Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MWA Intelligence, Inc. Announces Winner of The Jillian Fund Motorcycle Raffle


Congratulations, Danny Terril, Owner of OES-Solutions

Scottsdale, AZ - June 22, 2016 - MWA Intelligence Inc. (MWAi), a master value-added reseller (MVAR) and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for SAP Business One and leader in enterprise resource planning software (ERP) concludes their motorcycle journey, traversing across the country in a teamed up effort with Clover Imaging Group and The Jillian Fund.

The Jillian Fund honors Jillian Gorman, a young woman diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer that tragically ended 4 years later. The Jillian Fund provides financial support to parents with children who are suffering life-threatening illnesses that require critical care. They also award academic scholarships to young women who portray extraordinary faith and leadership within their communities. With donations they receive, The Jillian Fund is able to provide families in need with monetary support covering: household and child care expenses, lodging, transportation and meals. As of to date, the charity has raised over $355,000 with more and more donations pouring in.

“You get a real sense of fulfillment when you decide to partake in something bigger than yourself. To have the opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause for Jillian, a brave young woman has been nothing short of an honor,” said Michael T. Stramaglio, President and CEO of MWA Intelligence, Inc. “The amount of support that families have received is tremendously incredible from The Jillian Fund and it has been amazing to have association with this charity. On behalf of all those involved, including the donors, it has been an extreme pleasure.”

In total, the motorcycle trek encompassed 10 stops starting with MWA Intelligence, Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ and ending at Des Plaines Office Equipment in Chicago, IL. The duration of the trip lasted 10 days, from May 23rd, 2016 to June 1st which included visits to the following dealerships and manufacturers: Muratec, Datamax, Memphis Communications Corporation, Advanced Office Systems, Cobb Technologies, Stones Office Equipment, Perry proTECH, and Des Plaines Office Equipment.

While in Washington, D.C., the riders participated with The Rolling Thunder, a nonprofit organization dedicated to publicizing positive causes and to educate the American people. Each year The Rolling Thunder organize an annual ride in Washington, D.C. where up to 1 million participants partake in such a cause.

Generously, Clover Imaging Group donated the customized 2011 Harley Davidson Fat Bob for a raffle. The proceeds from the ticket sales went directly toward The Jillian Fund.

A very appreciative and grateful thank you to all who were involved in the ride and to those who donated for such a worthy cause. The updated total raised from donations and from the ticket sales surmounted $120,000 and growing which would not have been made possible without the efforts from all those involved.

“As a pancreatic cancer survivor myself, OES-Solutions was beyond happy to support such a great cause. I could not fathom having to go through what I went through alone and I truly believe that no one person should ever have to endure that. Without organizations like The Jillian Fund, some families would not be able to spend the necessary time with their loved ones in their time of need. I thank all the people involved at the Jillian Fund, it’s an honor both personally and professionally to be a part of such a great cause. I have to admit that winning the Harley Davidson this year was extremely exciting but the real prize is the relationships that I have developed working with Mike Stramaglio and everyone involved so once again from everyone here at OES-Solutions we thank you and look forward to working with you in the future” said Danny Terril, Owner of OES-Solutions, cancer survivor, and supporter of The Jillian Fund.

MWAi FORZA with SAP Business One is a complete, integrated ERP that provides transparency and instant visibility into operations. The FORZA solution helps dealerships to better unify, manage, and control their entire business across financials, sales, customers, and operations. Together, MWA Intelligence and SAP will provide office technology and imaging channel businesses the ability to make smart IT decisions, improve future performance, and achieve long-term success.

About OES-Solutions:
Founded on the highest standards of integrity, reliability, and flexibility, OES-Solutions provides an array of OEM printers, multifunction copiers, fax machines and consumables from several of the industry’s top manufactures. With over 15 years and $150 million in sales and experience, OES - Solutions offers products, programs and support that cater to the needs of independent office equipment dealers throughout the United States.

