Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Death of the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology has been Greatly Exaggerated

The HP CM80x0 Edgeline.

There is a small firestorm of "concern" brewing around the comments I shared here from the Lyra Symposium regarding the Edgeline.

Couple this with the report that HP moved Edgeline assets "off-shore", and Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are bound to permeate.

It's referred to as the F.U.D. selling technique and is used by the more shadier copier sales people out there - "X".

If you run your business, your department or your life from a position of Fear, then you have probably been a victim of this selling technique. If so, stop right now, move your mouse over the "X" in the top, right hand corner and click.

No room here for the fearful.

Here's the story - HP is NOT putting Edgeline out to pasture, end of life.

HP IS behind Edgeline, supporting Edgeline, and Edgeline is part of the future.

Resellers are still certified, my techs still service Edgelines, I can still get service parts, toner and engines - all is moving forward.

So if your "X" sales person is telling you that the HP CM8060 is at "end of life" - move your mouse over the "X" and click him out.
---------------------------------------------

All this hub bub has given me pause, so I reflect.

It's true, HP has not sold as many units as they would have liked, but how have I been effected?

How have my clients been effected? What does this all mean to me, personally?

Sparking up PrintSolv and checking into our fleet of CM80x0's, I remember the dozens of reasons these clients chose Edgeline.

One company, wanted to explore saving money by reducing energy consumption as compared to their Canons. The Canons had "all the bells", including 3 hole punch, 11x17 and scanning. After looking at the actual usage, 11x17 output was less than 1% of total. Three hole punch, hadn't been used for "...2 years..."

At last month's Customer Review Meeting, we confirmed that since August of 2008, energy consumption for copiers declined 11%.

This was predicted. This is measured. This is a fact. The Edgeline is GREEN.

A side benefit was a reduction in paper purchases from 17 cases/month to 12 cases/month. Duplex was set as default on the Edgeline and all other HP devices.

Scrolling down, I see one client who currently prints about 15,000 color images a month.

Well, I should say, 14,500 Color Accent images a month.

This client was absolutely fed up with the poor customer service, unpredictable color quality, numerous jamming and a ridiculous contract the Konica Minolta dealer was "unwilling to help with".

Indeed, when the unit did print color correctly that is without a "pinkish" hue, a 12 cent/page charge was incurred. After looking at their output, which is revenue generating, almost 80% of the pages had less than 150 characters of text in color. Not many pictures or graphs.

We installed the Edgeline for a 30 day evaluation, which expanded into a 90 day evaluation. Earlier on, the cost savings looked significant for color cost alone. But when we rolled in the ease of use, lower energy consumption, lower amount of disposable service parts(no drum, fuser, etc.) - and the ability to EASILY remove mis-feeds - the Edgeline looked even better "on paper".

I can not say that the Edgeline will not mis-feed, but when it does, end users do not simply walk away from the "blinking wrench"; they easily fix the problem using the AutoNav and live video display. Simple.

Today, because of the Color Accent functionality found only on Edgeline, my client saves a significant amount of money printing color at the black and white rate - printing color text.

The biggest impact on the organization has been reliability - the Edgeline is bullet proof.

But, the client is saving "lots" of money - the Konica is sitting in the corner of the room, used as backup - the lease is still in effect - for another 21 months. Even carrying the lease on this dead machine, they are reducing costs.

One more example -

A very small fleet of Edgelines(4 units) we installed before going with PrintSolv.

These units notify my offices and the client when supplies hit a minimum and service issues reach a certain level. For instance, magenta down to 3% issues an email; three consecutive mis feeds in the ADF, trigger a service email.

To date, we have dispatched 3 service calls to each machine, when notified of a problem, by the machine. That's 12, premptive, non PM service calls in the last 18 months.

Our tech shows up before the end user calls our toll free number. There have even been cases when our tech will show up while the Admin is speaking to our dispatch.

These four Edgelines replaced five boxes from Xerox. My client had been a Xerox customer for DECADES. But saw an "account executive" rarely if ever; the end users knew the service technicians by name, first name.

This account represents quite a few Edgelines - quite a few.

The Take Aways - How to work with Edgeline, from a customer's view and from the Reseller's perspective.

If you arelooking getting more than 4 Edgelines, install a trial unit.

If you are a reseller and you have a prospect who is looking to roll out more than four Edgelines, install a trial unit.

And when going through the trial process, treat it as a sale - perform the site survey, collect end user requirements and network security issues. Train the end users(twice or more) on all the relevant functions.

Set the system up to email your client and you when issues arise.

Do not try to fit this "square peg" into a round hole - do your homework. Both client and provider.

Sustainability - the Edgeline and HP is very Green. Reducing power consumption and landfill materials.

When the unit is installed in an environment that fits, the system performs very well.

I know. I have replaced Canon, Konica Minolta, Xerox, Imagistics and Toshiba with Edgeline.

Edgeline treats business documents the way they are in the real world - hardly anyone uses 11x17 - it's a fact. Sure you can find some who run nothing but 11x17, those are not Edgeline prospects.

Hardly anyone use the 3-hole punch - it's a fact. If it is a "big" issue, pre-drilled is the way to go.

Whenever one penetrates a market with very established players, who apply a tried and proven sales and manufacturing model, such as the copier industry, one is bound to take a few hits.

HP is not going to someday stop printing - but there will be companies that will one day stop copying.






Crazy Disclaimer - the above accounts are a "conglomeration" of cases illustrated as individual clients. The facts remain the same.

Ricoh's Embedded Intelligence System works with IBM's Tivoli Monitoring Networked Multifunction Products- And Why is This Important?


Ricoh announced new, embedded intelligence technology with IBM's Tivoli Monitoring and Asset Management for IT.

This solution monitors MFP energy consumption and automates settings based on a corporation's environmental management objectives.

For instance, if all users in a particular workgroup are not using their computers, the system will recognize this inactivity and automatically shut down the workgroup's MFP to a sleep mode.

This is a pretty big step and one that illustrates the significant meshing of IT and MFPs.

The complete Press Release:

LAS VEGAS, Feb 09, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Company: International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

New Solution Works Seamlessly with IBM's Tivoli Software to Manage Energy Consumption and Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Ricoh Americas Corporation, a leading provider of digital office equipment, today announced the preliminary showing of its new embedded intelligence technology with IBM's Tivoli Monitoring and Asset Management for IT at the IBM Pulse conference in Las Vegas.

The solution monitors and reports on Ricoh multifunction product (MFP) energy consumption and automates settings based on a corporation's environmental management objectives. The solution will be on display for demonstration February 8-11, 2009, at booth #70 in the IBM Industry Zone at Pulse Solutions Center.

Ricoh's solution tracks the activity of all Ricoh MFPs connected to a network in order to gauge real-time metrics of power usage through IBM's Tivoli system management software. An IT administrator can define customized metrics by defining parameters on an individual company's cost reduction and sustainability goals. The Ricoh system is able to identify when established thresholds have been reached and will automatically adjust the network's settings. For instance, if all users in a particular workgroup are not using their computers, the system will recognize this inactivity and automatically shut down the workgroup's MFP to a sleep mode, greatly reducing power consumption and costs.

Ricoh's solution can also enable a company to apply print rules that push settings onto workgroups. Therefore, if a particular group is consistently failing to meet the company's sustainability goals, the settings can force users to duplex or limit prints in order to better manage and improve the company's carbon footprint.

