Sunday, May 13, 2018

Xerox & FX: A Good Old Fashion, American Scandal


Scandalous.

Hold me baby, hold me like you ain’t mine to hold
Oh kiss me baby kiss me, like you don’t care who knows
Oh love me baby love me like Kennedy and Monroe

Hushed smiles across the table, clandestine meetings.  There 's something exhilarating about sharing a secret in front of the entire world.  Just the two of you. Food's better, the Sun warmer, nights longer.

But affairs have no future.

In the tightly bound world of third-party toner manufacturers, evaporating equipment placements, Monday morning sales meetings, earnings reports, tumbling clicks and Sunday afternoon barbecues, the copier life is almost too much to bear.

Scandal and intrigue.
"I'd sell Xerox. That's a house of pain." - Cramer

The Xerox affair is a reflection of the industry; Mixed up, ruled by The house of Boys; Desperate.

"As Xerox goes, so goes the industry" or is it "As the industry goes, so go we all."?

  • Remember when Ricoh bought Ikon?  Remember when Panasonic exited?
  • How about when HP split ?
  • The assimilation of Muratec or the bifurcation of Xerox?
  • Don't forget the Chinese purchase of Lexmark.
  • And now, the Xerox, Fuji-Xerox, six billion dollar escapade.
X will fade.  The moniker might remain (Lanier, anyone?) but the greatness that was, will be no more.
"The new board - the majority now consisting of directors backed by Icahn and Deason - will begin evaluating strategic alternatives; Icahn and Deason have said XRX could be sold to a competitor or private-equity firm."
"Sold to a competitor..."  HP?
"...or private-equity firm..." Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel?

So what will be the next shoe to drop? Will Ricoh succumb?

Will Sharp or Toshiba bail?  Can K/M survive? Canon?  Truly, everyone(except one) is circling the drain.

Those are negative operating profit figures.
For now, sit back and enjoy yet another, delicious scandal.

From one of many articles:

 -‘Sleepless Nights’ and 'Project Juice'

"... Dec. 7, 2017, letter written by Xerox director Cheryl Krongard to the company’s chairman Robert Keegan, titled “4 sleepless nights”. In that letter, Krongard called Jacobson a “rogue executive” who disobeyed the board to secretly negotiate a deal with Fujifilm.

In the letter -- purportedly sent less than two months before Xerox agreed to the deal -- Krongard also writes: “This board exhausted every ounce of patience and coaching to make our current CEO a success. We then decided, unanimously, for a variety of reasons, he was not the leader we need.” Krongard adds that the company had identified a CEO replacement who, she says, Keegan had said was “head and shoulders better than Jeff”.

The letter continues: “Jeff was told by you, as directed and supported by the board, that the board was disappointed by his performance and would likely look at outside talent. Additionally, you told him in no uncertain terms, that he was to discontinue any and all conversations with FX and F regarding Juice. He blatantly violated a clear directive”.

Project Juice was the code name given to deal discussions, while F and FX refer to Fujifilm and the Fuji-Xerox joint venture, respectively.

Latest Update, 5/13 -

Xerox (NYSE:XRX) says it has reached a settlement agreement with investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason and will end its merger deal with Fujifilm (OTCPK:FUJIF, OTCPK:FUJIY).

XRX says CEO Jeff Jacobson has resigned and John Visentin, a former tech executive who had been working with the activists, will become the new CEO.

XRX appointed five new members to the board, including Icahn Enterprises (NYSE:IEP) CEO Keith Cozza as Chairman, and five existing members resigned in addition to Jacobson.

The new board - the majority now consisting of directors backed by Icahn and Deason - will begin evaluating strategic alternatives; Icahn and Deason have said XRX could be sold to a competitor or private-equity firm.


Monday, February 26, 2018

A Decade of #TheDeathofTheCopier: Really?




Long ago, a decade seemed like forever; "1999" a far off party and 2001 so distant, it was science fiction.

When I was young, I couldn't imagine where'd I be beyond 2008.  Today, decades fade away, "like tears in the rain..."

Ten revolutions around the Sun
120 Months
521.4 Weeks
3,650 Days
87,000 Hours

At it's peak, The Death of the Copier was coveted; worth stealing. Not for the plain talk, but for the audience.

In 2008, we were busy back-slapping and congratulating ourselves for selling machines like popcorn.  The future was bright; it was never going to end.
  • Ikon was a huge channel of 'independent' dealers.
  • Xerox was like Kleenex.
  • Ricoh and Canon punched it out for second and third position.
  • HP was on the edge with Edgeline.
  • The rest of the pack was just that, a pack.
Back then, few were 'blogging' about copiers. Out here on the inter-webs, nobody was talking about workflow, managed print services, IT, or business acumen.  Newsletters, magazines and trade shows were the vehicles of delivery.

On this 10th year anniversary, I've travelled back to the future, re-visiting stories of the love, toner, blood and tragedy that is DOTC.


I've dug up a few nuggets:

From a DOTC post, "Top 12 of 2008":

"5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking"."-  2008.

I talked about Managed Print Services, how copier reps won't naturally progress into the niche, how real MpS requires IT and copier knowledge and something called Business Acumen.  It was like speaking Latin.

The second post, February, 2008: Managed Print Services - That "Hot, New, Thing..."


"A copier sales person does not directly translate into a MPS specialist.

Nor does an IT Services sales person translate into a MPS Specialist. It takes both IT experience and copier experience and a great deal of general, C-level, business experience. 


That holy grail of Professional Selling, "Business Acumen" . Someone with the "Big Picture" insight and manage the details of a solution."

Honestly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's been ten years and we're still struggling to find managed print nirvana.


We still sell copiers.

