect.

If your existing equipment sales team doesn't like it, offer them an interview/opportunity to join the MPS Team.

Hordes of trained, razor sharp selling professionals armed with a bit of tech knowledge, a customer list and a phone - let em rip.

Oh yes, there would be Blood, and yes, there would be Glory -




Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Xerox MPS PagePack 3.0 - New? Yes. Unique, No.

The difference is Xerox selling hard to a different audience, the MSP's - IT resellers - in addition to the traditional "BTA" channel.

Remember, IT owns the network, so it makes sense for IT VARs to provied MPS.

In a quick interview with Tom Gall, value channel marketing director at Xerox, he introduces X's latest iteration for MPS, PagePack 3.0.

As I listen to his responses, and after having and opportunity to speak to most other MPS programs, I find a common thread. As a matter of fact, for me, all the manufacturers MPS programs are starting to sound the same - almost to the word.

Substitute any manufacture's name, and you have 80-90% of the talk track down.

What is interesting in this case, although the message is the same, the audience is quite different - not BTA but MSP's.






Monday, August 10, 2009

HP Responds to DeathOfTheCopier Questions - Enlightening


DeathOfTheCopier was able to ask some questions of to Tom Codd, Director, Enterprise Marketing, Imaging and Printing Group, HP, regarding clarification of the "guarantee" and the current/future position of HP's MPS offering to the channel.

Here are the questions, with responses.


1. DOTC: The HP MPS Guarantee. It looks like the refund is strictly a credit. Is this true? How is the credit issued?

T. Codd - "Yes, with the Printing Payback Guarantee, HP does guarantee a credit on its services. If customers do not save what is projected, HP will make up the difference and work with the customer to get the cost-savings to the agreed upon level. And, the guaranteed credit is applied towards the customer’s future invoices."

DOTC: Also, I see one of the specifications is a fee based assessment in the beginning and another assessment to evaluate final savings. Is the second assessment fee based as well? In general, what is the process?

T. Codd - "For new, qualified MPS customers, HP completes a detailed, fee-based assessment of a company’s imaging and printing environment. This includes HP working in tandem with the customer to refine the architecture and establish a set of print policies for the enterprise utilizing HP technology, services and solutions.

HP will then calculate an overall printing cost savings based on this specific enterprise-wide solution deployment that will be implemented by HP. After one year of full implementation, HP will conduct a second assessment (at no additional cost to the customer) and if the customer has not achieved the projected savings, HP will take remedial action.

Furthermore, if the goal is not met, HP will apply credit towards future invoices."


2. DOTC: The New HP MPS "organization". I understand these initial announcements are for enterprise accounts - are there any plans to implement additional MPS programs in the dealer channel?

T. Codd - "HP recognizes the tremendous opportunities around MPS for customers and is currently assessing all of HP’s MPS offerings to scale solutions specifically for our channel partners; however, HP can not comment on the specifics of future program or product offerings."

3. DOTC: Speaking of the dealer channel -

What is the current offering from HP for their dealers regarding MPS? Can you give me any insight on future MPS directions, strategies for the channel?

T. Codd - "HP has several options for partners who want to offer MPS to their customers, including:

- HP Office Printing Channel Program (OPCP) – This is a PartnerONE Elite offering designed to enable channel partners to develop and implement their own MPS offering to customers.

- For smaller solution providers interested in offering MPS, HP supports several turnkey MPS programs offered by distributor partners including SYNNEX, Supplies Network and NER.

Again, HP can not comment on the specifics of future program strategies or offerings."

------
My take...something may finally come down the pike for the channel; remember HP's year end is October.

I think distribution will do most of the heavy lifting translating HP's MPS guidance down through the channel for now.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Tron:"...it's just a game...Not anymore..."

Geeks Unite against the Master Control Program.

From 1982 to 2010. Still Jeff Bridges, but in IMAX and 3D - Yikes!

Cool motorcycles and a glowing Frisbee of Death, who could ask for anything more?












Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Who Has One Billion Pages a Month Under Managed Print Services Engagements?


Toshiba, that's who.

HUH?

A well kept secret would be an understatement. Especially with the latest rash of MPS announcements grabbing headlines all over.

It's true, Toshiba knows Managed Print Services. Effectively starting real, honest to goodness Managed Print Services some six years ago. Last week and this week, Toshiba is announcing to it's dealer channel the latest iteration, Encompass 3.0.

But wait, there's more.

During the 2009 Regional summit, Mark Mathews, President and Chief Operating Officer of Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. (TABS), announced that Toshiba and HP have entered into a "Strategic Agreement". According to Mathews,

“...This will include: Special Programs, Dedicated support, Aggressive pricing, and a Full IPG product catalog of hardware and consumables...”

I am told that this Strategic Agreement will allow Toshiba to "fill the A4 holes".

Who needs Canon?

Encompass 3.0 -

I spoke with Jon Hafey, Director Program Management and Service Delivery for Toshiba Managed Print Services last week detailing out Toshiba's Encompass 3.0 program.

