Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Recharger Show, Managed Print Services and One Miff'd CEO

A few weeks ago, I ran across a blog entry over at "Adventures in Office Imaging". I know Nathan, the guy who wrote an MPS song, and has sponsored the "Destroy your Printer" contest, these last two years.

What caught my eye was the title, "Skipping this year's Recharger World Expo"

In the second paragraph,

"...The "Summit" is really just a sales pitch camouflaged as an MPS-101 course. It encourages everyone-and-his-uncle to dive into the market, then tells them they need a toner vendor or a printer-copier manufacturer as their "MPS partner..."

HOLY CRAP!

I put a few questions together for the author, the CEO of Expert Laser Services, Luke Carpentier. He was very kind in answering

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HP cuts contractor use for printer growth

Reuters · Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2010

HONG KONG - The printing division of Hewlett-Packard Co, the world's largest PC firm, has been cutting down on the number of contract manufacturers it uses since the downturn hit in 2009, a senior executive said.

Cost savings derived from simplifying its supply chain had gone into spending on research and expanding its sales team, Vyomeh Joshi, the global head of HP's imaging and printing division, said in an interview in Hong Kong late on Monday.

"When the economy was doing great, we were shipping more and more units, probably we were not efficient," Joshi said, but declined to name specific companies. "So when the economy went down and people were delaying buying decisions, we took a look and said we don't need all this."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Espe is Gone: Copiers...Flooring...What's the Difference?

Matthew J. Espe resigned his post at Ricoh / Ikon

WEST CALDWELL, N.J., June 25, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Ricoh Americas Corporation, a leading provider of digital office equipment and advanced document management solutions and services, today announced that Kevin Togashi will assume the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ricoh Americas Corporation effective July 1, 2010.

Togashi takes on the role from Matthew J. Espe who has resigned his post as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ricoh Americas Corporation to become Chief Executive Officer and President of Armstrong World Industries, Inc.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Managed Print Services: "I'm From the Government and I'm here to Help - give me your hard drive."

In a recent article, "Legislation proposed to protect consumer information and prevent identity theft in New Jersey" by TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

"State Sen. Bob Smith and Assembly woman Linda Greenstein (both D-Middlesex) Tuesday unveiled legislation designed to attempt to combat identity theft by requiring the hard drives of all digital copy machines to be wiped clean in order to protect sensitive, personal information, which is stored on each machine, in some cases in perpetuity and unbeknownst to consumers..."

In my opinion, we don't need anymore legislation. I don't see where or even if, copier manufactures are going to be held to some level of responsibility.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SIGMANET, INC. ACHIEVES HP PARTNERONE ELITE STATUS FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Office Printing Solutions Elite Partner Status with HP Provides SIGMAnet the
Foundation to Deliver Clients Measureable Business Value

Los Angeles, CA – June 21, 2010 - SIGMAnet, Inc., an HP PartnerONE Elite Partner, today announced it has maintained its Elite membership status with HP for a fifth consecutive year. SIGMAnet met stringent technical and sales training requirements to maintain its status and join a select group of HP partners as an Office Printing Solutions (OPS) Elite partner in North America.

“We are proud to be recognized by HP as one of only a handful of partners throughout the country to earn the Elite status,” states Ahmed Al-Khatib, owner and founder of SIGMAnet.

OPS Elite partners are highly skilled in providing HP imaging and printing products and solutions, and managed print services (MPS), improving customers’ overall efficiencies in printing and imaging infrastructure optimization, and management and document workflow. The Elite status recognizes SIGMAnet’s consultative approach to solving business problems with industry experts who are skilled in simplifying complex printing and imaging solutions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Managed Print Services: Its Not an Industry, Its a LifeStyle. Just Like Cars and Freedom.


Between one quarterly review and a MPS Planning meeting, I need to grab some grub.

In the middle of Norco, California I find a Japanese steak house, Sushi and all. Interesting tid-bits about Norco; its name is a combination of the words "North and "Corona" - Norco. Norco has no sidewalks, as it is a Horse town - the horses don't like sidewalks. And yes, there is a bar with an actual, hitching post out front.

While sitting in this Japanese eatery, in the midst of "western town, USA", watching the World Cup, and enjoying a spicy tuna roll, this comes on the tube.

Even though the sound was muted, I gotta huge kick of it.

An early 4th of July gift:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How To Buy Managed Print Services: All the Pretty Packages

June, 2010.

Turning from within, looking out - We on the inside of Managed Print Services:

It isn't All About Us.

One interesting subject that bubbled up during some off-line conversations at the 2010 MPS-Con was, "We need more end user, client, customer involvement and input."

Indeed, during the first face-to-face meeting of the MPSA Board, reaching out to end users was topic we explored.

So it is in this vein, that I present a narrow view of MPS - from the prospects' perspective.

A few points to consider when looking to buy Managed Print Services:

What, exactly, should MPS prospects look for in a provider/partner?

It isn't all that simple.