 How about this one from 2011.  Inspired by the movie Jerry McGuire -

"MPS isn't the end-all, it isn't the only reason to exist - it never has been. Still, with everybody getting in and as many as 50% failing, what now?

With all the OEM's defining MPS ... and reclassifying direct accounts, how can we continue?

Touch More.

More Human Touch. Less PowerPoint. No WebEx meetings, toss the 50 slide business summaries. Instead, press the flesh. Draw on a napkin.

Do that thing we do as sales professionals, look him in the eye and say "thank you, what more can we do, today?"

"Oddest, most unexpected thing..."

Success and change aren't always a result of design. Innovation encroaches from another direction; from the left as we look right, from behind as we look ahead.  Few ever see it coming.

So it is today. As some deny the paperless revolution is near, companies like Alaska Air outfit their 1,400 pilots with iPads.  Apple is making the text book obsolete and banks accept pictures of checks for deposit. Your kids, don't call each other anymore, they use their thumbs.

From social media to MpS, everything is new and unpredicted - there are no experts - the world moves faster than ever before. No benchmarks, no 'metrics', no comparison, no rules.

Waiting for the revolution? Its already here.

"The Me I always wanted to be" - Trust

Trust. It is a big word and one the first MPS Conference keynote speaker attempted to rally behind stating, 


"..Trust is something this industry has got to reclaim."

He is new. He doesn't understand to reclaim something, one must have first possessed it.

"I had lost the ability to bullshit, ..."

Our journey continues.

The path less bumpy when we build partnerships. Partnerships easier to forge over a foundation of truth. Can you be true?

Can you lose the ability to bullshit? If not to your prospects, at least with yourself. Or are you just another shark in a suit?

Can you see the entire ecosystem?

How about instead of optimizing a smidgen of hardware and some toner, you envision Optimizing Everything.

That's right, everything. Managed Optimization Services.


"That's how you become great, man. Hang your balls out there."

Good Stuff.

What have WE, learned over the past ten years?
  1. The Copier is nearly gone
  2. Old ways die-hard
  3. Situations rarely change, people do
My nostalgic jaunt inspired me to seek out memories from the pioneers of the copier-industry social media world.

Before Twitter.  Before Instaglam. Before LI took off...there was Ken Stewart, Nathan Dube, Jim Lyons and Art Post.

I asked them for a tidbit of reflection:

From Ken Stewart -

Wow, it's been that long?!?  What I've learned:
  1. Trust God more
  2. Forgive mankind often
  3. Relish the little things
  4. Let people be accountable to their actions
  5. Just because the folks in the hot tub look like their having a blast, they're secrets are hiding under the bubbles!
Nathan Dube -

Things I have learned:
  1. Don’t trust hype
  2. Disruptive technologies sometimes aren’t and those that are, often take time to produce real change
  3. If the paperless office is coming, I am not seeing it much/at all in New England across most verticals
  4. Story telling is the best way to market
  5. Everybody hates there printer eventually
  6. The future of marketing IMO lies in gamification and interactive content that is more about entertainment than the product you are trying to sell.
Jim Lyons -

Can't remember EXACTLY how Greg and I became friends, but as what seemed like the only two bloggers in the industry back then it was inevitable we'd become friends as well as colleagues. 

A particular fond memory is when Greg had accepted an invitation to the Lyra Conference (Symposium) - where I'd gone from client to contributor. 

Greg and I had been in touch quite a bit but had never met face-to-face and several of the team (including Photizo folks in attendance, though this was before the merger) were excited to meet Mr. Death of the Copier. As we anticipated his arrival I remember enthusing that this was a very much needed "young guy" we were welcoming into the fold!!!

Art Post

Nothing stays the same, change is constant.
There is nothing new in sales even thou there are thousands of sales guru's on LinkedIn promoting their success when they haven't sold shit in years.

There are many stubborn copier manufacturers that refuse to exit the channel. No one copies anymore.

I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end of the roll, the faster it goes.

Thanks guys, for reading DOTC and staying true.

Personally:
  1. 2008, I was married and living in the mountains of Southern California.  5,000 feet above sea level, an hour from the beach - "...things that have comforted me, I drive away..."
  2. Since 2008, I've moved from SoCali to Charlotte to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin - "...this place that is my home, I cannot stay..."
  3. Over 10 years, I've seen small businesses grow and flourish.  I've met the best of the best and the worst of the worst - "...I come and stand at every door..."
  4. I've Failed - "...If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me..."
  5. I've Succeeded - "...I always leave with less than I had before..."
  6. I've become an expert at Starting Over - "...tell me, can you ask for anything more..."
Over the long haul, I've seen the extinction of the typewriter, witnessed the evaporation of the mini and mainframe and bobbed along the turbulent manual-to-PC-to-network-to-internet-to-cloud waters.

I am fortunate to have a place to express.  I'm blessed to be able to write what I would read and humbled others find something, interesting and possibly entertaining.

10 Years. How about you?

On what field did you stand?  Today, do you still stand?  Where will you be in 2028?






Two, three, four

Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?
If you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one-legged dog making his way down the street?
If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me
Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door

Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before
Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor
Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?
Tell me can you ask for anything more?

Have you ever seen a scarecrow filled with nothing but dust and wheat?
If you've ever seen that scarecrow then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one-armed man punching at nothing but the breeze?
If you've ever seen a one-armed man then you've seen me

Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door
Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before
Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor
Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?
Tell me can you ask for anything more?

These things that have comforted me, I drive away
This place that is my home I cannot stay
My only faith's in the broken bones and bruises I display
Have you ever seen a one-legged man trying to dance his way free?
If you've ever seen a one-legged man then you've seen me

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Today, I spoke with an MpS God - he was just fired. #managedprintservices #sales


I’ve said it many times, “ the path to MpS nirvana is littered with the skeleton frames of burnt out MpS Managers, Directors and Sales People”.

