Saturday, December 31, 2011

To Boldly Go

And so it has finally come to this - There is nothing new for me to write.  There is nothing I can say, that I haven't said before; Manage Print Services has peaked and it's time to "jump the curve".

Sure, there are plenty of adventures remaining, lots of cold calls, assessments, proposals and engagements remain to be had.

Have it.

I will certainly NOT stop talking or writing about technology in our little niche - see you at some shows.

But there is more...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Does Making a Man a Knight...Make Him a Better Provider? Yes.



This post was first started April, 2011 -----

The battle for MpS.

As the 3rd Annual MPS Conference fades in the rear-view,  its deja vu all over.

Today, questions around MpS border on the mundane; reflecting, once again, the commoditization of me and of you:

Cold Calls, Dialing for MpS - old school scripts
MpS is Dead - Toner and Service only
MpS is Dying - MIF is shrinking
MpS needs 'farmers' and 'hunters' - labels and boxes
MpS Reps are simply coin operated - sure, that's all we care about, isn't it
The OEMs are not working with the channel - working 'on' is not working 'with'
The OEMs are losing control - do we sell machines or services or supplies
"I have MpS on my HP's.  The copiers are all on a service agreement.  We're fine..."  - quote from an IT guy

So, here we are again...after DOTC defined it...we're stuck asking, "What is MpS?"

"What is Managed print Services?"

What's old is new.  We've all been here before. Timeless.  From Jerusalem to BattleStar Galactica to The Matrix - the footprints we follow are our own...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More News from the VAR World: ConnectWise introduces 'Vendor Management'

Today I attended a webinar hosted by ConnectWise titled "Vendor Management"

You remember ConnectWise as a VAR infrastructure software package which includes modules for everything from dispatch to Sales to Marketing support.

"Vendor Management" is a new functionality and is intended to assist Managed Service Providers (MSP) in managing technology vendors for their clients.  The MSP could now handle interfacing with the telephone, domain, internet vendors on their clients' behalf - and yes, not only did one graphic include a "copier vendor" icon, the word "copier" was mentioned no less than 12 times in under 42 minutes.

Their primary concern? "...vendors are starting to invade each others space leading to finger pointing...leaving the customer stuck in the middle..."

With this new module, ConnectWise is recommending the MPS step into the middle of the convergence, taking and maintaining control of their clients' vendor ecosystem.  



This is a valuable service, and strategic in nature along the lines of 'whoever owns the network, owns the account' mentality.

If you manage the Vendors, you manage the access, billing, relationship and minimize each uniqueness.

Additionally, they see this convergence as predatory. Outsiders infiltrating 'their' accounts, specifically mentioning copier vendors.

The module looks completely adequate with everything from annotation capabilities, workflow and contract renewal reviews.

A pivot point-  positioning for the approaching struggle.

Click to email me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Greg's Top 12 of 2012 - The End of the World as We Know It...Well, not Really...

For you, dear reader, my personal top 12 for 2012.

A list of what I see happening in the coming year, for us, our industry, our world.

In a moment of pure randomness, a stream of consciousness, my off the cuff opinion - feel free to disagree:

12. Content

Content is everything. And it grows.  Not simply printed content, Tweets, cable/digital TV, cellphone calls, dead-emails, texts, sexts, DropBox, utility bills - bumper stickers, ATM transactions: Everything.

And there is the DarkContent/DarkMatter - the "meta data" - the stuff we can't forget, because we've never seen it. For example, if you are running FourSquare, your every step is recorded, not just the cute 'check-ins'.  Your movement is recorded and filed off into the great Rift that is DarkConent.  Same with your NetFlix orders and cable TV viewing patterns, your Visa spends, and the digital footprint that follows your every search, view, post, comment and click.

All there, all Dark and unseen.  Collective.

The Age of Content is engaged, 2012 will reveal more.

11.Social Everything

Everybody is touching everyone, everywhere - Twitter is going to kill news collectors and email; and not a printer in sight.  DropBox/BoxNet make sharing large, exchange-choking files a snap.  Tablets will be faster, .PDF's will download instantly(almost) and the screen will be the new 'paper'.

10. Less Copiers

That's right, less 11x17, less off the glass copying.  'Nuff said...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas From DOTC





It's a time to reflect, to celebrate, and remember.

I know I will be doing all of the above.

On this particular Christmas, 2011, I especially acknowledge all the readers of DOTC.

May this be the merriest of Christmases and your family enjoy each other's company.

To the beaches of Laguna, the streets of Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City and Detroit.

Ohio to Florida, Kentucky to Utah.

To my friends in London town, the Netherlands, and Europe.

From the Cape of South Africa to the Horn of South America, to the Opera House of Sydney to the shores of New Zealand.

From India to Singapore, Seoul to Berlin.

The Azores, Honolulu to Anchorage and back to good ole Davidson, North Carolina -  Thank you for reading.

Merry Christmas to all...and to all...a good night...


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Top Six Managed Print Services Organizations of 2012

Photizo, Supplies Network, Xerox, Great America, MWAi,  & Lyra 

Photizo - They get it right and have been there from the beginning.

Before Gartner ever considered an MPS Quadrant, Photizo was there.

Back then Gartner didn't give a lick.

IDC, didn't know MPS.

Back then, half of our "esteemed" instructors carpet bagged on dealer fear.