As difficult as it has been for us to define MPS, discover best practices, establish process and stay profitable it is more challenging for our prospects to understand where they fit into the MPS EcoSystem.

So, if you are looking for a MPS partner, how should you go about it?

IMHO -

1. Determine what you know, and what you don't know.

- Have a rough idea of how many devices you currently use
- Have a rough idea of how you currently support your "fleet". Get use to calling your printers and copiers a "fleet".
- Try and get a feeling for how things are working within your organization, today. How many people are involved in managing your printers, your supplies, your copiers.

2. Get an idea of where you want to go; reduce cost, reduce overhead, make your life easier, etc.

- For example, if ordering toner cartridges for all 135 of your printers is the pain you are looking to relieve, define it.
- Are you looking for cost reduction? Then define what a reasonable savings would be for you.
- Recognize the difference between "hard" and "soft" cost and the impact of each.

3. Consolidate the Decision Process into One Entity

- This one is a bit more difficult, but will cut down on the time it will take for a decision to be made. Either give ALL the decision power to IT or establish an evaluation team of purchasing and IT. This may seem trivial, and will not degrade your process if you do not go in this direction, but for your company to take advantage of a complete MPS Engagement, consolidating the decision entity, is paramount.

What to do and ask, during your meeting with a possible MPS Provider:

1. "What is your Process?"

- This is a good question. Have him answer verbally, without marketing slicks, to start. And then reflect; How comfortable is his presentation? Do his ideas make sense?

2. "Tell me about your assessments."

- As with the "Process" question, what you are looking for here is a clear understanding of how and to what depth this candidate performs assessments. The static data is easy to collect - be prepared to have software loaded onto your network. I would be looking to hear something about "business process" or determining "why certain documents are printed" as well as volumes, paper usage, supply closets, etc.

- If you want to trip him up a bit, ask him why he doesn't charge for his assessments. Is the resulting recommendation worth the price of the assessment?

3. "How do you handle copiers, printers and MFP's in your MPS arrangements?"

- There is no wrong answer. What you are looking for here is honesty, composure and his scope. MPS providers, good ones, understand that they cannot be all things to all people; there are limits. You want to find his.

I feel the basic idea is to look for a partnership, not a vendor. MPS is a very dynamic and wide ecosystem, there are a great many opportunities for cost reduction.

But as the dynamics of business change, most vendors will not keep up.

A partnership is a two-way relationship that is more flexible.

This is what you want in a MPS provider; a partner with vision.

MPS today will not be the same MPS 10 or even 3 years from now. If your MPS partnership can evolve with the changing business and technology environment, that is great.

If your partner is most like not going to evolve into more than simple hardware and supply management - that is fine as well - it is just best you know this, going in.

Again, MPS isn't really brain surgery, it's more like Rocket Science.


Click to email me.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Managed Print Services Association LinkedIn Group Passes 3,000 Members in Less than Eighteen Months

Social networking site plays role in launch of association.

Mount Laurel, NJ – June 9, 2010 – The Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) announced that the MPSA LinkedIn social networking group has passed the 3,000 member mark, reflecting the phenomenal growth of the Managed Print Services (MPS) industry. The site rocketed to 1,000 members shortly after its launch in January 2009, and has experienced steady growth every since. This parallels the growth of the MPS model, and demonstrates the ongoing need for dynamic contact and communication within the MPS community.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Your MPSA Election: Ten Questions For the Candidates: "Consulting" Opening.

This election is heating up, some candidates actively campaigning.

The Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) election is underway for a current opening on the board that will serve a one-year term (May 2010 – May 2011). The open position is for someone in the “Consulting” area which can be defined as "any person working for a research or vendor independent professional services organization, and is not a full time employee of any Manufacturer, Dealer or Industry Logistical/Component provider."

Submitted for your review:

10 Questions from DOTC to all those running.

And by all I mean, Bob Barrette, Fred Berger, Randy Dazo, Merlijn de Vroe, Randy Elliott, Mitchell Filby, Harry Hecht, Steve Juris, Jim Kahrs, Johan Kosters, Steven Power, Gerry Skipwith and Mike Woodard.

DOTC invites all to answer in the form of a comment to this post.

Responses will be unedited.

One detail - EACH ANSWER WILL BE 144 CHARACTERS OR LESS.

The voting is open to MPSA Members.

This should be fun:


1. What is your definition of MPS?
2. Does MPS currently have more in common with Copier or IT Sales?
3. What do you see as the future of MPS?
4. What is the number one benefit your clients receive from working with you?
5. In round numbers, how many clients have you consulted to or trained in, Managed Print Services, as defined in question one?
6. What value will you bring to the members of Your MPSA?
7. When was the last time you proposed, or help propose a MPS solution?
8. Do you belong to any other industry associations? If so, which?
9. What contribution to the MPS industry, do you feel Your MPSA should provide?
10.Who is your hero?

Threw that last one in, just for kicks.


That's it.

10 simple questions, 144 characters for each answer.

Voting procedure and candidate Bio's are here.

Click to email me.