No sour grapes -

I’m sure there are dozens of good reasons for termination and every separation has at least two stories.  In the past decade I've been a Practice Manager, advisor and support specialist. I’ve thrived, struggled and witnessed good people churned under the seven step, "xerographic process".

And that’s exactly what I mean - the copier business model destroys vision, eradicates creativity, and dumbs down every possible business solution into 30 day segments.  Managed print Services is the latest victim with managed IT services right behind.

Some of our industry leaders are no more than box movers - they confuse ‘applications’ with business solutions and project hubris as wisdom.  Take a trip through the LinkedIN community and notice how many times we compliment each other or brag about the latest sale, certification, trip or baseball team we're associated.

It is one big, circle-jerk.

These are observations not complaints. We all get what we deserve and this industry deserves its decent into obscurity.

But not just yet.

I've seen this before, from above and below and can list cautionary red-flags for the folks still selling MpS.

Here are some signs indicating you should give my friend Steve Spencer(MpS recruiter) a call:

If dealership Owner/Leaders/Sales Management/Service Leaders do or implement any of the following, look out.
  • lie
  • lack of vision
  • too many rules
  • change the rules
  • filter out all creativity
  • do not see beyond 30 day cycles
  • incentivize for equipment sales only
  • promote month/qtr/year end specials
  • narrow-minded C-Level management
  • put MpS under the service department
  • dependent on hardware/service revenue
  • refuse to integrate MpS and Managed IT services
  • bad, complicated or non-existent compensation plans
  • a corporate culture centered around past copier success
  • focus on leasing and linking equipment inside MpS deals
  • install a C-level executive with little or no experience beyond the box
  • enforce identical activity expectations for support specialists and down the street copier sales people
  • say "X is a major part of the business", yet majority of revenue is copier generated
  • utilize a foggy compensation plan & do not enforce gates on sales teams
Here's a big one: Does your leadership yell? Do your C-Level meetings include loud voices, hands slapping desks and belligerent attitudes?
“You’ve got to be tough out there”
“This industry isn’t for the thin skinned”
“If you can’t take this, you’ll never make it in sales”
I’m no snowflake. This type of behavior says leagues about the yeller and the enabling organization.  At the very least this is unprofessional - would management slam desks or scream at prospects?

When people communicate in this manner, the organization is:
Insecure
Afraid
Negative
This is not normal behavior - Leave. Now.  Call Steve.

Not every organization operates like this, I bet not many at all.  But if you're in one, in any industry, consider your self-worth and get the hell out.  It's a big world. No matter your current skill set or personal/professional goals, there are companies and positions out here for you.

You're Notbroken.


Friday, February 23, 2018

The Genesis, Evolution and De-evolution of #ManagedPrintServices


2/2018
I remember the first time somebody said to me, "We've been doing managed print services for 20 years..." that was ITEX, 2008.  Which of course meant this person had been optimizing, assessing, rightsizing, and billing service and supplies on a cost per image basis - back in 1988.

"What? Did you bill for re-inked ribbons?"  He was not amused.

Back then, there was a bunch of talk about how MPS was nothing new; the facilities folks had been assessing fleets and selling bodies for years.  The Electronic Document Management guys had been selling scan-to-file for at least a decade and the toner re-manufacturers were old-hats at dumpster diving for cores.

Revolution.

The copier-heads saw MpS as a scam; nothing more than a marketing ploy effectively duplicating what they had been doing since 1970.  They laid claim to managed print services.

The move into managed print services took a few years, as OEM after OEM assembled and rolled out their unique program.  Back then, most programs supported a homogenous fleet meaning the "best" MpS solution was one that included the brand "I SELL" versus the brands customers currently utilized - "Rip And Replace" took on a significant meaning.

Months passed. Iterations of software like PrintAudi, FM-Audit and PrintFleet.  WebJet Admin was HP's software - the most expensive free software you could ever want.  Still, monitoring software was in its' infancy.

The MpS world struggled to move away from faxed and manually collected meter reads.  Billing was half the challenge, managing toner shipments incorrectly morphed profitable contracts into nightmare losses.

Shipping costs, undefined commission structures, premature exchanges of toner and blown motherboards killed many MpS endeavors.  The smart guys, looked at meter reads and toner usage data as a possible predictor.  Algorithms were developed and applied creating predictive models of toner usage down to the device.

Golden Age of MpS.

As MpS matured, the advanced players moved from 'hardware agnostic' to 'hardware neutral' covering multiple vendors' devices.

Toner fillers and re-manufacturers got into the game as well, assembling and providing managed print services programs complete with data collection agents, mapping software bundled with sales training and marketing deliverables.

Everybody, even traditional IT VARs, jumped into the MpS ocean.  MpS was full of possibilities, a departure from copiers toward IT and beyond.  ITEX stacked the floor with MpS providers and training sessions - we even had a Managed Print Services Conference.

But a funny thing happened on the way to MpS nirvana. By 2015 MpS had come full circle - the pioneers of the MPS rarely appear, MPS consulting firms fade away leaving MpS training to the "drill and fills".  Manufacturers release dozens of A4 devices like it was always their idea.  In an interesting twist of irony, the biggest critics of managed print services find themselves leading MpS organizations.

Everyone ignored the Signs.  Small OED's slipped into history or glommed on to bigger dealers - circling the wagons and selling out.  Dawn of The Planet of the Mega Dealer

The Late, Great MpS

Today, 2018 dealers, full of hubris and dripping with chunk-watches, brag about 30% cost reductions, all the while installing A3 for end users who've forgotten what tabloid paper looks like. Prospects implement print policies on their own, realizing the folly of letting companies that derive revenue from prints, help them reduce print.

