Friday, April 29, 2011

Finally, We're All In Managed Print Services - Now What? "The MPS Immortals", that's What.

First things first.

I am tough on OEMs, I come down on copier reps.

I point out the glaringly stupid MPS training guffaws.

The cold-calling newbs and their trainers are easy victims - idiot sales managers worthy of the Wrath.

Short sighted sales schleps and their equally plebeian masters; drill and fill toner pirates lost in hubris, all get what they deserve. As much as I dislike the current belief that MPS is simply S1/S2, at least it's in the flow, part of the plan.

But - and there is always a "but" - no matter what the motives, however they got here, all of us are part of the MPS Ecosystem.

For better or for worse, we are all in.

Now what? Now that we're all in, what can we do?  What should we do?

Build MPS Systems like the Immortals would, that's what.

I'm talking inspiration from three immortals: Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo.  Not the Ninja Turtles, the other ones.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Business Acumen - Good Lord, they're teaching Professional Selling in Universities now...we're all doomed.

"...we learned more from a three minute record, then we ever learned in school..."

- No Retreat, No Surrender. - Bruce.

You love training classes, don't you? Certifications, tests, demo contests - teachings and ramblings from those "more learned" than we.

Tweed jacket, pipe smoking, know-nothings, droning on and on about "TCO", lease ex-dates, and scan-once, print many.

Academic.

Very little practical, field tested, tools.

Professional Selling demands more.

In order to be ready, to truly own our destiny, we need to improve on our own.

We cannot rely on corporate sponsored, consultant based teachings.  Status quo dogma packaged as training "...designed to help you succeed..."

The only person you can rely on or trust to be looking out for your success is the one staring back at you in the mirror.

Nobody else.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Managed Print Services Another DOTC Leopard - ReDux - Jennifer Shutwell. How to Steal MPS Clients

It's a re-intro and a re-post of her original article back in January, 2011.

Anything worth reading is worth reading again and again.

Jennifer is one those deeply profound veterans - she approaches MPS from the FM/Production arena.

Comfortable with enterprise level selling, Jennifer can maneuver the high halls of the Fortune 500.

She is an accomplished student of human behavior, easily applies her knowledge in the business world and shares with the MPS Ecosystem at large.

She is speaking at the 2011 Global MPS Conference in Orlando, on how to Steal an MPS Client.

 Enjoy.
==================

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Global Managed Print Con, 2011 - Behind the scenes...

Deep within the bowels of the DOTC bunker, Western Command, a vast array of intelligence collecting apparatus hums 24/7.

Intercepting encoded messages revealing secret MFP plans. This machine sees all that is important.

But as every intelligence organization knows, human assets, feet on the ground, are most efficient and valuable.

And so it is with DOTC.

One of our 'assets' has been buried for years working as a lowly videographer at Photizo.

Let's just call her, Agent 99.

Eagerly awaiting activation, her GO code was issued April 1.

She has been covertly collecting 'behind the scenes' evidence of untold awesomeness.

Beware dear reader.  What you are about to witness is chilling.

Monday, April 25, 2011

2011 Global Manage Print Conference - DOTC "Great Expectations"

The North American MPS Conference, Orlando, May 2-4 2011.

This will be the third MPS conference, the last two held in San Antonio, TX - "Remember the Alamo". I believe at the first conference, 140 or so folks attended. Last year, nearly double that.

Three years ago, if one were to Google "managed print services" two or three names would come up, Photizo, TheDeathOfTheCopier, and ChangeForge.

The other day, reports (in2) say that "managed print services" was searched 550,000 times last month on Google.

It seems everybody is into MPS, and almost impossible to believe, the MPS buzz is bigger then ever.

What a difference a few years make.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Business Acumen - Another Contribution from Leopard David Ramos. "The World of Selling"

4/24/2011

I was listening to this consultant/trainer speak at a national show this past week and he made the statement “The world of selling hasn’t changed much in recent years.” Then he continued to dole out the same old tired advice, instructions, and stupid clichés that were taught decades ago…at least the guy is consistent (see, I always spin it in the positive).

