Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Managed Print Services, MPS Training and Best Practices: I'm Calling Bullshit

Ok, we all know anyone who claims to have been "doing MPS for 15 years" is nothing but Bravo Sierra - how was anyone trying to reduce costs associated with output back in 1995, re-inking ribbons on an Epson LQ-1050?

Really? Copiers were not even DIGITAL in 1995! Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!

And if one more ding dong sales consultant tells me that "...MPS is all about TCO..." - but doesn't include costs incurred in the Third Stage of MPS, I may just hurl right then and there.

Do not even get me started on re-hashed IKON Circa 1990 leasing, "Image Management Plus", customer for life, schemes - exactly how many law suits did IKON fend off back then?


So this is what we've come to: years of usage statistics, decades of observed business behavior, so much data about how the world prints, stores and creates documents yet we still do not have any real world benchmarks. No guideposts.

Hell, we don't really have any Guides.

Correction, "guides" do exist. Most just don't know shit about shit and keep telling us they do - that is if you pay them. And the more we pay, the more horsepucky comes out.

Welcome to MPS.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Steve Reynolds: Battled to the End, Passed Away Wednesday

Steve Lost this battle. I met Steve a few times, at two Lyra conferences and the MPS North America Conferences.

He knew his stuff, he will be missed.

Also, there will be a memorial service for him at the AGH Art Gallery in Hamilton on Monday night from 6to 9 PM.


Lyra Establishes Reynolds Family Support Fund to Help Colleague and Friend, Steve Reynolds, in His Battle Against Colon Cancer

Lyra Research announces the establishment of the Reynolds Family Support Fund to help Lyra Senior Analyst Steve Reynolds and his family in his battle against Stage 4 Colon Cancer.

Since 1998, Mr. Reynolds has been one of the prominent faces of Lyra—first as an editor for The Hard Copy Observer and then as a senior analyst for Lyra’s Hard Copy Industry Advisory Service. Diagnosed in June, Mr. Reynolds is meeting this grim news with the same direct, fearless attitude that he brings to his professional career.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The HP OPS Elite Managed Print Forum - "Indulge the Spirit"

Big conference in AZ this week. The surviving OPS dealers.

I am sure there is an NDA in my history that precludes me from sharing very much...but whatever I can get on the record, I will.

I do look forward to hoisting a few (I mean, taking copious and voluminus notes) with some of the "MPS IronMen"...you know who you are.

Not sure who else will be in attendance. Looks like there will be some MPS101 stuff; after 3 years, its good to see, I guess.

Looking forward to seeing Synnex, and SNi. As I have seen the presentations before, I will be more interested in the attendees' response to the MPS material.

One blaring deficit - I don't see a valid MPS research firm on the agenda.

Most of the HP MPS talk track has that familiar, Photizo-ish angle - "...Chaos...", "...the cheapest image is the one you never print...", "...let's take paper out of the business..." and if they whip out the Three Stages slide, wow.

I do not expext to hear any mention of a "Hybrid Dealer" - but we will see.

Click to email me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A DOTC Shout Out to All the Managed Print Services Peeps in and around Detroit: Kid Rock - Roll On

Coleman Young and the People Mover.

COBO to Joe Louis, Devil's Night, FoMoCo in the RenCen, GM in the RenCen.

Greek Town, Woodward and Eight Mile, Boblo, the Big Fist, to the Uniroyal Tire - The Dirty D.

Times are bad - they've been worse, well maybe not.
Its all just a big roller coaster, like the ones at Cedar Point.

Some day, the boys in Honolulu blue will be in the superbowl, someday.

Sitting here alone
I'm looking back on where I've roamed
And laughin, now I swore
I'd win and not get burned
Left my family, left my home
I worked my fingers to the bone
And there was not a stone
I did not leave unturned..."


Click to email me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Managed Print Services:Benchmarks and Approaches From Everything Channel

Sponsered by the Big "X".

We here at tDOTC do not regularly blow sunshine up the "big-guys'" skirts(ew) - but this 11 minute video at first caught my eye and then delivered.

Benchmarks, derived from PagePak activity, on revenue, margin and length of term are packed into this small video.

