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Wasteful with no Remorse.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lyra Symposium 2009 - The Death of Edgeline

Two years ago Edgeline was all you heard about.

HP had set their eyes on the copier world again and this time it was different.

This time HP has it's own machine, not some "duct taped" apparition.

This time HP was in charge of the channel, not partnering with a non-committal, old school dealer channel.

With Edgeline and an existing VAR channel, The Death of The Copier was just around the corner.

The machine utilized ink, did not use heat, corona wires, or static.

Demos were conducted, partners and service technicians trained.

Awards like the "Must See ‘em award" at the Graph Expo trade show, the “Technology Award” from the Microsoft Vendor Program (MSVP) and kudos from no less than BLI came rolling in.

Elite dealers made unit commitments - the world was their oyster.

The world waited -

And waited.

Fast forward to January, 2009. More specifically to the last session of the three day Lyra 2009 Symposium.

On stage sits the panel of esteemed financial pundits who specialize in analyzing the print industry. Keith Bachman, Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Enterprise Hardware and Imaging BMO Capital Markets, Rob Sethre, CEO Woodford Group, Charles LeCompte, President Lyra Research, and Shannon Cross, Managing Director IT Hardware and Imaging Technology Cross Research.

Someone from the audience asks about HP Edgeline.

The panel does not hold back.

Phrases like,
"...the Edgeline has had no success at all..."

and proven to be an "objective failure" or HP is at best "...persistent at their failure..." seem to echo off the dark blue velvet back drop.

Of course, it didn't help that HP just announced the "relocation" of Edgeline R/D from Vancouver to Singapore. No, that did not help at all.

Edgeline falls within in IPG so the discussion blossoms once again with phrases like,

"...IPG is getting decimated..."

because "...Hurd is now focusing on IPG...trimming the fat..." so IPG can be "...more nimble..." especially when "...there is no more growth coming from the cash-cow..."

As bad as all this is, and deservedly so, there is a silver lining of sorts. It is expressed that no other firm in the world would be able to absorb such a disappointment. Additionally, it was commonly believed that HP will "do something" to get into and ultimately dominate the copier market.

As for suggestions on how HP could do just that - Shannon Cross in a wonderfully abrupt and direct manner clearly stated,

"HP should buy Canon."

She followed up with, "they should buy Xerox...but there would be dominance issues." I believe alluding to the monopolistic aspects of such an occurrence.

HP Should Buy Canon - that is the take away from this session.

An acquisition like this would allow HP to own outright, their laser engines and give them some sort of foothold in the copier industry. But, in light of the relative strength and dominance Ricoh will soon have in the industry, the question has to be, does HP have enough guts to get into the fray?

If only HP had a gutsy-type guy at the helm...


The Death of the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology has been Greatly Exagerated

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Canon - Taking Hits

Canon of Japan, the world's largest digital camera maker, reported a sharp fall in quarterly profit Wednesday and predicted a two-thirds decline this year, hit by slumping demand for cameras and office equipment and a stronger yen.

"A substantial recovery in the economy is unlikely in 2009. Our operating environment will be even harder this year than it was last year," Masahiro Osawa, Canon's senior managing director in charge of accounting, said at a news conference.

Canon is under attack by a "triple threat" - low demand for camera's, the yen, and Ricoh. The first two, low demand and the yen, effect everyone. Ricoh, because of the acquisition of IKON, has the ability to bend the bullet right at Canon's copier segment.

Lyra Symposium 2009 - Quick Follow Up

The drive down was unexceptional; snow after an hour, still clinging to the roof of the Rover. "You have snow on your car..." says the valet-girl, "yeah, I thought it would melt by now," I respond. 

A quick walk to the registration desk - "Good morning." she greets, "Greg Walters...", I reply. "'re The Death of the Copier guy!" she says. "yes, I am that guy..." Jennifer and Irene greet me and make me feel right at home - right then and there, I decide this is going to be a good show. 

I was not disappointed. 

Walkthrough the door, grab a coffee (coffee flavored coffee) and some fruit and collect my thoughts for the day. This is a show, a symposium, a collection of people with the same interests, here to learn and connect. 

A most human characteristic. 

First, I meet Brian from Lexmark - 13 years with the company, an engineer. A great guy. We talk about the weather here in Palm Springs versus Kentucky - they get ice, we get sun. 

Two gentlemen from WE Soft, Johnson Cheng, General Manager, and Victor Poon, Vice President come in and share a corner of our table. We all chat about this and that and then they ask me what I do...I simply hand them my card, "The Death Of The Copier...I know you, I've been to your site." I must admit, I am flattered and a bit embarrassed every time somebody recognizes my site. 

Cary Kimmel, from WE Soft, joins us while I am handing out cards. He reads, and then gives me "the look" -

"Hey, I am trying to get people into this market, not scare them away. What the heck are you talking about, the death of the copier?" - Cary Kimmel

So it's official, I am in the room for less than 30 minutes, and already defending the name of my blog.

Honestly, I never did "defend" the name, I simply explain - and when a "copier" person thinks about it, I know they get it. I am, after all, a copier guy. Since 1988, I have been to so many shows, symposiums, conventions, I have forgotten more than I remember - the Lyra Symposium kept me awake and attentive during every single presentation. The presentations were engaging and moved along - Lyra is a research company, compiling data on all things printing - statistics (the word still gives me the willie's - delayed stress from my days in college). 

Yet, I understood and "kept up" with the "pasta-charts" and financial diction. I met some great people in our industry and had some really good conversations. Over the next few days, I will re-digest my notes and put together hopefully some interesting articles. 

Jim Lyons was clicking away during the presentations - so he has some really good posts right now. Matt Zimmer VP of Sales from Photizo has a good update, here as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Canon to Employees - "Go Home - Make babies..."

"We can go home early and not feel ashamed." - Canon employee, Miwa Iwasaki.

Canon headquarters, along with 1,300 other Japanese companies, are forcing employees to go home early and work on improving the current national birth rate of 1.34. A birth rate of 2.0 is considered "passing".

With an average 12 hour work day going home at 5:30 is going home early for most Japanese workers. On it's own, forcibly being sent home early, is indeed a treat, but being told to go home and make babies - huh?

"Canon has a very strong birth planning program," says the company's spokesman Hiroshi Yoshinaga. "Sending workers home early to be with their families is a part of it."

HP Edgeline, Hawk? Layoffs for 200 - Moving Edgeline to Singapore...

Reported yesterday in the, HP is continuing it's downsizing of the Vancouver location and according to the article, "scraping its Edgeline team".

HP “is shifting prototype testing, as well as some work on research designs, engineering specifications and drawings, abroad, including to Singapore,” according to U.S. Department of Labor documents. This inkjet lab move will affect at least 52 Vancouver employees, a labor official said.

