Thursday, February 26, 2015

MPSA Elects New Board and Executive Committee



CHARLOTTE, NC - The Managed Print Services Association is pleased to announce its new executive committee and board of directors. Elections were held during January and February, and the new officers were chosen from the largest slate of candidates in MPSA history.

The newly elected MPSA executive committee consists of:

President: Kevin DeYoung, Qualpath
Vice President: Doug Bies, Canon USA
Secretary: Sarah Henderson, West Point Products/Clover Technologies
Treasurer: Lou Stricklin, Muratec America

“I’m pleased to continue to be part of the MPSA and honored to serve as president,” said incoming President Kevin DeYoung. "The ongoing vision of the MPSA is to continually embrace all industry participants in a collaborative and noncompetitive environment as we strive together to provide the necessary industry standardization, education and removal of barriers to provide growth and high value for all businesses, be they provider or end user, within this sector.”
The newly elected board of directors consists of seven members: Six members were chosen during the elections, while the outgoing president, Greg Walters, will hold the seventh position.

Ron Alphin, Distribution Management/Supplies Network
Kim Louden, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Kevin Morris, OneDOC MPS
Robert Palmer, BPO Media
Brian Stevenson, footPRINT Managed Services
Jenna Stramaglio, MWA Intelligence
Greg Walters, Greg Walters Inc.

The 11 members that will guide the MPSA for the next two years have some of the most extensive experience in the imaging channel and represent independent dealers, financial services, OEMs, the largest global consumables manufacturer, leading media and research, cutting edge software and independent consultants.

The new officers will be welcomed to their new positions at the board meeting at the ITEX show in Ft. Lauderdale, March 11, 2015.

If you are not currently a member of the MPSA, this is a great time to get involved and help shape the dialog. Join an international group of professionals from every aspect of the imaging industry: http://www.yourmpsa.org/join

About the Managed Print Services Association

The Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that serves the MPS industry. Its focus is on the development of standards, education and industry guidelines that unite the different segments of the industry that bring value to all those participating. Learn more about benefits and memberships.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Managed Print Services, Copier and IT Sales Employment: More Signs or Bucking Trends?


The business landscape is improving in all directions, but check out these employment charts from indeed.com:


managed print services Job Trends graph

managed print services Job Trends Managed Print Services jobs

Manage print services spiked back in '09, yet looks like its about to either level or fall off a cliff.

The roller coaster that is copier sales! A bump in 2010.  Still, my neck hurts just looking at it.

The 'other side of the fence' is experiencing a slow bleed.  IT sales futures "ain't what it used to be..."


Mother Blue's, Mps evolution is trending...

Home building is creeping up.  Is this another sign of the recovery?  How many construction sites need copiers?


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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Terminus MPS"


Originally posted on The Imaging Channel, here.

Managed print services as they once were have been replaced by dead programs. More than that — walking dead programs.

Zombies.

Barely detectable, cannibalistic programs crept into organizations of all sizes promising impossible cost reductions and spreading the commoditization of services. The establishment, in unfamiliar territory, created a false sanctuary and moved toward small-footprint, multifunction laser printers. Some returned to liquid toner, hoping to shake those pesky cartridge re-animators while others implemented subscription-based schemes.

Some stayed the course selling copiers.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The signs were there for all to see:
The OEMs cared more about shelf space and equipment quotas
And we let them.
The pundits didn't need anything more than “butts in seats”
And we let them.
The sales managers and owners, quick to lament their failures in MPS blame everybody but themselves.
And we let them.
Today, walking dead MPS programs outnumber us and, like the make-believe TV zombies, these offerings are melting away with every storm, shrinking in form and numbers like virgin cores.  It is messy.

In spite of this, there will be no mourning, no heartfelt regret. Things are as they should be. The world moves — terminus MPS is no surprise. We’re presented with the opportunity to find a new pivot point and, unlike the monochrome to color or analog to digital shift, I look forward to the idea of a bigger move.

Consider three mindshifts:

Everything as a service — THINK

This is difficult; changing your mindset always is. Step out of your current business and look at your service model. Look through a different lens away from the product and more on the service. Moving away from expecting monthly unit deliveries is a perspective that must change more than ever before. Think about the possibilities when all things connected can be monitored — how much for services when charging a fee for every act, or provision?