Only problem with his philosophy is that those teachings are the reasons, that today, so many salespeople more than ever are struggling to survive.

Here is what I know. The world of business in general has changed DRAMATICALLY. Yet for whatever reason, one area of business that has been remarkably stagnant and continues to fiercely resist change is sales.


Make 2011 about your personal development in your sales profession. Leave the stale, crusty, techniques of the past behind. Focus on effective techniques and self-education that will truly have an impact on your career. Focus on building and expanding your business network. If the CIO is your target in the MS or MPS world, then you should understand the network CIOs live in and connect wherever you can.

  1. CIO’s team – cultivate relationships inside the circle. Learn who their staff is and learn to leverage contacts one level removed.
  2. CIO’s peers – they are trusted more than any other source of information. References and referrals count. Learn how to ask for them and leverage them.
  3. Also other relationships they might have with trusted supplier partners, consultants, etc...

Next learn to do some research people. Did you know the #2 annoyance of technology buyers is reps showing up unprepared for meetings? Un-freaking-believable!!! You mean to tell me we go through all this effort to get a meeting then show up unprepared?! Here is a basic checklist that I use to test sales reps on their accounts prior to them engaging a prospect or client on an appointment.

  1. Who is the account’s CEO, president or owner? Who are the key contacts by department?
  2. What is the company’s highest priority goal or objective?
  3. What is their mission/ vision/core values?
  4. What is their key product or service?
  5. Who is their toughest competitor?
  6. What is the biggest problem they face in their industry?
  7. Is there pending legislation that will affect their industry?
  8. What is their greatest strength?
  9. What is their strategy: a) Low Cost b) Differentiation c) Niche Player?
  10. Who is their largest customer?

Lastly, develop some business acumen. Business acumen can be described as an understanding of how a business works and what it takes to make it profitable. It is about comprehending topics such as: amortization, assets, balance sheets, book value, cash flow, fixed assets, liquidity, margin and return on assets, to name just a few.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Reading business publications and watch specific business channels can provide current information about business trends, markets, or economic factors affecting various businesses and industries.
  2. Join a professional networking organization (there it is again, networking, sorry cold call lovers!) and association dedicated to sharing business information with their members can offer networking events, conferences, and seminars.
  3. Attending evening or weekend courses focusing on business topics can build one’s knowledge on matters such as understanding financial statements and P&L (Profit & Loss), cash generation, or revenue growth.
  4. Finding a mentor with a strong business understanding is a great way to learn how businesses operate. The mentor can be a co-worker, a former boss, or someone who is a member of the same professional association that you joined to do NETWORKING.

In today’s fast-moving world, we may face some of the same challenges, but the answers are constantly changing. If you do not continue your learning curve, and have an open mind to alternative ideas and approaches, you will be left behind. Those who continually adapt are better at getting ahead, while those who insist on clinging to their old, “right” answers will become obsolete.


About the author: David Ramos is sales operations consultant for Strategy Development, an industry management consulting and advance sales training firm providing sales, sales management, service & MPS information.  He also instructs a selling skills workshop called “Sell With Success”. You can reach him at ramos@strategydevelopment.com.



Click to email me. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Managed Print Services - Another DOTC Leopard Speaks, Sarah Henderson

4/21/2011

The DOTC throng continues to grow -  there be Leopards about.

I would like to welcome Sarah Henderson, from Great America, to the fray.

Sarah chimes in with some insight around branding.

Enjoy.

----------------------------------
Where is the Brand?

By Sarah Henderson
Director, Strategic Marketing
GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation

So you are a copier dealership, consumables reseller or IT VAR whom have made the decision to offer Managed Print Services (MPS)….welcome to the table! During the past few years, I have the privilege of working with providers of MPS though the Navigator program, attending and teaching at industry events. This experience working hands on with your peers implementing MPS has demonstrated lack of attention to the MPS marketing message leaves customers confused and asking “Where is the Brand?”

