Monday, December 31, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Walters & Shutwell Inc. Brings Bold, New Sales Transformation to Imaging

Do your clients consider you a vendor?
Walters & Shutwell Inc., has partnered with Caskey Training bringing a fresh approach in professional selling to the imaging and managed services industry.


One challenging aspect of selling managed services is shifting from price/transactional sales to complex/solution selling and Caskey has a solid approach to help you transform from an order taker to a selling professional or better yet, a partner.

I've listened and followed Bill for years, often recommending his material to colleagues and friends.

...there's more, go here...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

January 16th and 17th: 1st Major B2B Sales Transformation Event

The time has arrived, registration is open!

Attend the first major sales transformation event of the year for all B2B sales professionals.

Why Walters & Shutwell with Bill Caskey?

Recognized B2B sales leaders coming together to deliver a seminar designed to give deeper insights to current transitions with B2B consultative selling.

Are you wanting to change your ways?

Are you wanting to improve and move ... more from transactional sales to consultative solutions selling?

Regardless of what you’re selling, we’re going inside the “how” with a new you for 2013. Join us January

...there's more...go here...

Monday, December 3, 2012

An Open Letter to the Mis-Guided in the Imaging and Printing Services Industry


Dear Mis-Guided:

May I speak to that part of your company where common sense lives? May I compel you to cease and desist in your quest to sell more, purely for the sake of selling more, feeding off the unknowing to satisfy an insatiable appetite?

You have fostered an illusion that has no basis in reality and it is destructive. If your business is to thrive, then step away from your high horse and insidious behavior, for you were never meant to be above your clients, but ...

Get the rest of the story here...

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Rising Tide of MPS Clients, Lifts All MpS Ships

Earlier this week, I overheard Greg on a phone consultation. The call was with a client from overseas. He was discussing recommendations for a global company who is deciding whether or not to renew services with their existing provider, or put together a Request for Proposal (RFP) for managed print services (MPS). The client is global, has had MPS with a provider for 6 years and is not happy.

Their goals are still not being met. We won't share names, but we'll use our experience to share our philosophy of...

"the rising tide of MPS clients, lifts all MPS Ships."

Increasingly, we are finding clients and providers of MPS seeking fresh perspectives and third party consultation to help improve their trusted advisory status. This overseas client is debating whether or not to:

(1) renegotiate with the existing MPS provider;
(2) create an RFP;
(3) bring management of print (back) inside; or
(4) evaluate MPS providers "ways/intentions/motivations", and then partner for a more trusted collaborative experience.

We work with buyers and sellers of Managed Print Services to communicate, transform and become more mobile in an increasingly transformative world.

Analyzing the nature of the relationships, intentions, responsibilities,

To Read The Rest, go Here...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Xerox and Lexmark report Qrtly. Results: We'll report and reflect

Join us October 23, 2012 at Noon, EST - just hours after each report their earnings for a quick response, reflection and opinion.

The last Lexmark announcement included an exit from the inkjet market - what next.?

Xerox continues to show more revenue from service, will this continue?

Will either mention Managed Print Services?  Tablets?

How will this affect you, if at all?

Join us for an open discussion of first impressions and exploratory predictions.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The First Managed Print Services Selling Professional Survey

Are you satisfied with the current state of managed print services sales training?

Take this simple, 10 question survey about Selling MPS and MPS Sales training.  Just the beginning of our research.

I don't really believe in industry surveys as they tend to be either slanted into the sponsoring parties favor, or designed to rationalize existing clients' position  - just sayin.

But give this one a chance.  Let's see what comes out.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.



Or Click here to take survey.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A "Rain Dance" for Companies

While driving through the Midwest this summer, it was  apparent they were in the midst of a drought.  Dry crops, dry grass, and smaller gardens.  The year before, some of the same areas had been destroyed by flood.

We could see where farmers had been irrigating, and where others had given up.  There was a mix of both, living and dead crops. 

Seeing the drought was affirming that water is essential, not optional for living.  If we don't have enough water, we suffer, wither and die.  If we have too much water, we are smothered and drown.  If we have the "right" amount of water, we thrive. 

Metaphorically, water communicates loudly. 

A way of looking at the health of a business is through the  theory of yin/yang (balance) and the philosophy of the five elements including fire, earth, metal, water and wood.

First, Yin and Yang are "Two forces in the universe, according to a Chinese theory:  yin is the passive, negative force, and yang the active, positive force. According to this theory, wise people will detect these forces...and will regulate...accordingly.**

For the rest, go here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Secret Sales Technique: Lie

This past week, I ran across two separate examples of the EvilsOfSales.

One is the implementation of the classic bait and switch scam.  From mattress sales to office products, the act is still alive and kicking.

The other comes to us from the IT side of selling.  Specifically, a 'top secret' technique proven to get you around a 'gatekeeper' and into the wanting bosom of the 'decision maker'.

If your mouth is watering just thinking about getting a super-secret way around that gatekeeper - stop reading and leave now.  If you see nothing wrong with 'stretching the truth' in order to create a target rich environment of prospects, leave and take your carpetbag full of yesteryear's sales mysticism with you.

That these activities occur, shouldn't surprise anyone.  Especially those of us who sell - and everybody sells. How many sales training courses have you been through that are nothing more than process and machinery?

What sticks in my craw is that these practices and I am sure others like them, are implemented and recommended institutionally.  Slight of hand are considered legitimate selling functions - sales people are expected to cheat customers and maneuver around people. This is old-fashioned, phony baloney, plastic banana, carpet-bagging swill.


Doubling Meanings and Plausible Deniability-

Example number 1, submitted for your approval, is from a telemarketing company specializing in the MSP vertical, espousing an example on how to get around a Gatekeeper.

"...the solution we developed was to approach the gatekeepers with vague phrases like, “I am calling back for Mr. Jones." The difference this style can make is one of double meanings and plausible deniability, which means that if you have called for this prospect before, then you are literally ‘calling back’ for them..."

So what is the 'top secret' recommendation for getting to the decision maker? In a word, Lie.

I kid you not, some poor soul is going to pay for this curriculum.

Déjà vu, the taste is familiar, isn't it?  Like tequila after that one night in college - you drank to much, prayed to the porcelain god while your best friend held your hair, remember that?  Tequila was never the same again.