It's a simple story really.

Toshiba has been providing MPS programs to it's larger, enterprise, global clients. Over the years, a great deal of infrastructure has been created to support these clients.

All the processes, policies, procedures, logistics, software, support, billing, etc. have been created and improved over the years into a finely tuned machine.

Today, this machine is available to Toshiba dealers as a "Touchless" system. Which simply means, a closed, MPS ecosystem where a Toshiba dealers can "plug" into an existing MPS practice; analysis, design, pricing, implementation, monitoring, to billing.

Encompass 3.0 and the Assessment- Uber-Green

In addition to the standard, volume and click gathering, Encompass has a feature that allows the fleets carbon footprint to be monitored. And get this, it will take in to consideration the geographic location of the printer/MFP to correctly calculate Kw/hr charges.

IBM/Toshiba - The Global Service Portal

This is a dealer/customer portal allowing complete control and management of costs and fleet monitoring, 24/7/365.

Page Smart Express

This is a Fully automated
either OEM or non-OEM toner replenishment program which is scalable for any size dealer or MPS engagement.

By the way - a few months ago I toured a VERY large, third-party toner manufacturing plant out here in Van Nuys. I was impressed, this was not a couple of toner filling machines in some schmoes garage.

This was a 14,000 square foot, humming, manufacturing plant. Dozens of lines and nearly as many quality control stations along those lines. Ultrasonic Lasers, their own R&D, specialized packaging, and patented, customized equipment pumping out 1,000's of cartridges a week.

MSE has the ability to custom package any of their product.
------

The Toshiba managed print services program looks to be as good as any in the "infrastructure" area - and like most of the recent announcements, this program can be utilized at different levels, depending on the dealer's level of MPS commitment.

The tools are there, the philosophy is sound - it is all up to the dealers, now.

There is also Monozukuri.




Tuesday, August 4, 2009

GreatAmerica Leasing Improving on a Good Thing - Managed Print Services

GreatAmerica Leasing, enhanced their position as a provider of customized Managed Print Services leasing options by announcing a strategic partnership with Steven Power, (Sales & Marketing Solutions International) a proven sales training organization.

- that's right a LEASING COMPANY - is going to help it's clients, dealers and VARs, sell MPS .

One of the many "MPS" friends of Death of The Copier, Greg VanDeWalker, Sr. Vice President of Strategic Relationships at GreatAmerica Leasing, said Mr. Power

“can help fill a void we see in the marketplace with our dealers. Seminars and software are not enough to create and implement an effective MPS program. Dealers need an ongoing and thorough strategy to be successful and that is what we will deliver.”

GreatAmerica will license training content and implementation tools developed by S&MSI President, Steven Power will also train GreatAmerica representatives to assist their customers in implementing a Managed Print Services initiative.

I have attended two of Power's seminars.

One back "in the day", 2003-ish in NYC. This session built around Solution Selling and copiers(Document Management).

And more recently, last year, here in Huntington Beach - the day long seminar revolving around selling Managed Print Services.

Indeed, as I look to my right, The New Strategic Selling is flanked by Power Selling and The $50 Dollar Ice Cream Cone.
So I must agree with Power's ideas.

But a leasing company providing an avenue to Managed Print Services training?

A leasing company training it's employees on MPS ?

Inconceivable!

Or genius?

I think it's stellar.

Full release.




Canon Establishes Comprehensive Document Management and Consultancy Business - In INDIA

“Canon has formed a new business group of MPS-Managed print services, where key account managers are being developed as consultants capable of undertaking large scale projects involving print health check ups, designing optimal fleet, deploying & helping clients monitor & manage entire process of printing more effectively”
- Alok Bharadwaj, Senior Vice President- Canon India

Canon India has built 3 Business Solutions Lounges in Mumbai, Gurgaon & Bangalore where various simulated solutions can demonstrate applications to business users.

Oki, Toshiba, Xerox, HP, Konica/Minolta, Samsung, Ricoh, Kyocera, have all announced their Managed Print Services programs - many have been asking,

"Where is Canon?"



Have they been meranding around in stunned silence, a year long fugue state, triggered when IKON was gobbled up by Ricoh?

Apparently not.

While the MPS bus has gotten more populated here in the states, Canon has been toiling away, initiating it's MPS World Domination plan in India - not Indiana.

Press Release Follows:

New Delhi, Delhi, India, Tuesday, August 04, 2009 -- (Business Wire India)

-- Strong proposition on enterprise cost savings up to 30% and end to end single window approach

-- Aims at handling 500 million documents under Managed Print Services in 2010

-- Canon BIS Direct Sales Division renamed as Enterprise Solutions Division

Canon India Pvt. Limited, India's No 1. Complete Digital Imaging Company today announced its venture into the managed document services space.

The CIOs of Indian Enterprises have recognized the need to reduce costs and optimize resources, so that they can build higher competitiveness for their organization. They are also realizing the need for domain experts to manage processes and activities more effectively.

