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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Death of Print - 12,000 Layoffs And Counting

"Print is Dead" - Dr. Egon Spengler, New York City, 1984

It has been a long time coming, and in my opinion, will never happen, but the move toward a 'Paperless Society' is plodding along.

According to preliminary figures released this week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, circulation for 507 daily US newspapers fell 4.64 percent in the six months to September to 38.16 million copies.

Where are all the readers going?

And Toshiba Continues...Irvine is a Long Way From Memphis

Collins Distributing Company Now Designated as a National Distributor for Toshiba America Business Solutions

Originally walking in Memphis, seems the siren call of the "Best Coast" has lured yet another 'easterner' out here.

From the article:

IRVINE, Calif., Oct 21, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) today announced that Collins Distributing Company (CDC) of Memphis, Tenn. is now an authorized national distributor of Toshiba copiers, facsimiles and multifunction printing products (MFPs). For nearly 40 years, CDC has served dealers nationwide and has been an authorized Toshiba distributor in the Southeast since 1999, selling more than 1,500 Toshiba units annually. To help provide greater service coverage, CDC recently opened a new office supporting West Coast operations. CDC's newly inaugurated Toshiba National Distributor status will provide TABS an even stronger presence in this competitive market...

About Collins Distributing Company

Founded in 1971, Collins Distributing Company (CDC) is an office equipment wholesaler headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. CDC focuses on selling digital imaging equipment such as copiers, multifunction products (MFPs), parts and genuine supplies exclusively to office equipment dealers across the nation. CDC offers a full line of stocked Toshiba hardware products, onsite parts and supplies, flexible credit terms, and installation and technical support, both before and post product deployment. CDC's central U.S. location in Memphis, near FedEx headquarters, makes it a prime location for quick, efficient delivery of product, reducing the need for dealers to stock and maintain inventory. CDC's annual revenue is approximately $25 million.

Canon cuts forecast

1st profit fall in 9 yrs

TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Japan's Canon Inc (7751.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a 26 percent drop in quarterly operating profit and cut its annual outlook, predicting its first fall in nine years as the global downturn drives up the yen and hurts copier and camera sales.

The yen on Monday traded much firmer against the euro and the dollar than Canon's assumptions for October-December, raising concern that the company may miss its latest 2008 outlook and head into another year of profit declines next year.

Canon's downward revision, its second for the year, was widely expected after Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) last week lowered its annual operating profit forecast by 57 percent, citing a stronger yen and slower sales of flat TVs and digital cameras.

Canon is the world's largest digital camera maker ahead of Sony and Nikon Corp (7731.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

"The economic slowdown we are facing is something that comes along once in 50 years or once a century. It is beyond what any one single company can deal with on its own," Canon Managing Director Masahiro Osawa told a group of reporters.

"Our basic stance now is we hone our corporate strength, so we will be running ahead of competition when the economic recovery comes."

Canon cut its operating profit forecast for 2008 by a quarter to 580 billion yen ($6.18 billion), down from 756.67 billion yen a year earlier and below the market consensus of 693 billion yen from 19 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.


The supplier of IXY and EOS brand digital cameras is assuming euro/yen exchange rate of 135 yen for the last three months this year, and a dollar/yen rate of 100 yen.

In comparison, the euro traded around 115 yen and the dollar at about 93 yen on Monday.

"With the euro at 115 yen now, I'm afraid their forecasts do not make much sense any more," Mizuho Securities analyst Ryosuke Katsura said.

If exchange rates stay at current levels next year and Canon's local currency-based sales are unchanged from 2008, its operating profit would fall by about 40 percent from this year to around 350 billion yen in 2009, Katsura said.

Preliminary Injunction Hearing on the Sale of Ikon Office Solutions, Inc. to Ricoh Company, Ltd.

