Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Managed print Services Tunnel Vision - Are You Focusing On One Thing

Yeah, that's me.  'ballin it up and rockin the Leopard.
"An informational silo is a management system incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related management systems..."

So says the Wiki.

A closer example is your accounts payable department never talking to your accounts receivable department.

Resulting in the invoices you receive from a supplier not coinciding with the ones sent to your customers.

Or an accounts payable department that simply pays Xerox 700 times a month, for overages, but never cross references back to each department - no oversight.

And then there's an industry cliche ; Sales makes the promises Service has to keep.

Silo's lead to  less communication. Then to stress. And then breakdowns.

Inside these silos, knowledge workers, and decision makers concentrate on a specific set of functions designed to support the goals of the organization;  they Focus.

Necessary and dangerous, just ask Sony. ( a reference to the failure of the Walkman)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day - Remember...just for a second...or 12...

This video is from Rolling Thunder, 2010.

The annual motorcycle ride into D.C., honoring the Fallen.

This Marine, this Lone Marine stood at attention, for the entire parade.

There were reportedly, 250,000 bikes...the parade lasts for hours. You can see it on his face, in his salute and his tears.

At the end, at the end of the clip, This Marine mouths out, "...OORAH..."

And what the Hell are you doing this weekend? Like me, going to wash down some dogs with a cold Bud.


Find a vet, and say thanks...




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Xerox/NewFieldIT - HP/Printillegent...Cloak and Dagger Information

5/2011

DOTC Operatives stationed in Orlando, NYC, Portland, Imperial, California and elsewhere are reporting in.

By carrier pigeon, encrypted satellite transmission and smoke signals, a solid shape is taking form.

Big interest in the HP/Printellegent arena:

Is HP buying a channel?  If so, who is next?

Will the devoted and committed, remaining OPS partners find themselves competing with a bigger, broader, potent HP/Printellegent with a global footprint?

Xerox/NewFieldIT:

What will happen with NewField's current customer list?
How does this effect PagePack? Does it at all?
Will the tool be scaled up? Down?

...interesting...

HP is not buying a channel.

HP will dump assets into the Printellegent model, assimilating, expanding and scaling out as a platform for the channel.

Yes - FOR THE CHANNEL. Of course, we may be redefining "channel".

By mid-June, Printellegent will be no more; "I am Locutus, of Borg"


Xerox will use AssetDB as the 'face' of XPS, and rounds out the tool set.
NewField may lose their inroads to other OEMs as well as some existing customers, but the deal with Xerox out weighs any possible loss.

There will be more assimilation - PrintFleet is being mentioned.


...continuing...


Click to email me.

Ricoh Announces Purchase of White Castle - Strengthen Channel with "Bags of Sliders"

What can only be described as "Unbelievably Mind blowing", Ricoh announced their purchase of 400,000 White Castle locations.

"As part of our $300,000,000.00 investment in MDS program, this acquisition puts us even further ahead by strengthening our ability to deliver services and solutions through our channel partners to SMB customers,” said an unknown Ricoh source.

“We’re reinforcing our commitment to our channel partners by bringing them a level of grease-technology and 2:30 AM experience that is unprecedented in the industry.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Managed print Services - As The World Turns: First HP/Printelligent today Xerox/Newfield

5/2011

Whose Next?

WOW!

A few of my acquaintances, wait they are more than people I simply know, two close, MPS Pioneers, have now become part of the Machine. In a good way.

Congrats to Robert and his team at NewfieldIt and congrats to Greg, Rob, Lawton and the entire crew at Printelligent.

Well done, well deserved - good luck.

Okay - Now What? This is almost as exciting as when Ricoh bought Ikon.

Questions, questions...

Nature moves in 3's, is there a third shoe to drop?

HP Buys Printelligent - Whadda Think 'bout THAT?


DOTC 5/2011

From an article on CRN -

"Founded in 1988, Printelligent was an early mover in the managed print space, launching its first MPS solution in 1993. Once the deal closes, Printelligent’s work force and technology assets will become part of the LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions unit within HP's Imaging and Printing Group."

This makes it sound like the integration will be at the enterprise level...but then...

"This acquisition puts us even further ahead by strengthening our ability to deliver services and solutions through our channel partners to SMB customers,” said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group, in a statement.

Joshi makes it look like this is a channel move.

Time will tell, it always does.

I will say this; the OPS channel is chuck full of MPS training and content.

I know the guys at Printelligent (congrats!) - they are smart. They understand Stage 3/4.

If this is a move to replace the channel, look out.

If this is a move to improve the channel, look out.

Very, very interesting.


OverLords assemble - the Big Three descending.

Childhood's End.

Click to email me. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

DOTC, TheDeathOfTheChannel - More From 2011 Global MPS Conference

I am  a big fan of those ad-hoc meetings around the watering hole, in the lounge or on the bus to Harley Davidson.