"Environmental issues and sustainable practices are at the forefront of business now more than ever. Therefore, Ricoh and IBM are demonstrating an innovative solution for managing MFP power consumption," said Mark Minshull, vice president and chief technologist, Ricoh Americas Corporation. "Ricoh and IBM are leaders in promoting sustainability both internally and to our customers, and this solution, which integrates our leading technologies, is another example of how we can help customers 'green' their operations while also improving their bottom line."

Previously, adjustments for power management had to be made manually, often for each individual product. With the new Ricoh solution with Tivoli, all adjustments are made automatically based on an enterprise's environmental policies. Additionally, Tivoli can change the energy settings for all IT assets connected to the network simultaneously from the desktop of the administrator.

Minshull will also be leading a breakout session at the conference for attendees titled "Leveraging IBM Service Management and Ricoh Embedded MFP Intelligence to Deliver a Total Green Office Solution." The session will focus on the implementation of IBMs through IBM's Tivoli Monitoring and Asset Management for IT software with Ricoh's embedded solution. Minshull will give insight into trends in green management and industry standards, as well as ways to consolidate and improve office equipment utilization with asset optimization. The session will be held at 10:30 am (PST) on February 10 in room 106 at the Conference Center of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nano Technology: Helping Export Paper


Nanotechnology Helps Paper Exports
Tuesday, 17 February 2009, 10:43 am

Press Release: Victoria University of Wellington

Nanotechnology Helps Paper Exports

Researchers at Victoria University have discovered ground-breaking new ways to capitalise on New Zealand’s increasingly valuable paper export markets using nanotechnology.

Dr Aaron Small and supervisor Professor Jim Johnston investigated cost-effective methods of printing or coating nanoparticles onto paper and packaging materials. Nanoparticles are tiny particles 10,000 times thinner than the average human hair.

By adding a simple step to the end of the paper making process, their finding makes possible the development of new magnetic, electrically conductive or optically active specialist paper products.

While nanoparticles are already used to coat materials such as fabric or clay particles, this is the first-time the technology has been used with a New Zealand-grown and produced material such as Kraft board fibres (Pinus radiata), which are exported as newsprint grade paper internationally.

Dr Small, whose PhD results were published in international scientific journals Current Applied Physics and the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, says the methods have many potential uses.

“We know how to print nanoparticles that glow under Ultra Violet light but are invisible under normal light. They could be used for security labelling to protect against counterfeiting. You could also have a label that might be blue within the use-by-date and when it’s expired it would turn red,” he says.

The results could also provide a cheaper alternative to some metals, such as copper. Copper is commonly used to shield equipment sensitive to electromagnetic radiation such as cellular and wireless network frequencies.

“For equipment that’s sensitive to inference you could line the walls of a room with cardboard coated with nanomaterials to block out problematic frequencies. The same material is anti-static and could be used to package sensitive equipment such as computer components.”

New Zealand exports more than $600 million of paper products a year and new markets in higher value printing and packaging papers are expected to emerge within 10 years.

Dr Small says his PhD research aimed to use “clever chemistry” to increase the value of New Zealand’s specialist paper products.

Over the course of his three-year doctorate, Dr Small worked in laboratories at Victoria University, Industrial Research Limited, the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Melbourne and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, a government research institute in Germany.

He has established how to synthesise the nanoparticles and characterise their properties. Further research or a larger pilot project will be undertaken if financial support can be secured.

NanoClusters and InkJet Printing - The Print Process is Not Used to Print But to Manufacture



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Xerox and HP Managed Print in the Wall Street Journal...

As MPS continues to expand in recognition, Ed Crowley gives is 0.020 worth in a recent WSJ article written by William M. Bulkeley.

The article is a simple piece - the content nothing new to any of us "in the industry." I guess if your niche gets mentioned in the WSJ, the niche is likely to start getting crowded.

A mention of a big deal in Michigan, Dow Chemical, was of particular interest. I believe the case is studied in one of Photizo's first newsletters.

From the WSJ article:

"...Tom Codd, H-P's director of marketing for enterprise services, says H-P's managed print services business has been growing at a 38% annual rate since 2004.

"H-P comes from a very strong position because we invented network printing, and historically IT guys bought the printers," Mr. Codd says.

Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich., which hired Xerox, says under the managed service it cut the number of printers, copiers and fax machines in its offices to 6,600 from 15,000..."

One other interesting point from Stephen Cronin, president of Xerox's global-services business,

"...Xerox doesn't force customers to switch to Xerox hardware,

noting more than half of the 1.5 million devices the company currently manages are from other vendors. But he says consolidating on a single brand helps cut costs. "Total spending goes down, but my proportion goes up," Mr. Cronin says. Last year, services, including maintenance as well as managed print, contributed $3.5 billion of Xerox's $17.6 billion in revenue."

Check the rest out, here.

MFP's: Security Leak?

I want to pass this along.

A security article around MFPs.

Nothing new really, security is an issue with every network connected device.

MFP's have always had issues (small) with possible security breaches. These potential leaks can usually be addressed with "check in a box"configuration, closing the open channels.

But, just like everything else around the print fleet, these issues have been overlooked. A printer or copier or MFP just isn't as sexxxy as a Blade, or Citrix, or VMWare, is it?

Enjoy...

MFP security--or how the IT guy is becoming the security guy
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 12:15 Vince Jannelli, Sharp Information and Imaging Company of America

NetworkingI recently read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (October 16, 2008, “New Data Privacy Laws Set for Firms”) that outlines new state-by-state regulations for data security. The article contains a great quote that I think sums up the major concerns for IT managers right now, but it doesn’t come from IBM or Cisco or even Sharp. It comes from the network manager for the Northeast-based pizza chain, Papa Ginos, who says, “Anybody in IT has to become the security guy.” I truly believe this quote illustrates how IT managers in companies of all sizes are quickly realizing the importance of data security and are learning more about what steps need to be taken to ensure that the network, and ultimately the company, are safeguarded against data theft.

Technology makes an ever-increasing contribution to profitability in today’s highly competitive business landscape. However, the same technology that enables high productivity in the workplace can easily be compromised if not sufficiently secured. The consequences of inadequate protection could be financial loss, identity theft, risk to intellectual property, or even the ruination of an upstanding business due to identity theft.

Organizations spend significant capital to protect digital assets from threats, yet frequently overlook one of the most used network devices today -- the office multi-function peripheral (MFP). As these devices become more advanced and integrated, they offer companies a myriad of new benefits. However, because they are a document’s entry and exit point on your network, they also pose a number of threats that cannot be overlooked. For a comprehensive security strategy to be effective, it is imperative for organizations to demand a greater level of protection from MFP vulnerabilities.

MFP: The Overlooked Security Risk

An MFP is a powerful asset in your office’s environment. Left unsecured however, an MFP can pose one of the greatest threats to your organization. Just consider the types of documents that are copied, printed, faxed or scanned on a daily basis -- personal information, financial statements, confidential reports, e-mails, memos, customer data and employee information. Much like a computer, this data remains on the unit’s hard drive indefinitely.

The Risks to Office Multifunction Peripherals

Internal Threats

Important information can be at risk at the internal level, from threats within your organization. At the device level, confidential information can be accidentally or even purposefully copied from stored documents on the unit’s hard drive, taken from the output tray or faxed without authorization. Any information stored on a local desktop computer or accessible through the Local Area Network ( LAN) can be printed without authorization. And since many of today’s offices MFPs are running over a network, this provides employees with another entry point to the network that could be used to bypass user restrictions and access information on other computers on the same network.

