Monday, April 24, 2017

Impact Named 2015 Perfect Image Award Winner




I have seen the future of Managed print Services.

From the press release:

"The Impact MPS Program, led by Vide President of Managed Print Services Jeremy Fordemwalt, has grown more than 55% year-over-year for three years running. The MPS team assesses client office environments to uncover inefficiencies in the way users print, store and retrieve documents. They use that information to create solutions that improve processes, reduce documents, increase office productivity and contribute to increased profitability.  The department continues to add additional solutions based on client demand..."

Full release, here. ###

Jeremy is an industry veteran in managed print services and has managed to build a true, customer-centric, managed print services powerhouse.  Impact MPS travels together with clients formulating plans to assist in the natural move away from the printed document. 

Utilizing Impact's proven, market driven specialties in Creative Services, Managed IT, Production printing and document management, Impact MPS weaves a tapestry of solutions designed specifically for each client.  The MPS program has evolved beyond automatic toner fulfillment and service delivery into a cutting edge, paper-to-digital transformation force.

More to come -



Friday, April 21, 2017

If copier OEMs are Missionary, HP is Reverse Cowgirl. It's Over and HP Wins

4/21/2017

Anyone who knows me, remembers me lambasting HP for past gaffs and missteps: Hawk and Ikon, The "Long March" that was Edgeline, firing Hurd, Leo and the all too infamous, TouchPad.

And who can forget "The Great Toner Purge of 2013"

During my talk at the Photizo conference back in 2012, I was asked if I thought HP would survive.  My quick answer was "No, not as we know her today."   That was then, this is now and HP ain't what she used to be.

Which brings me to my point: HP is going to win the war for the remaining clicks.  HP will beat Canon, Ricoh, Xerox and those who attempt to overtake her as the predominate provider of MpS and devices.

Why?  Three reasons:

1. Marketing - tight, midnight blue, mini -

The Wolf-

Christian Slater?  Really?

And have you noticed the look and feel of all those Ex-Samsung devices? Do you see the curves?  Is that the old 'stackler'?

Somebody put some thought into the wrappers and I like it.

Instead of IPG funding R&D for PSG, today's HP Inc. can hire Mr. Slater,  film crews and Apple-like designers.

The money spent on 'getting the word out' rivals some countries gross national product.

2. Structure - "dangerous when wet" curves and pert attitudes

Printelligent.  HP MPS is built upon the 2011 acquisition: Remote monitored devices supported by direct service vans on the street with technicians delivering toner and installing maintenance kits.

It works.  When you think about it, the only firm large enough to implement a fleet of direct service vehicles, nationwide, is HP.

No muss, no fuss.

3. Stamina - she is everywhere

Size matters, but so does staying power and obviously, Hot Blue has got it.  While the rest of the world peters, HP's increasing beats per minute, building to a huge climax - possibly multiples.  She bottomed out quarters ago.



The HP Strategy?

I have no inside information, there is no Deep Throat. This is purely guess-work and speculation.

  1. Re-engage the copier channel, giving them what they think they want, A3 devices - HP is coming to town. Again.
  2. Defend and grow inside F500, F100 and F1000 accounts with live sales and account management teams - prepare to see 'corporate account size' redefined. Again.
  3. Build a self-sufficient drone that one day pre-empts the need for an independent channel.  Instant Ink for the SMB, anyone? - Never mind.  It's business as usual.  Again.
What Do We Do?

The independent channel is forming into a set of regional powerhouses surrounded by a school of small players.

For these demigods, I see the best plan of action to be jumping on and riding out a series of one night stands with the Blue Goddess.  That is to say, form a transactional relationship with little or no longterm expectations - no matter what the actual contract spells out.

Sell the heck out of the hardware, leverage the HP logo as entre into up to now, resistant corporate IT departments.  Honestly, one could put an HP logo on a tuna, call it a 'mopier' and IT directors would buy dozens.

Use this.  Get yours.  She'll be sure to get hers.  If by chance you squeeze out a three year relationship, consider the ride a good one.

She's going to be looking at you over her shoulder anyway, may as well enjoy it.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Who's going to #ITEX 2017? WHY?

Love that off-line stapler
I've been there before.

I've spoken there, and pulled a camera crew along.

I've criticized and mocked the event. I've promoted and exclaimed the value of the show.

They've hosted MPSA events for us.

I just don't know what to make of it today.

New leadership with promises of "being different" yet every scrap of news makes me feel like Tom Cruise in The Edge of Forever.

The schedule looks the same.  The venue looks the same.  The class structure looks the same.

What has changed?

Is it better? Does it matter? Is the show RELEVANT?

Looking at the agenda and training classes(Let's see if you get trained or sold)there are few I recommend:

How to Earn an A+ on Assessments for MPS (MPSA Exclusive Content)
Learn from successful dealers who have increased their net income by adding complimentary business solutions such as Managed IT, 3D, and VOIP

Aldo Spensieri
VP MPS Solutions, Clover Imaging Group

New Blood: How the Kids are Taking Dad’s Dealership to the Next Level
This panel of new blood owners discusses dealer culture, millennials and how these dealers built on the success of their parents and are taking their companies to the next level.