That's the response these types of advisories illicit - and if you don't feel uncomfortable in the least, if you believe that building a relationship based on a lie is the best way to prosper - stop reading and leave.

You and I are not that naive to believe sales 'techniques' haven't been employed or are not effective.  I can say that BOTH sides of the selling equation dodge, duck and jab at each other.

I've seen it, I've done it. It won't work the same way for much longer...

There's more...there is always more...

Operation Market Basket -

The second occurrence is from Staples.

Now I know what you're thinking, if you hire highschool kids to man the isles, what kind of talent are you employing in the first place?  Malleable.

Here's the juxt:  Staples places ads in the local newspaper for a specific laptop.  The price point is designed low enough to attract people into their stores.  Staples training, in some locations, instructs each rep to sell "additions" to these specially priced items: extended warranties, mouse pads and the like, or NOT AT ALL.  If the customer doesn't opt for any add-ons or up-sells, don't sell them the unit.

Each rep is expected to hold an average of $200.00 in add-on's.  This internal system is referred to as "Market Basket".

The complaints go like this - consumer spots ad for laptop, shows up to purchase said laptop, asks if the unit is in stock - indeed it is - and is immediately thrown into the 'up-sell' process.  When the consumer refuses any additional items, the laptop in question, upon further review, is now not in stock.  It's a mystery and as all good sales people know, '...where there is mystery, there is margin..." - gag.

Article here.

B2B sales is NOT retail, but your customer doesn't see the difference.  The poor schmoe who had his  Saturday morning ruined by the sales schlep at Staples is the same IT guy you have a meeting with on Tuesday - he's going to roll you right into the same ilk.  How's that going to work for ya?

So What?

What have the selling classes been teaching generations of sales people to do on a daily basis?  What have we willingly, in some cases desperately and happily consumed, over and over again?
They've taught us how to, Lie.

Lie in Print.

Lie on the internet.

Through your teeth.

To the person on the other end of the phone.

Lie to your friends, family - and especially - to yourself - as long as you move "5 boxes", "place 4 bodies" or "secure 25 appointments" this month.

"Lie" yourself into believing you're a professional, in a profession.  Rationalize away that oily feeling you carry home every night. Keep telling yourself, 'every NO brings me closer to a YES'

Keep buying those books, listening to podcasts, and reading the internet - anything you can do to keep that voice in your head buried deep.  The little voice you've been trained to ignore. That voice that use to say, "this is wrong".

For most sales people, the voice is still there.

There are more people who feel the old selling models deserve the circular-file.  From quotas, commission structure, cold calls and mission statements: there is a better way.
  • There are more and more experts who believe cold calls are a waste of time.
  • There is a movement in sales championing fewer outside sales people.
  • There is a belief that selling doesn't really need to be about manipulation.
  • There are those who know the 80/20 rule need not be.
  • I think Selling Professionals shouldn't work FOR a company, but could work WITH more than ONE company.
What can you do?
  1. Stop lying to yourself.
  2. Start questioning the existing model - to yourself.  Ask why.
  3. Keep an eye out for new kinds of sales mentoring and a new Professional Selling approach.  Today, there are a few contrarians in the field - in the next 24 months, there will be many more.
  4. Ask your existing clients why they decided to engage with you...personally.
It is time to rediscover Professional Selling - we've moved from offering "clicks" to "sharing ideas", our ways of communicating must move as well.

I don't see a disruption in the selling methodology, I see a demolition of the ecosystem.

Want to learn more?

Join Us.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Embracing Transformation: How to Go it Alone.


You are never really alone.

Never.

But what do you do now?

After years of loyalty, your corporate benefactor decides you're nothing more than a liability.

To them, you represent a 'cost', not revenue or profit.  Sad thing is, it was always this way - its just that the company phone, car, health benefits made the dull meetings and useless feeling in life, more comfortable - like lubrication.

Welcome to the real world.

Dust off the resume and look for another employer, which of course will mean more of the same, maybe the next company will be different.  You enjoy that...

I know you want to get another corporate job - your parents will be so proud - so while you are interviewing, working all the LinkedIn groups, why not take a look at opening your own business?

Going it alone, without the corporate support of telephones,

...the rest is here...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hewlett-Packard will NOT "Turnaround", We Hope


Using powerful words to communicate direction is critical for large companies.  If this is true, then why is Hewlett-Packard adhering quarter after quarter to using the word  "turnaround" as a key strategic initiative?

The other day I was listening to an interview on Bloomberg with Gigaom Founder Om Malik.  He quoted a strategist friend as saying "Turnarounds never really turn."  It dawned on me that they don't turn, because that isn't the meaning of the word.   

Turnaround ultimately means reversal.  And worse, synonyms of turnaround include words such as: U-turn, annulment, backpedaling, cancellation, change in direction, doubleback, inversion, repeal, rescinding, retraction, switch, transposition, turnabout, volte-face.
   
This is not semantics!

Read the rest, here. This is Good.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Don't Tell Me The Sky is The Limit, When there Are Footprints on the Moon

July, 1969.

I was seven years old and like the rest of the world, glued to the TV.

Those summer days we watched that huge Saturn V rocket lift off then counted down the days before mankind would finally step onto a alien landscape.

Our tour guide was Walter Cronkite - arguably the last newscaster who understood the story wasn't about him, it was about us.

Neil Armstrong and crew landed on the moon July 25.  A few weeks earlier, June 3 to be exact, the last episode of Star Trek aired on NBC.

Read More --

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Go Ahead...Pull My MpS Finger...

I gotta plug this - the picture alone is worth it!

Over at the Business Transformation Center, on CRN and sponsored by Xerox, I have a little column going.

"AskGreg" - It's like the old "Dear Abby" columns only not.

Sure, I'll answer Managed print Services questions - I can and HAVE talked MpS in my sleep.

But what I would really like to discuss is how MpS has changed lives.  How mobility print is non-existent or why MpS won't matter in 10 years.

I'd love to answer those burning sales questions like, "Why do my prospects hang up on me?" and "How come my sales manger doesn't know how to sell?" or "Do I really sell solutions on the 1st and boxes on the 25th of the month?"

Oh yes, the fun we could have.