NEW YORK, Oct 23, 2008 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- The Brualdi Law Firm, P.C. announces a preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for Monday, October 27, 2008

The class action lawsuit was filed on September 23, 2008. The Complaint alleges that the proposed sale of Ikon to Ricoh protects the interests of Ikon's directors and Ricoh at the expense of Ikon's public shareholders. The Complaint also alleges that the directors concealed material information from plaintiff and Ricoh's other public shareholders in conjunction with the same.


Leaner and Meaner?

I ran across this quick article about the IPG reorg.

As I have mentioned, there a lots of new faces. Faces from all over the world, current HP folks, who are now going to create "something from nothing" - a Value Added Printing channel. (wow)

All part of the Plan - “a printer company to a printing company,” according to IPG chief Vyomesh Joshi.

We are waiting for the year to end (October) to see what new "goodies" are waiting for "those who stayed..."

HP - Above the Fray...

HP Layoffs -

Selling and U of M Football

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carpou Goes to Profit Recovery Partners

IKON Veteran Joins Profit Recovery Partners

Posted by Apply Best Credit Card in Monday, October 27th 2008 under: News

All PR Newswire news

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ — Profit Recovery Partners (PRP)

announced today that Bill Carpou has joined the company’s senior executive

team as vice president of sales and marketing. An industry veteran with more

than 18 years of experience, Carpou most recently served as area vice

president and general manager for IKON Office Solutions’ Southern California

operations, headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

Carpou joined IKON in 1990 as vice president of sales for the company’s

Philadelphia operation, and later became vice president of sales and marketing

for the company’s Northeast region. After relocating to Laguna Niguel, Calif.,

in 1998, he assumed responsibility for IKON’s Southern California operation, a

position he held until March 2005 when he transferred to the company’s

headquarters in Malvern, PA, to become vice president of marketing for IKON

North America. Carpou accepted his most recent position as area vice president

and general manager after returning to California in August 2007.

“Bill’s experience and credibility will further support the growth

objectives of PRP over the next 10 years as we expand the services we provide

to our existing and new customers,” said Don Steiner, president of PRP.

Carpou added, “I am thrilled to be part of one of the fastest-growing

companies in Southern California. PRP’s business model, which combines the

expertise of our staff with our long-term verification and support system

program, allows us to fully understand and meet the requirements of each

customer, regardless of their size or industry.”


Profit Recovery Partners (PRP) is a national consulting organization

headquartered in Irvine, California. It specializes in the development,

implementation and support of administrative expense reduction solutions for

Fortune 1000 and other middle market companies. Since its inception in 1997,

PRP has served its clients by producing competitive, lean cost structures

through the application of proprietary procurement management methodologies,

and by leveraging unique vendor knowledge and purchasing power.

SOURCE Profit Recovery Partners

Copyright 2008 PR Newswire

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crime Blotter Update:Bribes and Ricoh

Mount Vernon SD official convicted of bribe receiving, official misconduct

My post dated May 24th now has an ending - of sorts.

From the Mid Hudson News:

WHITE PLAINS – The former head of purchasing for the Mount Vernon City School District was convicted Friday of bribe receiving, official misconduct and receiving unlawful gratuities.

Arthur Rose, 49, of Mount Vernon, was convicted in Westchester County Court on two counts of bribe receiving as felonies, three counts of official misconduct as misdemeanors and one count of receiving unlawful gratuities as a misdemeanor.

Between mid-June and mid-July 2005, rose, the former head of purchasing at the school district, accepted a bribe of $3,500 from a sales representative of Ricoh Americans Corporation for his assurance that the company would receive a five year contract from the district for 73 digital copiers, support products and related services.

On August 3, 2005, based on Rose’s recommendation, the school district gave Ricoh the contract which exceeded $1 million.

Between June and September 2006, Rose solicited and received a bribe in the form of a $10,000 donation to his church from the owner of Tri-State Supply Company, a custodial supply company, in exchange for future business, which was later awarded.

When sentenced, Rose faces up to seven years in state prison."

