Thursday, September 29, 2016

HP, Inc. to Buy The Largest Toner Recycler on the Planet


"We will own the third party toner market and then we will destroy the third party toner market."

In what can only be described as one of the boldest moves by an OEM to control its destiny, HP Inc. is positioning to 'disrupt' the aftermarket supplies niche with its $1.1 billion take over of "...the world’s largest collector and recycler of imaging supplies..."

After years of competing with firms that 'recycle' empty cartridges by re-labeling, re-assembling or simply manufacturing exact duplicates of their product, HP Inc., in one intrepid motion, becomes the largest supplier of recycled toner cartridges - not only HP, but a multitude of other manufacture's aftermarket supplies are now under the control of HP, Inc.

The industry is rife with shocked response...

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Let not your heart be troubled, the above statement is a journey into the absurd, macabre and fiction.

But imagine the consequences of such a move.

The next time you complain about how HP has "screwed its customers" by initiating software that checks toner cartridges for a chip, consider mother blue setting up her own recycling factory south of the border.

On the other side of the coin, when HP exclaims the 'disruption of the A3 industry', take it with a grain of salt.  Sixteen new copiers does not a 'disruption' make; buying her way into the aftermarket niche would cause great turbulence.

Food for thought...


Friday, September 23, 2016

You Should Be Selling ITAM with Copiers, Printers and MpS


Gartner - "IT asset management (ITAM) provides an accurate account of technology asset lifecycle costs and risks to maximize the business value of technology strategy, architecture, funding, contractual and sourcing decisions.”

There is so much turbulence in the industry today, it's tough to figure out what to do.
  1. Margins continue to drop
  2. The OEMs are locked in a War for the remaining 'clicks'and you're in the line of fire
  3. Customers are demanding more than "scan once, print many'
We know you're going to survive.  What can you do to thrive?  How about selling asset lifecycle management?

There is a great way to remain relevant in the eyes of your customers and sell more services without the hassle of establishing third party partnerships, investing in a NOC or falling into a huge time-suck.

  • No need to retrain you sales staff.
  • No heavy investment in software packages that require an MBA to operate and understand.
  • Keep your existing tool set

With Atlas, you'll offer a service most IT departments thirst for - IT Asset Management.(ITAM)

Register below for our introductory webinar.  We'll talk about ways to solidify your existing book of business and easily pivot into new streams of revenue.

Change is inevitable; with Atlas, it doesn't need to hurt.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Samsung & HP: Another Technology Firm Sells Off Print

Kali
Check out the first article about Samsung/HP, here.

Samsung, recognizing print’s demise, ejects 6,000 employees and 6,500 patents - HP, Inc., like the family dog, sniffs up the crumbs.  Todd Pike looks to be the smartest guy in the room.

Just three years after marching into the world of print and boldly pronouncing, "We're poised to lead a paradigm shift. We feel the world of printing is changing.”, the Korean chip maker waves the white flag, retreating to the fiery world of cellphones and silicon.

HP is buying Samsung's 'formidable' print/copy apparatus.  It wasn't more than five years ago, Samsung built a copier that worked.  No really, I attended the roll-out in Jersey.  A couple of new qualities they pitched were aligned output vs. skewed and variable sized dots.

Stunning.

So now, the questions begin:

  • What does this mean for the industry? Not much.
  • Is this bad news for the Japanese OEMs? Of course.
  • How does Canon come out of this? Like Oliver Twist, "Please sir..." 
  • Who is the big winner? Mother Blue, Kali, goddess of destruction.
So too, do the pontifications:

  • "HP's acquisition of Samsung gives them the opportunity to disrupt and truly innovate in this space at a time when most other OEM's are struggling. It's a real Game Changer!!!" - LinkedIN
  • "This will shake things up a bit!!" - LinkedIN
  • "HP to acquire Samsung's Print business is big news and will further enable our managed services business. We are driving disruptive change by bringing value to our clients." - HP
Here's my take:

This is not disruptive; it's turbulent.  HP shelled out less for Samsung than Ricoh for RiKON and may spend half as much on marketing into A3.  Regardless of what happens on the OEM side of life, no degree of consolidation, no merger or acquisition, is going to entice customers into generating more 'clicks'.


This is War.  HP Inc. is maneuvering to be the last standing.