For additional information, please visit OES-Solutions website: http://www.oes-solutions.com

About The Jillian Fund:

Jillian Lauren Gorman was the embodiment of strength and encouragement to others, and recognized the importance of a parent’s presence and support during difficult times. The Jillian Fund believes that children facing life-threatening illnesses should never face them alone. Each day, thousands of critically ill children face long hospital stays without a parent by their side because the parent is financially unable to leave work. The Jillian Fund is dedicated to uniting families in need during their most critical times and providing academic financial support to young women who demonstrate Jillian’s legacy of living by example and conquering fear with faith. The Jillian Fund is a 501(c)(3) Organization.

For additional information, please visit The Jillian Fund website: www.thejillianfund.org

About MWA Intelligence, Inc.:

MWA Intelligence Inc. (MWAi), an SAP Business One OEM partner, delivers enterprise-class and leading-edge Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Machine-to-People (M2P) solutions to better serve the imaging industry. MWAi’s intelligent service, workforce, assets and GPS solution suites deliver mission-critical information in real time to the hands of customer-facing employees and into companies’ back-end ERP systems including the powerful MWAi FORZA with SAP Business One. The MWAi solution automates all of the business intelligence management, meter collection, consumables and service alerts and also offers an integrated pre-sale MPS tool.

For additional information, please visit the MWA Intelligence corporate website: www.mwaintel.com

# # #

For more information:

Jenna Stramaglio

CMO

MWA Intelligence, Inc.

(480) 538-5969

Jenna.Stramaglio@mwaintel.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why can't you see open and closed tickets, toner shipped, and revenue generated by client, contract, location and device? How about your clients' non-print assets?


Under your MpS engagements, which OEM is most profitable?  Sharp? HP? Kyocera?  What model?

Which client is costing you the most to support?

For your enterprise customer, can you determine the most active floor, which devices are generating a high number of help desk calls? Can you see lease payment and expiration date for those devices?

Live?

Displayed on your phone?


Atlas - MpS can help you.  Not just print, everything.

Join us for a simple discussion around this complex and cluttered issue:

ATLAS - MpS More than a Map

ATLAS

Thursday, June 30, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (CDT)


Eventbrite - ATLAS - MpS More than a Map

Find Your Way.



Thursday, June 16, 2016

The End Of MPS, The Beginning of MpS


Recent market data for the global hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market saw a 10.6 percent yearly decline, though MPS growth has continued across the world. HP shows an 18.6% decline in unit shipments, Y/Y. - IDC, 2016

It doesn't need to be said, does it? The office environment has been moving away from print for the past decade. I know it, the OEMs know it, and in your heart, you know it too.

Managed print services is a trailing indicator, 'growth' is a statistic anomaly - expanding in a shrinking pool - there are no new clicks.

You want to survive and thrive in the technology industry. It's easier to sell copiers and implement a managed print services practice than it is to bring a managed services practice but the IT world represents growth and opportunity.

What should you do?

"...Come With Me Now..."

Years ago, I preached the coming of managed print services as the wave of the future.


Then, I saw managed print services as an on-ramp to business process/workflow optimization, teaching simple, workflow analysis embedded in the standard assessment.

Next, evangelizing managed services as the new frontier for copier/printer providers, I recommended third-parties like Collabrance and Continuum.

Today, I've come full circle and looking at managed print services basics. The tools I've seen, and I've seen or worked with almost all of them - are impressive.

Here are some of my observations:

  1. Heavy - cumbersome to use, demand time from MpS practitioner
  2. Print-data, intense - print only, some end-user, but no outside asset data
  3. Sales static - the 'map' and client data remain in the sales silo, or not easily transportable into contracts or service
  4. The Tool 'does the thinking for you' - plug the data in and out comes a current and recommended state in a 300 page Word doc
I see lots of TCO tools, column reports, graphs and dashboards and I think we can do better. I'm looking at how I conduct assessments and the tools I would use in the field. Additionally, I'm taking a holistic view - I'd like to know how the fleet is performing in terms of service calls and profitability. 