Founding members of the industry transform: Lexmark, once an American darling, sells out to an arch enemy.  Xerox, a one-time American, corporate icon, begs her neighbor for shelter.  HP, Lady Blue, suffers through Edgeline, TouchPad and Leo, breaks in two and emerges stronger.

This has happened before, industries rise and fall.  Weaving machines displace textile workers. Horse power replaces manpower.  Automobiles supplant horses.   One day soon, managed print services will be the buggy-whip of the once prevalent, Copier Industry.

And that's okay - it is the Way of Things.





Click to email me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New to Copier Sales? What Are You, Nuts?

“When I grow up, I want to sell copiers and printers,” said nobody, ever.

"If two years ago you told me I would be selling copiers, I would have slugged you in the head,” said new reps everywhere.

An aunt to her nephew over Thanksgiving dinner: “What do you do for a living now that you’ve graduated, Johnny?”

“I help companies manage and reduce the costs associated with documents!”

“Oh. You sell copiers. That’s nice. Could you pass the potatoes?"

For those of you who have been in the business for more than a couple of years, you may find the above statements apropos, if not a bit painful. I wanted to be an astronaut once, but the closest thing I’ve gotten to Star Trek is my iPad. I do know the seven steps of the xerographic process, however, so I’ve got that going for me.

Regardless, let’s say you’re a fresh-out-of-school, new copier sales representative. Perhaps you’ve taken a sales class in college, worked retail over the summer, or your friends and family tell you, “You’re such a people person, you should be in sales." Congratulations, you are more than qualified.

As a newbie, your target market is going to be what we love to call “down the street” copier sales. Everybody starts here; many stay. Down the street (DTS) selling is just that; your prospects are located up and down the street and, like the Fuller Brush man, you’re expected to prospect to these small businesses — funeral homes, real estate offices, insurance agents, auto dealers and shops, HVAC, construction, electrical subcontractors, trucking companies, churches and the ever popular print-for-pay businesses.

But the best way to approach this segment is not through a precise email campaign, massive research or a cute social media program. The proven method is a combination of door-knocking and over-the-phone cold calling. That’s it. It’s hard work, no doubt, and the first step in the journey to major and strategic accounts management.

Here’s how these DTS accounts behave:

Read the rest, here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Today's 3D Printers are Like the Apple IIe of 1987

A recent article on America’s dying industries on the website 24/7 Wall St. included industries such as “curtain and linen mills,” “formal wear and costume rental” and “professional employer organizations.” To perhaps no one’s surprise it also included industries including “bookstores and news dealers,” “newspaper publishers,” “other publishers” and, coming in last on the list, “office supplies, except paper, manufacturing.”

Following on to the last item, the site goes on to explain, “Office supplies manufacturing is one of many industries in the United States negatively affected by the increasing digitization of the workplace ... The increasing ability to store documents and other data virtually has rendered fax machines and photocopiers less necessary and reduced demand for office supplies manufacturing. Employment in the industry has fallen by 42.1 percent since 2007, among the most of any sector.”

Tell us something we don’t know.

The search for new revenue streams continues.  Read the rest, here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Xerox: It Was a Heck of a Ride...


1/2018

NORWALK, Conn. and TOKYO — 
  • Xerox shareholders to receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend, or approximately $9.80 per share1, and 49.9% of the combined company; Fujifilm to own 50.1%
  • Combined company to deliver at least $1.7 billion in total cost savings, with $1.2 billion to be achieved by 2020
  • Accelerates path to revenue growth through global reach, industry-leading scale and enhanced innovation capabilities
  • Well-positioned to lead in growing business areas such as high-speed inkjet, industrial print and workplace solutions, while leveraging Fujifilm's extensive technologies
  • Combined company will have enhanced financial flexibility for future growth investments and capital returns
  • Combined company will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, CT, U.S. and Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and will maintain the iconic “Xerox” and “Fuji Xerox” brands within its respective operating regions
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (“Fujifilm”) (TSE: 4901) and Xerox Corporation (“Xerox”) (NYSE: XRX) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine Xerox and their longstanding Fuji Xerox joint venture.

The combined company will be a global leader in innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions with annual revenues of $18 billion and leadership positions in key geographic regions. This proposed combination provides Xerox shareholders with significant cash at closing, as well as a substantial interest in the significantly enhanced combined company. Under the terms of the agreement, Xerox shareholders will receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend, or approximately $9.80 per share1, funded from the combined company’s balance sheet, and own 49.9% of the combined company at closing.

The cash dividend represents more than 30% of Xerox’s unaffected share price of $30.35 based on closing share price as of January 10, 2018. Fujifilm will own 50.1% of the combined company and provide important operational support and transformational leadership. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Fujifilm and Xerox.

The combined company will be named “Fuji Xerox” and trade on the NYSE under the ticker XRX. The new Fuji Xerox will have dual headquarters in Norwalk, CT, U.S. and in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, with presence in over 180 countries.

The combined company will go to market and maintain the iconic “Xerox” and “Fuji Xerox” brands within its respective operating regions. Shigetaka Komori, chairman and chief executive officer of Fujifilm, said, “Fujifilm and Xerox have fostered an exceptional partnership through our existing Fuji Xerox joint venture, and this transaction is a strategic evolution of our alliance.

