Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Copiers: Let Go of the Past



Copiers, printers, scanners, fax, print servers, cloud print, duplex, scan-once-print-many, color, analogue to digital, laser, inkjet, managed print services, to managed services...our turbulent path has crossed many borders, hills and valleys.

Lots of things have changed since Chester pulled together his seven steps and yet, much remains the same. The print world moves slow.  Like a river cutting the Grand Canyon, real, significant change occurs over decades(which seem like eons).

For the Change Agents, this is the apogee of frustration.  We saw the true meaning of managed print services, and the future of print.  The signs were there before the HP split, before the debacle that was Xerox/Fuji.  

We predicted the need to shift from selling from boxes to solutions to business acumen, in 2007. We saw the "P" change to "p" in MpS.  The time was then.

Along the way, a few early adopters burned the ships.  Back then, what we saw as secular most called a fad.  I remember presenting the Internet of Things back in 2012.  Interesting and way ahead of the curve.

No longer frustration; we're morose. It is sad to look at the missed opportunities.Volumes are dropping so how can an OEM still release 13 or more new models?

Is it ignorance? No, everybody is printing less and has been for a decade.  Its not a secret.
Is it stupidity? No, back in the day, these folks were THE technology innovators.
Is it the continued propagation of a bygone belief that if you build it, they will buy? Yes.  More succinctly, it is the undying grip on the past, unrelenting fear of change and stubborn faith that if "we can hang on, we'll flourish".

Although purchasing devices, customers are placing a reduced number - worse, if there is a copier on every floor, nobody is using it.  Volumes are down to around 2,000 images a month.

The consolidation continues, independent dealers coagulate and OEMs dissolve, as the niche works through its annihilation.

Options are getting scarce, but there are painful opportunities: Medical equipment, BI, Energy Management, and more.  We've just got to let go.

Fortunately, we see the end is near.

We can make plans, see friends, write letters and move to the next stage, confident and aware.


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