The MPS marketplace is maturing and I see few markets where end users have not been exposed to some form of MPS messaging or offer for a “print assessment”. From the big box stores, IT VARs, Copier Dealers, OEMs, print resellers and office suppliers, there seems to be an MPS offering available on every corner. This places pressure on you to not only build an MPS program, but also brand it in a way that is unique in your marketplace. In the midst of building your MPS program, don’t get in such a hurry you skip over some important considerations for your program roll out and marketing plan.

Enjoy this drive-thru review of how MPS program structure and messaging impacts brand:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You're Not In Managed Print Services If -

...if you look to 'refresh the fleet'...
...if you don't know what a NOC is...
...if you use  'monthly cleanings' in your value prop...
...if you can't show your client how much you've decreased volume...
...if you still work with Purchasing...
...if you can't tell your client what percentage of their output is 11x17...
...if you don't compare the above with the percentage of the fleet 11x17 capable...
...if you have the phrase, "Powered By..." right under your MPS Brand...
...if instead of eliminating a machine, you provide your client with a re-furb'd unit...
...if you think a fax server is the beginning and end of Stage 3...
...if you don't know your replacement ratio, for your entire fleet...(4 machines removed for every 1 placed, 4:1)
...if you don't see how dual-monitors in your clients' Order Entry department is MPS...
...if you don't pay your copier reps the same way as your MPS reps...
...if your comp plan is 3 pages long...
...if you sell MPS as "Green"...
...if you sell 'cloud printing'...
...if you separate copiers from MPS...

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Separation Begins: Managed Print Services True Believers Leaving the Pack

4/2011

It's in your DNA.

We knew it, you knew it, there should be no surprises.

Nobody grows up wanting to be a "copier salesperson". (I read this somewhere.)

We had higher hopes and dreams; future policemen, Presidents of the United States, Firemen, Doctors or Nurses - but someone who "sells"?

A "fast talking", pushy, slippery salesman? Proprietors of Office Equipment, no less?

Thirty, forty years later, you're lucky not to be living in a van, down by the river.

But here you are now, selling copiers and moving into MPS - the "final frontier" in imaging.

Today, you are faced with another choice.  The MPS Ecosystem is moving on, the players separating.

Which way do you go?  With whom do you travel? 

What is best for YOU - not your boss, owner, VP, company, or industry.  "They" don't want you to think this way.

"They" want you to stay in a box, until you're in a box - the final box - the most patient box.

It's all about YOU.  Well, no, that's not entirely correct - In here, it's all about me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Managed Print Services is Managed Services: Are You Fighting Convergence? From Paper Mills to Data Centers

Sweet, delicious, irony - the sticky, syrup of life.

Those once carbon spewing, river clogging, tree killing, 'death-plants' - I am of course referring to the paper mills and newspaper printing plants, are being assimilated by the very force that destroyed them; Google.

In a post over at InfoTrends, Jeff talks about how these huge facilities are perfect structures for mega-sized Data Centers.

This is nothing new.  A plant in Chicago, developed by the R.R. Donnelly Co in 1929, once churned out the Sears catalogs.

Closed in 1993, the facility was sold off and in 1999 converted to an IT and telecommunications center.

Today, the building is powered by more than 100 megawatts, supporting Chicago's commodity markets.

And the Borg? I mean, Google?

Well, their buying old paper mills all over the world - like in Finland.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 North American Managed Print Services Conference - Ken Stewart

Fellow DOTC Leopard and Photizo guru, Ken Stewart will be presenting at the 2011 North American MPS Conference.

Looks like he and his crew, are going to get real and put forward some everyday, proven information.

The day-long session is being held May 2.
This pre-conference workshop "will provide MPS dealers, resellers and IT VARs with fundamental information for MPS success."