So go here and ask to your heart's content...ask me anything about MpS, technology or remote control nano-bots - if I don't know the answer, I'll make one up.

Cheers!

HP to Report Biggest Loss in it's History...Setting the Stage for the Greatest Show Ever

Huge losses, massive layoffs, transformation on a global scale - and yet is seems more is needed.

How about creating a Mobility Practice and doubling, no tripling, no quadrupling down on a the consumer play and go after the BYOD crowd? With a tablet?  Knowingly competing with the iPad, iPhone, iWhatever?

Goodness.

Not my words, from Venturebeat:

"...It(the Q3 loss) is likely to be the worst loss since HP started in 1939. Chief executive Meg Whitman is still coming up with plans to turn around the company, after a year on the job. One of her initiatives is to cut HP’s staff by as much as 27,000 over a couple of years, recording a charge of $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion.

HP is banking on a revival for its PC business as Microsoft launches its Windows 8 operating system on Oct. 26..."


HP plays to the street, always has. So Meg is rolling a bunch of bad news into one announcement, a cleansing of sorts, the loss from EDS as well as the hit generated by layoffs and early retirement offerings presented for all to see. (Who gets to retire, with full benies nowadays at the age of 47?!!)

I am rooting for Old Blue.  I see a future for HP, there just isn't any printing involved; 3D or otherwise.

Read More...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

HP Into A Perfect Storm? No. More Like Galactic Meatgrinder

I guess when others say it, it must be true.  I mean, if some guy with a blog and a leopard headband spouts off about "ignore this" and "Hawk" that, he's just a lone voice in the darkness, right?

Sure.

In a recent All Things D articleArik Hesseldahl reflects upon analyst Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Securities review of sales trends over the last 10 quarters at printer companies including Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Xerox and Hewlett-Packard.

Deutsche Bank calls the combined sales for equipment and supplies down 6 percent year on year.

Huh.


Let me outline a few of the high-points from Arik's retelling of the Deutsche Bank report:

Credit: Deutsche Bank

Supplies and equipment sales are down 6%, year to year

Six percent is significant

Sales of printer paper, A3/A4, fell 6% in the
2nd quarter to levels that are 20 percent below the 2006 peak

Interesting how paper sales peaked a year before the copier/MFP revenue peak of 2007(Lyra).

Read the rest ...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Who Owns MpS Now?

Two years a ago I was ringing the bell, exclaiming '...the OEMs where hi-jacking managed print services..." by angling to define MpS in their own likeness.

You remember, in 2008(ITEX), the second or third generation of MpS was in breach.

Back then, OEM MpS programs defined MpS/OPS as managing their devices, ignoring all others.

Everyone was scrambling to release a program. Xerox had PagePack 1.0, HP had OPS Elite, Kyocera had the "cheapest devices", Konica had OPS, OKI jumped in and Toshiba's MpS was one of the best kept secrets in the industry.

The pendulum swung hard right, all the way up to OEMs = MPS as they dictated their doctrine of either 1:1 refreshes or bundled lease and service.

That didnt work. They couldn't get their heads around the fact that ... the rest of the story...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Press Release - Walters & Shutwell

PRESS RELEASE

Greg Walters and Jennifer Shutwell combine forces to provide illumination, analysis, management and mentoring for a transforming industry.

Walters & Shutwell, announces a complete regimen of webinars and events designed help people communicate and navigate the complexities of changing business processes.

Davidson, NC, July 16, 2012: With over four decades of tactical and strategic experience in managed services, systems integration, professional selling and management, Walters & Shutwell is uniquely positioned to help people redesign the status quo, identify opportunities and thrive in transformative times.

"Jennifer and I are excited to offer our services and know-how to the imaging and other industries. We see a vibrant niche hungering for new approaches and fresh ideas in mobility, communications and personal acceleration”, said Greg Walters, “Jennifer brings years of enterprise level sophistication and panache. She easily builds relationships and communicates trust with people.”

Headquartered in Davidson, NC, Walters & Shutwell is a Communication and Mobile Force Transformation practice conducting business anywhere on the planet – “Mobile Force” is not simply un-tethered workers. It is freedom.

Their first series of events grow out of the imagining niche with titles like, “How to Steal a Customer” and “MpS Confidential: How to Buy Managed Print Services” then segue into “Finding personal balance in Chaos” and “Communication and Inside Transformation”.
“In the technological realm, process sometimes takes precedent over people.

People are not ‘commodities’ or ‘assets’. We’re living, breathing, brilliant possibilities“, says Jennifer Shutwell, “Our mission is to simply reveal hidden possibilities in an increasingly complex world. We look forward to working with companies and individuals looking for what's next…”

For more information about Greg and Jennifer, as well as a list of services, go to waltersshutwell.com.

QRCode

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Current Status: Managed Print Services

Five years in the making.

Four MPS Conferences under the belt. Hundreds of shows, Webinars, meetings, seminars, interviews, presentations, symposiums, training sessions and program rollouts.

Thousands of words, blogs, tweets. And one MPS practice later, what do I see as the current status of our little niche, imaging?

In a phrase, contracting-expansion.

From this year’s iTEX to Photizo’s Transform in May, I’ve found

Read it all Here...

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Look at The New Managed Print Services...

Three Aspects of the New MpS

Hype, fact or a little of both – it doesn’t matter; Big Data is here and it’s growing.

Beyond describing Big Data as everything that has ever been digitized, printed, viewed, tweeted, posted, scanned and/or blogged, how can we maximize our position within the realm?

To begin with, let’s define BD by saying it’s a “great big hard drive in the sky,” like a cloud – go figure. If you’re interested in more, I wrote about it a million years ago (March 2012).

However you think about the cloud – or more importantly

For the rest of the story...go Here.

Click to email me.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth...



Fourth of July, 2012...

The economy is in a shambles, some think the current resident of the White House is a Socialist, the marketing pundits are dividing us by class, by generation, and claiming that 'Washington doesn't listen to us' any more.

The "1%r's" are made up, fictitious, labels concocted by separatists losers looking to blame anyone else but themselves - get back to class or your parents basement - and yet they get time on the evening news.

More and more, we hear the self-loathing, destructive belief that somehow, the greatest nation in history is separate from her government and responsible for all the wrongs in this world.