Redefine your OEM relationship, find new partners - NO HARDWARE

For decades you’ve driven business to fulfill your equipment quotas, supporting your OEM of choice — they’ve demanded you continue down this path, leading you along with volume discounts and rebates. Once upon a time, this was supportive. Today, quotas are chains

Forget adjacent industries, go for the contrarian - LUXURY SUBMERSIBLES

Water and coffee services, managed services, managed print services and making copiers isn’t even enough. The bold move is one away from the industry, and parts of the model. Why not monitor a client’s entire power grid or manufacturing floor? How about aiming your expensive NOC at every device with an IP? What is the difference between connected copiers and connected lightbulbs, HVAC, coffee makers, security systems, oil rigs, beer taps, automobiles, or 3D printers?

A challenging idea, wouldn’t you agree? Take heart, dear reader, the greater the challenge, the greater the rewards and no other industry is up to the task more than we. Here is a quick SWOT analysis of our position and why we can do this:

S — OUR STRENGTH

Over the years we’ve moved from down-the-street cold calling to boardroom presentations; from cash transactions to service embedded into leases. Looking back, we’ve always gone through a transformation of sorts. The transformation most of the world is currently working, we’ve already been through — from the box to the C-suite. We adopt

W — OUR WEAKNESS

We have fast-moving sales cycles (30 day), heavy overhead, reliance on OEM technology and market drivers.

O — OUR OPPORTUNITY

New markets, new services. The panacea of repeatable, predictable revenue is visible and the best way to build a sustainable service model is not on machines delivered.

T — THE THREAT

OEMs acting even more isolationist, ignoring the indirect channel. Lower-priced devices carrying less margin and technology, attracting business culture away from print.

When we first connected with our MIF (machines in the field) we didn’t know it, but we were the part of the Internet of everything vanguard. We’ve been selling and talking remote monitoring, proactive delivery and business solutions for decades — selling business solutions isn’t in our wheelhouse, it IS our wheelhouse.

The world is pressuring us into becoming part of the horde. Choose to be big, bold, brash and shocking or dissolve away with the walking cadavers. MPS may be a zombie, but you’re not.

###

A prolific writer, frequent speaker, and hyper-charged freelancer, Greg Walters shares his passionate, unique and provocative view on technology, addressing the digital impact on 21st century business and the new way of work and society. His book, Death of the Copier, published in 2014, offers a controversial summary of the early days managed print services and the not-so-distant future of the hard-copy industry. For four years, he was part of and then rebuilt a managed print services practice inside a West Coast VAR/MSP. Over the last three years he has been assisting companies with optimizing their IT portfolio of services, analyzing information workflow and processes, building self-supporting MpS programs inside IT departments and creating and implementing print policies for medium to large businesses. His company, Greg Walters Inc., is a bold consulting and content creation firm helping companies optimize processes and communicate their stories. Contact him at greg@grwalters.com




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Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Internet of Everything is the Next Managed Print Services...


As you know, CISCO plans on connecting every, single thing and Apple looks to connect every single person:  a combination beyond comprehension.

In the early days of managed print services, remote monitoring of devices was cutting edge technology - with just a handful of software providers, we knew the internet of things when it was simply the internet of printers and copiers.  Our connected realm was the vanguard - the shape of things to come.

Today, the rest of the business world is recognizing a need to shift focus from boxes to relationships, from project based revenue to repeating streams.  HVAC, electrical, automotive and even shoe manufactures are grasping the meaning of everything as a service.

We've done this - we've changed business models, our OEMs have struggled against the tide and the independents prevailed.  It doesn't matter if companies are managing laser printers or laser guided missiles, toner levels or tire pressure, ROM flashes or app updates, the managed print services niche, all 100 of us, broke through years ago.

Here is my point - print volumes are decreasing and one day soon, "will fall off the cliff", like buggy whips and cotton looms.

But this is not an "extinction level event".

We can pivot out of copiers/MpS into any niche, vertical or industry as providers understand the IoT means "Everything As A Service".

We've had the C-level conversations about 'relationship' and value outside the product/machine/widget.  The refrigeration sales-rep has no clue what all that means.  Refrigeration, HVAC, home security, plumbing, traffic lights, automotive sales - they are all evolving into recurring revenue and customer centric managed services.

MpS is not evolving into the IoT, the IoT is transitioning into MpS.




Good stuff here and DOTC posts about IoT, here.

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