It is not bad - I cannot vouch for the accuracy, but, the numbers match what I have seen in the field, and I am not a Xerox-head.

Learn and enjoy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Managed Print Services: The Case Against Auto-Generated Proposals


"The heaviest proposal wins..."

"We gotta have the company history in this proposal..."

"And don't forget the spec sheets..."

"This will be easy, I can just use the last proposal we did, and search and replace..."

Sound familiar?

Let me ask you something, do you read books?

What keeps you interested?

It's the story isn't it?

Somehow, your favorite writer or a nice article you spend time with, engages you, tells you something new, yet familiar.

Now, do you think that article or book was boiler-plated into existence?

Do you think Stephen King, goes out, asks bunch of potential readers what they like and what scares them, imports all that "data" into a tool, clicks "go" and out pops the next best seller?

"No, Greg, I don't think Stephen King clicks on "go" and a best seller pops out." - good answer.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

HP sues ex-CEO Hurd over new job at rival Oracle

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) Tuesday filed a lawsuit against former CEO Mark Hurd over potential damages he could cause in his new position as co-president of Oracle (NSDQ:ORCL).

HP alleges in the lawsuit that Hurd, in his new role at Oracle, would not be able to avoid using HP trade secrets to compete with HP, and that "HP has been injured and faces irreparable injury."

More Here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

tDOTC Managed Print Services PowerPlayer of the Week: Bruce Dahlgren


With Lexmark in his pedigree, Bruce understands what it means to be fighting for market position. Is he as comfortable working as a leader, fending off pursuers?

True to leadership form, ignore the competition and focus on the customer.

"The cheapest page is the one you don't print" - An utterance credited to Mr. Dahlgren and a phrase sure to run a chill up all the third party toner guys, copier dealerships and printer manufacturers.

Actually, a more accurate application of that sentence is, the cheapest page is the one not copied.

"...In the office environment, 50 percent of pages are printed, and 50 percent are copied,” he said. “I know that pages are going to decrease, and I want to help my customers do that. But there are 50 percent of the (copied) pages that I can go out there and get.”

HP is converting existing accounts into MPS Engagements - at the Enterprise level. The EDS acquisition, Canon alignment and the "strategic" approach to MPS over existing infrastructure. Infrastructure that includes lots and lots of HP Blades, storage, servers and laptops.

Great quote, "...let's take paper out of the business..." - wow.

Bruce, DOTC PowerPlayer of The Week.

Bruce talks here.

Click to email me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Managed Print Services, the Class of 1980 and The Boys of Fall

Fall, 1979.
35 Fullback, 24 Tailback.
First published, Fall, 2010

As an avid reader of DOTC, and not my mother (hi Mom), you know I occasionally use Football as a metaphor - for MPS, Selling.

Of course, there is more to life than Selling MPS(when you find it, let me know) and it seems that football, American football(I can't believe I need to make that distinction) is and always has been, a metaphor for this American Life.

Friday nights in America during the fall, 22 young men gather on a North/South patch of grass or dirt or mud or turf - 100 yards long, 53&1/3 yards wide - challenging each other.

On those nights, under artificial glare, in the middle of it all, you never really hear the crowd - for me that was mostly true. We were simply out there doing what we had been doing since we were 7 years old. My Tailback had been there, in his position, next to me since the third grade. Buds.

On game night, the hundreds of laps, the two a days, heat, the dust, the dirt, the fame, the coaches, all melt away. The Band, your parents in the stands, the Glee Club(hurl) and even the cheerleaders, fade into the background - you see, they are all on the sidelines.

On the Sidelines, so many living vicariously through us.

Those Friday nights were short - how fast 30 years goes by. In the fall of 1979, the John Glenn class of 1980 football team clicked off each Friday night, Kings of the School, the boys of fall, measuring up and learning timeless lessons.

"They didn't let just anyone in that club...get to wear those Game Day Jersey's down the hall..."

But not unique.

Thousands of us, we who played, victorious some nights and losers on others, we played for more than fun. Unless you were there, you can never get it.

The biggest lesson learned, hell the only lesson and one I am finding uniquely American, is when the scoreboard says you lost, get back up. Watch game films on Monday and get back to work.