Finally, I'd like to be in a position to offer my clients an engagement that includes ANY asset type.

With this in mind, we've designed a tool that:

  1. Collects data from multiple databases: DCA, service desk, dispatch, accounting system
  2. Helps you easily conduct assessments and present mapped proposals
  3. Enables you to create, and doesn't do the thinking for you

Point #1
Atlas - Mps displays ANY asset; printers, copiers, desktops, laptops, phones, projectors, oxygen bottles. But more impactful, is our ability to draw together related, yet disconnected data. For instance, we show the number of service calls placed on an asset, the install date, number of toners delivered, revenue and profit generated; for the universal MIF, client fleet, or individual asset.

We've designed Atlas - MpS to work within your managed print services ecosystem - the 'map' not only supports new sales, but integrates through sales to service to management to ownership; sales people engage and asses, service utilizes mapping, and management looks into real-time financial information with the tap of a screen.

Point #2
With or without a DCA/Thumb drive, a practitioner conducts interviews and records findings. Manual entry of device data(manufacturer, model, volumes, etc.) is achieved through the use of the onboard survey tool. Machine data files may be uploaded or a directly integrated, but is not necessary.

Plotting devices and manual data collection is simple and easy. Floor plans are uploaded but when unavailable, practitioners may utilize Atlas - MpS floorpan templates.

Displaying current and optimized environments is as simple as tapping an on-screen icon.

Point #3
Some existing systems deliver everything from a prospect's total cost of operation to a final proposal in Word leaving the "specialist" with nothing more to do than email the proposal, or deliver pie.
We've designed a tool that I would use in the field as a practitioner. I don't want anything 'heavy' and cumbersome and I sure don't want somebody else doing the thinking for me.

Atlas - MpS is not a substitute for your collective knowledge, sales savvy or sizzling charm.

It is a tool that spans the landscape and is useful for the field practitioner, the practice manager, and the owner/principle. Atlas - MpS works the way you do, fitting into your workflow.

I cannot tell you how often I’m asked for an ‘assessment’ or ‘mps contract’ sample. I’ve conducted assessments on paper, laptops and in my head but I still use a basic outline of questions. We’ve incorporated something to orient the new practitioner and keep the seasoned vet on track.

“We interviewed 25 employees and 62% of them responded that service calls are not being completed within 72 hours. 87% felt ordering toner required three to four hours to complete.” 

Atlas - MpS. Assessment Logic*
We’ve incorporated a survey function that can be administered for each asset. In the case of a non-integrated - no DCA software - simple machine data collected on one screen. This isn't a data dump, the questions included collect relevant information you need to create a compelling proposal. I’ve also included basic workflow questions and sales related queries.

Once the survey is completed, the data is attached to that specific asset - the answers can be used as analysis. For instance, “We interviewed 25 employees and 62% of them responded that service calls are not being completed within 72 hours. 87% felt ordering toner required three to four hours to complete.” could be one of your compelling arguments for change.

Atlas - MpS. Contract Completion*
The sales and service teams rarely communicate but an integral part of a great customer experience is the effortless transition from proposing to implementing. One important issue is to correctly communicate data proposed, like existing device serial numbers, location, point of contact, beginning meter reads, CPI, etc. The information is captured during the assessment and proposal stage - why not simply populate a .PDF of your engagement?

Why not have the digital version of your contract available for signature immediately after the presentation? Atlas - Mps has this capability to complete your contract. Print it if you like, or have your client digitally sign right then and there. Email the completed form to your contracts department and have the account set up before you get back to the office. Ring that bell.

Atlas - MpS. Print Policy Framework*
Ultimately, a fully engaged, high level managed print services engagement results in a Print Policy.
Atlas - MpS, will create the blank Print Policy template and present data to support the generation of content.