This is exasperating and a product of a portion of the populace who have shunned their history.

They've done worse than ignore, they've decided that this nation was founded on evil, disguised imperialism, destructive consumerism, racism, and War. They spout off about how God had nothing to do with the birth of America.

How sad. How ignorant. And how predictable.

...the rest of the story...

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Rising Stars Of Managed Print Services and Beyond: Constellation 3

Rising Stars - Constellation Three

Over on DOTC, I've posted the Rising Stars of MpS, two separate times. Here and Here.

This time around, our categories expand beyond MpS providers and infrastructure into media concerns and software tools. The software tools are not assessment, billing or monitoring based - think personal productivity in a world gone mobile.

We also examine the Falling Stars - those entities that seem to be out of step, misguided, self-centered or just plain delusional.

Technology is the theme, but MpS is the root.

Enjoy.


Click to email me. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

MSFT to Bulid Surface: But What About HP? Karma Isn't Just an Electric Car

The MSFT Surface is taking headlines all over as yet another software manufacturer steps into the hardware business, just...like...Apple.

Everybody is doing it - Google, MSFT...okay, not everybody.

As the usual technology pundits air-out their their sponsored 'opinions', am I the only one who is hearing desparate cries over at HP?

Like Obi-Wan said, "...it's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror..."

It was was earlier this year, when Meg announced to the world, "HP will have a tablet by the end of the year..." - A New Hope by Christmas.

HP just can't seem to win for losing.

It isn't that HP will now compete with MSFT AND Apple for hardware in the enterprise space - it's the appearance that MSFT did HPQ dirty.

Everyone from Asus, Acer was taken by surprise.

Remember the days when "IBM-Lite" seemed to tell the rest of the world what to do?  What to buy?  Today, "HP" is seen in the same sentence with the likes of Asus and Acer.

It's true, I just did it.

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force… as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced." 
―Obi-Wan Kenobi.

R & D - No Money Means No Innovation -

From Seeking Alpha -

"A Competitor's Opinion

In a 2010 WSJ interview, Sam Palmisano, CEO of International Business Machines (IBM) at the time, said the HP was no longer relevant competition, due to Mark Hurd's cost cutting efforts on R&D.

Considering the source, the criticism should be given considerable weight. HP will be a better performer if Whitman fixes the problem."


Meg promised more R&D.  But R&D takes more than money, innovation takes time.  We will see if HP can outrun the coming technology, BYOD, tablet, wave.

I think they can, but the ship is going to need a bit of load-lightening - 30,000 won't be enough.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Webinar - MPS Confidential: How to Buy Managed Print Services

Webinar: MPS Confidential Series

$189.00.

If you are a business with 50 users or more, you should be looking at utilizing Managed Print Services.

The hard cost savings can be significant - some of my clients experienced between 20% and 45% cost reduction in the first 30 days.

Yet, sometimes, initiating an MpS program DID NOT MAKE SENSE, so we didn't move forward.

How should you evaluate a Managed Print Services provider?
What, exactly is Managed Print Services?
What are some sound expectations?
What should YOU do to get the most out of an MpS engagement?
Is the Cheapest the Best?

I've reviewed every single MpS program on the planet - well maybe not every single program.

I've sold copiers, printers, technology, networks, accounting systems and I created a succesfull MpS practice built on a client-centric focus.

Managed Print Services looks easy from the outside, but there are areas for improvement that are often over looked.

Join me for a frank, open discussion outlining ideas and suggestions to help you get the most out of a managed print services.

This is not a 'how to negotiate for the cheapest price' session.

We won't endorse one program over another, although if asked, I do have opinions.

The session is intended for decision makers, folks who will "sign on the line which is dotted" to engage into a Managed Print Services agreement.

This is NOT intended for MpS providers, copier dealers, printer manufacturers, office supplies, toner companies or anybody providing these services.

This is for end users - financial, healthcare, manufacturing, business services, construction, hospitality, foodservice, etc. -

It's less than 200 bucks - money well spent.

Join Us.

Click here to register:


Eventbrite - MPS Confidential: How to Buy Managed Print Services


Good information here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Webinar - Technology United, Bigger Than SkyNet

Who is Technology United ?

The core group comes out of the imaging sector, but each and every member has eyes on the horizon and collaboration as a mission.

There is more to imaging than marks on paper.

The MpS Ecosystem continues to grow, expanding beyond toner on paper, up to the clouds and back down to screens.

How can we in the niche, utilize this powerful new group to maximize our customers' experience, become a valued partner, and sustain this new business model?

Tune it to learn more about Technology United.

More than a group of buddies leveraging their marketing position, TU is a collection of forward thinking, early adopters who believe improving the industry, improves us all.

A rising tide lifts all vessels.

We will simplify the complex and illustrate the significance of this first of its kind association.

August 7, 2012 - 2:00PM EST

Sixty minutes, open discussion, with 15 mins for Q/A - a maximum of 25 attendees.

Click here to register.


Eventbrite - Technology United: Bigger than "SkyNet"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Webinar - Starting a Managed Print Services Practice, What Not To Do.


A $169.00 webinar illustrating some of the many challenges involved with starting a Managed Print Services Practice.

This session is intended for those considering or just starting an MpS practice; traditional copier dealer, supplies provider or IT VAR.

Basic stuff, but I wish somebody would had one of these 3 years ago - it would have saved me a ton of money and headache.

It's only an hour and there are so many reasons 50% of those who try MpS, fail at MpS.

Are you going to be one of the 50%?

Join me for an hour long talk and 15 minute Q/A.

We'll cover issues like:

MpS Partnerships
Infrastructure
Assessments
Pricing
Vision/Mission(s)

Click here to register. But hurry, spots are limited.

Eventbrite - Starting a Managed Print Services Practice: What Not To Do.



Click to email me.


Three Aspects of the New MpS

Hype, fact or a little of both – it doesn’t matter; Big Data is here and it’s growing.

Beyond describing Big Data as everything that has ever been digitized, printed, viewed, tweeted, posted, scanned and/or blogged, how can we maximize our position within the realm.

To begin with, let’s define BD by saying it’s a “great big hard drive in the sky,” like a cloud – go figure. If you’re interested in more, I wrote about it a million years ago...