"Similar work done by HP’s Vancouver-based Edgeline Development and Operations Group will also move overseas, according to other documents. This will affect at least 93 Vancouver employees, who work for HP and for 15 related contract staffing agencies, the Labor official said..."

It doesn't look like Edgeline will go the way of the Hawks - but could OPS VARs be nervous?


The Death of the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology has been Greatly Exagerated

Click to email me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Do You Keep Canon, Flip to Ricoh or is there somenthing more...?


IKON customers and independent dealers: what say you?

The Three Prospectives:

Customer: After exhaustive demo's, painful presentations of one copier rep after another, a dizzying amount of contract analysis, and final negotiations, you settle on a slightly more expensive, Canon copier fleet, provided by IKON.

Today you find yourself in the 2nd year of a three year agreement and your IKON rep wants to "move" you into a Ricoh.

Independent Dealer: You weren't around for the IKON/Alco Standard days, so you worked directly with Canon or Ricoh or maybe Sharp or Toshiba - over the years, you competed with Xerox, RBS, CBS, IKON and all the rest. You hesitantly moved from analog to digital, and heard all the "hoopla" around Electronic Document Management and "Solution Sales".

When Global came around you said, "no thanks...". You hired solid technicians who knew their way around belts and rollers and fusers and corona wires like nobody else. You delivered and set up copiers, and plugged them into the network - letting your client's "IT Guy" take care of the scanning and print drivers.

You remained true to the hardware.

As time moved forward, your collection of customers provided a steady stream of business - the owner often made sales calls.

RiKon Account Exec, Sales Person, et el: September of 2006 you closed and installed a small fleet of Canon copiers, 5020's and a 105.

Today, the agreement is within the 12 month renewal window, is part of your upgradable MIF and therefore used to calculate your yearly goal. You have always conducting your quarterly customer reviews, your service technicians have always been on time, and every service call has been a "one call, closed ticket" call.

Your customer's invoice has never been wrong, and overages have always been correct. Your customer and your crack Professional Services team toiled for months connecting the Canons to their legacy AS-400 system and getting the 105 to talk to the marketing department's Apple's.

Your customer loves Canon; but you don't sell Canon anymore, do you? And one more thing, nobody WANTS to buy a new copier but EVERYBODY wants to know more about this thing called Managed Print Services.

Also, this time around, your are setting down and talking with "the guy from IT"- not to discuss Documentum or KOFAX , you are talking about leasing, buyout amounts, and educating him on CPC and all of his overage charges.

This "IT guy" has five flat panel displays at his desk; one shows his network traffic, three are filled with custom built spreadsheets, he analyzes everything down to the granular level, the fourth screen is filled with WoW.

With a double click, he proudly shows you his "Copier Analysis Spreadsheet" - no less than 12 vendors names fill the first column, there are 23 columns of "decision criteria" - and this was one of your MIF accounts.


It hasn't even been a year since the announcement of the Ricoh/IKON deal but the merger looks like it is working without too many hitches. There may be some "internal" challenges, but the systems appear to be working as it was before the assimilation.

Today, Canon/Ikon customers are considering three alternatives: finding a good Canon service provider, sticking with IKON, or moving to another manufacturer - Konica/Minolta, Toshiba, Xerox, etc - all very good hardware choices.

There is more - the tumbling economy presents an opportunity for companies, with the help of Selling Professionals, to cut cost like never before.

The opportunity to redefine a costly, inefficient purchasing process by sweeping away the old and establishing a new more holistic approach to implementing print fleets and reducing the number of pages copied.

So while Canon/IKON customers evaluate their position and options, trying to figure out how to maintain their fleets, I suggest one more alternative - re-evaluate the Customer-Copier Dealer relationship in TOTAL.

Ask a simple question,

Who says companies EVEN NEED copiers today?

We know who: Ricoh, Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta, Sharp, Toshiba, Oce, Samsung and Kyocera that's who and for obvious reasons.

Sure, you may need a device or two that can copy documents coming from outside the organization - but how many of us, in the commercial world, still assemble anything more than a stapled document?

When speaking with current Canon customers, I suggest taking a deep breath and appraising the existing print fleet, print flows, printing structure, hard costs, soft costs AND the relationship with the current equipment supplier - are they a vendor or are they a Partner?

Additionally, observe the existing fleet through a prism of absolute need. Asking, " I need a copier here...? - back to basics.

This may seem foolish to some, bold to others, but at no other time in the last 20 years has a opportunity to change the model on such a fundamental level been presented: Back To The Beginning.

The New Born "Elephant in the Room" - Managed Print Services

The single goal of MPS engagements is to lower costs associate with printing - primarily achieved by reducing images printed and machines in field.

The days of an "assessment" leading to new hardware are fading fast, if not gone completely.

So one may ask, "...if a Managed Print Service engagement will reduce the number of copiers, how can a copier manufacturer approach Managed Print Services in an upfront manner...?"

The answer is complex. It starts with the definition of MPS or more specifically, who is defining MPS.

For now, the basic response is because copier companies are the only ones in a position to understand Managed Print Services - either as an ally or a foe.

Your Prospective:

Customer: Your choice is simple, the ramifications huge. Do you opt for more of the same, or get back to basics and boldly go forward in revolution?

Independent Dealers: Are you in or are you out?

Once again, your "days are numbered" - word of your demise is greatly exaggerated. As an independent, your are in the best position to profit from the turmoil. It takes commitment. It takes money. It takes vision, and you will need to burn your ships at the shore, again.
RiKon Account Exec, Sales Person: Do you stay with RiKON, jump over to Canon or join a smaller, more appreciative dealer? (Or do you go sell pharms.)

You have alternatives too - and there really aren't any "bad" choices.

Sales People in the Industry: The terrible economy will not last forever, and with all turmoil and upheaval, opportunity abounds on a personal level. Now is the time to evaluate your unique personal position in the world - to find who truly helps you for you, not for the corporate bottom line.

The Rikon deal, challenging economy, socialistic skewing of capitalism, all influence choices - "should I stay or should I go?" or maybe a more apropos statement is "...nobody moves, nobody gets hurt..."

Click to email me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blogging for Print - "The Printed Blog"

Has Blogging come full circle or is this one last gasp of air before print media sinks into the depths of oblivion...

A new site described as "...the best of the Web on your Newsstand..." - what the heck is a "Newsstand"? has popped up from heart of Silicon Valley.

From the site:

"Blog Driven Publishing is Born!

The Printed Blog is the world's first daily newspaper comprised entirely of blogs and other user generated content.

The result is a revolutionary newspaper that reads and functions like a web feed - yet can still be enjoyed on the train or spread across the breakfast table, for an uninterrupted, pleasurably tactile experience..."

The phrase, "...pleasurably tactile experience..." intrigues.