Once the print policy is in place, Atlas - MpS helps you managed the engagement against the goals set forth in the policy. The information is real time, specific data points are monitored and statused as either “in or out of policy”.

No more quarterly reviews - review the fleet and goals of the program at any time.

One More thing…

Atlas is adept at integrating disparate databases and managing IT assets. Once you begin to utilize Atlas - MpS, the door opens into the IT realm. We’re not suggesting you invest in a data center, or engage with a third party to provide help desk, end-point monitoring services. We suggest talking with your IT contacts about “Asset Lifecycle Management”. You help track their IT assets, manage technology upgrades and equipment refresh with Atlas all for a monthly subscription. We can help you.

Atlas - MpS is different, simple and dynamic, helping managed print practitioners solidify their position in imaging, while opening opportunities outside of print.

Find Your Way.

Reach out to me. greg@asset-atlas.com



*Optional

Monday, June 13, 2016

Managed print Services Assessment Software: The 'Tinder' of Imaging


Do relationships ever start face to face?

Not such an odd question, considering the low barriers to entry provided by today's social networks.  

Indeed, relative to a decade past, the platforms available for connecting - Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Match, the scandalous Ashley Madison, even LinkedIn - is ever expanding. 

Barcode scanners made check out faster, today's 'dating' apps get more people hooked up, quicker.

These tools suck the 'art' out of introduction, pairings are built on the assessment of a witty sentence and attractive photo. We've commoditized the foundational stages of relationship building.  I can't help but wonder if this results in hollow, unfulfilling, short term espousals.

Similar to personal relationships, print services engagements begin with an introduction and assessment. The success of every managed print service agreement depends on correctly assessing the current state.

Before Tinder, there was...

In the beginning, around 2007, the MpS tool-set ignored assessment functionality so MpS practitioners created individual tools and processes to accomplish three primary data points: cost acquisition, usage history and physical location. Clip boards, graph paper, color sticky-dots, and calculators were the kit of the time.

As MpS expanded, so too, did our tools.  The data collection agents, like PrintAudit, PrintFleet and Webjet Admin, added more capabilities.  Toner management companies like Supplies Network, LMI and Clover, created managed print services programs and attached algorithmic analysis, simulating precognitive skills for supply orders.

Years marched on. In an effort to accelerate MpS opportunities through the selling cycle, the tool set mushroomed from data acquisition to automated analysis, pricing, and proposal generation.  MpS specialists simply load software on a prospect's network and in minutes, a full proposal, with maps, is produced.  

Often, the tools are pitched as a 'no brainer'.

But you have a brain, don't you?  

So what to do?  Stop dating all together, just because the landscape rests under a digital haze?

No.  

I recommend three steps:
  1. Get back to basics
  2. Do not engage technology for technology's sake.
  3. Don't let them scare you.

Basics...
Relationship is everything and in MpS, its easy to forget about the human touch and let your software tools take over. So imagine you do not have a piece of software installed(DCA). What would you do? How would you determine existing costs, number of units, number of users, and geographic location? 

You would ASK and record the answers on a piece of paper.  Just like the olden days, when a man saw a woman he was attracted to, he would simply engage in conversation and ask her for her phone number(digits).  It was that simple.

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should...
We all love technology, right? But just because we can watch movies on our phone, doesn't mean we do.  Just because end-uses think it would be nice to print from a tablet, doesn't mean they do.  And even though we can generate huge proposals with reams of data, dozens of graphs and thousands of words, doesn't mean we should.

Three slides. Two page proposal. One page agreement.


No fear...
In the old days, it took guts to approach a stranger, establish quick rapport and ask for a dance.
Today, in MpS, it takes moxie to buck your internal systems when performing assessments and engage your prospects as colleagues, not masters.  Utilize the tools, just don't use them as a crutch.

Have no fear, you know everything you need to know without print Big Data, or complicated TCO algorithms.