When the consultants of the day were espousing the similarity of  MpS to color and poo-pooing MpS as "just another marketing scheme..." Photizo tagged the name "Hybrid Dealer" - of course, they copied the phrase.

That's what Copiers Do.

While others were 'find and replacing' the word 'copier' for 'MPS', Photizo published the Three Adoption Stages of MpS.

And just as others enveloped those three into their MPS talk-track, Photizo added even more stages, resulting in the above chart.

They've gotten it.  They've been on it from day one.

Now some in our ecosystem confuse me with them, promoting me as a Photizo employee or worse, their hatchet-man.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem being a GunSlinger, but I choose both my allies and my targets - nobody tells me where the Red Dot lands.

Truly, if back in the day anybody else was saying what Photizo was saying, I would acknowledge them as well.  

"...Sooner or later, One has to take sides, if one is to remain human..."

So we make our choices and we stick with the plan.  I chose Photizo because they've been right there on the same page as I, seeing the same things I have in the field from Genesis.  And sometimes, they make people uncomfortable - awe, poor baby...




Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Okidata - VARs/BTA/PSA/RMM - and Agiliant

I just read the press release from Okidata announcing a relationship between Oki and Agiliant.

You'll remember Agiliant is a newcomer to the MpS space(sorta, they pretty much invented MpS back in the day before flipping out to Pitney) - Agiliant is looking to provide third-party IT services to MpS providers, rounding out any managed services portfolio.

Not a bad model.

Okidata adds yet another dimension to their VAR strategy.  Again, you'll remember back in the summer of 2011, Oki announced a re-vamping of their Total Managed Print portal that included interfaces to many of the popular PSA's.(Connectwise, Level Platforms...)

The VARs are coming, and their infrastructure partners are leading the way.  All this is fine and grand.  But software does not an MpS Practice make.

How are these new VARs going to SELL this new service?  Just like helpdesk and the NOC?

It ain't that difficult, so we should see thousands of VARs embrace and prosper in this new realm, shouldn't we?

It's our ecosystem all over again - let's call it the MpS ExoSystem.

Press Release:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Should we Do with all These VARs?

johnathan, Johnathan...JOHNATHAN...JOHNATHAN...JOHNATHAN !



Next chance you get, check out the last 10 seconds of the ending scene in 300.


Why would a proven model some 3 decades old, not hold up to supporting MpS?

Because no matter how many nifty tools or vendor partners come calling, no matter how 'easy' an MpS program looks from the outside, Managed Print Services is not a bolt-on proposition.

Sound familiar?  Remember the 50% to the MpSr's who failed?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top Morning Indicators Your Day is Really Going to Suck...

We've all been there, experiencing those morning events that just scream to you, "this day is going to suck."

Tie-Dipping in coffee, every shirt is wrinkled, car won't start...

How about these:

You wake up and it's Monday.

You wake up to realize you've stolen anything from Mike Tyson.

You wake up late for the Monday Morning Sales Group-Hug back in the crumbling world that is your company.

You wake up, walk to the bathroom, and Patrick Duffy is stepping out of the shower - it was all a dream. And you might be...well,  "...skip to my Lou, happy...".

You wake up, swear by all the gods of fast food hell, you will never go to Wendy's again. Lift the lid, there are ladies about, feel a stronger than usual back pain, look down and see blood.

- this is what happened to me, today, this morning...

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"...You All Read this Tome for different reasons, but you all come to the Same Place. So now I'm asking more of you...sure as I know anything, I am to misbehave..."



"...Let's be bad guys..."

Brick and mortar is dead.  The ways of the past limiting.  Still, the Ways are promoted, adhered to, pushed down from the AllianceArchaic.

We who abide, sleep in the cubical that has become life.  Suckling the metal teat, swallowing the dogma and false promise of a heartless Utopia. Blissful. One day, we wake up selling copiers.

Those of us who see, rile and squirm under the thumb. We are misunderstood chastised and subjugated.  Seen as different, defiant.

Contrarian.

We Who See are unwilling traitors, reluctant 'slingers,  first fighting then finally admitting our place in the ecosystem.

We look right, then left and proclaim,  "...let's be Bad Guys..."

"...No More Running..."

More paper...more machines, more power, more data, directing, telling, whispering in your ear...


"...you're a hero, you have followers, you're famous, obey your heart, you're in charge..."

Hypnotic and empty sunshine blown right up your A$$. The siren song of compliance.

They keep you reaching for quota, margin, all necessary and good, but they hold you back, chain you to the past, their past, not even yours.

They create 'new' training packages that are nothing but relabeled 80's swill. They tell you to sell solutions, be more competitive, (lower your selling price) while the back-end rebates slip to the bottom line - 'it's how we pay for the year-end party' - upchuck.

So you wind up wounded, not even dead...knocking on MIF, churning and burning, cold calling CIO's and IT Directors. Fighting the service manager to lower the CPC, scratching your head over not getting paid on copier service agreements...huh.

You're running through a mind numbing, monochrome, maze.  They move the cheese and keep you running.

No more running.

"...Oh no, they're not going to see this coming..."

They won't.  They don't. They can't.

They see what they want to see - a centrally controlled, field of Zombie-Minions.

The minions are everywhere - not just in imaging but in Pharms, office products, fluid components, IT/MS and nanotechnology. Purveyors of all types of widgets, services and niches yet to be created - the LongTail is everywhere.

Who is The AllianceArchaic?