More Here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MWAi/Technology United: "Force Multiplier"

Technology United is a group of cutting edge, early adopter companies.

This is not old skool; NOT the same old, MLM, Jaycee-type, loosely run, networking and poker club.(not that there is anything wrong with the Jaycees, old your emails) Technology United members are all best of breed in their industries and standouts in the technology realm.

I like Mike.  I like the idea of TU and I like the players.

Please read Mike Stramaglio's introduction, review and update:

TheDeathOfWebOS Took Less than a 3 year Lease.


I sold the "Hawk": HP/Konica Minolta and Ikon's nexus of the absurd. HP's first toe-dip into the copier industry.

I sold Edgeline.  HP's second and "this time, we'll get it right" attempt to play in the copier industry.

I own a TouchPad.  I wanted to own one.  I was an HP head, as much as could be, without being employed by Mother Blue.

So when the TouchPad was rumored, I maneuvered into a position to get one.

When the rumors came down the channel that HP was going to market their E*Print along with the new tablet, as an MpS Practice manager, under the HP OPS banner, I was doubly excited.

I was not alone.

Across the country, honorable, trusting, HP believers, employees,  fanned out to the channel exalting the next big thing in print; mobile print through HP tablets and phones.  WebOS was to be installed on every printer, MFP, laptop, phone and tablet.

Ubiquity.

We were encouraged to invest and build mobility practices. Indeed, HP VARs all over, hired, shifted and built business plans around the "Blues Clues' handy-dandy notebook" and print.

At the time, we saw Apple as pulling tablet use up for everyone - like the rising tide lifts all ships.

Of course it ended up not being the tide, but a tidal wave, dashing the hopes and dreams of mobility practice managers everywhere into the rocks of BYOD.

Looking back like this feels as though I'm 'piling on' as Meg tries to right the lumbering behemoth - jettisoning tens of thousands and returning to HP's hardware roots.

HP will survive.  It's too big to fail.

What is to be learned from this Shakespearean tragedy?  What can we as individuals take from the meteoric arc?

1.  Everything dies, baby that's a fact...
2.  What is strong today, can be gone tomorrow
3.  Logic sometimes, doesn't prevail
4.  The obvious isn't
5.  When you forget who you are, you're just aching for a smack-down

Currently, HP, Canon and Samsung have announced, each in their own way, they are now, always have been and always will be, hardware manufacturers.  Defining who you are and promoting yourself as true, is the only way to survive these days - we can debate over the sustainability of a pure hardware play, my money is on Samsung.

Period.

The truth is finally revealed.  No more talk of 'solution based selling', or 'on-ramps to EDM' or such nonsense.  For these guys, the value is, 'best product', 'reliable performance', "affordable price', 'simple to use', printers and copiers.

For them, MpS will always hold a capital "P" and a small 'm'.  Oh, they will protest, flaunting symbolic MpS programs, designed by marketing departments and tasked with landing more equipment.

Period.

So it is with great nostalgia that I combed through this article from The Verge, regaling the rise and fall of Pre, WebOS and the TouchPad.

Oh how the mighty have fallen - $1.6 billion write off? - ain't nothing but a thang, just ignore that.





Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Going Mobile and Big Data

From imaging to content to the cloud to Big Data to Business Intelligence to Mobile Business Intelligence.

We're moving from marks on paper to the clouds, all the data is moving off the paper files.

But the data is just data, unusable.

In the old days, we would 'crunch' the numbers either manually or on a spreadsheet.

Today, there is an app for that and instead of the numbers getting crunched on paper, it's being presented on a screen.

Typewriters and impact printers - gone. Carbon paper, white-out - gone.

Add to that list, cubicles, office furniture and water coolers, uniform rental programs, IT departments, factory floors, inventory shelving, hi-lo's, truck docks, and pallets.

Then take away the roads, parking lots, air conditioning units and the tons of paper.

And all those useless meetings. Gone like a freight train. Gone.

How so?

The answer is in the palm of your eleven year old's hand...right here.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Webinar:The Internet of Things

July 2, 2:00PM - Free Webinar.

Curious about how all this new technology can help your practice or dealership?

Wondering what all the hub-bub is about Big Data, BYOD, and Business Intelligence?

Are you seeing your volume decreasing?  How about your MIF?  Some studies are calling for 40% of the channel to disappear by 2014.

What should you do? What can you do?

There are no silver bullets, but tune in and learn about a few options.

Eventbrite - The Internet of Things: New Technology in Imaging



Greg Walters will be presenting on the new technologies, how to survive and thrive during this secular shift.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Xerox and Greg on One Stage: Go Ahead, Pull my Finger...





Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Time: 11:00 am PT/2 PM ET
Duration: 60 minutes

Hazaaah!

From the invite:


"The managed print services industry grew more than 15 percent last year and will continue at this clip at least through 2012.

If you're a print VAR, an IT VAR, or an MSP you can still profit from this hot market—but the opportunity won't last forever. Join this interactive discussion with Greg Walters, a consultant with years of experience running a managed-print business, and Tom Gall, Value Channel Marketing Director at Xerox Corp., as they explore what works—and what doesn't—when it comes to jump-starting managed print profits today."
- Xerox Channel Cast 


The above is the official line - and it is all true.  My hope is that you get at lease ONE good nugget out of the discourse.

It's set up like this:

Moderator introduces us.

I get 5-7 minutes of pure MpS bliss, yaking on about City on the Edge of Forever, the MpS ecosystem and Tri-Dimensional chess.

Then Tom Gall of Xerox contributes and recovers from my tomfoolery, saving Xerox's good name.

We will be talking about why NOW IS THE TIME to get into MpS - but there is work, it ain't easy but it can be done.  It will be done.

Join us.

Greg Walters, Senior Correspondent, The Business Transformation Center

I'm not kidding, it says so, right here.



Click to email me. 

DOTC in Vegas

We will be in Vegas, at the Wynn, Monday June 11 and 12th.

I will not be attending the Ricoh show(huh?) - but will be in the Casino, around the pool or at a bar,

that is if the Wynn has a bar, not sure on that one...

If you're in town, and want to talk about how to pick a Managed Print Services program, technology in our world, the social ramifications of  Space 1999, or the Four Screens of Life - drop me a note.