Picture over on Print4Pay.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - for just 73 copiers **UPDATED***

Copiers and Crime...This Stuff Can Not Be Made UP

Copier Crime - From the "Dirty D"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Office of the Future -

...As seen from the year 1975 EXECUTIVE BRIEFING June 30, 1975, 6:43PM EST 

 "...Will the office change all that much? "

Listen to George E. Pake, who heads Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto (Calif.) Research Center, a new think tank already having a significant impact on the copier giant's strategies for going after the office systems market: 

"There is absolutely no question that there will be a revolution in the office over the next 20 years. What we are doing will change the office like the jet plane revolutionized travel and the way that TV has altered family life." 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Economic "Crisis" Hits Home - American Express

Oh, how the mighty have FALLEN.

Up until today, I had only "heard" of companies having challenges getting credit. 

For instance, I have seen reports of a company unable to secure a 20k lease for one copier; although they were very creditworthy. 

But today, I spoke with small businesses with a superior credit ratings, and long relationships with their banks and American Express. I mention AE because of their ad campaigns pitching directly at small businesses. 

The Gold, Platinum, Blue, and the newest, Plum. First. An owner of a small business has an 800+ FICO and enough cash in the bank to choke a horse was refused a mortgage on a $60,000.00 cabin in the woods. He could have purchased 5 cabins that day with cash. 

But like any savvy business person, he wanted to use the bank's money - denied. 

 Additionally, he uses American Express to purchase inventory. And with his inventory turns at 30 days, "floating" the cost on an AE card makes sense, and earns him points. His limit was reduced from $65,000 to $16,000.00 in a day; then reduces again to 10k.

OK, now this customer is not complaining - I will do that for him - and I am kinda torn. I actually DO understand American Express's position - credit EVERYWHERE is tightening up, so they need to as well. But - small businesses all over the country have been using AE exactly like this customer and American Express has been urging companies to utilize credit in this manner. Throw in the fact that they are reducing limits without prior notification and get an even bigger mess; a customer service mess. 

My Point - as agents of change, you need to help your clients more than ever before. Help them through difficult times. And it is not easy. Times are tough. This "recession" is not going to last forever and when the turnaround comes, we should all remember who was there with us.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are Customers Smarter Now?

Everyone says, "...because of the internet, your clients are smarter now more than ever..."

I wonder. Really?

I my opinion, there was a time when the internet held all sorts of "information" - but today, there is so much, that it is all just "data". Perhaps a subtle difference, perhaps not.

Think about it in the world of copiers. Just because a prospect can search the 'net and retrieve hundreds of brochures, user reviews and even pricing does this make him/her smarter?

Informed, agreed.

Can access to all the facts in the known world make your prospect "smarter" than you? The down and dirty answer is "yes" if you are a copier person. (If you are reading this, you are in the 2%)

But if you client has access to all the data in the known world, SO DO YOU.

Just because I can search out and find information on how to build a Space Shuttle, does not mean I know how to fly it...and just because your prospect can find out exactly how xerography, or Edgeline or copier leases work sure as heck does not mean they now know how to navigate the sea of confusion.

They need someone to help, to advise, to partner with.

That someone could be you.

Not all that easy if you think about it, eh?

Lots of pressure, eh? Pressure? Yes.

If you go into a relationship knowing you can help and intending to help, you put it all on the line. So you better do your homework, and you better know more then your client.

Sales - who woulda thunk it could be this difficult.

Click to email me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Great Slide Show on The History of Xerox

The 70th anniversary of Chester Carlson's invention of Xeroxography is almost here. Carlson succeeded in creating the first Xerox copy on October 22nd, 1938.

Good show, here.

70 Years of Xerography -

Xerox Print Drivers Lauded by Industry for Freeing up IT Staff

Xerox and the "Universal Print Driver"

Industry Analysts praised the Xerox Global Print Driver and Mobile Express Driver print drivers for simplifying printing management for IT departments and making it easier for workers to print from multiple locations. The drivers' ability to support competitive printing devices, as well as nearly all Xerox printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) played a key role in the award selection.