External Threats

Data is also at risk via external threats, outside the company’s realm. From across a Wide-Area Network (WAN), the Internet or a Virtual Private Network (VPN), information such as stored documents, scanned data or print data can be intercepted. In the worst case, a user from the outside can obtain confidential information, unleash a Denial of Service (DOS) attack, or even place a virus on the device via the network or a phone line. Through a FAX line, or corporate LAN, communications could be intercepted or sent without permission anywhere in the world. Data stored on the copier’s hard disk drive or in memory could also be compromised or even taken off-site and stolen if not protected.

IT mangers need to also consider what happens to office equipment once they have reached their end of life. If copiers or MFPs are being leased, there is always a chance that these units can fall in to the hands of hackers who can unlock data stored on the hard drive.

The Solution: Multi-Tiered Security

In any situation, protecting your MFP from just one threat is not adequate. A solid security suite will offer a multi-layered approach to protection -- providing better control over the users, devices, ports, protocols and applications on your MFP(s). A comprehensive approach to security will account for protection at every step in the document lifecycle, from the initial scan or print to final output and distribution.

Solutions for Internal Threats

The first step is to secure data that is stored right on the MFP that users can access locally. Manufacturers have introduced Common Criteria security solutions to offer encryption and data overwrite features for various levels of use. Ensure that your MFP meets the highest commercial level of Common Criteria Validation.

Data Security

A powerful security suite or security kit protects and controls the major MFP systems, subsystems (print, copy, scan, fax jobs, network settings, operating system, memory components, local user interface, engine and job controller) and all data before it is written to RAM or Flash memory and the disk. Be sure to enable overwriting routines for deleted data so that all information is virtually irretrievable by unauthorized users.

Access Control Security

To limit unauthorized access to each device, specify account codes, user/group profiles, passwords, or external user accounts contained in an LDAP or Active Directory server. And to mitigate the risk of interception, user credentials should be transferred using a proven combination of encryption standards, such as, Kerberos, SSL or Digest-MD5.

An MFP security suite should also enable you to customize your solution to meet your unique requirements and ensure data confidentiality and integrity. For instance, government agencies should seek out a security suite or development platform that can be customized for use with MFD or CAT card readers. Without a CAT card reader, the MFP is not compliant with HSPD-12 (homeland security presidential directive 12) and renders the network functionality of your built-in fax or copier unsafe.

Audit Trail Security

A modern MFP will provide an internal audit trail, and/or third party application software such as Equitrac Office, for comprehensive auditing of all user activity. Certain federal regulations parameters, such as 'to', 'from', 'when' and 'file name' can be logged, reviewed and archived for conformance. Be sure that your MFP is customizable so that, if audit trail software is not embedded, you can easily request or download the appropriate software.

Solutions for External Threats

Unlocking the true potential of your MFP means having it fully integrated with your network, so employees can scan to email, or browse and preview data from the server right on the MFP. Of course, adding another entry point to the network present another possible threat to a company’s data. A security suite should provide you with the proper safeguarding against external threats too, allowing you to scale up as needed, but adequately safeguarding the network infrastructure and MFP installed base, without affecting network traffic or workgroup productivity.

Network Security

A multi-tiered security suite will feature an intelligent network interface that can limit access to specific computers on a network by IP or MAC address, and selectively enable or disable any protocol or service port on each device. All communications to and from the MFP will utilize Secure Socket Layer ( SSL) for secure transmission over the network, and most devices also support SMB, IPv6*, IPSec* and SNMPv3.

Fax Security

Often times attackers can gain access to the internal systems of the MFP or the local network via fax lines. The MFP should provide a logical separation between the fax telephone line and LAN.

Platform Virus Security

Be sure that the MFP operating platform is secure. A proprietary platform is ideal, since it won’t be susceptible to viruses designed to attack more popular operating systems available on personal computers.

Taking the time to talk to your dealer about these features is vital. The time spent will be minimal but the cost savings, both tangible and intangible, will be enormous. Regardless, do not settle for a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all security package. Threats to private information and data will always be present and are always evolving. Make sure you are ahead of the game when it comes to security and that your MFP security suite is evolving fast enough to stay ahead of these threats.

Vince Jannelli is the associate director, Applications and Partners, for Sharp Information and Imaging Company of America.

Here is original.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Death Of The Copier a Year Later: When does a Blog stop being a Blog?

I had to go back and see what the official date was of my first post. I knew it was close to March, but to my surprise, it was a year ago, yesterday (Feb 20).

So I guess it is fitting that I put down some thoughts a year later.

One of the techniques I have learned to drive traffic to a site, is to use easily searchable words in the title of the post, like "copier", "HP", "Xerox", etc. - this post will not show up on many Google results and that is fine with me.

It's fine because I really write to read what I write - that's how this started, and today it's still true.

I started this little endeavor without really knowing what a "Blog" was - all I wanted to do was put some information "out there", within reach of potential clients. Information strictly around the HP Edgeline. At the time a revolutionary new technology, a "copier Killer" technology.

Well, I never really wanted to talk about what I ate for lunch or how many people came over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Back in the beginning, "driving traffic" to the site meant me telling my family and close friends about my blog and how they should "go check it out". One month, 12 of my friends viewed one page and spent an average of 30 seconds on the site. Today, I have a months with 16,000 and an average time on the site between 2.5 and 3.2 minutes.

Back then a "Blog", the combination of the two words web and log, was considered a diary created by individuals and stored on the internet.

I looked at the Drudge Report as a functional model. Scanning the internet for information regarding my industry and posting.

Pretty simple.

This idea grew into finding more information, again interesting to me, and writing some commentary or reflection. And ultimately, writing pure content based on topical issues.

As time progressed, I started to refer to the blog as "my site" - because it really isn't a blog, it's not a journal or diary. One of the many things I have learned, most successful, business blogs really aren't diaries. Neither is mine - but I must admit I do like to go back and read older posts.

Sometimes I cringe, sometimes I laugh out loud, most of the time I am just as amused as the day I wrote it.

They say any good experience is one you learn something from. This is the greatest learning experience, ever.

Over the past 12 months, together, we have been witness to the beginning of the largest merger in the history of our industry .

We've seen $5.00/gallon gasoline prices grind the economy to a stand still and have witnessed the biggest transfer of private business to government ownership in the history of mankind - this has not been a "ho-hum" year.

I have learned more about smart paper, carbon credits, publishing, killer laser toner, nano-printing, copier leases, copier crimes in Cleveland, winery tours, and recycling centers, soy based toner, Hybrid Dealers, Galactic-Hybrid Dealers, drunk email, umbrellas of silence, Pearl Harbor, and Google Data Barges.

Some of the other things I have learned involve plagiarism, "feeds" vs content, verifying sources and that writing should not be easy, if it is, then it is not writing.

I have also tried to title my posts with a bit more thought - well, I must admit, I do like "The Death of..."

The Death of Xerography
The Death of the Sale
The Death of the Copier Person
The Death of Print
The Death of Kaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnn!
The Death of Socrates
The Death of Windows 3.0
The Death of the "Close"
The Death of the Typewriter
The Death of the Copier Dealer
The Death of Edgeline

I still chuckle, and reflect, when reading "The Death of Kaaaaaaaahhhhhnnnnnn!" I am sure there will be more.