The Document Solutions business represents a significant part of Fujifilm’s portfolio, and the creation of the new Fuji Xerox allows us to more directly establish a leadership position in a fast-changing market. We believe Fujifilm’s track record of advancing technology in innovative imaging and information solutions – especially in inkjet, imaging, and AI areas – will be important components of the success of the new Fuji Xerox.” Mr. Komori added, “I am confident that Fujifilm’s ability to drive change as well as its experience of successful reinvention will give a competitive edge to the new Fuji Xerox, delivering significant value creation to shareholders of both the new Fuji Xerox and Fujifilm. We are delighted to welcome Xerox and its employees to the Fujifilm family and look forward to combining our strengths towards jointly shaping the future of our industry.”

Jeff Jacobson, chief executive officer of Xerox, said, “The proposed combination has compelling industrial logic and will unlock significant growth and productivity opportunities for the combined company, while delivering substantial value to Xerox shareholders. The new Fuji Xerox will be better positioned to compete in today’s environment with truly global scale, increased presence in fast-growing markets, and innovation capabilities to effectively meet our customers’ rapidly-evolving demands.

In addition, the combined company’s strong financial profile will enable investments that support continued market leadership, while also providing opportunities for increasing capital returns over time.”

Robert J. Keegan, chairman of Xerox’s Board of Directors, said, “Today’s announcement follows a comprehensive review of our strategic and financial alternatives led by Xerox’s independent directors that began after the separation of Conduent in 2016. Upon careful consideration of all alternatives available to the company, the Board of Directors concluded that this combination is clearly the best path to create value for our shareholders.

An attractive, certain cash dividend, together with participation in the future success of the combined company, presents a compelling value equation for Xerox shareholders. We are excited to strengthen our longstanding relationship with Fujifilm as we enter the next phase of Xerox’s transformation journey.”

Clear Leader in Innovative Print Technologies and Intelligent Work Solutions Xerox shareholders will have the opportunity to participate in the new Fuji Xerox’s accelerated revenue trajectory and long-term value creation potential. The transaction builds on the 56-year collaborative history between Fujifilm and Xerox to create a global leader in innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions with enhanced scale and innovation capabilities: Global leader with combined revenue of approximately $18 billion and nearly $120 billion total addressable opportunity. Enhanced scale with presence in over 180 countries and covering key geographies including North America, Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific and China.

Combined leadership with a strong track record of operational excellence, transformation experience, customer relationships and industry expertise. Improved revenue profile and growth trajectory by leveraging the combined expertise, competitive strengths and geographic reach of the two companies.  World-class innovation capabilities to define the future of innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions by bringing together two R&D and innovation leaders, along with Fujifilm’s extensive expertise.

The new Fuji Xerox will be well-positioned to lead in growing areas such as high-speed inkjet, packaging, industrial print and workplace automation, as well as future development opportunities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and augmented reality. Strengthened balance sheet and cash flow generation to provide flexibility to support strategic investments in growth and enable increasing capital returns.

Significant Value Creation Opportunity This highly synergistic combination is expected to deliver at least $1.7 billion in total annual cost savings by 2022, with approximately $1.2 billion of the total cost savings expected to be achieved by 2020. The targeted cost savings represent approximately 10% of the total cost base of the new Fuji Xerox and will drive significant margin expansion over the next four years.

Of the total $1.7 billion cost savings, $1.25 billion is related to the synergies that will be achieved through the transaction. In addition, the combined company will benefit from a cost reduction program commencing immediately at the existing Fuji Xerox joint venture, which is targeted to generate approximately $450 million of cost savings on an annualized basis. These amounts are incremental to Xerox’s ongoing Strategic Transformation initiatives. The new company expects to incur approximately $1.4 billion in one-time integration and restructuring costs, mainly in the first three years.

The new Fuji Xerox will also have significant revenue synergy opportunities over time as it capitalizes on its global reach, industry-leading scale and enhanced innovation capabilities. Importantly, the combined company will have an increased total addressable opportunity estimated at nearly $120 billion and a strong presence in attractive growth markets, allowing the new company to become more competitive and better able to serve customers and business partners globally. Balance Sheet and Capital Allocation The new Fuji Xerox expects to maintain investment grade credit ratings at closing.

The new company will maintain Xerox’s current $1.00 annual dividend per share and commitment to return at least 50 percent of free cash flow to shareholders. The enhanced financial flexibility of the combined company is expected to allow for greater capital deployment toward targeted growth initiatives, share repurchases and increased dividends over time. Leadership and Governance Upon close of the transaction, Jeff Jacobson will serve as chief executive officer of the new Fuji Xerox.

The combined company’s Board of Directors will include 12 members, seven of whom will be appointed by the Fujifilm Board. Five independent directors will be appointed from the Xerox Board. Shigetaka Komori will serve as chairman of the board. Financing Commitments Financing commitments of $2.5 billion have been provided by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. Path to Completion The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2018, is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and approval by Xerox shareholders.

Advisors Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are serving as exclusive financial advisors to Fujifilm, and Morrison & Foerster LLP is acting as legal counsel. Centerview Partners LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Xerox and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal counsel. Xerox Conference Call Xerox will host a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss this transaction.

The webcast is available at https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/7ffthvi5 or https://www.news.xerox.com/investors.

A replay of the call will be available at https://www.news.xerox.com/investors.

For More Information Additional information regarding the transaction can be found on www.thenewfujixerox.com. About Fujifilm FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation with leading-edge, proprietary technologies by leveraging its photography expertise into a broad range of industries globally, including healthcare, graphic systems, highly functional materials, optical devices, digital imaging and document products.

These products are based on its extensive portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic and imaging technologies. Fujifilm has operated in North America since 1965, with approximately 6,000 employees currently in the U.S. and Canada. For the year ended March 31, 2017, the company had global revenues of $20.7 billion, at an exchange rate of 112 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.

About Xerox Xerox Corporation is a technology leader that innovates the way the world communicates, connects and works. We understand what’s at the heart of sharing information – and all of the forms it can take. We embrace the integration of paper and digital, the increasing requirement for mobility, and the need for seamless integration between work and personal worlds.