In fiction, they are known as the Machines, SkyNet, the Empire, the Borg, Decepticons, P1,Colossus.  In Real Life, they could be the corporation, the government, ownership, banking, the establishment, social norms or even Hollywood.  In Real Life, The AllianceArchaic is more difficult to see.  But it is pompous and filled with hubris.

Now is the time - all I would ask is that you ask yourself, "is it my time?"  If so, move.  Move directly toward your detractors, head first.

The AllianceArchaic won't see it coming, all they can see is themselves.


Click to email me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"We weren't Born to Follow..." - Brick and Mortar is Dead, it's a 1099 World



Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk...

I've been saying it all summer, "brick and mortar is dead."

I've been saying it for years, "the only boss we have is the one staring at us in the mirror in the morning."

I've been saying it for months, "now is the time in history when we can do exactly what we want to do."

That technology is allowing us to sell in the streets and the board room, not on a demo-floor. We can communicate with people all over the globe, at any time - email is dead.  I can run an MpS Practice from anywhere on the planet - I ain't kidding either.

I've been telling about how the 'big guys' want you to work in their cube farm, ignorant and happy.

I see the power of the corporation receding and the independence of 'one' growing.

I am not disgruntled, I have no hard feelings, I do not dislike any previous employer - we all get what we deserve, and at the time, I deserved them.

But it is hypocritical, isn't it? To espouse the benefits of individualism, encourage rebellion against the machine from the dark, safety of the night only to walk into an office the next morning, sit in a cube and tolerate ineptitude.

There is no blame, no right or wrong - there simply is.  There is the Convergence.  The intersection of time and space; opportunity and preparedness.

So, as I advocate for change, as I encourage all those Leaps of Faith, it is time for me to look into the mirror and see what was in front of me all along.

Below, is a standard termination notification - standard in all ways except this one is real.

This one is mine.

=======
Dear XXXX, 


Please accept this message as notification that I am leaving my position with SIGMAnet effective 11/30/2011. I appreciate the opportunities I have been given at SIGMAnet and your professional guidance and support. I wish you and the company success in the future. 


Please let me know what to expect as far as final paperwork, my employee benefits or anything else you can think of. If I can be of assistance during this transition, please let me know.  I will forward the laptop and phone to SIGMAnet, at my earliest convenience.  


Thank you again.


Greg Walters
======

I can not think of a more exposing or vulnerable position to be in - and yet...

It is true, DOTC will cease to expand, after the 31st.  I will not be adding content.

The blog shall stand as a static, monolithic totem guiding visitors along the path of MpS purity - a TombStone,  reminder of what was.

The Cycle will continue.

And finally, I will be living my words.








Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Level Platforms Delivers Converged Managed Print/Managed IT Services

Below is the press release from Level Platforms, talking about managing imaging assets.  At first glance, not all that mind-blowing.

Until you research Level Platforms.

"Agentless Remote", "power management", and "Cloud management".

I had the honor of speaking with Peter Sandiford, CEO Level Platforms, last week.  We had a very interesting conversation around IT guys getting into MpS.  A good conversation.  Yes, the MSP's are seeing potential in the MpS arena, and yes, this software will work great for both IT VARs and BTA types.

His software 'abides'.

Who knew?

I did...How Do You Like Me Now?



Level Platforms Delivers Converged Managed Print/Managed IT Services with Managed Workplace 2011 R3 Managed Print Services, enhanced Cloud management, power management, and new agentless Remote Tools expand MSP opportunities Ottawa, ON, Canada – November 30, 2011:

LPI Level Platforms Inc., a global leader in remote monitoring and management software today announced the release of Managed Workplace 2011 R3, which delivers advanced management of print and imaging devices, new power management plans that help cut energy consumption costs, advanced monitoring and management of cloud services such as Office 365™ and Google Docs™, and significant enhancements to real time Remote Tools.

Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs) can now comprehensively monitor and manage printing and imaging assets, optimizing the return on investment of their customers’ document production processes through increased printer uptime, reduced costs and new programs including just-in-time supply replenishment and Cost-per-Copy programs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Columbia Prof Calls Out HP : “It's like selling a car without selling the keys to lock it,”

“It may ultimately lead to telling everyone they just have to throw their printers out and start over,” he said. "Fixing this is going to require a very coordinated effort by the industry," Stolfo said.

It's Deja Vu, all over again.

First it was security breaches related to our hard drives.  Then it was the toner particles - as dangerous as toast.  Next toner bombs.

Today, a group of Colombia students and one very smart professor are ringing the warning bell.  This time, 50 million devices fall under the scrutiny of The Columbia University Intrusion Detection Systems Lab.

At first, I laughed. ALL HP printers are shipped "wide open" - I've seen it myself when in training, we intercepted print streams, changed the amount and the pay-to-the-order-of name and printed a check.

It's not that difficult, does not exclusively apply to HP and has been a known phenomena for decades.

And then there was the toner particle scare - great headlines, but in reality, toner dust is about as harmful as toast particles...snore...

And who will ever forget the plastic-explosive-in-the-HP-toner-cartridge trick, Al Kinda, pulled - genius.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Managed Print Services in 2012: The Year the VAR's come calling...

Is it too early to write about next year? No, it isn't.

The Death of The Copier calling out the obvious:

2012 will be the year of the VAR.

More specifically:

The year the VARs try to learn meter reads to billing...
The year the VARs try to sell MpS like every other managed service...
The year the VARs make all the mistakes we did, five years ago...