You're inquisitive, experiential, like talking to people, and a passionate problem solver, aren't you? At your core, one reason - the only reason - you're in sales is the joy of being accepted for creating something special for your clients.  



Think about it.  Beyond the "Put That Coffee Down" bullshit, I'd venture you feel the thrill every time a prospect turns into a customer.  For you, it isn't conquering, it's sharing.

So why be tethered to an overbearing hunk of software?  Why use tools that demand hours of training and spit out reams of numerical gobbledygook?

Make it simple, get back to basics, hone and use the tool between your ears.

Read, from 2008.  The single most important tool in Managed print Services and check out the next and Last Stage in managed print services, Atlas-MpS.

Find Your Way.



LinkedIN & Microsoft: One World, One Rule.


Trump, gun control, politics, multi-level marketing and bikini's - oh, how the mighty have fallen.



...and concerns about censorship on LI were just starting to boil...

LinkedIn and Microsoft are well on their way to creating the second biggest "Brother" - ever.

"Pulse" concerns, missing or deleted posts, robo-suspended accounts and warnings about content are on the rise or at least being exposed.

This merger bodes darkly for the future.

From the email to LinkedIN employees, today:

"Massively scaling the reach and engagement of LinkedIn by using the network to power the social and identity layers of Microsoft's ecosystem of over one billion customers. Think about things like LinkedIn's graph interwoven throughout Outlook, Calendar, Active Directory, Office, Windows, Skype, Dynamics, Cortana, Bing and more. "

I know...it sounds great, right? I can have all my LI contacts connected to my Skype and whenever I search on Bing, my 'network' will be searched for relevant connections(and their connections and so on). My email will be searched for relevant discussions. My account listing in the accounting system will be searched, bubbling up customers who may have parallel or direct influence on the subject in question. The web of connectivity runs deep.

Everything connected to everything, machine-like. One platform to support, one company to rule.

But as the past few months have shown, LI users are beginning to flex their creative and humanistic muscles.

Content is shifting from all business to all but business. People are becoming more 'human', on-line. Matches are being made, love connections paired. Political discourse, a seasonal turn, is on the rise. "Chat" room intercourse often sink into insults and name calling.

People being people, deviant. A centralized machine does not condone deviance.

I am a fan of technology and I believe the Universal Internet of Everyone is inevitable if not upon us now. Great things are possible when the minds of the world focus on a vision.

But who molds that vision? In a centralized, monolithic realm, the masters of the account/comment/newsfeed, rule.

"They" control the picture.

LinkedIN, AoL, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the other 'free' platforms are not without cost.

We, the users, carry the world of LinkedIn(and every other social media) on our shoulders. Occasionally, we shrug.

In the end, congratulations are in order for Jeff. He built a great product and sold it(out) to a huge concern. Formula.

Next Play.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Next Managed print Services


From Los Angeles over to Davidson, North Carolina up to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin; from IT to corporate identity programs to copiers, back to IT, then managed print services, managed services, and back to Managed print Services.

What a checkered, varied and wonderful path. The journey continues.

I met Dave Westlake years ago when he was pitching his print security package - back then, nobody cared about security and printers. So he pivoted into asset management. His mapping tool created interest, and received traction in the IT realm, not the print world.

One day, Dave called me up asking for my advice. He was working with a client who wanted to build an MpS practice and was wondering about the hiring criteria for a MpS Practice Manager, inside a $300M VAR. After a 20 minute outline/oration, I simply stopped and said, “Dave, there is nobody out there with this level of experience in BOTH imaging and IT - except me."

One thing led to another, interviews conducted, offers made and accepted. Five months after our initial conversation, I was on my way from Ft. Meyers, Florida(87 degrees, sunny) to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin(12 degrees, cloudy) with a mission to first see if MpS made sense for the organization and then build a practice.

