Sunday, October 10, 2010

Managed Print Services: The Summer of 2010 Rising Stars - Constellation One

When I was a kid back in high school, I remember being told that humans were the only species on the planet that could crane their necks and face the sky.

I have since learned this is more a romantic notion than factual as birds are thought to navigate via the stars

To me, the real difference is our ability to assign patterns to the star filled sky and create stories around those pictographs - a uniquely human quality.

In this spirit, I present to you dear reader, my Summer of 2010 Constellation of MPS Rising Stars.

These few are in my opinion, walking the walk and talking the talk when it comes to MPS.

Does this mean that everybody else sucks? No, not at all.

What it does mean is that we who play in the MPS sandbox, can look to this pattern in the sky, and study. Learn. Adapt. Improve.

Alas, it is a shame that I need to even mention this, but, as with everything else I have ever posted, this is MY opinion only.

NOT the MPSA.

And this is not a scientific study.

Also, I don't take money from any of these stars, so it's not like the "quadrant".

I am not part of a multi-national, media conglomerate, so these stand-outs don't pay to be in any of my trade shows or "published" in any poser magazines.

I am not carpetbagging "How to Sell MPS" classes.

You are free to disagree but please remember, I write for an audience of one: me.

Submitted for your review, off the Shoulder of Orion, the DOTC Summer of 2010, Rising MPS Stars:

MT Business Technologies

From copier dealer to Hybrid to VAR, MT Business Technologies today holds a large fleet of devices under real, honest, MPS Engagements.

The transition was standard - upper management considered MPS, the dealership jumped in, and nearly failed in the process.

Very smartly, an MPS trailblazer was hired and executive buy-in confirmed.

Says Joe Bargainer, the MPS Guy at MT, "MT Business Technologies’ unique managed print services program, Total Output Management ®, is part of our natural evolution in serving the business technology needs of our clients in Ohio over the past 92 years.

Today, after almost four years of a formalized mps offering, we have added approximately 10% to our business and provided our clients more services than ever before. We are also building our Managed Services offerings with the addition in 2010 of our NetworkGuardian ® remote network monitoring service.

While we know the future of our business will be even more services and consulting oriented we continue to serve the broader needs of our customers by providing a range of office technologies that still include output devices and traditional service.

Like networked printers just a few years ago, MPS is now the next section of the bridge to the future.”

Pretty much sums it up.

Robert Newry, of Newfield IT

I first met Robert at the MPS North American MPS Conference this past May. I also was introduced to his assessment tool and company philosophy.

AssetDB is interesting, technologically engaging and fully independent of any hardware OEM's. It shows print and other network assets

Perhaps because Newfield IT is from across the pond, there is a different type of vibe with these folks. MPS is more mainstream over there, green/paper/recycling issues more of a staple in each MPS engagement.

But this cool application will one day work on your iPAD, and today runs on most tablet based systems.

And it's easy to use.

I know there are similar systems around, but there is more to this then software. During our candid MPS conversations, it became apparent to me that Robert gets the whole, Pure MPS thing.


Ken Stewart

I first met Ken a couple of years ago, online.

In the beginning, out here on the net, there was Art Post, Jim Lyons, Ken Stewart and a small start-up, MPS research company, all writing and talking about this "hot new thing", Managed Print Services.

That was all. No InfoTrends, no magic quadrant, no MPS Sales Classes, or MPS mentors. Copier dealers were still selling copiers, HP just rolled out Edgeline and IKON was selling Canon.

Ken's website, ChangeForge, has always been a great place to get insight on how technology and business blend together effecting all of us.

His focus on MPS was derived through his experience at one of the better Sharp dealerships in the country. So successful was the dealership, it was sold to or purchased by, Sharp.

Today, Ken's new home is with Photizo as a Senior Consultant.

You can catch his thoughts at is website, in many of the Photizo publications as well as industry trades.

We all get what we deserve.

Photizo

Investment bankers and VC's hit our industry late spring. In July it was announced that Meritus Ventures inked a deal to invest $1.73 million into Photizo.

As Meritus said, “Photizo is a fantastic addition, ... Our investments drive innovation, job creation, and wealth creation in a region of the country that has traditionally seen limited venture capital activity.”

Anyone who considers themselves on the path to Pure MPS know two basic facts:

1. MPS offers a time sensitive opportunity as the industry and clients move along the first 3 Stages of MPS.

2. Photizo has been here from the beginning, researching MPS on a GLOBAL basis.

It was Itex, 2009. Just after the last session, Benihana, Las Vegas Hilton. Ed Crowley, Photizo CEO and I are sharing adult beverages and japanese fare.

We were discussing little league football, the current iTex crowd, and the future of MPS. Ed was exploring the possibility of postponing his MPS Conference, the first North American MPS Conference, slated just 60 days away.

He decided to push forward.

Today, Photizo conducts studies around the world. Team Photizo hosts MPS Conferences in both East and Western Hemispheres, and is looking to the South for expansion.

Photizo has engaged and consulted to ALL the big guys - every single one.

I don't feel I am at liberty to mention who specifically, but I can honestly say, you know them all.

The stuff from Photizo is so good, in fact, it gets stolen all the time.

Take the phrase "Hybrid Dealer". Yes, Ed created the moniker. No, he didn't trademark it. So anybody could regurgitate the phrase in white papers, articles or even, perhaps, use "Hybrid Dealer" as a show theme.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

When looking for real, honest MPS data, analyzed by folks who get the entire MPS Ecosystem, without that old fashioned, outdated copier metality, Photizo is the only source. Period.

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There you have it. The Rising Stars: Constellation 1. More to come.

The next time you get a chance to look at the night sky, check out all those points of light. Like the dome of stars, the MPS ecosystem has many more shinning beacons waiting to be discovered.

We here at DOTC will continue to scour the skies, discerning the "rising" from the "falling" stars.

And present them here, for you.


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1 comment:

  1. Wow! When I was in grade school, at Illini football games, I would strain my vocal chords so everyone knew how much I hated Bo Shembechler. In retrospect, it "was what it was"...Mike White out-violated the king of Big !0 recruiting and for a couple years, those SOCAL crooks beat Bo at his own game...and Michigan embodied all that was evil. Proof of this was down the road in West Lafayette. It was when I got to listen to the Wolverine faithful make fun of Michigan State...at a PURDUE game! (ie, "if u can't get into college, go to State...repeat) The same goes for MPS. 3 yards and a cloud of dust, sell a printer and put them on your supplies fax list and constant contact email roll. Now, Geordi La Forge is about as equipped to analyze print quality as I am (he had trouble using vector analysis to determine sources of mystery shadows created by cloaked aircraft...no way he can hit Pantones) It would be good if I could lead instead of sell, but my management skills only surpass those of an aroused senior Ferengi diplomat with an inner ear infection. Leadership in this industry is just another chance to get sucked into the cybernetic Borg-like vortex that can steal your soul and make you forget how much fun it was to roll a 60 month lease before it was even 3 years old!...I am with you Greg, and I follow your input very closely. It was nearly 3 years ago that I waxed on the "process", but I am still cling-on-ing to my life pushing boxes and selling solutions. Greg, keep me entertained and keep me interested, because you know the death of this profession happens when you lose the ability to laugh at what you do.

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