Ah...the people...

This site as introduced me to so many different people. People I would never have met without the DOTC. Great peeps - you know who you are. Collaborators, mentors, contributors, critics - peers. To you, I say thanks.

And the connections...

I have now been published in a new and highly regarded MPS Journal, I have been interviewed by dozens of pundits, industry analysts and peers. I am currently working on articles for a number of industry publications.

I attended the Lyra Symposium and will be attending the Photizo conference in April. I am part of a collection of MPS people focused on helping others make it in this field.

All of this is very flattering and a bit unbelievable. The attention is grand.

And yet, the most rewarding aspect has been receiving emails from folks who read the site everyday - who have made it part of their routine.

The regular, normal, everyday Selling Professional. The people that make EVERYTHING happen. Sometimes it's just a phrase or two and sometimes I receive a nice long letter - and to be honest I haven't received all that many. But a law of marketing says for every "one" response, there are 5.3 people who feel the same.(not sure on the actual figure)

The blog stopped being a blog, the day I received my first "good job" email, back in August of 2008 - since then, its been a odyssey.

And as this writing expedition, this journey into "self" continues to evolve, I am even more honored to have you here along with me.

Thank you, and keep coming back.

Click to email me.




Excellent Discusion over on LinkedIn - "Just What is Managed Print Services?"


The topic was posed from Michael O'Leary, Director- Document Outsourcing at Info Trends.

A sampling of the responses:

"...I hope I did make this point in my explanation--print management is a services led sales strategy. You will sell equipment but frequently that revenue stream becomes a fulfillment of the print management engagement rather than the entry point..." - Tom Callinan

"...One of the biggest problems I find in discussing MPS, or PM or any other name that is developed, is that no one is working from the same definition..." - Shawn Robison

"...I don’t view print management or MPS as new; they are evolving, but what doesn’t? I sold “fleet management” agreements inside of facilities management (FM) agreements for the last 10+ years (A services led sales approach). Admittedly, we didn’t look at the cost to print at the individual asset level other than trying to move prints to copier based products or the production center (a mistake)..." - Tom Callinan

"... in our definition Print Management is two components: Printing Management and Printer Management.

Printer Management is also mostly known out there as MPS. It has everything to do with the device; meter reads, supplies reporting, supplies fulfillment, break fix information and various alerts as to what is happening on the machine..." - John MacInnes, President & CEO Print Audit

"...one company I recently interviewed (one of the largest managed print services installations in Europe) had a very good perspective on this. They said (and I paraphrase a bit here): "Most vendors are approaching Managed Print Services as 'wrapping' services around hardware in order to sell more hardware."

"What we want, and where the market is moving to, is for a vendor to offer me all of the services required to manage my fleet and hardcopy startegy just like I manage any other IT technology. And oh, by the way, if they provide the hardware also, that's a bonus." -Ed Crowley, Industry Pundit - Managed Print Services

A great discusion is brewing over there, check it out here.
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Do You Sell? You Are a Capitalist, and that's OK.


A long time ago, a few Americans, at great risk to themselves and family, disguised themselves as Indians, and dumped tea into the Boston Harbor - over a 4% tax hike.

Today, the California state budget(for last year) was passed. My taxes are going up - a great deal more than 4%.

One radio personality said on-air last night, "...I know how to change this, but there is an 11 day waiting period in California..."

This is not good.

Since September, regular people, business owners, and employees alike - Capitalists - have been scared. Not scared of competition from overseas, or down the block. They are not scared of losing customers or enhancing their customer experience.

The Russians, or the Taliban, or even Bin Laden don't give these people pause.

Today, millions of us are afraid of our own government.

Worse, some, as they witness failure and bad choices being rewarded - "mortgage bailouts" - are starting to fear success.

I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us.




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Saturday, February 21, 2009

More Green - Canon Makes Calculators Out of Old Copiers - Huh?


“Although the cost of manufacturing products using recyclable products is higher than buying new raw materials off the shelf, we believe in doing something to preserve the environment,” says Canon Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd president and chief executive officer Liew Sip Chon.


"As the first office equipment manufacturer to implement a cartridge recycling program in 1990, Canon has long been committed to reducing our environmental impact," said Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Manager, Canon Middle East.

"The launch of this calculator range is a small step towards a truly sustainable manufacturing program. Through continued improvements in resource efficiency, we hope to show that it is possible for all players in the industry to achieve a balance between environmental and business interests."


Friday, February 20, 2009

HP: Pay Cuts and no 401k - and still the State of California gets Away with Stealing

In a communique dispatched via email, Hurd explains how cutting the base pay for all its employees will soften his conversation with "analysts and investors..." Hurd will take a 20 percent pay cut to his base pay.

Here is the text:

Today, HP announced first quarter results amid one of most difficult economic downturns that any of us has ever faced. I am proud to say that we continue to execute well in this very challenging environment.

We grew revenue 1 percent year-over-year, or 4 percent in local currency, and you need to look at these numbers a little differently this quarter. For the first time in a long time, the dollar was strengthening, so the currency conversion was actually a headwind for us. We also continued to show strong operating leverage with non-GAAP operating profit up 10 percent year-over-year. This was a solid performance, and I thank all of you for your efforts.

But really, Q1 was like a tale of two companies.

HP Services — as a result of EDS and TS — had a strong quarter, delivering virtually all of the local currency revenue growth and more operating profit than any other business. It’s gratifying, because this performance was possible because of the hard work we’ve been doing to restructure those businesses.

When you take HP services out of the mix, it’s a very different picture. PSG had revenue down 19%. ESS had revenue down 18%. IPG had revenue down 19%. In fairness, across IT and even other industries, product businesses are struggling in this economic climate. And we did gain share in key market segments. PSG and ESS gained roughly 1 and 3 points of share, respectively. In IPG, quite frankly, we still have work to do across a number of dimensions like inventory, both owned and channel inventory.

In an environment like this, there’s no margin for error and no tolerance for inaction. To give you a little insight into my world, after we report our earnings, we engage in a dialogue with analysts and investors. They’re going to ask what we’re doing in light of the current environment to right-size these businesses.

The math is pretty straight forward. From a productivity standpoint, you’re supposed to reduce headcount on par with declining revenue. If you believe the environment isn’t going to improve, you should take a bigger cut to get in front of the problems. You can do the calculation, as easy as I can. We have about 100,000 people in our product businesses, with revenue down roughly 20%, and an environment that may not get any better in 2009.

I’ll be asked by investors, “Where’s the job action, where are you taking out this roughly, 20,000 positions?” Well, I don’t want to do that. When I look at HP, I don’t see a structural problem of that magnitude. There are pockets where restructuring needs to happen, and areas where actions will be taken as part of our ongoing workforce optimization process. But at a company-wide level, I don’t believe a major workforce reduction is the best thing for HP at this time.

I think we are fundamentally sound, and when the economy picks up, I want HP to be strong, and to take share and to outgrow the market. I said it last quarter, my goal is to keep the muscle of this organization intact. But we do have to do something…because the numbers just don’t add up and we need to have the flexibility to make the right long-term investments for HP.

So we are going to take action. We have decided to further variablize our cost structure by reducing base pay and some benefits across HP. My base pay will be reduced by 20 percent. The base pay of Executive Council members will be reduced by 15 percent. The base pay of other executives will be reduced by 10 percent. The base pay of all other exempt employees will be reduced by 5 percent. For non-exempt employees, base pay will be reduced by two-and-a-half percent. Additional efficiencies, including changes to the US 401(K) plan and the share ownership plan, will also be implemented. Of course, the implementation of all of these actions is subject to compliance with local laws and regulations. Follow-up communications will detail the timing and the plans in your location.