"The beauty of technology is when it makes things simple," said Ted Needleman, senior technical director of Industry Analysts Technical Services Division. "The Xerox drivers work regardless of who made the printer plus you don't need to spend all kinds of time setting them up. Xerox has made the whole process seamless."

"This award underscores Xerox's dedication to delivering real-world solutions that help our customers simplify their processes, become more productive and improve their bottom line," said Rick Dastin, president, Xerox Office Group. "

Providing these free print drivers is just one way Xerox continues to stay ahead of the technology curve and anticipate the needs of our customers."

SOURCE: Xerox Corporation

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery...

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Think Man Can Destroy the Planet?

"What intoxicating vanity."

"Let me tell you about our planet.

Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land.

Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval.

Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years.

Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety.

Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation.

Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas.

Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing.

A million years is nothing.

This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye.

If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us."

Click to email me.

Thanks to Google, No More "Drunk Email"

You gotta love this...

I guess this is a new issue, people sending out emails while drunk and regretting it in the morning.

Didn't Jerry McGuire do the same thing...sorta?

Much like the breathalyzer attached to the dashboard of your '69 Mustang, Mail Goggles is designed to stop you from ending up in the "Chappaquiddick" of Cyber-dom by forcing you to complete a few math questions.

Once the numerical hurdles are overcome, your email is sent to your "ex" or your idiot boss and into the ether. Oh and saved forever on one of the off-shore, water cooled, Google Data centers.

Funny stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

HP Placed in "Leaders" Quadrant for Managed Print Services in Magic Quadrant Report

The "Magic Quadrant..."

Last update: 3:00 p.m. EDT Oct. 8, 2008

Hewlett-Packard announced industry analyst firm Gartner, Inc. has placed it in the Leaders Quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services Worldwide.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant positions vendors according to their "ability to execute" and their "completeness of vision" in managed print services (MPS).

According to Gartner, the completeness of vision axis "reflects each MPS provider's prospects for success by analyzing its view of the market, its service operating model, and its strategic plans for growth and service improvements."

Gartner evaluated vendors on the quality and efficacy of the processes, systems, methods or procedures that enable their performance to be competitive, efficient and effective, and to have a positive impact on revenue, retention and reputation. According to the firm, vendors are judged on their ability and success in capitalizing on their vision.

"We believe being placed in the Leaders Quadrant in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for 'completeness of vision'and 'ability to execute' is a testament to HP's unique insight into the Managed Print Services industry," said Bruce Dahlgren, senior vice president, Worldwide Solutions and Services, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "HP delivers a complete set of services to reduce total business costs, improve paper-based workflows and maximize productivity for customers worldwide."

According to the report, Gartner classifies leaders as providing MPS to a wide range of customers, including the largest and most geographically dispersed, so they must demonstrate a truly global reach. They must demonstrate not only the skills to deliver today's MPS, but also the understanding, initiative and resources to prepare for tomorrow's. Leaders characteristically augment the full scope of MPS with a wide range of added-value services.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Economic Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Credit Crunch putting deals on hold.

Solution Providers Say Credit Crunch Putting Business On Hold

By Craig Zarley, ChannelWeb
11:00 AM EDT Wed. Oct. 08, 2008

Solution providers report that the credit crunch is starting to impact their business as customers either cancel or delay projects because of the inability to secure financing.

Wednesday's decision by the Federal Reserve to cut its key federal funds lending rate by half a percentage point to 1.5 percent and its discount rate by the same amount to 1.75 percent is expected to have little immediate impact on the situation. Solution providers say it's not the cost to borrow, but the availability of credit that is impacting the market.

"This week alone I've had two deals that the customers would have financed themselves through a bank but they were turned down," said Manuel Villa, president of VIA Technology, a San Antonio-based solution provider. "They then had to look for leasing options, but the leasing companies told them they couldn't do the project. Even leasing companies are getting tight with their approval process. That tells me that credit is tight all over."