I may even have a nifty, cool, MPSA hat for you...


Click to email me. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sexual Harassment & Holding Power over Women in the Copier Industry

This Must Not Stand.  

To all the women who have ever been offended by any of the images here on TheDeathOfTheCopier, I, Greg Walters, sincerely apologize.

I am sorry, it will not stand.

Why do I blog?  To read what I write. 

My intent from the beginning was to record observations of world and refer back over time for my own amusement and pleasure.

Since March of 2008, I have been here bloviating about  innocuous and mundane subjects like melting wax, copier crime, and selling MpS.

In or around, I really do not remember, 2009, I started sprinkling(quite literally) pictures of scantily clad, young woman into my posts. I am not ashamed of any one of the pictures I posted, MY intent was clear.  

I am not a sexist.

The reasons for the images were:

- Spice up the site - why does this industry need to project such a boring image?
- Get the blood rolling - passion is human

And the most important reason:

- I liked the pictures.  Period.  

My intent was to stir it up a bit, not to hurt anyone.  I do not regard women as 'things'.  I do not support the abuse of women and I do not consider women second class citizens.  

I do not condone the use of power over women.  Men in power, using that power to seduce women is disgusting - a whimp'd out way to live.  Bond never bedded Money Penny.

Let me say that again, this way:  What President Clinton did to or with Monica was an abuse of power and sexual harassment.  He was her boss.  He used is 'charm' and  implicit power over his employee to receive personal gratification from that employee.

This type of activity is rampant in our little industry.  AND YOU KNOW I'M RIGHT. 

Before you go all "Morality-Marge" on me, I am NOT talking about two sales reps hooking up in Cancun, during club.  Nor am I illustrating any judgement on two co-workers hooking up; it happens.

This isn't about that.

I did not remove images because too many women complained.  I did not edit the past to 'clean up' my image or to be considered legitimate - F that.  No really, the Leopard stays.

This is about men in the Copier, Imaging and MPS industry, OUR INDUSTRY,  leveraging authority over women as a means to have sex.  This is about how those low-life, knuckle-dragging, cro-magnon, MEN forced me to remove pictures off my little blog. 

And loosely associated, but not that far behind, is the influence and pure unprofessional attitude that somehow a female sales person is expected to tolerate unwanted pawing from a male prospect or client.  Guys who act this way are cock-suckers.

Don't you dare fool yourself into believing this is about two consenting adults or the incredibly naive view that "she knows what she's was doing" - fuck you.

So here it is, from me to you, in DOTC Style - I am calling BULLSHIT.  

Those responsible for the obliteration of each DOTC image are the MEN in our niche who have in the past and are right, this very second, leveraging their power as Area Vice President, Owner or Manager, over a female subordinate.

Strap in - I'm Pissed.

And up until a few weeks ago, I had not considered the DOTC pictures one way or another.  As a matter of fact, I lost all connection to any of the images late last year - I was completely neutral which is why removal was so easy.  I will say this, it took a long time to go through all posts so I am sure I missed a few - oh well.

While the pics were there, I received many comments to my face directly both good and questionable - but never had anyone ever blatantly come at me.

So the pictures stayed.

Forward to May of 2012.  At the Transform Conference, I was witness to two separate instances of standard, image industry, male to female repulsiveness - had my buddies been in the same room, noses would have gotten popped.

Those events tumbled into my consciousness stirring up all sorts of remembered images and stories.  Anecdotes about owners hiring and bedding college co-eds.  Vice Presidents, inviting admins to the islands - firing those who rebuff.  Sales managers who expect more than funnel reports, late Friday evenings.  Prospects submitting unwanted sexting and a male worker bullying the female dispatcher for explaining how to settle a customer situation.

Sadly, there is more; there is always more.  

I started to recall victim's co-workers looking the other way.  Exec's "high-fiving" at the strip club and the HR department that took the report but did nothing.

The longer I thought about it, the sicker I became.  This was nuts.  The copier industry - our industry - is both a great place to make a living and a haunt for the biggest scumbags on the planet.

I ain't kidding.

So, what to do...what to do...I've taken the pictures down - some may consider this a 'small win'.

I'm not one to be satiated with 'small wins' - this is what I want to do: Are you under the leverage of a boss who is molesting you at work?  

Are you afraid?

Have you gone 'through the channels' with no results?

I say splatter his name all over the DOTC realm attached to the moniker of his company or employer - maybe throw in some choice photo's.

Slander? Naw, no names and all fiction...
...so okay, that isn't such a good idea.

But if you do fall into one of the above situations - go here for some ideas.

If you are under this type of shitty cloud, know you aren't the first, you are not alone.  Reach out but also within.  Cut through the haze and envision 12 months from now...are you two going to be together?  Really?

Of course my advice is to quit. Not next week, not in 30 days, now.  I know you shouldn't have to be the one to acquiesce - and I shouldn't be the one to edit my images.

But the world is what it is, we are what we do. Everyone.

Today.

If you haven't crossed the Rubicon, and are under some slime-dog's pressure - stay the course, keep saying "No" and tell somebody.

I can't stand in your heels - I've never had to ask, "..does this tie make me look too sexxxy?", I've never worried my co-workers might think I 'slept my way into the better territory...', my empathy can only go as far as these words.

And this small effort on my part will likely fade into yesterday - but I want to do more.  A word to the men out there - the real men.

Stop egging these ass-wipes on.  Stop high-fiving in the restroom.  I know there are guys who step up and object to this already, my days for passivity are over.

I swear, if I ever get real data, real names, and corroborated evidence on a real situation - DOTC will torch the Twitter stream up, burn Google Circles, Stumble, Plurk, Plaxo, and whatever else is out there at the time - Hell, I may even re-light MySpace and FaceBook.

I'll crowd-source every group I can to the point of getting banned from LinkedIn and fill all the imaging BBS on the planet - with his name, email, company, public record - all of it.

No, I am not neutral on this...go ahead, make me Bad...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Hits Keep Coming: HP downgraded and 52-Week Low...

As long as someone else says it, I should be okay...maybe these good folks are picking on HP, because HP is the biggest and best in the business.

I threw up a little...in my mouth, just now.


Business Week:

"Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. said that tablets are likely to hurt HP's personal computer segment.