It is my opinion that this one issue, "touching", is the primary reason we humans read books and newspapers - this primal process involves and evokes human touch. After all, reading is just story telling in our head - and story telling is the third most primal, human characteristic in existence.

As the number of players in the newspaper industry continues to dwindle, blame placed squarely at the feet of those "citizen journalists",news aggregators and Google, can it be possible that the newspaper of the future will be a collection of blogs, articles and tweets printed on recycled paper, twice a day?

"The ghost of Gutenberg has returned to live in San Francisco, only to die laughing. I repeat, old is new. Prepare to meet thy past." - Simon Jenkins, here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Xerox - No Surprises - Earnings Below Expectations, Blames the Yen...

Sales of printers and other hardware plunged 15 percent as companies cut technology budgets. Customers are cutting orders and distributors are reducing inventory, Mulcahy said.

Late last year Xerox announced a restructuring plan that included about 3,000 job cuts, aimed at saving $200 million in 2009.

Revenue fell 10 percent to $4.37 billion.

Revenue from sales of supplies and services -- known as "post-sale" revenue -- fell 8 percent to $3.1 billion. Equipment sale revenue declined 15 percent to $1.3 billion, reflecting "weakened economic conditions around the world," Xerox said.

"In the fourth quarter, the continued weakening economy and rapid shift in exchange rates put pressure on the business," said Anne Mulcahy, chairman and chief executive officer. "Despite this challenging marketplace, we delivered $265 million in adjusted net income for the quarter and $985 million for the year."

"We continue to prioritize cash and productivity to give us flexibility in this uncertain environment," she added. "Our fourth-quarter restructuring will deliver $200 million in savings this year. And, last year we generated $1.7 billion in adjusted cash from core operations. We believe our strong balance sheet and disciplined approach to cost reductions strengthen our ability to effectively manage through these tough economic times."

The movement of the Yen, in just the last six weeks of the year, effected the reduction in margins - the movement was so quick, that the traditional action of pricing increase could not keep up. This dynamic resulted in 50% of the 10% downshift in margin.

Xerox MIF up 4% in December and an increase in color pages could not overcome
negatively "currency" issues which sliced into revenues .

During 2008, Xerox Global Services generated $3.5 billion in annuity revenue, a 3 percent increase over 2007.

Full statement here. (PDF)


All in all, Xerox took hits due to global economic forces. Activity was only down compared to historical data - actual new color pages printed increase 18%(compared to an increase of 25% last year).

Also, shrinking orders from distribution, effected overall performance, although MIF increased by 4%.

And because, like all copier models, new agreements equate repeatable revenues/cash flow, etc, the big X is doing fine.

We should all be worried when Xerox starts to report a increase in defaulted agreements - meaning their customers are going out of business.

More Screens, More Productivity - How About This?

Jim Lyons mentioned how employee productivity increases if they use dual screens, as much as 44%. I wonder how much productivity would increase with this?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Microsoft, Google - Join Intel, Lexmark with Bad News and Staff Reductions


"Our financial position is solid ... but it is also clear that we are not immune to the effects of the economy," Chief Executive Steve Ballmer wrote to employees in a letter. "Consumers and businesses have reined in spending, which is affecting PC shipments and IT expenditures."
Microsoft will be eliminating 5,000 job with 1,400 going immediately, the rest over 18 months.

Microsoft's staggered elimination of 5,000 jobs -- 1,400 immediately and the rest over 18 months.


The economic slump prompted customers to rein in spending, hurting demand for printers. Lexmark has already trimmed about a 10th of its workforce in two years to cope with slowing orders and competition from market leader Hewlett-Packard Co. The new job cuts are aimed at saving $50 million a year.

“We saw weaker-than-expected market demand for both hardware and supply,” Chief Executive Officer Paul Curlander said.


Google said fourth-quarter profits fell 68 percent to $382 million ($1.21 per share), from $1.2 billion ($3.79) a year ago.

Much of the decline was attributed to a $1.09 billion charge for soured investments in wireless provider Clearwire and in the AOL Web portal. A settlement over copyright infringement with book publishers added $95 million in costs.


After reporting its first quarterly loss in 22 years, Santa Clara computer chip maker Intel on Wednesday said it will lay off at least 5,000 employees and shut five manufacturing plants.


AMD reported its ninth straight loss as PC sales slow, then stall, and finally fall.

HP - $8.3 Billion in Earnings - E.P.S. up to $3.25 from $2.68

"Fiscal 2008 was a strong year with some notable accomplishments ... We have prepared HP to perform well and are building a company that can bring meaningful value to our customers and stockholders for the long term," Hurd wrote. "Looking ahead, it is important to separate 2008 from 2009, and acknowledge the difficult economic landscape."

The annual report revealed the following:

* Revenue growth of 13 percent, to $118.4 billion
* $8.3 billion in net earnings
* Earnings per share of $3.25, up from $2.68 in 2007

Additionally, Hurd earned $42.5 million in 2008, according to the company's proxy statement, released Tuesday.

Earnings preview: Xerox seen posting tough 4Q Associated Press, 01.21.09, 02:56 PM EST

Xerox Corp. is set to report earnings for the fourth quarter on Friday ahead of the opening bell.

The following is a summary of article over at Forbes.

Xerox announced a large restructuring during the quarter, saying it would cut 3,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its work force, on top of the 1,500 jobs the company already shed in 2008.

Xerox expects the new round of job cuts to save $200 million in 2009.

On average, analysts expect fourth-quarter earnings of 34 cents per share on revenue of $4.72 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. Analysts typically exclude one-time charges from their projections.

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore sees companies continuing to skimp on IT spending because of economic uncertainty.

"We continue to believe printing and copying are the most discretionary purchases within IT budgets and corporations are likely to continue reducing/delaying equipment purchases," he told investors in a recent client note.

On the other hand, Whitmore said "modest" revenue from the company's "post-sale" business - sales of ink and other equipment to customers who already own Xerox printing and copy machines - should help offset weaker hardware sales.

Post-sale revenue accounts for about three-quarters of overall revenue for Xerox.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Death of Print Continues -


Borders may get kicked off the NYSE, Newsweek and Time are writing "news for smart people", Google closes down its print ad program and The New York Times is getting an economic stimulus package from a Mexican.

You can not make this stuff up.

Borders Book Stores received a letter December 31st, warning that if the publicly traded company can't get their stock price above ONE DOLLAR in six months, the company will be delisted. Borders stock fell below $1 December of 2008.

Time and Newsweek are generating smaller, more serious, more opinionated and more liberal publications.

They are targeting a narrow niche of readers, in print and on the Web, and not writing for the masses.

With cut backs and layoffs, the old levels of editing and degree of fact checking do not exist in today's lean, mean survival culture.