HP Transforms Walmart Photo Departments Nationwide with "Prints in Minutes" Service and Advanced Creative Tools for Customers - Son of Edgeline?

HP retail publishing footprint set to grow 300 percent in 2010

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 20, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- HP (HPQ 45.22, -0.02, -0.04%) today announced that Walmart is rolling out the HP "Prints in Minutes" retail publishing service in 3,600 of its stores across the United States.

By the end of the summer, U.S. customers of the world's largest retailer will be able to take advantage of a fast, high-quality photo print service as well as a broad array of personalized printed merchandise, such as calendars and greetings cards, and access to images from brands such as Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and Live Nation.

This rollout in Walmart stores, along with incremental growth in other retailers' stores, marks a more than 300 percent growth of HP's global retail publishing presence in 2010. Over the last year, HP has expanded its customer portfolio through agreements with leading retailers such as Tesco, Rossmann, Duane Reade and Kmart Australia.

"Our agreement with Walmart is another milestone in HP's drive to help retailers transition from traditional photo services to dynamic publishing centers," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "With new customer agreements with many major global retailers, including Tesco, Kmart Australia and now Walmart, we're bringing consumers new opportunities to conveniently print both personal and branded digital content that is meaningful to them."

A better, faster self-serve photo experience

Monday, June 7, 2010

Successful MPS Conference Is Further Validation for Managed Print Services Industry

Conference attendance more than doubles; attendees enthusiastic about program

LEXINGTON, KY – June 4, 2010 – To say the managed print services market is growing would be an understatement. As evidence, consider the powerful participation in the recent MPS Conference hosted by Photizo Group. Attendance more than doubled from the 2009 event, from 135 in 2009, to 290 at the 2010 gathering in San Antonio, TX.

“As one attendee noted, the conference and swelling number of attendees is yet another confirmation that MPS isn’t a sales pitch it’s not just a strategy, it’s THE business strategy for the industry,” said Ed Crowley, CEO of Photizo Group.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

MPS Selling Appointment: "This is Turning Out to Be One Hell of a Morning!"


6/2010

It's 8:15 AM.

You are prompt and waiting in the lobby of Galactic Rail Works - fifteen hundred users.

Your appointment is with the CFO.

On the phone, he told you he is not interested in any of those "large, enterprise level engagements" but wants a local provider who is flexible and will listen.

Great.

You have all your materials. The marketing pieces. The software data sheets. The company profile - all printed in glorious color.

Your faux leather portfolio contains a fresh pad of lined paper - no make that graph paper. Most every pocket is stuffed with newly minted business cards, your moniker now followed by "MPS Specialist"

Not only that, at your feet, saved on your laptop's hard drive, is the short, 32 slide deck .ppt just bursting to jump out. A copy saved on the pen drive in your pocket, just in case.

You barely slept last night. You're giddy.

Talk track rehearsed and roles played every Monday morning with the Sales Manager. He even sat next to you while you cold called/dialed 100 dials.

And you swear to the Sales gods that if there is an elevator in this place, you've got the pitch ready.

This is your first MPS appointment. And your hope is to get your assessment green-lit.

You're ready.

All is well, except for the fact that sitting next to you is the seasoned MPS Selling Professional. Your coach, sent to accompany you on your first appointment.

We'll call him Hicks, and it looks like he is taking a nap.

Hicks doesn't have any slicks.

He hasn't attended the "mandatory" role playing sessions for months, let alone those Friday afternoon "Weekly Summary/Share Your Good News" meetings.

As a matter of fact, all he brought with him are business cards, a small note pad and his Starwalker.

You are aghast.

The receptionists says to go right in, the CFO's office is all the way to the back, on the left. Corner office.

Before you can elbow Hicks in the gut, he is standing.

"Give me all those." he commands.

"These?" you ask referring to the marketing materials.

"Yeah. Those. Give them to me."

"But..."

"Give em..."

The marketing slicks find their way into his hand as you notice his other is holding your laptop bag.

Before you can ask, Hicks walks over to the receptionist, "Hi, Judy," he can read her nameplate, "...can you watch this laptop for us while we meet with John? Oh, and is there a place I can toss these?"

And just like that, your slide deck, marketing materials and magic feather are gone.

Turning to trail Hicks, you feel the floor drop out from underneath you.



Marketing slicks don't sell MPS.

Software doesn't sell MPS.

Real role playing should never include a co-worker or manager, unless you are married to him/her or reside in California.(I know, I know...)

Slide decks don't sell and elevators can't buy MPS.

A pen and some paper or a white board and the stuff between your ears, that's all you need.

Internalize your process, study business, get to know your clients.

Click to email me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Your MPSA 2010 MPS Leadership Awards Winners

The Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2010 MPS Leadership Awards. Of the 60 different submissions across 53 different organizations in 12 different countries, the MPSA found quite considerable leadership and innovative thinking from all of the submissions.

Based upon the balanced scorecard voting that rated submissions in Core Abilities (30%), Best Practices (30%) and Business Benefits (40%) the following are the top winners in a highly competitive process.