"While consensus thinks Windows 8 will boost personal computers, we think it will accelerate tablet cannibalization as the operating system focuses on touch," he wrote in a client note.

Misek also believes that smartphones are now used by enough consumers -- and tablets to a lesser degree -- that it is lowering printing demand.

The analyst lowered HP to "Hold" from "Buy" and reduced his price target to $23 from $30.

HP shares closed at $22.68 per share on Thursday. They fell to a 52-week low of $20.57 on May 23 and traded as high as $37.70 late last July.

An email seeking comment from HP was sent before business hours but was not immediately returned."



From a usually more upbeat news site, cheerfully named, Bright Side News, the first passage is the high-point of the article:

"While we at Bright Side of News always try to look at the bright side of things and have an optimistic view of the industry, there are times when we simply cannot help ourselves and must say something.

Case and point is Hewlett Packard [NYSE:HPQ] and their current announcement of their reduced earnings of 31%..."

The analysis compares HP's terrible employee/revenue ratio with other companies in the niche sumamrizing with:

"When you have that many employees, your workforce begins to become a liability rather than an asset and you begin to drain yourself purely as a result of maintaining such a large bureaucracy. If HP wants to really become nimble, they need to spin off divisions of the company or give some of them less importance in the future of the company's success."

Mother Blue is going through some significantly bad times - more than most.

Who else could one week announce the reduction of 28,000 employees and talk about being around 40 years from now the next?

IPG merging with PSG is like two fortune 500 companies merging - and we all know how well merges of that scale go, right?

Well, the next time you see an HP'r, wish her the best.
I know I will.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Underbelly of Managed Print Services & Copier Sales: Last Week'sLanier Rep is Today's Edgeline Rep - Oh, really?


If you've been in this industry for any period of time over 3 years, you either know or have heard of what I call a "Roaming Gnome" - there may even be one a couple of cubes over.

That sales rep who travels form dealer to dealer, employer to employer in search of the perfect sales position. Bringing with him years of experience, a Rolodex chock full of purchasing agents and expiration dates. A pocket full of promises and a wheelbarrow full of "Bravo Sierra".

It's legend - copier reps jump from Ricoh to Ikon to Konica Minolta to Toshiba. Or get out of Toshiba/Ikon/Xerox only to return in a few years.

Old, cromagnum sales interviews start with, "how big of a sales book can you bring with you from "fill in the blank/your current employer"?

Before you go off all half-cocked, accusing me of not understanding, I know this occurs in every industry, especially with sales people. It is not illegal and it is not uncommon.

As a matter of fact, selling expertise and business acumen can only flourish under the light of many different Sun's. And those who grow over time are professionals.

Switching companies isn't normally be a bad thing. I am not criticizing the practice, only the occasional method.

The hacks I refer to as "Travelling Copier Gnome" carry not only baggage but character flaws.

They inflict more harm then good, perpetuating the shady side of selling.

In today's economically challenging MPS universe, many MPS and copier reps are looking for jobs; a quick search reveals IKON hiring MPS specialists like crazy all over the country. A floating deckchair in a turbulent sea?

As with most good articles on this tome, writing from personal experience supplants therapy and, I have found, generates plenty of "the same thing happened to me..." emails.

So, I feel the experience of one of my colleague's may have some relevance.


An MPS Practice I know of has gone through major metamorphosis - to date, its third. This recent iteration characterized as a "bloodbath" resulting in major personnel changes.

People were let go and people left.

It's no secret that I bash the bad in our industry. It's a target rich environment - there is plenty to bash.

However, I hold a special place, a bulls eye, for the "typical copier sales person".

That churn and burn, rip and replace, 60 month lease recommending, sour-grapes, decision challenging, slick, schlocky, box-moving, toner delivering, non-customer-centric, closed minded, square peg in a round hole, never going to change, FUD using, gear slinging, never attracting always selling, jolly, hard-closing, Traveling Gnome types.

Case in point, recently, one of the sales reps, at my colleague's MPS practice, decided to move to greener pastures.

Nothing wrong with that, right?. We've all done it.

As matter of fact, picking up and leaving is a decisive act any one of us can execute. Changing employers is like turning the page, ending another chapter in the book of your life. No biggie.

And when done correctly, there is honor in this; an opportunity to either show some class or reveal to the world your true, sliminess.

Character is what you do when nobody is looking most often exposed under pressure - think about the last time you experienced a death in the family or any other high-stress event. Who remained calm and focused, and who "cracked".

Or how about the last time something went wrong with a customer - who ran around with their hair on fire and who acted like they had been there before?

Character.

Your character is exposed not only in bad times, but also in good. Can anyone remember the last time a running back scored a touchdown and simply handed the ball to the ref?

Act like you've been there before.

Back to my colleague.

He found himself in quite a pickle - all the client files were missing.

And by client files, he means, assessments, SOWs, proposals, spreadsheets, orders, quotes, contact records, notes, databases, laptop.

That's correct, inspection showed very few signed original agreements - nothing left behind, uh,oh.

Again, little surprise, nothing too far out of line, seen it before, been there, got the coffee mug.

But then, they received their first notice of service cancellation.

A quick look into E*Automate revealed this defector-client had been "stocking up" on supplies over the past 3 weeks -capitalizing on confusion and the vacuum - it was obvious the customer had been coached.

And then, this ex-sales ne'er-do-well, started reaching out to "his" old clients who are now part of my colleague's current base. Huh.

Again, sad and unprofessional and not at all surprising.

You see, when we sell with passion and believe in the product, service and company, we can become blinded, falsely believing the client relationship is with us - it's our Ego talking - not reality.

The client relationship, no matter how personal the sales professional makes it, is between the client and company; not the selling professional.

We forget that sometimes, don't we? We fall into the trap of thinking "we" are the only reason clients work with our company.

How foolish, how naive and how very old fashioned - quaint, almost.

So, who is at fault here?

The destructive Sales-schmo, The Roaming Gnome? For sure.

"Greener Pastures and New Beginnings" mean just that; a New Beginning can only happen after an Ending a "period" not a comma. Get over it, move on, begin fresh. Show some class.

The new employer, absolutely.

What kind of loser organization still hires Sales people under these beliefs? Can this really be? Are we still in the 70's? Has Selling devolved? PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN! Did I miss THAT memo? Show some class.

