Monday, January 31, 2011

Lyra 2011 - Commercial Printing, InkJets and Managed Print Services. "Secular Decrease"

The Lyra 2011 symposium was held last week in Palm Springs.

This was my third trip to the symposium, I must like it.

I do, here's why.

The staff always present complex data, financial reflections of our industry in a easy to understand manner.

This year, Navigating the Road to Profitability, was not a disappointment.

Of particular interest to me is the yearly presentation by Lyra analysts, Ann Priede and Charles LeCompte - Copier Vendor Scorecard.

This analysis of course, is focused on our industry but the overall global, economic influences are apparent.

My major take-aways:
  1. The recession has bottomed and at least leveled out, for now
  2. Those who remain standing, have gone through a secular change vs. cyclical
  3. HP is kicking ass, eating everybody's lunch
  4. TheDeathOfTheCopier is upon us now, this very day
  5. MPS is the last nail in their coffin
    Wow...

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Challenger 25 years Ago - And you think Cold Calls are Difficult



    Here in America, one can fail, over and over - we don't pity those failures, we don't tolerate quitting and we do not give up.

    Pearl Harbor, 911, Challenger - we're still standing. Its who we are, its what we do.

    When sadness strikes, when we trip, stumble and fall - we do not hide our failure.

    Because we know there is a tomorrow. Another day. Another way.

    And we walk.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    I use to think Managed Print Services would be a sub-set of MSP, but maybe it will end up the other way around.

    1/2011

    Sorta a "shoe on the other foot" paradigm.

    Consider this:

    CPI/CPC/MPS AND Managed Services engagements include dispatch out of a dispatch desk - fine. Simple enough.

    In our world, the world of output devices, our technicians, in addition to mechanical aptitude, carry something called "trunk stock".

    In our world, the same technicians rarely complete a time and materials call.

    In our world, technicians can be needed at a "drop of a hat" with SLA's in terms of hours, not days. Our technicians generally do not work on billable projects, their schedules need to be flexible and dispatchers aware.

    The "M" in Managed Print Services refers to a bit more than management by NOC.

    I have been banging the drum, sounding the alarm warning the impeding invasion of IT guys into our little niche and The End of Days.

    They are huge. They are systematic. They are a collective.

    Perhaps we shouldn't fight directly.

    Maybe there is something better.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Samsung Snags World's Largest ElectroWetting Company. What about the Silver Nanoparticles?

    In the "...Not that we here at DOTC are prophetic, or anything..." category.

    Mentioned on TheDeathOfTheCopier, November 26, 2010 in "What is ElectroWetting: Dipping a Toe into the future of "Print"? we pondered moving images on everyday paper.

    "...With the right paper, the right process and the right device fabrication technique, you can get results that are as good as you would get on glass, and our results are good enough for a video-style e-reader..."

    At the time, it seemed more a movie than reality.

    It seems Samsung may have an idea or two about this - they just bought the company.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Achieve Managed Print Services Immortality "...Simply By Doing One...Great...Thing..." - Keep Walking


    1/2011

    There is a great deal of "automation" in our little niche; auto-fullfilment, remote monitoring, M2M communication, auto-generated assessments, proposals, SOW's, Twitter-bots, RSS, on and on.

    Hi-technology effects the basic tenants of human existence; both eroding basic, physical contact and expanding our "socail network".

    Doesn't leave all that much room for us humans, eh?

    Fear not, take a walk.

    Extend that Human Touch

    No matter how fast data moves around the globe. From fax to pager to alphanumeric pagers, carphone, bag-phone, brick, mobile, laptop, tablet, to nano-implants, hopefully, it all boils down to two people sitting accross a desk from each other engaged in a selling process.

    It's only human.


    Monday, January 17, 2011

    CIO's: What to Look for In A Managed Print Services Company. The Perfect 10.

    The pressure is on.  The role of a CIO is, or should, be evolving into "...one of managing relationships rather than managing technology and getting lost in the detail..."

    Your refresh project has been delayed for two years now, server upgrades lagging, storage running low, your DC is over heating.

    Meanwhile, the number of open, output related tickets is approaching 40% - wow -  and to top it off, printers just aren't sexy.

    And now your role is "evolving"? Wonderful.

    Managed Print Services to the rescue.

    By now, you have heard about this new, Managed Print Services thing.  It sounds like something that would benefit your team, reduce some costs and make your users happy.

    Before you google-tize "managed print services" consider this: What is MPS?

    More importantly, what is your flavor of MPS and what should you look for in an MPS partner?

    Here are 10 simply aspects to reflect upon. Arguably, there are hundreds of angles, processes and actions to consider.

    But these are a good start.
    1. Define your Managed Print Services.  MPS is an IT initiative, not a printer/refresh project.  MPS is also a process that simply begins with the roll-out.
    2. Define the "M" in Managed Print Services and be prepared to understand exactly how your prospective MPS partner manages your engagement. (PM,SOW, Milestones, Benchmarks, etc.)
    3. Take control of the entire fleet.  Yes, this means the copiers.  Wrest control from Purchasing.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Managed Print Services, the Copier and the Traditional Copier Dealer : End of Days

    I've been saying it for years now.

    For my observations, I have been chastised, rebuffed, chortled at, poo-pooed and mocked.