Should be great.
--------------------------
Ask yourself this:

"Are you tired of seminars promising the secrets to your fortune in MPS?"

I hear all too often, quick phrases  are leading to empty promises.

Then get real & learn how the pro’s get it done.

Ken's  hands-on day is all about  being effective with your customer. No theory. Just lessons from pro's who get it done.
  • You'll learn effective ways to reach & retain your customers – including branding techniques & social media tactics.
  • Unlock your differentiators, learn how to stratify your customers & run effective Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs).
  • You can't get there if you don't plan to...create your own unique 10-step business success.
  • What about after the sale?  Uncover the real secrets to running effective deal implementations & look like a hero in front of your customer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Photizo Group CEO keynote helps CXOs learn about managed print services corporate benefits

Print & Imaging Summit Keynote Explains MPS Trifecta: Saving Time, Money and the Environment

Highlights:
     
     Photizo CEO Edward Crowley shares study results that validate corporate MPS advantages of cost savings, environmental benefits, IT productive 
     
      MPS can help companies cut costs by up to 30 percent and regain up to 10 percent of IT time

      Photizo Group is strategic event partner for Print and Imaging Summit

April 12, 2011, Midway, KY -- Organizations considering a move into managed print services (MPS) have a lot to gain -- and a lot to learn. The average firm cuts cost by 30 percent, but these MPS savings do not happen overnight. 

MPS is a more complex and far-reaching undertaking than most realize. In his Print and Imaging Summit keynote, Photizo Group CEO Edward Crowley helps CXO executives understand the complex issues – and powerful advantages – of a corporate MPS initiative.

Crowley is founder and CEO of Photizo, the worldwide authority on MPS trends and techniques, and the leader in MPS data collection, analysis and reporting. In the opening keynote on Tuesday, May 3, 4:15 – 5 PM, he brings valuable guidance and perspective to the corporate market. He will introduce MPS concepts, explain the challenges of embarking on MPS projects and acquaint the audience with benefits they may not have considered, such as reducing CO2 emissions and improving IT productivity. He will also share insights on what's next in convergence of IT outsourcing and MPS, with IT and business process optimization.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Future of Managed Print Services: Look Back to IBM and See Your Future

MPSaaS - Managed Print Services As A Service

The 'cloud' is nothing new - it's simply a new label for a VAX or SYS36, dumb terminal, thin-client, ARCNET, centralized environment.

But it could be another example of the evolutionary path we in MPS are following, knuckles dragging.

It was a little quip, a trifle really.  Drawing my eye.

A post over on the MSP Mentor site by Nicholas Mukhar, "IBM's Cast Iron Acquisition Fitting into Cloud Structure" exposing how one of IBM's recent purchases is helping "customers move from legacy systems to hybrid cloud model more easily..."

Another Hybrid model.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2011 Managed Print Services Global Conference: MPS Purity, Pure Content, Pure Energy

What's the difference between a Conference/Trade Show and an Educational Conference?

The trade floor.

Remember when COMDEX was the shit?

How about the North American Auto Show, held each year in Detroit?

Or the Boat Show here in L.A.?

Does one attend any of these shows expecting to learn more than what the handout says?

Do I hear battle-stories from the trenches articulated by any of the booth-babes? Would I care?

Granted, one can learn something at each.

A new MPS players can glean insight off a marketing slick, establish a new working partnership and possibly find his new soul-mate.  Possibly.

Soul mates aside, the 2011 North American MPS Conference is striving to make their more educational and less sales-like.

I had a conversation with Misty Hamel, Director of Marketing with Photizo the other day and she calls out the difference between a trade show and educational conference - "Content".

Agreed. I push one step closer to the Edge and call it "High Intent".

High Intent + Educational Content = Pure Energy

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Who And What is Your Managed Print Services Association? From LinkedIn

I haven't mentioned much about Your MPSA.