This does not change our pay-for-performance strategy at HP. If we outperform, and there is a chance we will, then we will increase the total amount of variable pay. In fact, the financial flexibility we’re gaining helps put us in a better position to compete and to win in the marketplace, and fund the bonus program this year based on pre-adjusted salaries. If the company performs well, if our individual businesses perform well and if you perform well, then you could potentially make up the difference with your bonus. I can’t promise you anything, but I tell you…there is a chance…if we get this right.

To be clear, these actions don’t make up for all of the decline in revenues. We’re also benefiting from the tough actions we’ve taken over the last few years. People always asked, “Why are we so focused on getting costs out in good times?” Now…is why that work was so important. We’ve been able to bank some of those savings, and we’re making a withdrawal, which along with the actions we’re taking today, I hope, will get us through this recession.

Again, there are no guarantees. If the environment gets worse, if the downturn lasts longer than we’re assuming, if our performance declines, we’ll have to reassess. But for now I believe this is the right thing for the strength of HP.

I know this is a tough time. But if we get this right, HP can be the kind of company that not only has led, but will extend its leadership. We can emerge from this recession in a powerful position to create value for our customers, our shareholders and our people for years to come.

Thank you.

Mark





Plastic Logic - Save Them Trees...

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Benjamin: Just how do you mean that, sir?

A year from now, we may all read our internet news and favorite blogs, not on paper or through glass, but on plastic -

A company I mentioned in a article on the last day of 2008, made a few announcements the same day Amazon announced it's Kindle 2.

That company, Plastic Logic, has made arrangements with
the Financial Times and USA Today to provide content for its eReader, according to a company statement.

Contracts with content aggregators Ingram Digital, LibreDigital, and Zinio were also signed.

Plastic Logic’s target is claimed to be the large market of “business readers” of newspapers, magazines, PDF documents, blogs and emails.

And with it's 8.5x11" size it could be the Killer App the paperless world is waiting for...


Click to email me.





Jim Lyons Observations: HP (NYSE HPQ) confirms -- overall printing is down


I work with an HP VAR, SVIP, OPS Edgeline.

And I happen to think that HP is a great "little" company and makes good stuff.

Yesterday's HP conference revealed much, and there are many analytics.

Rob Sethre has some good words, here.

Jim Lyons was on the call and has really good insight.

Jim Lyons Observations: HP (NYSE HPQ) confirms -- overall printing is down

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Print4Pay Hotel: HP Edgeline "What Went Wrong"


Art has a good little post regarding Edgeline and "what went wrong".

Of course, I had to comment.



Print4Pay Hotel: HP Edgeline "What Went Wrong"




Copier Selling to Schools- Let's Get Down and Dirty in the Mud!!!!


This is almost too delicious.

A longtime Xerox partner has to take on a newbie Xerox dealer.

The Newbie looses the bid. The Newbie plays the "he didn't play fair" card. Ends up representing all that is wrong in copier sales.

This article from the Westport News, written by Frank Luongo, explains it all better than I could.
-----
Rejected copier bidder protests contract choice
By Frank Luongo

In losing the bidding competition for the Westport school system's new contract for photocopier management services, CBS/Xerox (CBS) of Newington has described the outcome as fiscally flawed.

"It is without question that this is an irresponsible financial decision to the taxpayers of the Town of Westport, the Westport Board of Education (BOE), as well as the respective teachers, faculty and students," CBS President Wilson Vega expressed in a formal protest on Dec. 18 to Assistant Superintendent for Business Nancy Harris.

Vega said that the school system would be paying $137,168 more over the term of the contract than the CBS bid would have cost, based on what he said would be an annual higher cost of $34,292 in the ACT agreement.

ACT President Gregory Gondek said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the net cost of leasing replacement machines for a 60-month term, together with a run of 5,000,000 copies at a $.0090 cost-per-copy, would be $45,000 per quarter, after a credit to the school system of $3,208 each quarter for the machines replaced.

A review of the bid documents shows that CBS, which is owned by Xerox, had proposed quarterly payments over the course of a 48-month equipment lease, ranging from $39,074 to $39,873, depending on the option chosen, based on a quarterly volume of 5,008,251 copies at a $.0042 cost per copy.

In answering CBS's protest on Dec. 22, Harris did not respond to Vega's claim about the higher costs of ACT's services, but said that his letter "incorrectly" assumed that the "photocopy management services were awarded on the basis of which bidder bid the lowest price."

Rather, Harris said, the school system's request for proposals (RFP) for copier services had made it clear that the BOE at its "sole discretion" would make the award based on a range of considerations "in addition to price.

The BOE, in fact, did not "review or approve the bid responses," according to Marjorie Cion, the executive assistant to the superintendent, who confirmed by e-mail, after consultation with Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon, that the school board did not take up the copier contract matter at a meeting in public or in executive session.

In a "certificate of fact" for the law firm that represents the school system, Shipman and Goodwin, Landon said that the copier-contract agreement had been "duly authorized and approved" by the action of the school board, authorizing him and Harris "to sign contracts on behalf of the Board of Education."

The certificate notes that there is "no action or other proceeding pending" that could impede the enforcement of the agreement except the CBS protest.

On the basis of Landon's certification and a meeting with CBS on Jan. 6, Shipman and Goodwin said in letter to CBS on Jan. 8 that "the board's decision to award the contract to Advanced Copy Technologies is final. The board deems this matter to be closed."

Cion said in an e-mail message that, according to Landon, Shipman and Goodwin's description of the board's role uses legal "terms of art" to convey the point that Landon and Harris had acted under a BOE authorization for them to sign contracts, not that the board had "decided to award" the contract.

The signing authorization, which eliminates the need for a direct BOE review and approval of contracts, was contested several years ago in a copier-contract dispute over the transfer of the school system's copier services also from a Xerox company to ACT, which has now had its services extended.

In the new contract dispute, Harris maintains that CBS did not satisfy the RFP requirement that the vendor supply only newly manufactured, "latest model" equipment with no "recycled, reconditioned, remanufactured or used parts."

Harris said in the Jan. 8 letter that CBS's response to the RFP "discloses" that the company's proposed equipment "contains recycled components."

CBS had tried to counter that contention, according to a letter from Vega on Dec. 30, by saying that its Xerox machines are new, but "as with most manufactured products today, there are some elements of recycling in order to meet government standards as well as to be environmentally responsible."

"All office product manufacturers have adopted the policy of using recycled parts as a way of reducing their carbon footprint," Vega said, including Lanier/Ricoh, which manufactures ACT's copier machines.

Gondek denied that the machines his company uses have recycled components. He said that he has visited Lanier/Ricoh plants and has seen only totally new copiers, although he acknowledged that the manufacturer does recycle toner cartridges and printer drums.

Harris said that CBS had also failed to prove that it has been a "factory authorized dealer for the products being proposed for a minimum of three years," as she wrote to CBS, pointing out that CBS has been owned by Xerox only since May of 2007, which, she said, fails to meet the school system's service-experience test in its RFP.

In answering that objection, Vega relied on the good reputation of the Xerox product, its standing as a Fortune 500 company and the fact that CBS is currently servicing Xerox products in the public schools of Greenwich, Darien, East Windsor, Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook Ridgefield, Trumbull, Watertown, Weston and Wilton.