And finally, Mexican mogul(huh?), Carlos Slim, is kicking down $250 million to the Gray Lady, which could make him the largest shareholder of the
New York Times.

The hot-cash-injection will be used to refinance existing debt and will provide the company with increased financial flexibility.

Carlos, started his empire in the cigarette business, moving into telecommunications, taking control of Mexico's state-owned telephone monopoly.

"He transformed a state-owned company into one of the most profitable businesses in the country," said analyst Jose Coballasi of Standard & Poor's in Mexico City.

He is considered the second richest man in the world.

And this just in, Google has announced that it will be closing Google Print Ads as of March 31st.

The service launched in November 2006 was to deliver the client base of Google Adwords to the print industry. Google was able to attract 50 or so newspapers to the program.

In an effort to evade the slings and arrows of the few remaining newspaper owners Google released this:

"We believe fair and accurate journalism and timely news are critical ingredients to a healthy democracy. We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content and attract new readers online. We have teams of people working with hundreds of publishers to find new and creative ways to earn money from engaging online content. AdSense, DoubleClick, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Earth, Google News and many other products are a part of our significant investments to innovate in this space.
These important efforts won’t stop. We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers and publishers."

PrintFleet Inc. Unveils Schedule For 2009 Dealer Seminar Events

January 1, 2009

GANANOQUE, Ontario — PrintFleet Inc., a global leader in managed print software and supporting professional development services, announced the 2009 dates of its industry recognized Managed Print Services Road Show Seminar Events.

With 30 seminars and more than 1,000 dealer principles, sales managers, service and IT executive attendees over the past three years, the PrintFleet Road Show seminar series has fast become a global industry “must see” for anyone looking to get serious about integrating a managed print service program into their business model.

Themed “The Sustainable Business Model” and leveraging bold statements such as “when times are tough, leadership matters” within promotional event materials, the series IV event promises to again deliver the same high-impact, practical approach to the MPS business model, but this time headlining with even more industry leaders catering to various segments of the printing and imaging channel.

The dates and locations of the road show include: Dallas, Jan. 21-22; Miami, Feb. 18-19; Irvine, Calif., May 6-7; Chicago, May 27-28.

“A clear enabler of the rapid growth of managed print services is the evolution of the dealer and reseller channel from a hardware centric sales model to a professional services model,” said Ed Crowley, president and CEO of Photizo Group. “Providing dealers with the tools and information they need to transition to this model is critical. This is why we are so pleased to be part of the PrintFleet Dealer Seminars.

In our research into hybrid dealers (dealers who are MPS centric and who combine the best of the IT reseller channel and the BTA dealer channel), one of the clear differentiators we have seen is that the best hybrid dealers are organizations who have learned the value of educational events such as PrintFleet’s Dealer Seminars to ensure they understand the latest thinking and best practices for MPS implementation.”

“These events are so unique due to their open, convivial atmosphere which allows dealer principles to swap war stories and share strategies of success with their various MPS programs,” said Laura Hunt, director of marketing and strategic partnerships with PrintFleet Inc. “Everyone is searching for the right method to deploy a managed print services program. This is why we have assembled a team of the best in class supporting vendors and industry analysts to help steer our new events. Series IV: The Sustainable Business Model will be the runway dealers are looking for to launch their MPS programs and gain further market share from their clients.”

The PrintFleet Road Show, Series IV: The Sustainable Business Model has a promising lineup of sponsors and speakers including: Synnex Corporation (event sponsor); Photizo Group (keynote sponsor); GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation, Parts Now!, Supplies Network, LMI Solutions and Compass Sales Solutions (partner sponsors). Other industry speakers include Lyra Research.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ricoh May Want to Get "The Umbrella of Silence"

Wall Street Journal, by Dana Mattioli ...Glenn Floyd, senior director of field and headquarters human resources for Ricoh Americas Corporation in Atlanta, said he has spotted more employees hanging around in certain places like the hallways where executive offices are located, where they may be more likely to hear information about the state of the company or possible layoffs. The company is currently undergoing a reorganization, and Mr. Floyd said many employees are uneasy. "I think everyone's worried about stability right now. They come in one day and someone they worked with for 20 years isn't here anymore and it makes them wonder if they're next," he said.

To prevent private information from leaking, Mr. Floyd said he and management now have conversations behind closed doors, rather than sharing even benign information in public places, like the hallway or an open office..."

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Monday, January 19, 2009

The 2009 Lyra Symposium

I will be covering the Lyra Symposium next week, Monday through Wednesday.

Jim Lyons from the Photizo group will be there blogging along.

It is my intention to post articles each night or during the show.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Canon Will Pay for The Nine Months of Your Lease

I found this - in Coral Gables, Fla.

Canon Pays 9 Months Of Your Lease

Canon will pay up to 9 months of your exisiting lease when you Refresh your equipment with New Canon Copiers.

Up to $300,000.

Fax lease and maintenance agreement to Canon Review Center at 333-333-3333 indicate CODE: 237 / CP9

If you dont have the agreements, fax most importantly your Vendor, lease payment and how many months your have left on your lease.

This offer expires June 30, 2009, however may change without notice.

Why continue paying for 3-5 year old equipment? Get new equipment today.

Call 333-333-3333 ext 333 Refer to Promotion CP9

Or 333-333-3333 for faster response

This announcement clearly says funds will be "reimbursed..." directly to the customer, not rolled into the new lease.

So where does this money come from? The Canon War Chest.

As mentioned on P4P, Art wrote, "...In an effort to gain its customers back from IKON (which was acquired by Ricoh), Canon Business Solutions launched the “War Chest” program, giving sales reps ability to pay for up to 9 months of a competitive lease..." This is a result of Canon's attack on IKON/Ricoh.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Canon and HP: A Response to Ricoh/IKON?

Are Canon and HP a good mix?

"Chatter" or the volume of transmitted communications, increases as a terrorist act nears - in our industry, the opposite occurs - silence before the storm.

I haven't heard a peep regarding ANY sort of arrangement or agreement between HP and Canon - and I have heard even less about Edgeline (isn't that like the Hawk back in 03?).

So we ask, what is going on?

Last year, I was able to review the Gartner's Magic Quadrant report.

Buried in the narrative are the strengths and weaknesses of Canon and HP.

The following is from Gartner:



* Canon has a solid office product portfolio in MFPs and printers, in A3 and A4 engines, and in monochrome and color that can satisfy the most discriminating needs of customers.

* Manufacturing strength and R&D investments have provided the company with a wide range of products to fit most customer needs. Canon's engineering and portfolio strengths (both monochrome and color) have kept the company at the top of the worldwide laser MFP market share for well over a decade.

* Canon supplies HP with enough LaserJet engines to make it the No. 1 provider of laser printing technology worldwide.

* Canon's leadership team has prudently led a well-financed organization with over $10 billion (cash on hand) to invest in growing its MFP/printing business.