Like some mysterious mistress she's there, just out of reach, misty, hazy and slightly out of focus....waiting for you to light the candles...ahem -

but I digress.

With the North American MPS conference, back drop for the MPSA - MPS Leadership Awards, just around the corner and our second annual MPSA membership meeting taking place the day after, now is a good as time as ever to talk MPSA.

Recently, somebody on LinkedIn expressed the feeling that one of the bedrocks of today's MPS, the 3 Stages, is flawed.

Interesting...


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Who is Everything Channel and Why Are They Important to You?

I know, I know - one more 'industry magazine' to read.

One more collection of sponsored advertisements dressed up as 'journalism'.

Another "leg" in the Research-Convention-Publication Triad.

Why yes...actually.

From their website:

"...Everything Channel is the premier provider of channel-focused research and consulting, events, media and custom solutions for the technology industry. Everything Channel provides integrated solutions to technology marketers for managing channel strategy to accelerate technology sales..."

I swear - I looked high and low, walked that site corner to corner and I could not find anything from RiKon,  KonicaMinolta or Kyocera.

I did find some entries from Xerox.

But down in the lower right-hand corner, under "Industry Events" I discovered a nugget -

"Print and Imaging Summit, Orlando Florida, May 3-4".  I seem to remember there being another show around the same time - an MPS show no less.

Coincidence?  Are there ever any real coincidences?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ed Crowley, Photizo - 5 Steps for Implementing MPS/BPO/MSP/ITO/EDM/NOC/MOUSE

"I must tell you something, darling...
you...look...marvelous.."
Another guest author and fellow DOTC_Leopard, Ed Crowley (Photizo), chimes in.

This time, on the subject of 'implementation'.

Notice how the FivePoints can be applied to any discipline - expansive, isn't it?

Ed and I go back.

It is an honor to have so many fellow DOTC readers contribute - I consider myself fortunate.

Enjoy.
------------------------------------

Why is implementation important?

By Ed Crowley, Photizo


Implementation is the process by which you will construct the entire project and it is the frame and foundation, which anchors and shoulders the considerable weight of the entire project.

When I discuss implementation for managed print services, I don’t just mean the initial roll-out, but rather, the planning, customer-needs assessment, roll-out, on-going management, and evolution through the various MPS stages.

In my experience, the key to a successful MPS engagement begins with the end-user needs assessment. We often want to jump immediately into ‘right sizing’ the fleet, deployment planning, and all of those other activities that deliver immediate or near-term cost savings. Without an adequate understanding of the customer needs and the organizations environment, we can quickly turn from the hero to the villain.

Nothing can replace walking through the customers environment, survey where the equipment is, who is using it, asking about their needs, and issues. Holding internal focus groups with customers to understand what is and what isn’t working in their imaging environment is a great way to start. This can pave the way for a formal survey of all employees to gain an in-depth understanding of their needs and desires.

The net result of truly understanding the customer environment is that you will be able to craft a set of ‘policies’ for identifying how the products are rolled out and what are acceptable exception procedures.

Ed’s Top 5 for implementation :

Friday, April 1, 2011

HP to Purchase Xerox. Joins CISCO, IBM & MicroSoft in move offshore. Upside Down World.

In a late night move, HP began buying outstanding Xerox stock. The Nikkei 225 responding by rising 5%  London's FTSE 100 hiking 3%.

HP's effort to gooble up one of it's primary competitors is eclipsed by other stunning developments.

Reports of HP physically moving their headquarters to Sri Lanka are swirling around the water coolers and through the hallowed halls in San Jose. 

An un-named source had this to say,

"...with the US economy growing at the speed of smell, and the apparent anti-business stance of both California and the current administration, we have no choice but to execute what we call Special Order 66.  This group of technology concerns, will move all facilities and employees to special accommodations that have been constructed in Sri Lanka..."

Not only will this move include ALL domestic facilities and employees at HP, it appears that CISCO, IBM, and Microsoft have decided to exit the US as well.