Every day, our innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions help people communicate and work better. Discover more at www.xerox.com and follow us on Twitter at @Xerox. About Fuji Xerox Founded in 1962, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. is a leading company in the Document Services & Communications field, offering solutions and services to help customers resolve their business challenges. Underlying our solutions and services are our world-class office multifunction devices, printers and production printers that we develop and manufacture for worldwide distribution. Together with cloud and mobile solutions, Fuji Xerox builds a communications environment that enable our customers to access the right information, at the right time, and in the right form—thereby contributing to their valuable communications.

Fuji Xerox is a 75-25 joint venture between FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation and Xerox Corporation, and its direct sales force covers Japan and the Asia-Pacific region including China. As a $10 billion enterprise, we employ approximately 47,350 people globally, with more than 80 domestic and overseas affiliates / sales subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.fujixerox.com. Additional Information and Where to Find It This release may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the transactions with FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (“Fujifilm") described herein (the “Transactions”) and/or the matters to be considered at the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In connection with the Transactions and the 2018 Annual Meeting, Xerox plans to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and furnish to Xerox’s shareholders one or more proxy statements and other relevant documents.

BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, XEROX’S SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT(S) IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND ANY OTHER DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED WITH THE SEC IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSACTIONS AND/OR THE COMPANY’S 2018 ANNUAL MEETING OR INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN THE PROXY STATEMENTS BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRANSACTIONS AND/OR THE COMPANY’S 2018 ANNUAL MEETING AND THE PARTIES RELATED THERETO.

Xerox’s shareholders will be able to obtain a free copy of documents filed with the SEC at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. In addition, Xerox’s shareholders may obtain a free copy of Xerox’s filings with the SEC from Xerox’s website at http://www.xerox.com under the heading “Investor Relations” and then under the heading “SEC Filings.” Participants in the Solicitation The directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees of Xerox may be deemed “participants” in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders of Xerox in favor of the Transactions or in connection with the matters to be considered at the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting.

Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be considered participants in the solicitation of the shareholders of Xerox in connection with the Transactions or the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting will be set forth in the applicable proxy statement and other relevant documents to be filed with the SEC. You can find information about Xerox’s executive officers and directors in Xerox’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, Xerox’s and such persons’ other filings with the SEC and in Xerox’s definitive proxy statement filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This release, and other written or oral statements made from time to time by management contain “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “will”, “should” and similar expressions, as they relate to us, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current beliefs, assumptions and expectations and are subject to a number of factors that may cause actual results to differ materially. Such factors include but are not limited to: our ability to address our business challenges in order to reverse revenue declines, reduce costs and increase productivity so that we can invest in and grow our business; changes in economic and political conditions, trade protection measures, licensing requirements and tax laws in the United States and in the foreign countries in which we do business; changes in foreign currency exchange rates; our ability to successfully develop new products, technologies and service offerings and to protect our intellectual property rights; the risk that multi-year contracts with governmental entities could be terminated prior to the end of the contract term and that civil or criminal penalties and administrative sanctions could be imposed on us if we fail to comply with the terms of such contracts and applicable law; the risk that partners, subcontractors and software vendors will not perform in a timely, quality manner; actions of competitors and our ability to promptly and effectively react to changing technologies and customer expectations; our ability to obtain adequate pricing for our products and services and to maintain and improve cost efficiency of operations, including savings from restructuring actions; the risk that individually identifiable information of customers, clients and employees could be inadvertently disclosed or disclosed as a result of a breach of our security systems; reliance on third parties, including subcontractors, for manufacturing of products and provision of services; our ability to manage changes in the printing environment and expand equipment placements; interest rates, cost of borrowing and access to credit markets; funding requirements associated with our employee pension and retiree health benefit plans; the risk that our operations and products may not comply with applicable worldwide regulatory requirements, particularly environmental regulations and directives and anti-corruption laws; the outcome of litigation and regulatory proceedings to which we may be a party; the risk that we do not realize all of the expected strategic and financial benefits from the separation and spin-off of our Business Process Outsourcing business; the effects on our business resulting from actions of activist shareholders; and other factors that are set forth in the “Risk Factors” section, the “Legal Proceedings” section, the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section and other sections of our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2017, June 30, 2017 and September 30, 2017 and our 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC.

Furthermore, the actual results of the Transactions could vary materially as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) the risk that the transactions may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect Xerox’s business and the price of Xerox’s common stock, (ii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transactions, including the receipt of certain approvals from Xerox’s shareholders and certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iii) the parties may be unable to achieve expected synergies and operating efficiencies in the transactions within the expected time frames or at all, (iv) the transactions may not result in the accretion to Xerox’s earnings or other benefits, (v) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the transaction agreements, (vi) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transactions on Xerox’s and/or Fujifilm business relationships, operating results, and business generally, risks related to the proposed transactions disrupting Xerox’s current plans and operations and potential difficulties in Xerox’s employee retention as a result of the transactions, (vii) risks related to diverting management's attention from Xerox’s ongoing business operations, (viii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Xerox, its officers or directors related to the transaction agreements or the transactions and (ix) the possibility that competing offers or acquisition proposals for Xerox will be made. Xerox assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events or developments, except as required by law. Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. (“Fuji Xerox”) is a joint venture between Xerox Corporation and Fujifilm in which Xerox holds a noncontrolling 25% equity interest and Fujifilm holds the remaining equity interest.