Villa said the deals were relatively small, about $20,000 each, but the customers were well-established professional firms that have been in business for more than 10 years.

"If I've got two deals that are put on hold because of lack of capital, there are certainly some other folks that are seeing the same thing right now," he said. "This is a real problem now, but I hope that it is temporary."

Mark Singh, president of Abacus Computers, a Midland, Texas, solution provider, said he, too, has seen several projects that he expected to go through put on hold in the past few weeks. "Nobody has told us [that they can't get financing], but I suspect that some deals are being slowed down right now," he said. "Some projects that we expected to go through just aren't going. I think the credit crunch is slowing down some business."

Most well-established solution providers say they have yet to seen any restraints put on their lines of credit either from distributors of finance companies such as GE Capital. But they agree that anyone that is new to the business or lacks a sound business model is vulnerable in this economic climate.

Villa, for example, says a diversified business model will help him mitigate the impact of the credit crunch, noting that his public-sector business is still strong. "The public sector works with budget cycles a year in advance," he said. "Once the funds have been allocated for a project, they go forward with it."

Monday, October 6, 2008

HP, a molecular biologist, Napa and Green Mentality


Good people, great wine, good times...

I recently attended a Green Conference hosted by HP, in Napa - while the conference was held at the very nice Meritage, our "field trips" included a Green winery, Merryvale Winery the facility at Starmont and the City of Napa Recycling and Composting Center(affectionately, and incorrectly referred to as "the Dump")

Both stops were fascinating.

Meritage/Starmont -

I have been to Napa many times, but had never been part of a tour like then one HP arranged for us. Because the theme of the conference was Green, I felt visiting a green winery both appropriate and interesting.

What made the trip most interesting to was the person giving the presentation and the manner in which it was delivered.

There was NO PowerPoint, no projector, no written agenda, no boardroom, no Halo Room, laser pointers or stage lights. Just a group of "printer geeks" standing in a field, learning about Viticulture & Enology - and sustainability.

Our hostess, Remi Cohen, holds a bachelors degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Master’s Degree in Viticulture & Enology from U.C. Davis, and in 2008, she completed her M.B.A. at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Wow - and the best I had hoped for was Lucy.

We didn't learn how to sip a wine, or how to swirl the wine in a glass, or determine how much sugar is in the solution...nope, we learned that in order to determine the amount of water in the ground, one method involves burying scales under a plot of turf and to monitor weight fluctuation.

I had never met a molecular biologist before - and to be completely honest, I hold most "intelligentsia" in pure disdain. I tend to think of "intellectuals" as "those who sit around and talk about what others have done, without actually doing anything themselves..."

I am a little embarrassed to admit, but, Miss. Cohen made me realize my blatant stereotyping.

-The point here is even if you actually are a brain surgeon, rocket scientist or a micro-biologist specializing in Viticulture, it is possible to communicate with an audience without talking down to the audience. -

I learned a great deal -

All the rain water is saved.

Solar panels provide enough energy each day to power 250 homes.

The structure is very green - double windows, zone climate controlled system and the wine was excellent.

City of Napa Recycling and Composting Center - "It's not a Dump, it's a Recycling Plant..."

We have come a long way since the times of the "Iron Eyes Cody"

 There are huge machines that sort most of the materials, still, there is a crew of of people who hand pick the larger glass objects out.

To the right of the entrance, huge, heaps of steaming bio-material - the compost heap - is routinely watered lest the internal tempurature of 130 degrees give new meaning to "the burning bush".

Over to the left, the county's largest deposit of E-Waste waits. Canon copiers, Xerox printers, HP 9050's, large, flat-panel displays and even electric can openers - all staged and waiting to be sold by the pound and then broken down, unscrewed,and disassembled by Second Chance employees.

And out back, bales the size of VW's, stacked three stories high, composing of compacted tin cans, soda cans, plastic bottles and containers - each going for around $1,500.00.

And guess who is buying all out "trash"...China.

That's right, China sends over containers full of toys, and lead-tainted candies and we send back our "garbage" - the balance of nature, at its best.