* Canon's largest distributor for its line of office and light-production products, IKON Office Solutions, was recently acquired by Ricoh, Canon's chief rival. In 2007, 30% to 40% of Canon's U.S. office/central reprographics department (CRD) shipments were distributed through IKON. This has caused a profound disruption in Canon's channel and has forced the provider to start investing heavily to realign its channel strategy.

* The company has also seen additional cracks in its distribution channel as Danka Office Imaging and GIS, both of which sold tens of millions of dollars of Canon products, were also acquired within the past 18 months.

* It has lost its leadership in the growing SMFP (open-architected MFP platform) market that it created more than five years ago.

* In recent months, smaller, providers have outperformed Canon in closing large deals — especially in the light-production and midproduction color space.



* HP is the undisputed leader in single-function page printers (with 53% of the worldwide market share) and has also eclipsed Canon for the most overall MFP placements (17.1% worldwide market share) in the four quarters we examined (the last two quarters of 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008).

* Like other leaders, HP has a global reach and a broad set of customer types that use both printers and MFPs in monochrome and color.

* Perhaps HP's greatest strength is its strong relationships with IT organizations and decision makers. As document management technology accelerates on MFPs, HP, with its HP Open Extensibility Platform, will be in an excellent position to leverage its IT connections to incorporate paper-based and other documents into enterprise and other software applications that make customers' processes more efficient.


* HP customers tend to be leveraged from its IT connections and are usually buyers of mostly A4-centric MFPs with limited page volumes.

* HP's capabilities in A3 are limited to a couple of LaserJet products and the Edgeline (8050/8060) series of inkjet MFPs. This portfolio is not broad enough to meet the needs of the widest range of Gartner customers.
* HP's market share leadership with LaserJet — for which Canon manufactures the engines — could be undermined if Canon, as part of its recent strategic changes, decides to modify its contract with HP and begins to sell its engines under its own label through Canon Business Solutions.

Death of The Copier Analysis -

The last two points, emphasized in red, allude to some of the puzzle: HP's narrow portfolio of A3 and Canon's ability to undermine HP by selling laser engines under its own label through CBS.

There are many possible scenarios, but here are some of my guesses:

#1 - An agreement between HP and Canon allowing HP to resell a few Canon copier systems. This is a natural fit filling the holes in the product line to be filled with proven Canon hardware.

Perhaps these re-labeled Canon units would ship with HP JetDirect internal print servers and DSS.

The more troublesome part of this idea is the ability or lack of ability of HP's existing high-end, IPG VARs to service a real, honest copier, let a lone HP direct service capabilities.

One is painfully reminded of the "Hawk" - HP 9055's and 65's sold primarily through IKON. These were 55 and 65 page per minute Konica machines with DSS and JetDirect cards.

There are many reasons for the product's failure, too many to go into, but one lesson learned may be managing all the obstacles encountered when trying to work within an established copier sales model.

#2- HP acquires Canon Business Solutions.

This would be an acquisition of the North American Canon. HP would secure an
instant IPG channel; $75 million in revenues, 2400 employees, 40 locations. Instant MIF. Instant service network for copiers.

Enhanced multi-vendor, MPS capabilities. HP OPS VARs certify on certain Canon units and add to their product portfolio.

This scenario seems unlikely.

#3 - HP and Canon enter into a joint agreement, much like the Fuji/Xerox venture. HP

A quote from 2005 by Vyomesh Joshi, Executive vice president of the imaging and printing group, "The relationship with Canon is strong. It's a win-win for both of us, so we see tremendous benefit," (regarding the importance the 21-year partnership with Canon)"
#3.1 - HP and Canon form a "Sales Alliance"
Similar to the recently announced Ricoh/IBM arrangement; an alliance of sales forces.

In my opinion, which is more like guess work in the dark, the first alternative seems more plausible - and the most likely is that nothing will happen. HP will stay the course and grow their channel organically.

How Does Your Copier, 30 Day Funnel Look?

Hank Moody fan.

Californication, is a punch in the face - if you know what I mean. Hank captures truisms about life in southern Cali - albeit exaggerated. A transplant for NYC, a writer of some notoriety, semi-eternally struggling with writer's block, we follow Hank's antics as he crisscrosses the landscape.

Hank is flawed.

He mistakenly assaults young women with his mouth, usually fighting off a bevy of drop-dead gorgeous, California Girls. Driving around L.A. in a dirty, beat-up, cyclopean Porsche.

His greatest misstep is an intimate encounter with a hottie, who unbeknown to him, is the 16-year-old daughter of his ex-girlfriend's current fiancee - yeah... it's confusing, it's California.

His life, his work, his character - damaged but not perverted  - his baggage may be significant, but he keeps going, keeps moving.  Laughing, smirking, and drinking his way along.

When I lived in Michigan, I thought that the people in California were nuts - I was right. Of course, all the "nuts" out here are originally from "back east". "Back east" means anyplace east of the state line.

Like it or not, California creates trends and the rest of the country follows - socially, politically, and economically.

It's the economic direction that should interest those not in the Golden State - the state of Regan and Nixon; of Boxer and Pelosi.

Today, I saw fear in the eyes of a prospect -

Across the desk, she sits. Piles of papers in front of, behind, and all around us - like a lot of people, she doesn't have To Do lists, she owns To Do Piles.

We are discussing her current print environment. A hodge-podge of single-function, multi-function laser and inkjet, HP devices - printing, faxing, copying, and scanning functions are performed daily and at times, in great volume.

She has been approached by the Canon rep for years. He told her that "one of my machines can replace all those expensive HP's - it's cheaper to print on my copier than their laser-based printer..."

She is suspicious, so we add up the numbers - the numbers only. I am concerned that if the volumes approach a higher level, say 20, 000 images a month or above, the copier guy may indeed be correct - of course, he quoted a machine well above what is needed - along with a monthly lease payment of nearly $500.00 - 60 month (3-hole punch, and 11x17 - neither of which my prospect has used in over 10 years).

After our elementary calculations, we both realize that my recommendation prices out significantly lower than the Canon - mine for TWO devices over 36 months with a CPC, all-inclusive, SA.

And yet, no "close" -

She goes on to tell me the state of California is thinking about paying her with an official I.O.U.

Her business is a medical testing lab and she bills Medi-Cal(the state) for a majority of her work; before she asks, I tell her I can not accept an IOU from her.

So she needed to hold off on getting 2 new machines, but will strongly consider an MPS engagement if she can save money.

The MPS is a no-brainer.

Her monthly supplies expenses are not that much, under one thousand a month, and our program may reduce that figure by 20% - offering up a $2,400 yearly saving - it will help, but won't save any job.