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HP cuts full year outlook - Rueters


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) cut its full-year profit outlook after quarterly revenue missed expectations on weak sales of printers, personal computers and servers, sending its shares down 3 percent.

While HP's diversified business lines -- which also include computer services and software -- have kept it relatively resilient to the economic downturn, it is still vulnerable to sharp cutbacks in corporate spending on technology.

"The big disappointment, not surprisingly, is the shortfall in revenue," said Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brent Bracelin. "Their hardware businesses, both servers and storage, are under intense scrutiny. Budgets are being cut and that showed up in the shortfall today."

For fiscal 2009, HP on Wednesday forecast profit excluding items of $3.76 to $3.88 a share, on a revenue decline of 2 to 5 percent from $118.4 billion in fiscal 2008. That compared with its previous forecast for earnings per share of $3.88 to $4.03 on revenue of $127.5 billion to $130 billion.

Wall Street analysts, on average, had expected earnings of $3.78 a share on revenue of $126.6 billion.

"They are vulnerable to weakening PC sales," said Shebly Seyrafi, analyst at Calyon Securities. "Shares are down on a combination of the actual results, the revenue mess and the lowering of the annual guidance. There are lots of reasons to be concerned about Hewlett-Packard."

The technology bellwether said net profit for its fiscal first quarter ended January 31 fell to $1.85 billion, or 75 cents a share, from $2.13 billion, or 80 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding items, HP earned 93 cents a share, matching average analyst estimates, according to Reuters Estimates. Analysts pointed to tight cost controls.

"A laser focus on cost-control has benefited HP despite a dramatic falloff in revenues and I don't think the outlook is as bad as it could have been given currency headwinds and overall weak demand environment," said Bill Kreher, analyst at Edward Jones.

HP said fiscal first-quarter revenue rose 1 percent to $28.8 billion, below the $31.9 billion Wall Street estimate.

For the current quarter, HP expects a profit of 84 cents to 86 cents a share from continuing operations, on a revenue decline of 2 to 3 percent from a year ago. That compares with the average Wall Street forecast for earnings of 90 cents a share on revenue of $31 billion.

The company is the world's No. 1 PC maker, with a market share of nearly 20 percent in the 2008 fourth quarter, according to IDC.

Last year, HP acquired Electronic Data Systems Corp in a $13.2 billion deal, making HP the second largest technology services company behind International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N).

Shares of HP, a Dow component, are down around 20 percent from a year ago. The stock fell to $32.93 in extended trading from its New York Stock Exchange close of $34.08.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Richard Chang)



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Managed Print Services - Today's Lightning In a Bottle

"MPS has had it's false starts over the last 8 years or so..."

"I have over 100 sales people, who typically take orders. I can't get them to sell MPS..."

"The owner of my company, really doesn't understand what it takes and how long it takes..."

"This is a lot to digest..."

"It's like trying to drink from a fire hose..."

These statements are just some of the "off-line" comments I heard while attending the Synnex, Managed Print Services, "Windows of Opportunity" seminar.

I was very happy to attend the Synnex/PrintSolv sales training seminar held in "Surf City", Huntington Beach, California.

Point of interest: the venue was spectacular - right on the beach, across the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). The waves thundering, and a cold breeze whipping in, it was nice to be near the ocean once again.

About 60 or so people attended - and Steven Power, the ex-copier sales guy and current sales trainer extraordinaire, conducted the two day event.

I had attended one of Steven's sales training classes years ago in New York and remembered him to be a strong advocate for Value Add and a staunch opponent of Transaction based sales.

Metrofuser Helps Managed Print Services: Software Independent


Metrofuser Introduces StockWorks™ MPS

"...We believe that Managed Print Services is here to stay -- and while we won't compete with our customers and throw our hat into the software sales ring, we are committed to focusing on providing services and solutions to our customers that will make their MPS model all that much more profitable..."

Roselle, NJ (PRWEB) February 17, 2009 -- Laser printer parts manufacturer Metrofuser (www.metrofuser.com) today announced the release of its StockWorks MPS program for laser printer service companies and rechargers that are offering Managed Print Services (MPS) solutions to their customers. StockWorks MPS, while designed with the MPS provider in mind, is completely software-independent and does not require a specific brand of MPS software.

MPS providers face the challenge of keeping larger inventories and in some cases multiple remote inventory "closets" at customer sites across the country to ensure that they are able to quickly respond to their customers' printer repair and maintenance needs.

Keeping a vast inventory and shipping parts overnight directly to customer sites at a premium eats away at margins already burdened by the current state of the economy. StockWorks MPS eliminates those costs and increases equipment up-time.

Metrofuser Sales Representatives can do a quick trending analysis of an MPS provider's stock and with some forecasting provided by the MPS provider, Metrofuser will come up with a program that primarily consigns stock to the customer. Customers participating in the program will also be able to enjoy other benefits such as low-to-no cost shipping rates, periodic trending analysis and inventory usage reports, industry forecasting and trending information, ROI analyses, and so on.

"We wanted to come up with a program for all of our customers who have deployed Managed Print Services without mandating or promoting specific software to them," said Dennis Fotopoulos, Metrofuser's Director of Strategic Business Development.

"In coming up with this program, our intent was to stick with our core competencies -- that is, providing high-quality remanufactured laser printer parts along with world-class logistical and fulfillment services."

"We started this program to enable us to partner with our customers to save on the costly burden of overnight shipping," said Eric Katz, Metrofuser's Co-Owner and CFO. "If we're constantly shipping parts overnight to any one customer, no matter who's footing that bill or whether we're splitting it, we're not optimizing our partnership. We're both passing our revenues on to the shippers. Metrofuser is willing to take on 90% of our customers' inventory risk ourselves if we can curtail those practices."

Metrofuser has been running a controlled introduction of the program and the response has been positive. Says one service provider in South Carolina, "Metrofuser has reduced shipping costs for me, and at the same time has allowed me to increase much-needed inventory without increasing my inventory costs. When I need something immediately, I don't have to scamper around to get it overnighted."

Adds Fotopoulos, "We believe that Managed Print Services is here to stay -- and while we won't compete with our customers and throw our hat into the software sales ring, we are committed to focusing on providing services and solutions to our customers that will make their MPS model all that much more profitable."

For more information about StockWorks™ MPS or other programs at Metrofuser, go to http://www.metrofuser.com or call 888-FUSERS1 (888-387-3771).

About Metrofuser:

Metrofuser remanufactures and distributes printer parts for HP and Lexmark laser printers. The company offers a broad array of laser printer products from its Eastern and Western distribution hubs including fusers, maintenance kits, boards, and paper handling assemblies. For more information, visit http://www.metrofuser.com, or call 888-Fusers-1 Ext 107.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ingram Micro Lays Off 8 Percent Of North American Employees


And the Hits keep on coming...

The president of Ingram Micro North America, Keith Bradley, said the layoffs wouldn't impact the company's relationships with VARs or vendors.

"There will not be a service-level degradation to any customer. We've taken the last two months to work on this," Bradley said. "We're making adjustments to where we see activity levels."

"Our main priority today was to talk to our impacted associates first and then non-impacted associates. In addition, we are calling vendors and reseller partners. There are outbound calls being made today," he said.