2012 the year we lose the 'p'..
2012 the year the little fish consumes the big fish...MpS devours MS...

Oh my...

Friday, November 25, 2011

"...You're Not a guy...the world is full of guys...be a man..."

Say something...Smart

Say something...Clever

Say something...Honest

Say something...Scary

Say something...Painful

Say something...Meaningful

Say...Anything.




"Kickboxing...sport of the future? I can see by your face...no..."

The world is now full of MpS-Guys.  Much like the flim-flam men of the past. Every corner has a toner house, every sales guy can recite "automated desk side delivery" and "vendor agnostic".

We have our own society and associations. Every trade show, OEM and dealer conference has an MpS session. The MpS market is blowing up to 78 billion by 2015, a 20% increase.

Incredible.

2012 will see another titanic shift as the VARs, the IT guys who hate printers and copiers, dive into our little niche - Battle Royal.

"...by choice man..."

With so many 'guys' out there, so many, empty, curb side pundits - it's time to be a Man.  It's time to hold that boom box over your head, in front of your Malibu and step out on the Edge.

"...I gave my heart and she gave me a pen..."

It's going to hurt and you may only get a pen out of the deal, but you will be whole and you will be your own guy.

"...Say Anything..."
You may not get this, but some will. Say Anything, as long as it's not what "they" tell you to say. Dig deeper, go further than CPI. Do more than 'assess'. Look beyond the 'close'. Stay big, not small. Be.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

12 Questions to Ask When Buying Managed Print Services - SMB

So, you want to buy some 'MpS', eh?

You've come to the right blog.

You see, for the past four years, I have been selling Mps.  For the past 2 years, I have been the Practice Manager at a small MpS practice - I was in charge of the entire infrastructure.  Building it, pulling it out of the fire and evangelizing MpS to prospects, co-workers and executive management.

I have built partnerships throughout the MpS/Imaging Ecosystem.

I know every MpS sales technique, every hook, every mirror and all the smoke.

I've sat in on more MpS training classes than most anyone and reviewed almost every, single OeM MpS program as well as all the independent creations.

Over the past 24 years, I have formed passionate opinions about MpS, sales, and technology.

My views and opinions have made many inside the industry uneasy.  I am an Agent of Change an Advocate for Transformation.

On the Edge.

And today, I will expose myself to you.  Well, at least a bit of me...the MpS me, not the Leopard Thong Me.

But first, determine how much you are currently spending, how many output devices you utilize and how much you are spending per month on lease, toner, service and supplies.

Look at ALL your devices, copiers, single function laser and multi-function devices.

Find all the hidden toner in your organization and get a cost associated with that toner.

Determine and document your internal toner/supplies support processes. How are supplies ordered?  Who performs your service?  When a printer breaks, who calls who?  How is toner ordered?

Next, take a look at the basic workflow in your accounting department and recognize the value of documents.

After you complete these simple tasks, define 'managed print services' for yourself.

Now, go ahead and give your local MpS company a call and invite them in for a chat.

"MpSr's...Come Out and Play..."

The VARs are out and they are all gunning for us.

To get through the maze, to get out of the city, it's going to take all we know, all we've ever been.

We'll lose friends and meet new allies.  Sticking together might get us through.

Being true to who we are, as individuals, traitors, undeniable, unlimited...that's how we make it.














Click to email me. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mobility Print is Dogma. DOTC calling it. No. No way. Nope.

The final gasps of a dying niche - print/clicks/marks on paper.

Mobility Print, means I can print from my Droid or TouchPad from almost anywhere.  But, for me, the numbers are not all that impressive:

Print a hard copy in a hotel? Sure, 12 pages a year.

Print my airline tickets? Sure 52 pages a year.

My mother printing my aunt's recipe for stuffed turkey? Sure, 11 pages a year.

Print a map? Okay, another 13 clicks.

That's 87 pages. In a year. At 12 cents/image, we're talking about a buck a year.

Print People Magazine at home? Nope.

Download a .PDF from Scientific American, for 99 cents? Possibly.

Applying this to the B2B world, when Alaska Air issued each pilot an iPad, they replaced every, single flight manual for every jet in their fleet.

Mobile print philosophy would argue that if the iPad had the capability of printing, each pilot would go home and print a manual the night before a flight.  Wha, wha, whaaaaaaaaat?

Guess who is most interested in mobile print? Go ahead, guess.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Leopard One Speaks Down Under - Press Release








MPSA Executive Committee Leader

Takes a Hard Look at MPS Industry Trends in MPS Conference Keynote

Columbus, OH – November 17, 2011 – Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) Executive Committee member, Greg Walters, recently presented a keynote speech at the 2011 Asia Pacific MPS Conference in Sydney, Australia. In addition to his longtime volunteer work with the MPSA, Walters is creator of the popular MPS blog, thedeathofthecopier.blogspot.com.

As a founding Executive Board member of the MPSA, Walters has been part of the MPS industry throughout its transition. “The industry has evolved more in the last four years than the previous six,” he declared. “MPS has changed everything and shifted influence from the OEMs to the individual.”

In his keynote presentation, Walters focused on several concepts affecting the marketplace:

• Transformation – “From the inside out. Apple transformed by building what they would use, not what the marketing pundits told them to produce.”

• Partnerships and Collaboration – “Advisories will forge new partnerships. OEM to toner re-man, dealer to dealer.”