Thus outsourcing has gained importance in document management. The service which Gartner calls” The last great area of uncontrolled & invisible cost is Print.

The way to do is through deployment of Managed Print Services. This essentially consists of three simple stages that work in continuous cycle.

These are:-

1. Assessment
2. Optimization
3. Monitoring and Management

Canon, brings to the CIOs, a holistic approach for providing expert consultancy and solutions on all the three areas.

Canon is a dynamic company which always has aligned its strategies towards the need of its customers. The enterprise segment is one of the crucial engagement areas for Canon and we realized that in the slowdown phase, each enterprise would look at saving costs by shifting from Capex to Opex models and bringing in operational excellence.

One of the major areas to look at it is the print infrastructure. This is the area where Canon is the technology leader and continues to innovate and deliver what it promises to its customers, said Mr. Kensaku Konishi, President & CEO- Canon India.

In phase-I, Canon India would be partnering with its customers to optimize their print management. In the second phase which may be a year later Canon India would take lead in adding input site which covers digitization of hard copies, archival, indexing, retrieval and workflow to provide end to end document imaging solutions. These would ensure minimal paper usage and flow within the organization to bring higher efficiency in speed.

Speaking on the Occasion, Mr. Alok Bharadwaj, Senior Vice President- Canon India, “With our core technology strength in digital imaging, we are present across complete business product categories of printers, copiers, faxes, MFDs, high speed scanners, Cheque scanners, large format printers & digital presses. We have also introduced various software solutions which are device neutral. Our 10 years of experience in deploying 250 direct sales & service teams has prepared us to move to next higher orbit of offering comprehensive document management & consultancy”.

“Canon has formed a new business group of MPS-Managed print services, where key account managers are being developed as consultants capable of undertaking large scale projects involving print health check ups, designing optimal fleet, deploying & helping clinets monitor & manage entire process of printing more effectively”, Mr. Bharadwaj added.

Before this announcement, Canon carried out Round table meetings with 21 CIOs of large enterprises from various verticals to understand their immediate and long term pain areas. This helped in aligning the offerings & internal organization.

During last six months, Canon has signed up with 3 enterprises with multicity & multi location operations deploying hardware & software solutions. Canon also plans to leverage its global software development centre based in India apart from tie ups with leading solution providers in developing customized document solutions.

Towards this

The entire success of such a deployment is pivoted around convenience and change management for that end user who would in the end use these multifunctional devices on daily basis. Canon understands this as a critical aspect towards such a deployment and has well established processes in place to help enterprises overcome these hurdles.

In the second phase, the strategy is to help enterprises look beyond printing devices and navigate the surplus flow of information in a cost effective manner.

About Canon Inc

With total revenue of about US $ 45 billion in 2008, Canon Inc. is a global leader in photographic and digital imaging solutions. Its global network now employs some more than 165000 people. Five Technology ‘imaging’ engines of Optical, Electro photography, Bubble Jet, Semiconductor and Display drive Canon’s cutting-edge technology products. Canon is the world leader in office automation and digital imaging technologies. The company is dedicated to the advancement in technology and innovation and commits 8% of its total revenue each year to R&D. Canon is ranked 36th on the Best Global Brands for the second consecutive year in Business Week's 100 Best Global Brands 2008 and 189th on the Fortune Global 500 in year 2008. Canon has consistently remained as one of the top 3 companies to have earned the most number of patents over the last decade. Guided by its kyosei philosophy, which focuses on "living and working together for the common good”, Canon delivers high performance and user-friendly products and solutions to improve efficiency both in the office and home environment. More information is available on www.canon.com.

Canon’s product portfolio extends over a vast variety of photocopiers, multi-functional peripherals, fax-machines, printers, scanners, All-in-ones, digital cameras, camcorders and multi media projectors, cable id printers, semi conductors and card printers.

Canon in India

Canon India Pvt. Ltd. is a 100% subsidiary of Canon Singapore Pvt. Ltd., a world leader in imaging technologies. Set up in 1997, Canon India markets over 140 comprehensive range of sophisticated contemporary digital imaging. The company today has offices in 7 cities, warehouses in 11 cities across India and employs over 700 people. Canon products are available in over 300 towns in India. Overall Canon’s presence is expected to increase to 4000 outlets by December 2009.

Canon India closed 2008 with revenue of Rs. 665 crores, which marked 31% growth over 2007. Overall, Canon expects to touch revenue of more than 800 crores in 2009.






Monday, August 3, 2009

Oki Data CEO To Exit Company - After 12 Years - Sights "204 mile" Commute as a Factor


"I actually began this discussion with senior management in late September 2008 and we finalized a transition plan this past March," Krentzman said. "While I will miss the people here at Oki Data Americas, my 204-mile daily commute to the office is something I will not miss."

In a letter sent to Oki employees, Krentzman said, "We have remained true to our selling strategy, utilizing solution providers as our basis for growing our business..."
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DOTC - Not sure how this development will influence the Oki Managed Print Services program. Most likely this will have no effect at all.

The article here.