About 100 employees were let go in the company's Williamsville, N.Y., campus, another 50 in Canada and 150 more spread across the company's Santa Ana, Calif., corporate headquarters and other centers in the United States.

"Last year was a little softer than all of us had hoped for. We had decent growth in the first quarter and the second quarter and the third quarter. But as we all headed into Q4, we saw things begin to soften and that has gotten progressively worse all over the world as newspapers and television have indicated," he said.

"We had been managing operating expenses through natural attrition and managing expenses pretty aggressively. Given what we now see for 2009, we wanted to maintain our level of profitability and we had to come up with some incremental actions," he said.

Latest Financial look.

Gartner Says Printer, Copier and Multifunctional Product Market in EMEA Declined 8 Per Cent in 2008 - 11% for HP



And Managed Print Services is the way to go...

(pressebox) Egham/UK, 17.02.2009,

The combined printer, copier and multifunctional product (MFP) shipments market in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) totalled 48.2 million units, a decline of 8.4 per cent over 2007 (see Table 1), according to Gartner, Inc.

“The fourth quarter of 2008 was a pivot point for the world economy, creating a very challenging selling environment for all printer, copier and MFP hardware and software providers. The rapidly deteriorating economic environment is forcing technology providers to look at their business models and make significant adjustments,” said Tosh Prabhakar, senior research analyst at Gartner.

Gartner said buyers reduced printer and MFP spending in light of low confidence in the market. Sales of consumer devices were down 9 per cent in 2008. In addition, businesses delayed product upgrades and/or cancelled investment in new office devices as budgets and cost containment policies became a priority.

The tough economic climate created a lot of caution and uncertainty among both consumers and businesses. Reduced credit availability for consumers, start-up businesses and SMBs across a majority of the European markets during the next 12 months will exacerbate the situation in the short term. It will also continue to have a detrimental impact on the consumer market during 2009, with similar declines expected.

Mr Prabhakar said:

“Businesses are holding back on investment of new office equipment. However, these businesses should instead consider adopting strategic and deployment alternatives such as managed print services (MPS), smart MFP and fleet document management systems to help better control costs and better manage their office devices with cost optimisation in mind.”

Most vendors suffered in 2008. Hewlett-Packard remained market leader in the overall EMEA printer; copier and MFP market, but sales were down almost 11 per cent in 2008. Lexmark experienced the greatest unit losses during the year as the organisation continued to lose market share as a result of it shifting its focus to the more profitable high-end workgroup space. Samsung Electronics posted the highest year-on-year market growth with a 16.3 per cent increase in 2008, which helped it maintain second position in the page market and narrow the gap on Hewlett-Packard.

Mr Prabhakar concluded: “The print market will continue to feel the pressure during the next 12 months, as the economic uncertainty worsens. A worst-case scenario will be that both unit shipments and end-user spending will be lower than in 2008 and that recovery should not be expected to start until early 2010.”

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Printer, Copier, MFP Combined Annual Market Share EMEA: Database”. The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/....

Article here.

Gartner Press Release here.
Click to email me.




Recycling: Still Green or Back to the Landfills? It's all About Supply and Demand

Last summer I visited a recycling center in NAPA during an HP Green Symposium. The tour was fascinating but the winery tour was better.

At that time, the recycling center had pallets of plastic, paper, etc. stacked nearly three stories tall, ready for shipment to China.

Each pallet represented $1,200.00 of revenue.

This was a great example of how our(the U.S.) green initiatives were working - reducing landfill materials, allowing emerging economies to take advantage of already processed materials and making money.

This also made we "Global Citizens" feel better.

Since that trip to NAPA, I have discussed with many clients how the Green Initiative "...finally took off, only after we figured out how to make or save money by implementing certain programs...it is all about the Color of Money..."

Of course, I am routinely accused of being "cynical" - most want to believe that they are doing their part to "save the planet" without monetary motivation. And they are, just not the way they think they are.

"If I can prevent just one tree from being cut down, then I can sleep better at night..."

A mantra repeated all over the globe...right...

Consider this sales model -

I charge my clients a monthly amount - for this charge, I will visit them each week, and remove their unwanted materials - waste. I will also charge an additional flat amount to provide a special container which my client will fill with other materials; materials that can be "recycled".

This requires clients to pre-sort "bad waste" from "good waste" - a task they are willing to allow their employees to do, on the company dime.

As a sales person, once a week I visit 240 customers.

I remove both waste materials - the recycling goes to my multi-million dollar plant where everything is sorted and made ready for shipment all over the world; especially China.

My big huge machine separates and processes all this junk and I sell it all overseas.

Because there is a demand.

That was the summer of 2008 before the Chinese Olympics - right after the Olympics, China decided not to import anymore US trash - boom.

And today, many large recyclers say they are accumulating tons of material, either because they have contracts with big cities to continue to take the scrap or because they are banking on a price rebound in the next six months to a year.

“We’re warehousing it and warehousing it and warehousing it,” said Johnny Gold, senior vice president at the Newark Group. His company has 13 recycling plants across the country. He said the industry had seen downturns before but not like this. “We never saw this coming.”

You think the stock market has dropped - you ain't seen nothing like this.

On the West Coast, for example, mixed paper is selling for $20 to $25 a ton, down from $105 in October, according to Official Board Markets.

And recyclers say tin is worth about $5 a ton, down from $327 earlier this year. There is greater domestic demand for glass, so its price has not fallen as much.



Click to email me.




Monday, February 16, 2009

Killer Toner is Back: New Study Confirms Laser Printers release "tiny toxic particles" - But so does making Toast.

First reported here nearly a year ago, researchers found "toxic particles" are released whenever an office laser printer heats up.

In 2007, Physicist, Professor Lidia Morawska, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane and colleagues were the first to show that laser printers in offices produce high levels of ultrafine particles (UFPs), less than 100 nanometres in width (also called nanoparticles).

From the study:

"The high standard deviation of the average emission rates estimated in this study also indicates that the particle emission process and the behavior of individual printers are complex and that they are still far from being completely understood," the study said. "Many factors, such as printer model, printer age, cartridge model, and cartridge age may affect the particle emission process and all of these factors require further study." - Huh?

Did a primary buffer panel just fall off my ship, for no apparent reason?

Or does the above paragraph simply translate into, "...we really don't know if all this means anything..."?

The study included Canon (NYSE: CAJ), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Ricoh, and Toshiba printers sold in Australia and the United States.

Incorrectly reported over a year ago, toner particles are not being emitted.

From a different study in Braunschweig, Germany, researchers examined modified printers that “print” without any paper or toner.

From the study:

“The amazing thing is that the ultra-fine particles are still produced even in this case. The cause is the fixing unit – a component that heats up as high as 220°C during the printing process in order to fix the toner particles on the paper,” explains WKI scientist Dr. Michael Wensing.

“...what some printers do emit are ultra-fine particles made of volatile organic-chemical substances,” says WKI head of department Prof. Dr. Tunga Salthammer. “One essential property of these ultra-fine particles is their volatility, which indicates that we are not looking at toner dust.”

The high temperatures cause volatile substances such as paraffins and silicon oils to evaporate, and these accumulate as ulta-fine particles.

The scientists from Braunschweig observed similar phenomena – the formation of ultra-fine particles of volatile organic substances when heated – during typical household activities such as cooking, baking, or making toast.