• The Big Zag, for Today – “Running and managing an MPS practice is challenging. The more who don’t understand that, the better for we who do. Once the ‘P’ is removed, we are left with ‘Managed Services’. If you can run an MPS practice, you can thrive inside an MS.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Uniform Company and "Document Management" - From Creation to Destruction

In a past life, I worked for Cintas - a uniform company.

I sold uniform programs which  generated weekly revenue over a contracted time period. We manufactured our own uniforms, like an OEM.

Once a week, our trucks would come out to customer site, collect dirty uniforms, bring them back to the plant and wash them - this was part of our basic service.

Not only did we clean the uniforms, we would inspect and automatically repair or replace worn garments - this was one of our 'value added' services.

For all this, the weekly charge was around  a buck and a half per change of uniform - approximately 15.00/week/employee.  

If the employees paid, we called it a self-funded benefit of employment. If the company paid 100% we called it a company supported, corporate identity program.

The point is 'recurring revenue'.  Each week our trucks would touch every single customer.  Recognizing the potential, the company started adding soap dispensers and air fresheners to their rug and towel programs.  Then the company bought the second largest First Aid kit provider.  I didn't even know there was such a thing.

Soon, in addition to logo'd uniforms, we were renting mop heads, selling embroidered golf shirts and hats out of a catalog. 

You see, the company recognized the value of customer contact AND recurring revenue - at a significant profit.

Not long after, Cintas bought a document archiving and destruction company - that's right, from uniforms to 'document management'.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Qualification is Key

Selling managed print services requires plenty of up-front activity. Not just the “1,000 phone dials get 100 conversations get 10 appointments” kind of pre-sales work.

I am referring to the kind of toil that ranges from assessment, walk-through and configure to price up, present, close and execute.

Today, there are lots of “tools” designed and pitched as time savers, short cuts in collecting data and calculating your cost.

These wiz-bang packages generate proposal templates complete with fleet data and pricing. Even with all these nifty tools a minimum of 15 business days could and should be required to acquire base information about fleet content and rough volumes.

But even then getting the deal is just a

There's More -


Managed Services - Qualification is Very Important.




Click to email me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Transform 2012 Global Conference - in the city that begins with an "O" and ends with an "O"..

Transform 2012 Global Conference Focuses on Transformation to the Business Services Model


HP joins as first Platinum Sponsor

November 14, 2011 -- Midway, KY -- Photizo Group will lead the print services market in a new direction at the Transform 2012 Global Conference in Orlando, Florida on May 24-25, 2012. Transform 2012 is the next evolution of the popular Global Managed Print Services (MPS) Conference that will focus on the necessary services transformation facing the MPS channel.

“The Transform 2012 Global Conference is managed by the experienced MPS Conferences team and we’ve introduced a new theme into the agenda in response to the shift we’re seeing, across all levels of the technology marketplace,” said Edward Crowley, Photizo Group founder and CEO. “The upcoming Transform Conferences will focus on helping dealers, resellers and other channels transform from hardware-centric business models to services-based approaches.”

HP recognizes the opportunity in service transformation

HP is the first Platinum Sponsor of the Transform 2012 Global Conference. “As our first Platinum Sponsor, HP has shown a strategic understanding about where the MPS channel is heading. We are honored to have their commitment to bringing this important content and education to the MPS dealer and reseller community,” said Crowley.

“The managed services market is evolving and we are excited about the opportunity to have more in depth partnership with our customers. We intend to bring to market new solutions that take advantage of key trends, leverage our channel partners and create world class capabilities,” 


said Mike Weir, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP “This is an exciting time for HP to be engaged in leading forums like the Transform 2012 Global Conference.”

Content Centered on Business Transformation

The conference program has four tracks, with additional pre-conference workshops on May 23. The main agenda covers the four key areas that are impacting channels today:

• Transforming the Customer's Environment (beginner discussions)
• Transforming Business Processes (advanced discussions)
• Transforming Your Organization (management discussions)
• Beyond Print: Transforming the Market with Technology (market trends, technology, vendor presentations)

Photizo invites applications for speaking opportunities at the Transform 2012 Conference. More information is available at http://www.photizogroup.com/conference/be-a-speaker/.
In addition to the educational events, a Golf Scramble at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is planned for attendees on May 22. More information about the Transform 2012 Global Conference agenda and activities can be found at http://www.photizogroup.com/global2012/.

# # #

Misty H. Gonzalez
Director of Media & Publishing
+1 859 846 9830 ext 109


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things I Learned at the Asia Pacific, Managed Print Services Conference in Sydney: There Is an Unifying Theory

11/2011

What a week. First, I drove from LAX to Charlotte, NC.

After a two day rest, off to Sydney.

My flight went up to Detroit, hometown, back out to LAX, nicest night time approach view around, then out to Sydney - 14 hours away.

On a plane Friday and landing Sunday morning without knowing what time it was, let alone what day ...where in the hell did Saturday go?

That night, I hit the sheets at 6:00PM, local and slept until 6:00AM, local.

Again, what the hell?

Monday morning, sipping coffee from a way too small cup, on a saucer no less, I found myself standing in a sea of grey pinstripes - this sure wasn't LA, St. Louis, Seattle, New York, Orlando or Vegas.  This was Sydney. 14 hours, two hemispheres and one international date-line away.

Oh what fun was to be had, Down Under...