    Heck, the first time I took, TheDeathOfTheCopier "out in public" (Lyra, 2009), some guy looked at my name badge, cocked his head and practically yelled, "...Death of the copier? Do you know who we are? We're all dealers!" Like I knew his sister, biblicaly or something. Yikes.

    Well, it doesn't make me all that happy to report the name of this blog is starting to look more prophetic than humorous. The Fourth Horseman is soon upon us.

    Why?

    For starters, there's too much "P" in MPS.

    Couple this with 15 years of over selling, over buying and over capacity; The first 3 Horsemen.

    And who are the Angels of Darkness ?

    The IT guys. No, really, I mean it.
    -----------

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Managed Print Services - Practice What You Preach


    1/2011 -

    It's all about the "M".

    From the very beginning I was uncomfortable with the "P" in Managed Print Services" - it is restrictive and a bit misleading.

    But, in the beginning, the word "print" seemed a bit more familiar and approachable. Your prospect knows what you mean when you say "print".

    The definition simply rolled off your tongue whenever asked, "What does MPS mean?"

    "I manage all you print devices..." - You.

    "oh, okay, I understand..." - Prospect.

    But wait...how much about Managed Print Services can you honestly identify with?

    How familiar are you, personally, with the real-world benefits of MPS?

    Sure, you can perform an assessment. And you put together quotes and proposals. Maybe you can even speak to a C-level, as a peer.

    But do you know how it feels when a cartridge doesn't show up?

    Do you experience the pain of attempting to de-code an invoice?

    One of YOUR INVOICES?

    Have you witnessed the positive results of replacing personal, desktop printers with a second monitor?

    Specifically, does your place of employment have your MPS Engagement in place?

    Are you monitoring your, internal fleet?

    What, you don't eat your own dog food?

    The cobbler's kids have no shoes?

    If so, scamper up to the owners ivory tower and call Bullshit.

    While at IKON, we sold all the best, top-drawer EDM solutions - all of them.

    Yup - you guessed it. The order entry pack was a collection of spreadsheets. At times, we actually faxed out meter read sheets.

    We printed 45 page proposals - 42 pages of marketing fluff, 1 cover, 1 letter and a price list.(gasp!)

    Now, I won't mention any names but there is an IT VAR, out on the Best Coast who has a small MPS practice.

    In 2009, this 145 employee VAR spent $19,000.00 on toner and supplies for MFPs.

    Before implementing their MPS, those who could guess, estimated a internal fleet size of 19 printer/MFPs. In the end, it was discovered that 43 devices populated the organization.

    Most of these, locally connected.

    At the close of 2010, invoice analysis revealed a yearly supply spend of $4,500.00.

    Do the math.

    Practice what you preach.



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    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Managed Print Services Engagements vs. Copier Service Agreements - Tell me Again, why we don't comp copier Reps on Service contracts?

    The copier dudes are going to love this one.

    Why don't we get residuals on the traditional, Cost Per Copy, service agreements for copiers?

    If an MPS rep gets a cut of the volume, why shouldn't a straight copier rep get residuals on the service agreements?

    And by 'copiers' I mean standalone or connected, copiers, printers, fax, MFPs, MFDs or whatever the heck else you call them.

    Are you selling Konica Minolta copiers?

    Kyocera copiers?

    Ricoh's for an independent? Canon?

    Or how about all my peeps @ RiKON?

    When you sell a copier, how much flexibility do you have in adjusting the CPC sell price? Are you forced to "move the jello" by shifting some of your hardware profit over to make up for the service rate discount?(Even though you need to slash your margin to "stay competitive", forget all those back-end rebates. The one's you never see.)

    How easy is it to sell a straight machine, WITHOUT a service agreement?

    Why haven't we ever compensated the rep on the number if copies/images produced on the copiers they sell?

    Ever wonder why you haven't been paid on service agreements?

    No, really. Why not?

    No wonder the copier guys are killing MPS.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Managed Print Services: Its ShowTime! Lyra in January, Photizo MPS Conference in May

    This will be my third year attending the Lyra conference, in Palm Springs.

    With at least half-dozen shows scattered around the country and globe, I really only like two: Lyra and Photizo's MPS Conference.

    Photizo because they (and I) have been in the MPS ecosystem since the beginning.

    Lyra, because of all the spaghetti graphs.

    Printelligent Picks Up DirectPointe's MPS Practice

    Last year, Lawton Smith and DirectPointe received the MPSA's Corporate End User Implementation Leadership Award.

    That was great.

    One of the best stories Lawton will ever share is the one about him sitting on his couch, at 3AM, in a leopard thong(that is not true, but it paints a picture) remotely configuring dozens of devices all over the country.

    Lovin that WebJet Admin!

    I am guessing, thong aside, that Printelligent recognizes expertise as well as the MPSA - so much so, they bought them.

    I a very interesting move, Printelligent purchases DirectPointe's(an integrator)MPS division.

    A sign that integrators are getting out of MPS?

    Combine this with all the copier dealers failing, I mean, "getting out of" MPS and perhaps there is something to this.

    Too bad there aren't any MPS consultants out there helping both sides get their heads around MPS Purity.

    MPS isn't going away - the future of copier manufacturers, hardware dealers and printed business workflow is.

    See more here.


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