The conversation leads to how she came to this country 40 years ago. How her husband and she built this "small" business, put kids through college, provided good jobs for hundreds of families over the years, and how "...this recession looks nothing like the 70s - it is worse..." - she is scared.

Like any good entrepreneur she is planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

What is more intriguing, is how representative this micro-scenario is of the larger business segment - hardware sales had been flat and are now dropping.

Cost savings and reductions are the mantras, once again, of business - especially in the SMB market.

Who is Immune? No one.

We have been through some of this before; the layoffs, the economic plunge, international challenges, global society on the brink of annihilation - of course, I am referring to the "'70s"( could the summer of 2009 see a re-birth of Disco and Dance Fever?).

It's the state and local government budgets that are red flags to me. Of course, out here in California, the state budget never gets approved until 6 months after the year is over; because politicians like to be...political. But this time, the budget isn't being passed because there is no money - no taxes because most business has been taxed out of the state.

Property tax revenue has dropped because so many homes have gone to the foreclosure - it does not matter that those folks shouldn't have been approved in the first place - revenue is off, so the state is thinking about issuing IOUs - for STATE INCOME TAX REFUNDS.

Our state budget, last year's budget, has still not been approved and is facing lots of challenges - but - fear not. The wisdom of our elected officials is tackling much more important issues - digital billboards.

The base is shrinking and they want to raise taxes. The money supply is dropping, leasing is now swinging in the other direction, and people are scared.

Our economy is flawed, our business model is flawed, and we are flawed - and always have been.

But like Hank Moody, we who don't beat ourselves up for our shortcomings and can live in our own skin, keep going. 

Even if our biggest customer needs to write us IOUs and when we only have one headlight.

Originally, January 16, 2009

Managed Print Services - Saving Money And The Planet, Down Under

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced that Leighton Contractors has signed a Managed Print Services contract with HP.

As part of this contract, HP will manage and offset the carbon emissions generated by Leighton Contractors’ fleet of 700 HP LaserJet printers; total amount of carbon that will be offset from the printers will be 209 tons.

It is not mentioned if the Carbon footprint reduction was a specification of the contract or a benefit of going with HP.

“Leighton Contractors’ policies ensure that we manage our environmental footprint and minimise our environmental impact,” said Michael Herbert, Leighton Group IT, customer support manager.

“HP’s Managed Print Services offering together with the Carbon Offset program dovetails with the Leighton Contractors’ Group IT’s current “Green IT” Project.”

I first wrote about this program over the summer - 424 companies in Australia have signed up for HP’s Carbon Offset for LaserJet Printers program since its launch in February 2008.

“HP’s JetDirect and SecureJet solutions have allowed us to implement greater security for staff pool printing,” said Herbert.

“Our staff use proximity cards to print, the same cards they use to enter the building, which improves security and reduces wastage.”

According to Herbert, the disparate nature of its printing technology and the lack of a central equipment management function meant they didn’t understand the true cost of its printing infrastructure.

“HP’s managed print services provide visibility into the costs associated with our printing environment. HP looks after all billing, reporting and accounting, so that headache is taken away and taken care of by HP,” he added.

All HP printers rolled out at Leighton Contractors are HP Energy Star qualified. They produce less heat and reduce cooling loads by 15-30 percent.

They also use approximately half as much electricity.

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It is Now Officially "Bizzaro-World": Intel Net Profits DOWN 90%

Absolutely stunning. Banking, manufacturing, finance, home and now technology Giant - can't wait to hear Xerox's report.

IDG News Service

Agam Shah, IDG News Service 01.15.2009

Intel's fourth-quarter profit plunged 90 percent from a year earlier, as the chip maker battled a worsening economy and recorded a steep loss from investments.

The company recorded net profit of US$234 million for the quarter ended Dec. 27, compared to $2.27 billion in last year's fourth quarter. The net profit also fell short of the $257.22 million consensus expectation from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The results included a loss of $1.1 billion from equity investments and interest, primarily due to a billion-dollar reduction in the value of Intel's investments in Clearwire, the company said.

The company's fourth-quarter revenue was in line with lowered expectations of $8.2 billion. Fourth-quarter revenue was down 23 percent year-over-year and 19 percent sequentially. Revenue from microprocessors and chipsets was lower compared to the third quarter.

The bright spot for Intel this quarter was the sales of Atom chips that go into netbooks, small laptops designed for Web surfing and productivity applications. Revenue from Atom microprocessors and chipsets was up 50 percent sequentially to $300 million.

Intel did not project revenue guidance for the first quarter of 2009, citing "economic uncertainty and limited visibility."

While the economic environment is uncertain, the company is adjusting its business plans to adapt to build for the future, said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO, in a statement. The company is entering new markets and has cut costs by around $3 billion since 2006, he said.

The restructuring yielded $800 million in savings in 2008, Otellini said during a conference call on Thursday. The company ended the year with approximately 84,000 employees, down 3 percent from a year ago.

"Intel has weathered difficult times in the past, and we know what needs to be done to drive our success moving forward. Our new technologies and new products will help us ignite market growth and thrive when the economy recovers," Otellini said.

The company hopes to ramp up to the 32-nanometer process technology to lower chip-manufacturing costs and increase production. It will then be able to make more chips at lower costs, which should add efficiencies to the production process, said Stacy Smith, Intel's chief financial officer, during the call.

"We are absolutely prioritizing the investment that it takes to get to 32-nm process technology ... we are going to get there as fast as we possibly can. That gives us a performance advantage, cost advantage and allows us to get to this higher level of integration that the future markets we want to serve requires," Smith said.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins… The Qualifications of a Copier Salesman…

Never mind that he is hundreds of miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, he lives on a boat, sells "big-iron" copiers...and has a blog. Introducing Pirate Mike.

I received a "hit" today from one of my internet-search-spiders-thingies, and read the resulting post while waiting for the Rover to be washed - it was 86 degrees and sunny - as I scrolled along the post I literally laughed out loud.

Upon further research, all good bloggers do this, research that is, the story of Pirate Mike unfolds.

I will not steal his thunder. Instead I recommend you read his post here, then go to his site - all of four posts - I am sure with the eyes of the world upon him, he will blog with the best of them...

I have copied, edited slightly, and pasted his post here on my site.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins… The qualifications of a copier salesman…

I have uncovered or become aware of some odd understandings relative to work over the last couple of months. I am not sure really sure how to articulate them, but what I can do is describe them to you and you can figure them out for yourself.

The idea of 7 deadly sins is not spoken of in the bible directly but was used in early Christian teachings to illuminate the idea that man was prone to sin. Catholic teaching broke sin into 2 classifications, venial and mortal sin. The 7 deadly sins are capital or mortal sins.

Listed in the same order used by both Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, and later by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem The Divine Comedy, the seven deadly sins are as follows: luxuria (extravagance, later lust), gula (gluttony), avaritia (greed), acedia (sloth), ira (wrath), invidia (envy), and superbia (pride).1

Every day I walk a simple path.