As with all conferences, the first presentation covers the basics: thanks for coming, the rest rooms are over there, we hope you get one good thing out of the next few days and here is our first keynote speaker.

It was a tough crowd for Dom as he took us along the innovation path explaining how the successes of our past can hold us back, chaining us to the old ways.

I got the jokes. But the audience was a bit cold, reserved, dubious.

This changed as one table shot out many different responses to one of his questions. That's when I knew this was going to a very good conference.



First Golden Nugget? - MpS is Universally Spoken

That's right. There is little difference between how MpS is defined down under versus here in the States or North America.

All the challenges we have experienced here, they have down there. Commission structure, toner delivery, cartridge based or CPI invoicing, DCA installations, OEM relationships, "what is MpS" questions...all of it.

Interestingly enough, the S1/S2 successes run parallel to the US and the more advanced firms are expanding into Managed Services.  But they aren't looking to "rip and replace" servers - jus sayin...

I may have expected the A/P MpS'rs would be slightly behind the U.S. on the adoption curve, but they aren't.

There is a unique set of issues, the old copier models still hang on, but the attitude, the 'can do' attitude is prevalent - palpable.  And that was refreshing.  Bold.

The best kind of Zag.

Second Nugget - MpS is open and clear

Wide open.  The players in A/P are hitting everything in sight.  From government to commercial to Education - not unusual, right?  What I got out of their exuberance was a wide eyed wonder not only geared at seeing the huge pool of prospects, but also in the wide array of MpS subjects they would talk about.  Not just toner but networks, documents, storage, workflow and business process. All this under MpS!  No really, it's true.

From the inside out, making it up as they go, not worrying about benchmarks(too much) or best practices(not too much) or their ego.

I did not hear one complaint about OEM toner pricing being too high, or any whining about how OEM so and so is encroaching into SMB.

Hard work gets results, complaining doesn't.

I have attended each North American MPS Conferences so meeting people with different definitions of MpS, infrastructure, pricing and OEM partnerships is common - from Cali to NYC, we are diverse.

There are sectors of the MpS Ecosystem inhabited by those consider themselves above the rest, better, erudite in manner - born into their position.

We all know them; the stuck up consultant, the know-it-all copier dealer, the old-skool, old-man, collector and seller of souls - destroyers of innovation.

None of that here.

Clear.  They can see a carpetbagger coming a continent away.

Another cool Zig.

Third Nugget - Even the OEMs are Runin' and Gunnin', in the Wild, Wild West...

There was a time, not long ago, when I would compare the MpS Ecosystem to the "Wild, Wild, West of Imaging" - no rules, no sheriffs, and lots of Gold. We were ALL making it up as we went.

Those days seem to be gone as the OEMs clearly define MpS as Stage One and Two, leveraged to land more equipment.

They are bringing out all sorts of heartless paraphernalia: Toner portals, shrink wrapped MpS, nameless service networks,  automatic proposal generators, MpS "Agent Fee's".

Controlled. Stifled. Boring.

But not in A/P.  I was fortunate enough to share time with Fuji/Xerox, HP, and Canon MDS folks. Each for about an hour.  What struck me was the absolute willingness to get things done by working the market not their system.  Sure, they want to land more gear, but the MpS ideas and philosophy are truly geared around a vision that works up to Stage 3/4 - they don't stop at toner and service.

There are all building teams from scratch, they are all putting together deals and infrastructure programs from scratch.

And they are flexible.  That's right, I just referred to 3 of the big OEM's as "flexible" and I could easily say, "out of the box".  Smack me in the forehead and call me dumbfounded.

What a Zag this is.

Don't...friggin...ask...
The Big Take Away - Remember to Let Go

Again, we talked about how the successes of the past can hold us back.  I mentioned how now is the time to really look at the world sideways, to be open to new partnerships.  New business models, new employment paradigms and different personal archetype for success.

I pontificated on how now is the time when power is shifting away from the big, centrally controlled entities and down to us, the folks in the trenches.

How this point in history is that unique time when technology truly allows us to control our own destinies - that is if we recognize how the "good ole days" can shackle us to the past.

To move forward, we need to let go the past.  Before we let go, we must first remember.

And that's what Australia did for me.  The people, the vibe, the way, reminded me of our past. Our MpS past.

If you can remember, now is the time to let it go, let go of our MpS past, step over the Edge and into a  future with less toner.



Click to email me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Managed Print Services: The 2011 Rising Stars, Constellation 2




Last autumn, we published the very first DOTC MpS Rising Stars: Constellation 1.

A collection of interesting MpS players who brought something good to the Ecosystem.

I chose individuals or companies who in my opinion, contributed to the MpS cause in a positive manner. For instance, last year, Constellation 1 included, MT Business Technologies, Ken Stewart, Robert Newry, and Photizo.

So how did these stars fare over the past 12 months?

Ken Stewart, as Senior Consultant with Photizo, is helping build audacious projects global in scope and transformative in results.

Robert Newry/Newfield IT - Being purchased by Xerox sure has it's financial benefits. The doubters and old -skool sayers of nay, express how X will stifle the free expression of ideas. Yet, Robert continues to promote the art of assessments for 8everyone, for all in the MpS ecosystem.

Photizo's - Ed and the Gang's reputation continues to grow, around the globe, as THE MpS consultancy. They are moving from a consultancy to a transformation company.

MT Business Technologies - Still plugging along, slugging it out in the trenches and barnyards of MpS/SmB in the state that starts with an "O" and ends with an "O".