In April 2017, Fujifilm formed an independent investigation committee (“IIC”) to primarily conduct a review of the appropriateness of the accounting practices at Fuji Xerox’s New Zealand subsidiary and at other subsidiaries. The IIC completed its review during the second quarter 2017 and identified aggregate adjustments to Fuji Xerox’s financial statements of approximately JPY 40 billion (approximately $360 million) primarily related to misstatements at Fuji Xerox’s New Zealand and Australian subsidiaries. We determined that our share of the total adjustments identified as part of the investigation was approximately $90 million and impacted our fiscal years 2009 through 2017. We concluded that we should revise our previously issued annual and interim consolidated financial statements for 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 the next time they are filed. Our review of this matter has been completed. However, Fujifilm and Fuji Xerox continue to review Fujifilm’s oversight and governance of Fuji Xerox as well as Fuji Xerox’s oversight and governance over its businesses in light of the findings of the IIC. At this time, we can provide no assurances relative to the outcome of any potential governmental investigations or any consequences thereof that may happen as a result of this matter. -XXX- 1 Based on diluted shares outstanding as of January 31, 2018, assuming no conversion of preferred shares.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Who Helps You Reduce Costs? Copier sales people, managed IT folks, or Advisors?

Who will give you a leg up?


"You will never print another document ever again.”

I know you still have printers and copiers. But I know you’re not printing or copying like you had three years ago. If you’ve made business process optimization an initiative, then you know what I mean. I’ve also found that companies with no ‘green’ or digitization plan, have naturally reduced print. Some telling me, ‘we just don’t print anymore’. I also know players like Xerox, Ricoh, and Lexmark are experiencing great consolidation, and paper plants have shuttered across country. Indeed, from the WSJ, 1/2018-

"One of Xerox’s problems is that it has been broken into two pieces. A year ago, Conduent Inc. (NYSE: CNDT) was spun out. It describes itself as a “business process services” company, which makes it more of a consultancy than a seller of hardware. Xerox retained the hardware business, which sells products that may have been useful to businesses a decade ago but are no longer.”

Customers around the world, are organically reducing devices, copies and prints needed to conduct business- this has been going on for years. For companies like Xerox and Ricoh, whose primary revenue stream is generated with each sheet of marked paper, this is a formidable challenge. And like every shrinking industry before it, the copier niche is not going quietly into the night. For those of you left looking for a copier, it might the best time to work your provider for better pricing - just wait until the 25th of the month - everyone is scrambling and competing for a slice of a shrinking pie.

In the face of this turbulence, photocopier manufacturers and independent dealers are responding in one of three ways -

1. Selling themselves as a "document consultant” and trusted advisor, promising to help you manage your decreased reliance on print.
2. Selling to a larger dealer or manufacturer in an effort to cash out and retire.
3. Shifting away from copiers and printers to markets like IT services, water or energy management.

As you explore new ways to eliminate cost, you may fall within one of these stages:

1. You’ve implemented cost reduction program successfully and want to expand
2. You’ve implemented a failed program
3. You have no visibility into total costs

In each case, starting a study, correcting a misaligned program or continuing to reduce costs, you have three sources of partners:

1. IT providers(including your internal IT)- primarily supporting IT infrastructure
2. Copier/Print supplier & MpS Providers - hardware and software vendor within the copier/printer industry either through direct or indirect channels
3. Professional IT advisors - organizations who derive revenue through sharing subject matter expertise and managing change

No matter who you choose to partner, you should consider three important aspects of each:

* Agenda vs. intent
* Knowledge vs. Wisdom
* Neutrality vs. Bias

Let’s take a look at each:

IT Provider -

Agenda: To support organizational technology infrastructure
Intent: To transform with as little negative impact to end user environment

Knowledge: Deep ‘specification’ knowledge.
Wisdom: Experience and a varied history of supporting IT infrastructure in different types of organizations may give rise to wisdom or business acumen, but this is rare.

Neutrality: Not very. Comfortable with manufacturers they have a history with; CISCO, IBM, DELL and HP, etc.
Bias: To what’s been proven in the past or passes a proof-of-concept.

Copier/Printer supplier -

Agenda: to move opportunities to a close and their intent is to sell more devices/clicks.
Intent: Transform with as little negative impact to end user environment.

Knowledge: Deep ‘specification/machine’ knowledge. May posses basic scanning and onboard application knowledge.
Wisdom: Very little business acumen. Fresh sales professionals lack experience in varied customer, business models. Seasoned profess

Neutrality: Claimed yet impossible, therefore a lie.
Bias: Toward a solution that include's hardware sold.

Professional Advisor -

Agenda: Help client achieve business goals.
Intent: Establish an ongoing relationship.

Knowledge: Business acumen and technical prowess beyond the scope of the project.
Wisdom: Experience over time with many environments and business models.

Neutrality: Completely neutral and open to continuous evaluation of new solutions.
Bias: Toward a solution that supports the client business goals.

Conclusion -

Economic pressures on providers of equipment is severe. Machines are becoming more self-sufficient and easier to manage remotely, business requirements are changing from paper flow to digital flow. Even if your printing less than 500 images a week, you are a prime prospect for the remaining copier vendors - your company is guaranteed to be on some copier rep’s cold call list. There is no shortage of cost reducing value propositions, white papers and marketing material.

Continuously reducing costs associated with output is an internal function - asking teams of folks motivated to sell more devices to help you reduce the number of devices is counter intuitive - a provider with show rooms full of equipment pitching themselves as an “agnostic, trusted advisor” is disingenuous.

So who do you turn to? There are a thousand copier dealerships, hundreds of MSP’s and maybe a dozen proven, reliable and seasoned advisors. Of course, if you can find a good advisor, with an open calendar, I recommend engaging - but the odds are forever in the copier companies favor - it is simply math.