How Green Is My Money..."Will Going Green in Business printing go the way of OS/2?

Paperless Offices, Killer Toner , Carbon Offset - "A World Without Sin"

It's not Easy Being Green - "Don't Take My DeskJet"

Click to email me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Managed print Services : 2008

It's just my view. These are MY "top of mind" events and posts in 2008, in no particular order:

1. Ikon/Ricoh - Easily the biggest event of the year. After much rumor and guessing, Ricoh NOT Canon steps up.

2. WEB 2.0 - The Wild, Wild, West The BlogaSphere, social networking. From MySpace to LinkedIn. It is crazy out here. There are no rules, everyone is an expert on how to "monetize" your site, but nobody has a track record - it's all new. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can instantly become an "expert' - I do not understand this phenomena and I have practically given up trying.

2.1 Andrew Keen's book, the cult of the amateur. Monkeys with typewriters - that's what we are. Thanks to him, I no longer reference Wikipedia.

3. The Death of The Copier - Why Do You Write? I write to read what I write. The "success" of The Death of The Copier is not measured by how many views occur(16,000/month) or the average time spent on the blog(two minutes 48 seconds). I measure the success of the blog by how often I go back and add to it.

If my interest is still there, than the blog is succeeding for me. An unforeseen and added benefit of TDOTC, has been all the people I have met out here; unknowing mentors, colleagues, cohorts, planners, visionaries and all around great peeps.

4. Photizo - defining and elevating Managed Print Services From start up, first two newsletters, now two locations, a conference and more, the folks over at Photizio, Ed and the gang, I have found to be the most knowledgable group in terms of Managed Print Services and the industry. I found them quite by chance, via a google search, and it has been a pleasure ever since. I look forward to watching and working with them in 2009.

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". I do not tweet.

6. Napa - The Dump, the Wine and the Hot, Microbiologist - Huba, Huba As I mentioned in point #3 above, The Death of The Copier is for my entertainment and one of the most "entertaining" posts I have(in my opinion) is about an HP Green Symposium in Napa. It still makes me laugh right out loud.

7. Magic Castle, A Week in The Life - Every now and again, I am suddenly reminded why I like it so much out here.

8. Single Unit Install - Not the biggest sale of the century, not even close, but a significant and fulfilling experience. One that I did not write about. This past year, one of my clients involved a 90 day cycle which included a 30+ day trial for a single Edgeline.

The total sale was for ONE Edgeline.

But, this one particular engagement had every nightmare available: bad lease, terrible service, a color machine (K/M) that did not perform, a single line of color text costing a dime each. Monthly volumes were around 10,000 images, mostly color and 95% printed.

Today, as I click over to the PrintSolv tab in my Mozilla browser, I can see that total life count on the Edgeline is 99,000 images. (Since August) This month they have 5,900 color images, all of them printed - no color copies. We solved many issues: Recommending they purchase instead of lease (because of the benefits of the Economic Stimulus package of 2008) was "refreshing" and negated any "bad taste" they had from their current lease.

Although they went with a new Edgeline, the existing lease is still in effect, the old machine is tucked away and relegated to "back-up" duties. Color overages - a perfect fit for Color Accent, saving thousands in "click" charges. Automated Supplies Ordering - the machine emails us when it needs supplies. This in addition to the information available via PrintSolv. Easy to use scanning, and simple mis-feed resolution with "live" video walking the end user through the process.

And this is as good as it gets: “Greg, I just wanted to say that we love the prints consistently and much faster than the Konica c500. I’ve noticed it handles its tasks much better. I can scan large document sets to myself via email while it is printing other jobs, and continue to scan while it is still processing the previous scan batch – all with no hiccups. Your response time to our requests has also been very good. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to work with the HP Edgeline..."

9. The Hardware Begins to Disappear; Customers get Smarter - Machines are all the same but people still care Are clients smarter? As the commoditization of output devices continues, does it really matter if there is a little blue label that says "HP" on your printer?