Any client who follows him? These imbeciles are just as unscrupulous.

I mean really, it's just business, I know, but this is pretty lame.

The Lesson, if there is one?

We in the selling profession take a beating from our prospects, customers, sales managers, and family for engaging in something we love to do; meet new people, take on new challenges and create something out of nothing.

It's a shame when some of us lie to clients, trap customers into deals, push our agenda and do harm. The bigger shame is these instances hurt all of us is sales.

This sort of thing may never change, unless we start calling out the evil-do'ers, exposing this ilk for the sham artists and hypocrites they are.





Sunday, May 27, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Are You Thinking at the Speed of Print or the Speed of Content?

Time is compressing.

It was just in 2009, a mere three years ago – or actually, just under 36 months – when MpS started showing up in its current form.

At conferences, show floors were jam-packed with MpS propositions; Konica Minolta, OKI, Xerox, LMI, GreatAmerica, Digital Gateway, ECi, Compass, Strategy Development, M2M, Synnex, NER and many more were “all-in.”

Granted, it wasn’t really MpS.

Fliers plastered with “MPS” stickers; sales classes pushing MpS selling cycles, TCO and the like; but the content was still copier sales, copier leasing, toner cartridges. Desk-side toner delivery/auto-fulfill, just fresh off the whiteboard, was being touted and sold.

What was big back then?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

HP, Lexmark and Xerox - Their Words, In the Clouds

Everybody is going to the Clouds and in that spirit, I went out and created Word Clouds based on two conference call transcripts and one interview - from the horses' mouth, sort of speak.

Word, or Tag Clouds generate a picture based on the quantity each word is mentioned in a given field of text. All I did was C&P transcripts and the application did most of the work.

Entertaining and illuminating.

Enjoy.

Lexmark - Seeking Alpha, May, 2012 -

"...our performance in the MPS segment itself is very strong, but more importantly it’s the way we go to market. So over 70% of our hardware revenue is in that large workgroup category, which is really the Enterprise segment of the market and that percentage is growing and it’s being driven by our ability to deliver high-end services and solutions..."
- John W. Gamble.


Word cloud made with WordItOut

HP Conference Call, February, 2012 -

"...In Imaging and Printing, year-over-year revenues decreased 7% with declines in supplies and hardware in consumer and commercial. And operating margin declined to 12.2%...IPG has been the lifeblood of our company for a long time with great margins and very resilient revenues...But we also have to recognize that the business is being pressured on multiple fronts, and revenues from our adjacent businesses...are doing quite well, but not developing fast enough to replace the revenues we've been losing. We have work to do here and are aggressively exploring ways to build on IPG's leadership given the realities of today's marketplace..." 
- Meg Whitman


Word cloud made with WordItOut

Xerox Conference Call, April, 2012 - 

"...You've heard me say this before, but it bears repeating. Some companies talk about transformation; we're actually doing it. Our results this quarter and our expectations for the balance of this year reflect the shifts happening in our business..."
- Ursula Burns


Click to email me. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It Begins: H-P to Unload 25,000 employees...

I got a question for you. How many MBA's does it take to get 25,000 people laid-off?  Ignore that.

The rest of the world see's output waning, the largest company in the world builds devices without the ability to print and the smartest people in the room cancel a tablet after 49 days.  Quick, get that drawer statement out.

Right now, it's too easy to kick Mother Blue in the chops - it is good to remember that "25,000" isn't just a figure on a screen - it represents 25,000 fathers, mothers, sons and daughters - families.

Dare I say, believers.  So to mock the poor souls taking early retirement or collecting pink slips, is cruel.

I won't do that.

I will say this - its easy to snicker and sneer at the mighty as they fall - especially the arrogant.  But we do not live in a vacuum and we are no longer islands.

I wrote a quip back in September referring to whenever HP sneezes, the rest of us get Zombie Flu.

I fear the trickle-down ramifications of a larger print OEM contracting Zombie Flu. What the hell is going to happen to all the 'little-people'?

Huh.  No worries, we're ready.

From around the interweb, first reports of this latest disturbance in the Force.

From Houston Business Journal, May 17:

The source told Business Insider that HP wants to downsize its workforce — which totals 320,000 worldwide — by 10 percent to 15 percent, though Business Insider doesn’t expect the company to eliminate that many jobs all at once. Also, manufacturing employees are not expected to be hit as hard as others, Business Insider said.

From Business Insider, May 16:

Layoffs are going to be significant. 


At least, they'll be bigger than what Whitman has said so far. She's said that layoffs would NOT be "broad-based" at least in China (whatever that means), but she didn't say anything about the rest of the worldwide workforce.


Our source said HP wants to trim its workforce by 10%-15%. Given that HP has 320,000 employees, a 10% reduction would be 32,000 workers gone. However, that would include an early retirement program. 


We'd guess that this would include attrition, too, where new hires don't come in when employees leave. That number sounds high and we don't expect HP to promise it next week, because HP will also want to shift some jobs offshore. So, HP's total workforce numbers won't reflect all of the cuts.

Barron's, May 17 -

Business Insider’s Julie Bort this morning is back on the corporate layoff beat, writing that one unnamed source at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) tells her that there will be “massive” job cuts at the company, perhaps as much as 10% to 15%, or 32,000 to 48,000 workers.


ISI Group’s Brian Marshall this morning writes that a so-called Reduction in Force would “improve confidence in HPQ’s guidance for ‘at least $4.00 in EPS in fiscal 2012′ and enable investments in strategic, higher-growth areas.’” Marshall has a Buy rating on HP shares.

ZDNet, May 17 -

HP’s operating profit per employee trails rivals, according to a Morgan Stanley analysis.


For instance, IBM’s operating profit per employee is $49,000. Apple’s is the same. EMC makes $67,000 in operating profit per employee.


HP’s tally: $35,000.


The only way for HP to change that metric—assuming the company can’t suddenly boost growth—is to lay off workers.

And of course there is this:

Number of people seeking jobless benefits unchanged last week


The number of people seeking unemployment benefits was unchanged last week, suggesting steady gains in the job market.


The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment aid applications stayed at a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the same level as the previous week. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the second straight week, to 375,000....

Here.