The lessons of football weren't simply how to block, run fast, catch a pass, score touchdowns - it was how to win with honor, face defeat with grace.

And when you do lose, get back up.

When that 250 pound linebacker, stops you cold, rings your bell, leaving you staring through your face mask, up at the black, starless, autumn Michigan sky - get the hell back on your feet, huddle up, call the play, and do it again.

"Football lessons we learn as kids continue to apply for the rest of your life. Life's a team game, the big game." - Joe Namath.

In America, failure is a process towards success. Not another opportunity to blame your parents, ex-wife, or George Bush for your actions. Unfortunately, we see more and more blame and less responsibility.

I blame the idiots who protect their kids' self-esteem by not keeping score. What the heck is that? No, really...what in the world is that?

Right now, today, you and I, we get our bells rung. And it seems that while we out here keep huddling up, the folks in the stands are getting all the points. The guys in the press box are telling us how wrong we are. Telling everyone how little we know about what it is we've been doing forever and they've NEVER DONE. Worse, they are making a living doing it.

My coach had a good way to handle that - he would simply say, "don't listen to them..they don't know shit..." - yeah, pretty simple.

You see, most critics and even lots of "experts" on the game, had never been down there in the huddle, or on the line across from that 250 pound linebacker.

What's more, they weren't there during two a days in August.

They never did a down-up in their life let alone set the school record. They weren't ever on a snow covered field as a 12 year old, the wind whipping through the ear-holes of your helmet. They've never had their nose broken in the 1st quarter, and continued to play with the blood. Nor have they ever heard the sound of a leg being broken at the fifty yard line. (imagine the sound of a thick, dry, tree branch snapping - yup, just like that).

No, these blow-hards, these experts didn't know shit.

That was High School football - and in Managed Print Services?

You've heard it before, the "dumb jock" labels. And you see athletes sometimes mocked on TV and in movies. Sometimes, the mockery is just - Tiger Woods.

So it is with salespeople. Pushy, over talkative, uncaring, fake. Stereotypical. Yes, some of that is deserved, but not for all of us.

Fake? What's with those industry pundits who last year provided copier sales training suggesting MPS was a fad. Today, all of a sudden, "MPS Expert" magically appears next to their name?

And how about that MPS Director insisting that MPS is a 30 day close and should include devices.

Or the distributor touting "We ARE MPS", give me a friggin break.

Coach said it best, "don't listen to them, they don't know shit..."

At best, there may be a half dozen firms who may have 6-12 months experience in a "higher" level of Managed Print Services.(beyond toner, service, meter reads and clicks...)

Today, MPS best practices, benchmarks and "certifications" are being created in the field, on the scrimmage line - no consultant, no manufacturer, or third party toner person has ever done this before. They've never followed a pulling gaurd off tackle. Ever.

This is not a bad thing - tomorrow's experts are selling today's MPS. Think about that.

There was a time when passing in football was not considered. Some guy in the field on the gridiron came up with the idea of throwing the ball(1905). Bach then, there were no football experts making goofy suggestions from the sidelines. And you can bet the first 100 times the ball was thrown, it was ugly.

All I am saying is the experts, the real life experts, are in the field, trying new plays, getting their bell rung and creating success where once there was none.

All on their own; all on your own.

Over the top? Too emotional?

"...you can't be quiet, you can't be unemotional...this is an emotional game..."


So, how did I come up with this goofy idea for a post? Kenny Chesney - blame him.

---------------- Watch this: Westland John Glenn Rockets - Homecoming, 2009, Irma E. Kionka stadium - NEVER GIVE UP.

Click to email me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Canon to set up office equipment solutions unit in US - Nikkei

(Reuters) - Canon Inc (7751.T) will create a U.S. subsidiary next spring to provide services to businesses that use its office equipment, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The new firm, to be set up in New York as a wholly owned unit of local arm Canon USA Inc, will begin operations with a workforce of 100-150, the paper said.

The new unit will help corporate clients boost efficiency by constructing document-management systems and operating their office equipment, the daily reported.

In starting a dedicated business solutions unit, Canon hopes to strengthen its presence in an area where both U.S. firm Xerox Corp. (XRX.N) and Ricoh Co. (7752.T) have already staked claims, the paper added. (Reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010