My consultations revealed this VAR, just like many others, did not hold print as a very high priority - for the organization or their clients. The sales people were accustomed to quoting million dollar hardware deals, not $4,500.00/month service contracts. The money was too little, the effort too involved.

So nine months into an engagement, I got the call into HR. “Print is not a strategic initiative of the company. Your position has been eliminated.” All righty then - nice to have met you all, it was a thrill helping you discover you didn’t need me or my expertise. Have a nice day.

Life.

While employed, I pitched Dave’s software to the VAR as a great way to help IT customers integrate different software systems onto a single screen, and was roundly rebuffed. “Oh, it’s just an asset management package…” The interpretation was incorrect, but for some reason, I didn’t waste time or breath on the argument.

They missed the point. I had customers begging me for a solution like Atlas. IT Directors from large financial institutions and one of the largest healthcare providers in the world were asking me for a way to integrate data from dozens of disparate databases.

Red flags fluttered in my toner-fused mind. I kept my mouth shut.

Days after being let go, I called Dave. Remember, if it weren’t for his phone call 14 months back, I wouldn’t be freezing in Oconomowoc, a gajillion miles from the Pacific. We decided to work together and double our efforts in the already proven niche, IT Lifecycle management. He may have felt pity or guilt - not sure.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the IT Department - we started to see Atlas as a natural choice for copier and print providers looking to pivot from MpS into IT. It’s easier to talk about tracking hardware than outsourcing the help desk or configuring hybrid BDR solutions.

Looking at the different mapping, assessment, ROI, proposal generating, and TCO tools left me exhausted and mystified - I would never purchase or inflict any of those tools on a sales team. We can’t get reps to type information into SalesForce or Oracle, how the heck are to expect them to operate and drive these behemoths?

I’ve managed and built MpS practices. I’ve created and helped institute managed services practices inside copier dealerships. In my own practice and in every other MpS organization I’ve been involved, the tools to sell, service and run the business is a large, complicated, hodgepodge of strung together software packages.

If by chance, an organization had moved forward with an integrated platform, a system that generates everything from TCO to before and after maps, the system is cluttered, complicated and heavy. Lot’s of dealers and most customers do not need or want to review a plethora of charts, graphs and spreadsheets crunching print related data.

 I’ve heard them tell me so.


Atlas isn’t any of these things. I can conduct a simple walk through and interview, plot devices, capture machine data, document workflow involved, etc. right on my tablet or phone. MpS Practitioners can conduct assessments, utilize their wisdom and close more deals. It doesn’t matter if a DCA or thumb drive is utilized. Move forward with end user interviews, collect the data, plot devices, present your solution and close.

As a Practice Manager, I was always downloading invoice and toner costs out of EAutomate, collecting dispatch data from ConnectWise, merging Crystal reports and .CSV files in an Excel spreadsheet. After a few hours, I had a pretty good profit and loss presentation ready. Back then, I wondered if I would ever be able to boil all that data into a single screen, reflecting live data.

One can dream.

This is good stuff. Atlas helps MpS sales people, Practice Managers, Owner/Principles and customers managed and visualize the entire environment. What’s more, the system is designed to work inside existing workflows, organically optimizing processes and steps - not replacing existing tools in a ‘rip and replace’ manner.



For print specific providers, Atlas offers more than just toner/ink device management - out of the box, Atlas can track ALL assets, not just SNMP/MIB based. Manage the printers and copiers for 12 months, then move the conversation to IT Lifecycle management of PC’s, monitors, and phones. That’s just one

I’ve evaluated all the tools even working with some few know exist. I like simplicity. I like low overhead. I like tools that are implements, not replacements for creativity and thought.

That’s why I liked Printelligent. That’s why I picked Preo/Printelligence back in 2011 and promoted PrinterLogic in 2014 - simple, effective, relevant. I’m looking forward to evangelizing Atlas as an easy to use, scalable tool. A tool to be used in the field and in the board room.

Atlas - Mps, Find Your Way.