Who will make it this year, and where will the be 12 months from now?

Intriguing.

I introduce to you, Constellation 2 - The Rising MpS Stars of 2011.

Sydney: Day Negative 1. Impressive

It wasn't the 14 hour plane ride. It's the fact that I boarded the plane on Friday and disembarked the same plane on Sunday that is confounding.

Sydney is one of 'those' cities - one that should be visited at least once - for us Yanks for sure.

To me, the city has the same feel as San Francisco, in a good way. Except for the steering wheels being on the wrong side of the Ford and everybody driving the opposite side of the road.

The hotel is a mix of old and new. Old brick facade one side of the lobby, contemporary, updated architecture the other.

The service is impeccable; Cultural mix, multidimensional - West and East meeting at the crossroads.

As much as I expected to feel the flow of a culture and get some MpS vibe going on the other side of the international date line, two hemispheres away, I did not expect to discover, to see what I saw: National pain, wrapped with Dignity, Respect, and Honor.

You see, the news of the day included Quantas grounding their entire, world-wide fleet, over some union troubles - inconvenient, yes. But the somber mood expressed to a nation and from a nation was word of three Australian soldiers being killed in Afghanistan.

This struck me. Afghanistan is OUR war. Fun loving Aussie's aren't suppose to get blown up.

Emotions riled through me - sadness, remorse, and just when I was feeling a bit guilty, the Prime Minister of Australia takes center stage in a nationally broadcast news conference to specifically address the death of these three brave soldiers.

I had never heard her speak before - hell, I didn't even know Australia had Prime Ministers. But there she was, addressing the press. Steadfast, articulate, knowledgeable - when she knew the facts she stated them, when she didn't know the facts, she said so - she did not mislead, there was no grey area in her responses.

As I listened, drawn, almost hypnotized in a moment of refreshing confidence, I noticed another aspect.

She wasn't using a teleprompter.

My embarrassment over pulling friends into our fight gave way to shame, then to anger.

Was I pissed over a war "we shouldn't be in"? No. The bad-guys took down my Towers and killed fellow sales people while they drank Starbucks.

It was the absent teleprompter that got me...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lyra, 2012 - I Just Received My Invitation

Ours is a world of choices, it's what makes us human.

Years ago, when I approached Lyra for my very first set of press credentials, I was impressed when they said, "yes".

I've attended the last three Lyra conferences.

Other than free entry in exchange for some tweets and blog posts, Lyra and The Death of The Copier have no other type of relationship.

They've never paid me a dime.

So when I say the following, my view and opinion are from a clean place with clear intent.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Coming soon! Xerox Color Qube: The DOTC Review

For the last 30 days, I have kept output from a Xerox ColorCube, both 8.5x11 and 11x17, on the dash of the LandRover.

It sat in the Ontario(California, not Canada) extended stay parking lot, for a week.

The interior temps exceeded 100 degrees.

Happy to report, no runs, no drips, no errors.  As a matter of fact, the cracking along the fold closely resembles what happens when color toner is folded.

I anticipate installing an evaluation unit into one of my most important and discerning clients, within the next 30 days.

I know, I know, MpS has nothing to do with hardware - I got that.

Still, the entire story is delicious - I could write a book titled, "The Evolution of Edgeline: From ink, to Oblivion, to Wax..."

Hey...that's not a bad idea...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Ultimate Managed print Services in a Box - "Ink Subscriptions" from HP

10/2011

This is why we cannot define MpS as simply toner and service, Stage 1 & 2.

HP press release:

"HP today announced it is collaborating with Condé Nast to explore a new digital content distribution medium that merges rich content and digital-to-print service.
Additionally, HP plans to launch a pilot subscription service, HP Instant Ink, that automatically delivers replacement ink to customers at home or work while offering potential cost savings...

...HP Instant Ink pilot program

As the printer evolves into a content hub in homes and offices, HP Instant Ink allows additional content pages to flow – with savings and convenience for the user.

HP Instant Ink delivers Original HP Ink cartridges to the home or office when needed. Users may receive up to 50 percent annual savings on ink cartridge purchases for one low monthly fee.

Subscriptions for HP Instant Ink will be available from $5.99 to $10.99 per month depending on the product line, plus all cartridge shipping is included..."

Head scratching logic, what intent is revealed ?

How far away is the "buy a fleet of 9050's, and receive toner and service, automatically, via an HP van.  All for a flat, monthly fee?

The reviews.


Click to email me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Imaging of Greg - "The Double Dip Depression"

"Oh, boy ... look out. Double Dip Depression is here.


You see it, hear it; we're in it. Just the other day, I was driving through a business park – empty – and a tumbleweed literally blew through the parking lot. It was a bad movie.


Today, banks have the bailout money, but they ain't lending. We can’t hire staff without taking a major leap of faith – not in the candidate, but in the system. AMEX, MC/VISA – they’ve got us all by the short hairs, and they don’t let us raise our personal “debt ceiling”; get the scissors out.


Five years ago, there were three U.S. automotive companies; today, just one – and GM don't count.


The times are tough, and our troubles are artificially extended. 


The current administration..."


There's more, go deeper...

Click to email me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HP IPG: Indestructible

I know, I know...somebody filled my beer bong with HP-Blue KoolAid at last week's OPS Elite conference.  I can't see who exactly is holding the funnel up - pretty sure it's not my MES rep.  Could be my PBM. Huh..

