Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greg's Top 12 Events of 2008 - Managed Print Services, Edgeline and Napa

from 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 CM8060...it 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've  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.