I talk to people and listen to their problems. After considering the causes and effects of their situation I ask them questions to probe into what they have done to fix their problems and how that effected their situation.

I pay close attention to the things that bother them the most and try to get them to prioritize their problems and find out what they are willing to do to fix or remove the problems. I identify the people involved in the problem and the people that are affected by it. I try to assess how much the problem costs them in both hard and soft costs.

Once I get a picture of who is involved and the process that they go through to solve their problems, I get an idea if this is something that they want to fix now or in the future.

At the end of the day I have to sit with myself and put together a plan of action and present it to the people that are responsible to fix the problem. If they buy into what I have put down they agree and act, if not they disagree we discuss it further. If we cannot come to an agreement we both go our separate ways and they continue with the situation that they have as it was before I came along.

This is the life of a document management equipment and services professional.

We are sometimes referred to as the "copier guy." I am sure that in this day and age we should be called the "copier person," as the gender reference is quite unnecessary. In this game either sex has the same opportunity to participate in the 7 deadly sins that are so profound in this industry.

When I talk about being a corporate pirate most laugh and think I am joking or exaggerating the situation but if you could be a fly on the wall in our building and the many buildings just like ours you would not sleep at night.

Ok, that is probably an exaggeration, but it would shock you and in many cases disgust you. After almost 5 years in this industry many things make me feel ashamed of the people I work with and for.

I have said that your success with a company like mine as a customer is dependent on your connection to it. If your rep is not good, neither will be your experience with the company they work for. Manufacturers and dealers of office equipment and document management services work on a very basal level. And in many cases the parent company or distribution organization is quite evil by nature. Your only hope is to have a buffer "rep" to keep you whole in the experience, or at least minimize the beating (both financial and emotional) you will take from it.

I most of the time try to overlook how others act and the underlying tones that are so prevalent in my business. I try very hard to balance myself and offer solutions to problems and charge people a equitable price somewhere between the extremes that are going to be presented by my counterparts. I also try to the an expert in the areas of topic so that I bring value and am not making money without earning it and putting in the work needed to earn the business for the long term.

I was privy to a conversation which displayed the ugliness that is so frequently seen that makes even the most native business person wary of people in our industry. When dragged into the conversation I was a presented a scenario and asked a question. I answered, "oh that is greedy you can't do that well I mean you can but you will be exposed and the customer will hate you for life."

Everyone looked at me like I was a Martian speaking Swahili.

I for a brief moment remembered why I consider leaving this business almost daily. The sad thing is it is the culture that has been fostered for many generations of salespeople and managers and is not needed at all.

You could almost say the 7 deadly sins are the 7 needed qualities of a "copier salesperson."

Companies interview perspective employees and make sure that they have ample quantities of each of the 7 deadly sins and forgo any real qualifications.

My first boss said, "Michael even a monkey can do this job." He further illustrated, "I could tape a lease to the back of a blind dog, kick him out of the building and eventually he would come back with it signed." He would later prove himself correct and become wildly successful as a salesman, sales manager and then a branch manager for a fortune 1000 company.

So let's for fun look into the world of a copier salesperson just briefly and examine the qualifications first hand shall we.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 1

Latin: luxuria (extravagance, later lust)

In copier sales an effective sales manager will show a young salesperson how to drive their desires for things which of themselves are not evil but to excess are lustful. Whether it is sex, money, power, control if you are still breathing surely you don't have enough of any of them.

A good copier salesperson will never be satisfied, and will always be disappointed with how much they sell, how much they make (see greed), how quickly they get promoted, how long their vacation is. A great copier salesperson will stop at nothing to further their lust of all things corporate.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 2

Latin: gula (gluttony)

In copier sales the best sales representatives will be easily identified by how well they gorge themselves on all things corporate. Copier salespeople are not temperate or aware that they should have any natural limits to anything the desire (see above).

A good manager will gather his or her sales people together on a regular basis and teach basic gluttony. This is really quite a simple thing to learn, you just take your newbie's out and feed them a $200 dinner, drink 2 or 3 bottles of very expensive liquor/wine, and have grand discussions on how they too can have more than they can legitimately use for themselves. A good sales manager will take the new people out shopping and show them how to buy things they don't need or will ever use.

The virtue of overkill will be a daily practice until they even employ it in their own lives.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 3

Latin: avaritia (greed)

Money is just the beginning of greed. A good sales manager will make sure to teach the principle if the customer is spending $10 and is unhappy they will gladly spend $20 to be happy, even when the solution costs $2 and can be sold at a profit for $4. Why would you save the customer $6 when you can increase their budget based on the pain they have and make an extra $16, $8 of which you will get to keep.

Managers are quick to instruct their salespeople to get what is theirs and a bit more. It is so bad that over time it becomes so common that the goal is to see how much you can charge someone without them going bankrupt before they make their first payment and lock themselves into the deal or before they realize how bad they got screwed.

Greed goes way beyond the customer but reaches into the team that they are on and the associates that they work with. Greed says that you must sell everything in your neighbors' pond before reaching into your own. A good manager will promote greed as it facilitates the need to sell more and makes everyone more competitive as they must to survive.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 4

Latin: acedia (sloth)

This is a principle that is taught by the manager that has to be managed all the time. It is the manager's job to manage focus of their salespeople and ensure that their needs are met first. Sloth is taught as a privilege. If you over achieve and sell more than anyone needs, and ensure the managers needs are cared for you can do absolutely nothing.

They are taught to sleep in, stare at their computers, take time off. It is the reward for proper lusting, greediness, gluttony as well as the other 3. When you have overloaded on the other 6 deadly sins you must Sloth. Slothing becomes a way of life. You wake up driven by the lust of being over full (gluttony) and greed and the reward for over achieving is Slothfullness.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 5

Latin: invidia (envy)

A good and experienced manager will stack rank their salespeople and grade them against all of the other salespeople across the organization regardless of how much of an apple vs orange comparison it really is.

A good copier salesperson cannot stand to see another have success and becomes driven by the lust of success to overachieve and be as greedy as possible so that they can overcome and surpass all of their comrades.

A quickly rising manager will ensure that every one of their sales reps cannot stand to even hear of someone else's success or participate in an activity with someone they think could possibly out do them.

Envy resents anything that is good that happens or is good about anyone that they see. Envy is very closely related to Pride, and it drives the lust of self worth which is the fuel that makes pride gluttonous.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 6

Latin: superbia (pride)

A sales manager cannot graduate until they are good at making each sales person believe that they are the best and deserve everything and more. Days of sloth are awarded to those that can be the fullest of themselves.