The HP OPS Elite resellers. You know these guys. That one time very exclusive collection of core IPG channel players who jumped through hoops to earn the opportunity of a lifetime - selling Edgelines.

Yeah, that was us - I guess things have changed.

Today, if you are a Global/Xerox dealer and you have a pulse, 'little blue' will authorize you for OPS.

Today, if you have a retail door, hang MpS on a peg board next to the paperclips and white out, kick down a pulse, 'little blue' will authorize you for OPS.

Right, I busted my ass to install 79 Edgelines - all still in the field. Today, 'little blue' doesn't even have the Edgeline SKU in their system.(okay, that might be extreme, but you get my point. TouchPad anyone?)

The propeller heads over in PSG are whining over a little shift ? Give me a break. Those of us tied into IPG have been surfing the whirl wind of "scratch your head" logic since the MoPIER.

Remember those?

As easy as it is to throw poop at mother blue, I ain't going to, I'm done.   The last 90 days may be remembered as just another bump in the dark as it appeared mother blue is trying to commit suicide, shooting every foot in sight - this isn't about all that.

HP is the biggest gorilla in the house.  Actually, HP is a great, big, humongous, blue gorilla in your bed.  She can roll over, squish you, and not even lose a wink.  Talk about a 'walk of shame'.

Last year was in Phoenix - this year in Orlando.  Last year the presentations were old-skool and it seemed mother blue couldn't spell 'MpS'.

Well, what a difference a year makes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"The Death of the Copier is going Down Under: Let's Zig in a World of Zags"

Oct 31- Nov 1.


When I first let the Death of the Copier genie out of the bottle, back in the wild days of 2007, I did not know what to expect. Indeed, I had no expectations at all.

As the popularity grew, I noticed more visits from the UK, South Africa and Australia.

Even more than the US.

 I credited this phenomena to the US having "real", MPS experts, folks with lots of letters behind their name, answering MPS/Sales questions on their 'real' websites - nobody would come to a goofy blog called "The Death of..." anytihng.

So I went out to see for myself; call it a digital walkabout. I explored every instance I could of "Managed Print Services". Back then, when I Googled the phrase, nothing came back.

Nobody else.

I Googled "MPS Training" - again, nothing - at first. Soon, MPS training classes started to pop up, a quick gander at the agenda revealed one blaring truth, these guys were repackaging copier sales techniques into MpS sales training.

Now, if I were truly on the outside looking in, I probably wouldn't see the difference. If I had not been in the copier industry, had never been involved in the IT industry or not been trained on solution selling, by software companies, back in the 80's - I probably would have not been able to see.

Heck, if I wasn't freshly into MPS I wouldn't had cared. But all this was true, I was looking for somebody who knew more than I about MPS – I was disappointed.

Oh, there were a few - and they are still around: Jim Lyons, Ken Stewart, Art Post, Ed Crowely(Photizo) - followed by Nath Dube. We admitted to "making it up as we went along"- great fun.

DOTC was alone in the wilderness. Talking about MpS and getting echo's back - except with Australia. For some reason, the folks down under were coming to my site.

Fast forward a few years - DOTC is now considered a 'go to source' for information on MpS and nano-technology.  The nano-tech thing is way out there, just beyond the reach, out on the Edge.

DOTC is knows for scantily clad ladies and contrarian views. For pole dancers, movie clips, honest real world MpS/Sales stories and Attitude.

Always, Attitude.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

MPSA Sponsors Splinter MpS Group, that does not exist...

Almost a year ago, deep within bowels of a super-secret, underground bunker, difficult even for the attendees to find - the first No Rules MPS meeting convened.

No Rules
No PowerPoint
No Ego's

This improbable collection of bleeding edge adopters, consumed adult beverages and spoke the forbidden language of collaboration.

DOTC style.

Weeks of 'Thirsty-Thursday's", private, encrypted and scrambled online collaboration sessions resulted in the second No Rules MPS session being held in "No Rules, Eastern Command" - Tennessee.

The MPSA took note, and agreed to sponsor the third iteration of No Rules MPS in Vegas, January 2012.

As a wild, untamed, right of the bell curve loosely connected gang of MpS'rs, No Rules prided themselves on just that - No Rules.

Can this rebellious tone continue with the backing of the only MPS association?

Will the big Mother Ship devour her young hellions?

Like injecting the 24th Chromosome, will No Rules enhance the association's DNA, producing a faster, healthier, more nimble warrior?

Or will this 24th chromosome reveal the worst of all worlds and collapse?

In the end, it's up to you - get to Vegas.  Like you need another reason...

Press Release Below:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Droid" and MWA - Press Release

“I am excited about this launch, this continues to distance MWAi’s exclusive capability and provide a sustainable ROI in the Service Automation vertical apart from any other solutions available in our channel.” 

said Gavin Williams, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, MWA Intelligence, Inc.
-------

MWA Intelligence Reaches Milestone with DROID Application

Scottsdale, AZ. – September 3029, 2011 – MWA Intelligence, Inc. (MWAi), a leader in enterprise-class M2M (machine- to- machine) and M2P (machine- to- people) solutions and services, today announced the launch in Q4 of the First Generation Droid Applications for MWAi’s Intelligent Workforce (IWF) application adding to the already powerful lineup of supported platforms. The Droid platform expands MWAi’s extensive offering and investment that already includes RIM, iOS, and Windows Mobile.