Clients are looking for more - more help, more business, more control, more vision...but they are not in our industry, they wake up in the morning thinking about their business model, not printers, copiers or Managed Print Services. So, how can they be "smarter" then us? Maybe more informed then they use to be, but they should never be smarter then us - ever. I found (once again) the smart clients are the ones who understand that they do not know everything and need to surround themselves with experts. Experts who posses business acumen, people who are not walking spec sheets.

10. Gas Prices/Mortgage and Credit Crunch - The Gas Price restricted the miles I would travel, the Mortgage crisis eliminated two of our largest customers, the Credit tumble slowed or delayed commercial purchasing decisions - but all of these factors shot the interest in Managed Print Services through the roof.

11. Managed Print Services - Changing the copier model and creating another. The Photizo Group, as do I, call them the Hybrid Dealers.

12. Bill Caskey Bryan Neale and Brooke Green - These folks are on the cutting edge when it comes to Selling and the sales process, the mental attitudes and beliefs needed to succeed. And they are overall good people.

13. Web 3.0 - The Death of Print? I still have not figured out Web 2.0 and now there is talk of the Web 3.0. The next decade will be the decade when printing is truly redefined into something we can not fathom today.

It should be fun.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ricoh Offers Managed Print Services to Reduce Printing Complexity

WEST CALDWELL, N.J., Oct 02, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Four-Step Process Designed to Measurably Reduce Companies' Total Cost of Ownership

Ricoh Professional Services (RPS) of Ricoh Americas Corporation, the leading provider of digital office equipment, today launched a new service to minimize the complexity and cost of printing in today's highly networked business environment. Managed Print Services (MPS) was created to streamline companies' current print operations by working with RPS to help reach critical business goals from a productivity and financial standpoint.

Users of this program participate in a four-part process with MPS experts in order to create a package of services to help them reach their printing goals. The four stages of the process include:

-Assess: Provides a detailed overview of current costs and process workflows, along with maps of output device locations

-Design: Recommends a future plan based on the assessment results with specific productivity, sustainability and security measures built it

-Implement: Includes the execution of the plan in order to help users realize the benefits outlined in the Design phase

-Manage: Helps organizations stick to the plan and adapt to any unexpected changes - enabling projected cost-savings and productivity gains to be realized

Outsourcing all or part of the print management process helps reveal hidden costs, identify savings and significantly reduce spending on output. MPS experts work with an organization to remove underused printers, MFPs, fax machines, etc. in order to consolidate output among fewer and faster centralized systems and produce a more strategic document workflow process. In addition, overhead costs are reduced with devices that use less energy, paper and toner and users are not asked to pay any additional costs other than one monthly charge for actual page counts.

In addition to lowering total cost of ownership, other benefits of MPS include sustainable solutions and security options to help protect confidential documents. Security is a main focus and benefit of the MPS program. MPS experts work behind the scenes by utilizing remote monitoring and management tools to make sure an organization's print environment is running smoothly and sensitive documents are kept confidential. Usage and workflow are closely monitored in order to achieve optimal device-to-user-rations and make sure the fleet of devices is aligned properly with actual volume. Secure printing, file encryption, and removable hard drives all support regulatory compliance initiatives and are part of the standard features that MPS provides.

From an environmental standpoint, optimizing print environments can help organizations improve their corporate reputation by aligning with "green" initiatives and taking a stand in regards to saving energy, reducing paper usage and maximizing recyclables. The hardware and software that Ricoh MPS experts implement have low emissions in order to maintain air quality and protect the environment.
"At Ricoh we are constantly trying to develop new programs and services to make our customers lives easier. As such, we are proud to introduce our Managed Print Services offering as it not only takes the complexity out of the printing process, but also improves bottom line results," said Carl Sills, vice president, Ricoh Professional Services, Ricoh Americas Corporation.

For more information please contact a local Ricoh Professional Services representative or visit

SOURCE Ricoh Americas Corporation

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