Andy Slawetsky
President, Industry Analysts, Inc.

Tyson Stargel
VP, Stargel Office Solutions

Ryan Jones
Executive VP, Advance Business Systems

Johnathan Garlow
President & Owner, Ford Business

The keys to successfully incorporate Infrastructure, Platform and Software into your Managed IT Services
Learn how to make money, add value, maintain ownership and still deliver best in class on-premise and cloud solutions, all while offering your services as a 100% operational expense.

Greg Van De Walker
Sr Vice President - IT Channel & Services, Collabrance, LLC

Brian Wells
Director of Product Development, Collabrance, LLC

Ryan Shea
Owner, Info-Flow

SMI: Supplies Management Investigation
The aftermath of growth of MPS and the promise of just in time fulfillment may sometimes make your business processes feel like a crime scene. What are the ways dealers can clean up an often neglected area of supplies fulfillment? How can MPS Providers make changes to drive higher revenues and reduce waste? Meet your lead MPS operations investigator and dealer program leader for a rare look inside an MPS program that reduced administrative processes and eliminated waste while growing in devices being monitoring and overall revenue.


Sarah Henderson
Director - MPS Solutions, Clover Imaging Group

I'm sure the SBB session will be packed, no need to recommend.

I don't know if the show is stale or industry on a glide-path into the past, and can't judge - but I am asking.

If you have an opinion, lay it out here.  Otherwise, enjoy the sun and sin that is Las Vegas.

g


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

#Ricoh, The Great Purge and #SMB


So…not since the Ikon merger has so much happened to Ricoh or should we say, happened to the employees of Ricoh.

As Ricoh lifeboats slam into the waves, how do we respond? We do the thing this industry does whenever calamity hits a peer.

We send all his customers in our territory a press release designed to instill FUD.

Classy.

The “See I Told You So” moment - remember the name of this blog.

Ricoh, is getting out of the SMB.

What does this tell you?

Consider the ecosystem:

  • What can be gleaned out of Xerox looking to spin off it’s equipment side?
  • How can we interrupt the swallowing of Lexmark?
  • What deductions come forth from Sharp and Toshiba’s woes?
  • How about HP providing MpS without a channel? To the SMB?

All these signs point to one thing:

WE SHOULD GET OUT OF THE SMB.

Leave the churches, funeral homes, print for pay, non-profits, municipalities, schools, day care centers, three-person real estate and insurance offices for the five, ten and even the fifteen million dollar dealerships.  That once fertile, bottom land is transforming.  The SMB does not print like it use to and will be serviced by drones; not men and women.

“What once was our greatest strength, one day, becomes our most severe weakness”

We're great at selling to the small business owner. We use to drag machines around and demo in the lobby, not returning to the office until that unit was placed.

Not anymore.  This type of selling is losing relevance.

Sure, you’re going to hear colleagues, and sales managers say things like, “I don’t know about Ricoh, but our copier business is booming…” and “We just sold more devices than ever before!”

Here’s the dirty little secret in the SMB - they buy devices, they just don’t use them. Again, I know what you’re thinking, “Greg, all my customers are printing like crazy!” - No. No they are not. Nobody is printing like its 1999.

Nobody.  Go into any OfficeMax, Staples, if you can find open locations, and walk down the printer or toner isle.  Depressing, isn't it?

Don’t fall for the fake reports showing an increase in “print”. (books)
Don’t be bamboozled by the OEM sponsored studies evangelizing “Millennials prefer print.” (Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?)

When your OEM rep/BDM spouts off how, “last year was our best year ever” - check out their earnings reports and remember Ricoh, Sharp, Kodak, Oce, Panasonic, and Ikon. Reflect upon the ColorCube from Xerox($7.21 a share) or HP’s($17.72/share, forever) Edgeline.

Don’t believe any of them.

If things were half as good as the pro-copier, pro-paper pundits say, HP would not have split, Xerox would be the darling of Wall Street and Lexmark still American.

I feel bad for the good folks at Ricoh, as I did for the just as good people at HP and their worthy colleagues over at Xerox when they both purged.

And the paper plant employees.
And the liquidated newspaper staff.
And the book stores.

Two Roads

The lines have been drawn for a few years now - you’re buying businesses or lining up to be sold.

That’s it.

For us still in the industry, what’s the best path?

I believe in technology, not in print. I believe in people, not corporate elevator pitches.

Today, more than ever, deciding to stay in this mixed up realm, demands you act in YOUR best interest. Not in a stingy or self-centered manner. Self improvement in terms of helping yourself and those around you. A rising tide, floats all boats and the best way to improve the world around you is to make the best of yourself.

Keep going, focus on solving, not selling.  Evolve.

Our space is turbulent, vibrant, and self-indulged.  Most of all, our world, the place of toner and fuser oil, is Hope.

"It's not an 'S'. On my world, it means Hope."