Here’s a quick recommendation:

If you currently support 1-20 devices, copier dealer and MSP
If you currently support 50-100 devices, MSP with Advisor
If you currently support over 100 devices, exclusively work with an Advisor who manages an optimized portfolio of suppliers and software providers.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Of Blockchain, IoT and Scan-Once-Print-Many


What does "scan once, print many" mean? Anyone? Bueller ... ? Back in the good old days of analog copiers, pagers and dinosaurs, the scanner on copiers needed to take a “picture” for every copy made: When 10 copies were requested, the scanner moved across the original 10 times. You can imagine how this added to the wear and tear of a device and repeated, on-site service.

Once devices became digital, the need to scan for each copy ended. Instead, one picture was taken, digitized and available to print for each image requested.

It was a common demo technique to place an original on the glass, touch 10 copies, and while the batch was being output, raise the ADF. In the analog world, this act would result in copies of open lids and black space. Prospects were known to gasp because the digital photocopier kept churning out copies of the original, even with the lid raised.

Digital devices carried another cool quality;

-- Read the Rest, Here --

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Industry Consolidation: A Bruce or Caitlyn Jenner Moment?

On July 30, 1976, American Bruce Jenner wins gold in the decathlon at the Montreal Olympics. His 8,617 points set a world record in the event.

Previously identifying publicly as male, Jenner revealed her identity as a trans woman in April 2015, publicly announcing her name change from Bruce to Caitlyn in a July 2015 Vanity Fair cover story.

Everything changes, baby that's a fact - when we refuse to see the impact of the shift, we call it 'disruption'. Worse, if we mis-read the writing on the wall, becoming overly optimistic, expectations do not meet reality. Disappointment ensues.
There's so much to say about the consolidation movement going on in our little niche but if you ask me, the future is neither bright nor dark - it is simply the way it was always meant to be.

For years Xerox has been buying up dealerships.  Lexmark sold out to a communist country. The toner-dudes jumped to one big ship. Ricoh assimilated Ikon, Canon did Oce, Konica Minolta ate Muratec and ECi is forming the Galactic Empire, collecting software like so many green M&M's.

How will all this impact the everyday sales person?  How about contracts, sales and service managers?  Perhaps a radical make over is in around the corner?

See Your Future in the Past - 

When automotive robots starting painting vehicles, some saw this as the end of labor.  The machine possessed advantages over their human predecessors - no vacation, no sick time, or union squabbles with consistent performance.  Formidable, but we survived.

When the PC/Word processor began to erode typewriter sales, receptionists around the globe disappeared within a decade, we survived.

When Bruce turned into Jennifer, we survived.

We envision the future as we see ourselves: perhaps through the lens of July, 1976, or from the perspective of April, 2015.  Which is better? Time will tell.

When the world looks back on the Age of Paper, protests and pontifications lamenting its passing will be nothing more than a footnote.

All I can suggest is in a turbulent world,  knowing who you are, is paramount.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Take The Snowflake Test. My Answers.



This has been floating around LI for months now.  Kyle Reyes, CEO, The Silent Partner Marketing, has filtered out about 60% of candidates with this simple set of questions.



I like the idea and love that he's been able to create a huge buzz, promoting this simple questionnaire.

Enjoy.

The Snowflake Test

Outside of standard benefits, what benefits should a company offer employees?
Nothing.

What should the national minimum wage be?
Let the market dictate.

How many sick days should be given to employees?
10 days.

How often should employees get raises?
Based on merit.

How do you feel about guns?
Love em.

What are your feelings about employees or clients carrying guns?
Sounds good to me.

What are your feelings about safe spaces in challenging work environments?
I have no idea what you mean by 'safe spaces' or 'challenging work environments.

In a creative environment like The Silent Partner Marketing, what do you envision work attire looking like?
Casual business for internal meetings, business attire for customer facing.

Should “trigger warnings” be issued before we release content for clients or the company that might be considered “controversial”?
What the hell is a "trigger warning"?

How do you feel about police?
I like police.

If you owned the company and were to find out that a client is operating unethically but was a high paying client…how would you handle it?
Kiss em goodbye.

When was the last time you cried and why?
No comment.

You arrive at an event for work and there’s a major celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet. What happens next?
Wait for her to come to me.

What’s your favorite kind of adult beverage?
Bourbon.

What’s the best way to communicate with clients?
Face to face.

What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Wine tasting, write, read, outdoors.

What are your thoughts on the current college environment as it pertains to a future workforce?
OMG, the current college environment is filling generations with nonsense.

What’s your typical breakfast?
Eggs, bacon, coffee.  Why?

What’s your favorite drink when you go to a coffeehouse?
Black.

How do you handle bullies?
Slug em in the head, metaphorically.

How do you handle it when your ideas are shot down?
Rethink my presentation/approach.

What do you do if a coworker comes to the table with an idea and it sucks?
Tell the coworker the idea sucks.

What does the first amendment mean to you?
I can say pretty much anything I like without the guarantee to be heard.

What does faith mean to you?
Believing without proof.

Who is your role model and why?
I have no role models.

“You’re in Starbucks with two friends. Someone runs in and says someone is coming in with a gun in 15 seconds to shoot patrons. They offer you a gun. Do you take it? What do you do next?”
I take the gun, get folks out the back-door, assume the stance between the shooter and them, and shoot the bad guy in the forehead.  Twice.  Then render aid, if he's still alive.

What does America mean to you?
Everything good.

You see someone stepping on an American flag. What do you do?
Shake my head in disgust.

What does “privilege” mean to you?
My parents looked out for me before they knew who I was going to be.

What’s more important? Book smarts or street smarts? Why?
Street.  Why?  See the above Starbucks question.

Kyle S. Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He’s also an acclaimed keynote speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can follow him on Facebook.