You never know who may end up sitting next to on the bus ride over.

This year some of the offline talk revolved around the OEMs - indeed, we had Xerox, HP, Ricoh, and Canon all on one stage fielding questions.  I don't think this has ever happened before.

One conversation that struck me was about 'control' or better yet, the lack of control the OEMs have relative to just 2 years ago.  Control over the industry, over the channel, over the customer.

I detected a bit of anxiety, bitterness.  Granted, the relationship between dealer and OEM has always been strained, right?  And over the years, we've all heard the common complaints, the same gripes  -
  • "manufacturers quotas are unrealistic and they keep changing"
  • "they are shifting their warehousing cost to us"
  • "why is your service rate so high"
  • "how can I compete when your toner pricing is so high?"
  • "CBS vs. the Canon dealer"
  • "RBS vs. the Ricoh dealer"
  • "direct vs. the dealer'
  • "Are they redefining an Enterprise Level Account, again?"
  • "thank goodness for back-end and MDF..."
But this time it was different.  This time, as I listened, waftng through the angst was something different.  A bad smell.

Difficult to pinpoint. But then it hit me. It was the stench of fear.

You see, these self-proclaimed 'independents', were not simply complaining, they were scared.  For a second, I felt badly as they seemed to prefer ignorance over fear.

In the end, all I felt was pity.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Think its Just About Printed Documents, Toner Hitting Paper? Wrong..."One Word, kid...Content"

May, 2011 -

Get ready for a "new" term: "Content".

And all the eyes at AIIM roll.

Another broad DOTC stroke here - MpS, is loosing the "P".

Because the P is diminishing, just ask Xerox, and the C(ontent) is starting to come into focus.

Oh...you didn't know that? You didn't get the memo? What, you're still selling MPS as toner and service on your single and multi-function devices?

Stuck in S1 and 2? And you're happy, may I suggest in a state of bliss?  Stop looking at her and listen.

What are you going to sell when your clients don't need to print?

How do you think they will feel the moment they discover you don't want them to stop printing?

When they wake up and recognizing they are simply part of your 'revenue stream'? When their level of consciousness sees the bogus truth of  'mobile printing'. That's right, bogus.

Most important, how are you going to fend off somebody like me who comes into your 'secure' account blathering on about MIF reduction, vitalization, Unified Communication, Content, CISCO, Help Desk and the NOC ?

All this under a vision of  MOS: The Optimization of EVERYTHING...no, really everything...

Ferocious, ain't I? Does your head hurt yet? I understand this occurs right before it explodes.

Ok, let's simplify and start with a single word before we take on the Dark Galactic Rift.

One word: Content.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MPS InsightPro - I'm a Pro, You Should be Too...

There was a time when the only MPS information one could find, was is supplied by direct marketing firms with content referring to advertising print jobs.

Then, slowly, the trainers got involved, starting to pitch MPS as nothing more than CPC in different garb.  Releasing loosely disguised marketing pieces as white papers.

InfoTrends wasn't there.

Gartner, didn't care.

CompTIA was years away from getting in.

There was no PagePack, Twitter or FaceBook

Back then, if you 'googled' Managed Print Services, nothing came back.

But one day, a few returns started to populate the Google alert you set up for "Managed Print Services"(ok, I know I was the first one ever to do this, back in the day)

And somehow, a complete Managed Print Services article appeared.  The brainchild of some firm whose name you didn't know how to pronounce.

You 'googled' φωτίζω and saw the light.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Managed Print Services" is dying. Let's Kill it Together...

5/9/2011

The 2011 Global MPS Conference is part of history.

My third application, I have a unique view of both the evolution of the show and our industry.

It goes a bit like this:

-Year One, 2009: What the hell is this thing called MPS?
-Year Two, 2010: I've made so many mistakes. How in the heck do we make the change?
-Year Three, 2011: Now what? There has got to be more.

So, as a proponent of MPS, as one of the first evangelists.  As a fully engaged, MPS Practice Manager.  As a  "thought leader", somebody who has spoken at each MPS Conference, sat on panels of experts, queried the  titans, investigated every single MPS package, program and type; as a dangerous, True Believer -

How can I possibly, in good faith, call for the destruction of Managed Print Services?

How?

Well, welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, step inside...

I've talked about the Separation and stagnation of MPS S1 and S2.  Two reflections around some of the happenings in our industry.

The separation is between the MPSrs moving ahead, moving out, taking fleets and continuing along the curve; indeed some are even Jumping the Curve, and those remaining at rest.

These adventurers struggle with defining S3. They know this is the future and the future is upon us.  They look to the left and to the right and see nobody.  Soon, the rear view will be empty.

My hint, my clue, my suggestion to those trying to get around Stage 3 is simple.