After reading dozens of articles and composites of the actual studies this is what I see:

1. No toner is being emitted by any output device.

2. The studies are inconclusive, although there is proof that nano-particles are being emitted.

3. There is NO evidence or even a study being conducted to prove or disprove harm may result from exposure to these nano-particles.

4. Articles regarding this development are full of scare words and tactics. Implicitly comparing these nano-particles with smoking and alluding to unproven health problems.

So, beware - the Toner police are about to come down on the printer industry.

Or maybe they will simply confiscate our toasters...

Want to learn more?

Check this out:

Photocopiers and Laser Printers Health Hazards

Coates Electrographics Addresses Toner Health Concerns

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pansonic Update - Shrinking or Lean and Mean?


Those who predicted the demise of the Panasonic copier channel may see their predictions come to pass sooner than later.

Panasonic reduced overall headcount by 15,000, the information presented here,just 10 days ago.

In a letter sent out to most of their dealers, Panasonic articulates the fact that some are now "Resellers" - not Dealers.

A nuance, one that means you are now more self-reliant -

Dealers typically have more direct support from the manufacturer than resellers.

Art Post has a great collection of statements here.


Japan Law Reduces Down to 70%, the amount of Recycled Paper to be Used in Copiers

Kyodo News

Government guidelines for the "green purchase" law were revised Friday to reduce the amount of recycled paper that must be used in copiers to 70 percent instead of 100 percent.

The law, which goes into effect April 1, requires government ministries and agencies to use environment-friendly products in designated equipment.

The guidelines were eased because supplies of recycled paper are short. This will allow paper makers to diversify the sources of natural materials they use to produce paper used by the government, including lumber taken from trees felled to thin forests.

According to an Environment Ministry estimate, the 40,000 tons of 100 percent recycled paper produced each year in Japan cannot meet the annual demand of 300,000 tons used by public offices at the central and municipal levels.

The revised guidelines allow copier paper used at government offices to contain a certain percent of lumber from felled trees and other sources certified by a third-party entity as derived from environmental-friendly activity.

Aside from paper, the revised guidelines will also list for the first time the minimum standards of functionality for solar-power systems, including specifications for power-generation efficiency and durability.



Friday, February 13, 2009

Ode to Trader Joe's - Friday is Fun Day

If you don't know Trader Joe's - too bad for you.

The home of 2-Buck Chuck and all things organic...



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HP Security Alert - HP Lasers and Digital Send units

At issue is the potential ability of unwanted to access print jobs through HP's Embedded Web administration tool.

HP says a firmware update is available to secure their printers.

The affected printers/MFPs: HP LaserJet 4345mfp; HP Color LaserJet 4730mfp; HP LaserJet 9040mfp; HP LaserJet 9050mfp; HP 9200C Digital Sender; and HP Color LaserJet 9500mfp- these units have firmware updates to fix the problem.

HP LaserJet 2410; HP LaserJet 2420; HP LaserJet 4250; HP LaserJet 4350; HP LaserJet 9040; and HP LaserJet 9050 all have preliminary updates.

Details regarding the firmware update, etc. can be found at HP Alert.

Monday, February 9, 2009

HP Enterprise Sales Training for the Masses - down from Mt. High, to the Channel...The Death of Sacrates?

"What we are seeing is the transactional business or the run-rate business really fall off," Frank Rauch, vice president of HP's Solutions Partners Organization said.

"... People that used to buy a few servers a month, whether they needed them or not, as part of a regular routine are taking a second look at that. What we are seeing clearly accelerate is (sales for) partners focused on cost optimization projects. We are also seeing that the buying cycles are becoming a little bit longer because the customer governance processes are becoming a little tighter. What used to be a CIO decision or an IT director decision now goes to the CFO or the board. So what we are trying to do is equip our partners with training..."


"We want to get a healthier channel," Rauch said, "We want to get a more competent channel..."

HP Enterprise reps undergo training in the "Socriatic Selling" methodology - the art of asking questions. With the economic downturn as a trigger, HP is now offering this sales training to its partners.

"Appointments are getting harder to get. Projects are getting harder to justify," Rauch continues, "There are a million distractions not only in the partner organizations but in the manufacturer organizations and in the customer organizations. The ability to have that laser focus and a methodology to boil through that is going to be key."

But HP will not be doling out this wisdom to all -

"My approach is not a peanut butter approach," Rauch stressed, "My approach will be to work with partners that are dedicated to acquiring new HP customers selling the HP portfolio and providing a reasonable ROI (return on investment) on the money that we give them."

"We have a lot of competitive partners knocking on our door right now," he said. "And we are not opening that door to everyone."

Source: HP Provides Sales Punch For VARs Grappling With Downturn

By Steven Burke, ChannelWeb
3:27 PM EST Fri. Feb. 06, 2009

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Copier Crime - From Cleveland

Invoices do not match deliveries.

It started with three "missing" copiers, but records released by the Cleveland schools indicate the district paid for six machines in 2007 and 2008.

Invoices obtained show the district paid $160,200 to buy the six Ryobi offset duplicators from Toledo-based Superior Offset Supplies. The district paid $24,750 apiece for the machines and gave the company $11,700 for consulting on "copier-duplication requirements." The company charged a $150 hourly consulting fee.

"If they say they bought six, six are missing," he said. "Every school property has been physically checked. There's nothing."

The purchaser for the Cleveland Schools, his name listed on the invoices, is Dan Burns. Mr. Burns was placed on paid leave from the $184,000-a-year job, in December, after state auditors questioned the purchase of six machines investigators say apparently never arrived. Mr. Burns' assistant, Shenee McCoy-Gibbons, was put on leave at the same time.

Burns ultimately resigned from his job in January, 2009.

The invoices show that the district bought two machines at a time, in December 2007 and last April and May. Each bill totaled $49,500, which was just under the $50,000 limit for no-bid purchases.

As with most State/Local/Education organizations, bids are required when consulting fees exceed $10,000 - yet services for these devices were billed in two installments, one for $5,800 and another for $5,900. The invoices do not state when the consulting was done.

But it gets better...

Additionally, before Burns went to the Cleveland Schools he spent 30 years working with the Toledo School district - where he started as an offset duplicator operator and technician.

Burns left the Toledo Schools at the end of FY2006.

Total billing from Superior Offset Supplies from FY2001 through FY2006 amounts to $952K.

Most of this is in FY’s 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 with billings of $116K, $254K, $189K and $262K, respectively

State auditors are investigating the Cleveland case with the help of Cuyahoga County sheriff's detectives. Detectives seized two laptop computers, software and files from Cleveland school district headquarters Dec. 10.

The auditors also are reviewing purchases made in Toledo under Burns' supervision.





Johnny Carson - Copper Clappers - The best video clips are right here


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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Print4Pay Hotel: What is "Print Management"

Art has a great article by Trevor Hoffer from PrintAudit offering up another definition of Managed Print Services.

Print4Pay Hotel: What is "Print Management"


Of course, this gets my wheels spinning as well.

I like to define a Managed Print Services Engagement as,

"...any program, provided to a client, by a Partner, that allows the client to easily track and reduce costs associated with printing, can be considered a Managed Print Service..."

The definition is broad. It is supposed to be broad.

Within a MPS offering are a score of different processes, tools and knowledge bases - all or partially applied to a client in order to help save them money.

That's all.

So in a broad sense, a copier, CPC service agreement (coupled with a lease agreement) can be considered a MPS - I would argue this should be considered an Entry Level MPS Engagement but an engagement non the less.

Check it.


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