Today, Monday, September 12, 2016, you are witnessing the beginning of the greatest campaign in our slight history.  HP Inc.'s marketing war chest is huge and they're not doubling down on print, the farm is on the line.

But what else can they do?

In The War for Marks on Paper, HP Prevails.

There should be no doubt, HP Inc. is in it to win it.  Even with the decline, the last person selling buggy whips is still the only one selling buggy whips.

With the infrastructure and money to put service trucks into every major market in the U.S.,  HP Inc. looks like a mega-dealer.

Think about that.

Supplies and service direct from the OEM.

Every service manager should be shaking in their boots at the prospect of HP Inc. riding into their town.  And now, HP Inc. has a value proposition which includes A3.

This is not the same HP that purchased Palm and Compaq.  These aren't the folks who clustered Hawk or propped Edgeline as the next coming, only to let it fail.  No.

HP Inc. is the real deal; they've got a plan, money and can reach from the F100 boardrooms to the SMB kitchen tables.  The

But enough about print.  Print is not the end-all and HP Inc. is not infallible - how can you differentiate yourself from the big MpS players?

Don't sell MpS.

Instead, offer IT Lifecycle Management.  If you can sell copiers or managed services, I know IT Directors will take you more seriously when you suggest helping them manage their IT asserts instead of "lowering print costs by 30%".

Find your way, Atlas.











Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Copier Model is Sinking: What's Next?

Rose, after 'A Night to Remember'.


“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” 
- Hunter S. Thompson

In 2009, we jumped on the MpS bandwagon, supporting Photizo, evangelizing Preo, Printelligent and the new opportunities MpS could provide...

In 2011, we consulted companies into the world of managed IT services recommending Collabrance and others...

In 2014, we suggested getting to know PrinterLogic and expanding into tele-medicine...

In 2015, confronted with the most turbulent run ever,  we heralded in the End the copier industry as we knew it...

Through every turn, zig and zag, one constant remained; there is ALWAYS a tomorrow. So it shall be with our niche.  Once everything settles, when leverage money guys leave, and a single OEM remains, when the channel is nothing but memory, you can prevail.

You can sell this as a service.
As a copier sales professional, you know how to work with leasing companies and construct a complicated finance deal.

You know how to SPIN, how to uncover business challenges and discover new prospects.  More importantly, you know how to present a piece of hardware with services and derive revenue from your efforts.

These skills translate into the new, 'Everything as a Service', economy.

Ask yourself, "What's the difference between a copier and a commercial air conditioning unit or managing lighting usage/costs vs. managed print services?"

What's the difference? You are the difference.

You know how to assess, construct a proposal and present both complex sales as well as simple engagements.

Also, those industries are going through the same pressures we experienced,  almost a decade ago; shifting from equipment only sales to services led engagements.  More than managed services or doubling down on MpS, shifting into adjacent industries represents the greenest of greenfields.

Trane is monitoring equipment.

To prove my point, consider this statement:

"...With industry-leading expertise, innovative equipment, and cutting-edge technology, we can help your business operate better than it ever has before. Our clients have found they have the capacity to run smarter and more efficiently. To operate more sustainably and cleaner. To realize better outcomes and provide more for those who live and work in your environments..."

If somebody gave you this value proposition to use in your copier/printer/MpS/MNS/toner sales efforts, you could, right?  It makes sense.

Which OEM made this statement?  Ricoh? Xerox? Konica Minolta? HP? Lexmark?  Did the copier dealer across town or a big MpS software company put forth this value proposition?

No.

TRANE, the manufacturer of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and building management systems and controls said this, here.

TRANE has been this business since 1885.  They've experience turbulence and transformation along the way and are currently trying to address the IoT, remote monitoring and service of their equipment.

This is ONE example.  There are many more and the number is growing every day.

After surviving the Titanic, Rose let go of her past, embracing all possibilities.  Exploring West, elephant riding, barn storming, family - adventures once imagined, lived.

Our industry has deep damage along the starboard side - the ship will sink.

Darkness and gloom lurk. No one is to blame, it is the way of things.

Do not listen to the OEM's siren song of new partnerships and growing print business.  Do not believe pundits parroting, "Remain calm, everything is under control..."  You are in control, not them.

This night shall pass.

When it does, where will you be?

Learn more, here.


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