S1 and S2 are based on repeat revenue, Stage 3 is project based.  Go with that, don't get stuck.

As for those being stuck, after this year's conference,  I am more convinced of the notion that newcomers with a copier pedigree observe MPS as simply 1:1 fleet replacement, toner fulfillment, and onsite service all billed in a cost per image manner. Entirely.

I've heard this with my own ears.  I've seen the ignorance with my own eyes.  There were a few blissful Ones at this last show, hiding under the misnomer "Hybrid".  Worse, they think they are 'independent dealers' - wow.

The OEM's have relegated MPS to mean ONLY S1 and S2 - it is easier to control something defined. Control of the process, control of the fleet, control of the Box that filters your message.  And those independents who stay inside S1 and S2 are the OEMs unknowing tools.

The OEMs are the Machine and they must not let the 'cogs' rule. The Machines do not sweat, they do not bleed, they cannot care. They desperately require US. Without our blind commitment, without our Energy, the great Wheel has no lubricant and seizes.

And this is what I say - If they want S1 and S2 to mean Managed Print Services, let them have it. Let's take off and "nuke the site from orbit, its the only way to be sure..."



Let them define MPS as S1 and S2.  Let them ignore S3 and beyond.

But don't stop acquiring fleets.

Keep plugging, keep writing engagements - engagements with high-intent. The OEMs cannot afford high-intent.

Acquire the fleet, decrease the clicks, reduce the MIF and move to secure your position in S3.  Cut across everything inside your client's business.

Look in his eyes and say the truth. Say to him/her that what you're offering has little to do with print, and nothing to do with Brand Names.

Invade the 'white spaces', stop using "Managed Print Services" in front of your clients and start saying Managed Optimization Services and Optimize EVERYTHING.

If your company sells toner, optimize the way they cut checks for their uniform service.

If your company sells servers, optimize the server farm and their output fleet and the way they cut checks for their uniform service.

If your company sells copiers, optimize the way the cut checks for their uniform service.

Let's kill MPS together and change the world...


I still don't know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test





Click to email me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Managed Print Services" is dying.

Let's Kill it Together...


The juice is in the white spaces.
MPS can stitch together the Columns as the Green Box.
Once this is done, the Columns have no further need for MPS.

The only path to rebirth, renewing, is through Death.

Ed is going to flip.

Fire. Walk With Me.


Through the darkness of future past,
the magician longs to see,
one chants out between two worlds,
fire walk with me.

- Lynch

5/6/2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Managed Print Services Stuck in Stage 1&2 - And I Know Why...

5/2/2011

I bet the folks at AIIM know why too, if they even care.

Stage 1 - Control

As you know, S1 includes establishing a baseline cost, fulfilling service and supplies on the fleet(usually everything but the copiers) and billing on a cost per image basis.

Stage 2 - Optimize

Again, simple. Optimize the existing fleet in terms of age, function, work load, document flow, on and on.

Both stage 1 & 2 are supported by a continuous revenue streams - as long as the fleet keeps printing, even when volume decreases, meter reads are traded for invoices.

With this in mind, it is no surprise how easy it is to stay right there.  

Much like a deer in the headlights...


I know.  MPS is difficult.

Getting the right toner to the correct end user at the right time, requires a great deal of infrastructure with lots of moving parts.

Guaranteeing your tech will show up under SLA but not the influence is taxing.

Ordering parts from HP, Lexmark, Dell, Xerox, et. el. has its challenges.

Coordinating all this and maintaining 49% gross profit a gargantuan task.

And still you do.

Nobody would blame you for staying right there in S2.

You know Stage 3, "Enhance the Business Process" has something to do with EDM software and document flow and that new 'cloud' thing. Still, like the early morning fog, your vision is not quite clear.

I have the answer. I know why you can't get your head around all this S3.

S3 requires software, and expertise beyond speeds, feeds and deal crafting. Different, but not that different.

Here's the big reason - S1 and S2 create revenue streams, the relationship although shallow, is ongoing.

S3 is PROJECT based; projects that need to be designed, implemented and managed.

S1-2 is Continuous, S3 is Job Shop.

To illustrate, consider the difference between how your Ford 250 was produced versus how the Maybach  is hand crafted.

The Ford moves through a continuous process, down a production line.  As the chassis moves   everything is attached and assembled. At the end of the line, a complete pickup truck is driven off the line, out to a lot. Hundreds leaving the plant each day.

Compared to the Maybach - the automobile is built completely(mostly) in one spot as a project.  Technically, each Maybach could be unique.

Indeed, the volume of Maybachs compared to Fords is very low.  But quality, price and margin should lean toward the project.

There you have it.  Getting into S3 requires a shift from continuous revenue to project based thinking.

A challenge for some.

Click to email me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011