Copier sales people gorge themselves with the lusts of the flesh and material goods until they cannot move or afford to move then are pushed out the door with belief that they are the only person alive and that they deserve more. They are rewarded for becoming a prima donna. A good manager will know how to control their prima donna's and let them all think they are 1. A practical organization will parade their top performers around and show them that they are invaluable and that they can have anything they desire fueling their lusts.

Then the manager just begins over and finds new untapped desires and drives them to gluttony with greed, and keeps them competing with envy in the fearlessness of their pride. When they fall over from exhaustion they give them days to recuperate by awarding them time to Sloth. If they are having a bad month they will use their pride to control them with the envy and wrath of their fellow associates.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 7

Latin: ira (wrath)

Wrath is a byproduct of the final two deadly sins Envy and Pride. It is quite ugly and not as common but is a product of greed and envy.

When someone else has success a good copier sales person becomes instantly envious and because they are excessively greedy they fuel this emotion with wrath, which satisfies their pride in that they should be the only one that can be so successful or rich or whatever the deadly sin promotion is for the month. It is most obvious when the greed of one sales person takes an account from another to fuel their lust of one of their desires. Since they cannot satisfy this gluttony with their own accounts they must do it with someone else's. It is much more pleasurable to satisfy themselves with someone else's accounts.

This lust and greed creates the wrath of the sales person that is feeling envious of the success of the greedy and gluttonous sales rep. A good manager deals with wrath in the most obvious way, with a good dose of pride. "You are not going to let so and so do that to you are you?" "You know you are twice the sales person they are!" Then an experienced sales manager will look for a lust that can fuel the envy and promote the rep that has wrath to go out and be greedy enough to show up the original rep. Wrath is a great way to push someone to compete with the others when the other 5 are having little effect. Sloth is reserved for those that have been over gluttonous for some time and had a lot of success being lustful and greedy.

The seven deadly sins require a lot of effort to perfect so typically a good manager will only focus and practice one at a time till they manage a group of major account executives or specialists. In which case the sales people are quite advanced and can practice multiple sins at a time.

This requires a very greedy and prideful manager that can truly harness the energy of their people and use it to fuel their own desires (lust) and gluttony. And of course a good manager works their sales people to death chasing after the dream while they practice the greatest of all sins; Sloth…

In the end a good copier salesman or saleswomen (which there are many) are taught that they deserve whatever they can take from someone else and that it is ok at any cost. They are taught to pull out the stops and go for broke. They are taught how to gamble as professionals and to know when to risk it all for the payoff of the ultimate permanent full time sloth which is held as a carrot to a donkey.

I hope you have enjoyed this enlightenment…

PS – There are organizations that promote the 7 virtues and moderate their sales people keeping them "connected" and customer centric. But they are far and few between, and almost nonexistent in the copier business.

This is why I live a simple life on a 34 foot boat, forsaking the trappings of Dallas and all that is offers. Not that I haven't had my moments being caught up in the limelight. I was after all a 2 time president's club winner and a 1 time circle of excellence winner for that unnamed fortune 1000 company that way talked about above. I am the prodigy of that sales manager that eventually became a branch general manager ;)

Life is fast, life is hard, life never lasts long enough to learn how simple it really is. We complicate it so that we can feel superior to everything else that God has created, when really we were created from the very dust that everything else walks on - Pirate Mike

I am sure that this is considered blasphemous to those that are in my industry as we all want to believe that we are saints. (It is part of our pride) – Pirate Mike

Posted by Pirate Mike at 1:41 AM

Mike's Blog

See also:

The Death of the Copier Sales Person - The Return

Damn The Torpedoes, Fire Your Customers!

Are Customers Smarter Now?

The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Death of "Kaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhnnnn...!"

Khan Noonien Singh and Corinthian leather...

Ricardo Montalban, TV Star and Chrysler Pitchman, Dies at 88-

Detroit - 30 below, 10 inches of snow, mayor in jail, Lions the biggest losers in NFL history, auto plants shuttering everywhere, GM "Generous Motors" begging the likes of Barney Frank for money, and now, Cordoba's biggest fan passes.

Forever aboard the Reliant surfing the Genesis Effect...

Konica Minolta Diving Head First Into MPS - Make that OPS

Press Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - (Business Wire) Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced its Optimized Print Services (OPS) program, an innovative new managed print services offering that saves customers time and money by revolutionizing how they manage their printers assets.

The fully customized one-stop print services solution – part of the Konica Minolta Business Intelligence Services initiative – is an effective strategy designed to help customers better monitor, measure and manage printers and Multifunctional Products (MFPs). The OPS program enables organizations to be far more efficient by:

* Fully controlling their entire printing environment
* Conserving resources and ongoing maintenance costs
* Streamlining unknown costs associated with all MFPs, All-in-Ones (AIOs), and printers throughout an organization

Historically printers have been viewed as an IT-sourced product while MFPs have been sourced through procurement or administrative functions within the company. This often results in higher costs and unnecessary strain on IT helpdesk.

Konica Minolta uses a range of assessment tools to fully understand volume, typical and peak usage patterns and sources of print within an organization, then develops a strategy to maximize the efficiency of print devices being used.

“At a time when organizations around the globe are tightening their belts and are faced with deep economic challenges, Konica Minolta’s Optimized Print Services program not only reduces total cost of ownership, but allows customers to get the most mileage out of each of their printing assets,” said Rick Taylor, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc. “With the introduction of OPS, we are making printing as seamless as possible so that our customers can focus on their core business goals.”

The OPS program, driven largely by customer demand, leverages the opt-WORKFLOW model to provide all necessary services required to control output costs based on business needs. The four modules that comprise opt-WORKFLOW are as follows:

* opt-MONITOR assesses your current printing environment, provides timely proactive maintenance and ongoing assessment and optimization.

* opt-ANALYZE creates a cost-per-print plan covering consumables and service;

* opt-VISUALIZE develops a road map to replace outdated or inefficient hardware;

* opt-MANAGE gives better control of print routing.

The OPS offering is geared toward organizations that use several printers and MFPs on their network. Managed completely by Konica Minolta, customers can choose to leverage part or all of the new program modules as Konica Minolta will service and manage printers both from Konica Minolta and other vendors. Konica Minolta’s OPS program leverages web-based management tools, automated supply replacement, customer support and service in one unified program. Proactive maintenance is delivered and supported by Konica Minolta’s team of certified technicians.

The OPS offering, a key initiative under Konica Minolta Business Intelligence Services (BIS) provides customers with a predictable cost structure for printing that assists organizations in making better business decisions. The BIS initiative, which consists of a broad range of professional services, hardware and software solutions, identifies and creates cost-effective solutions using both Konica Minolta’s own products and products from a range of solutions partners. Konica Minolta has a dedicated BIS team in place that offers innovative thinking to transform advanced technology into a simple plan of action.

Additionally, OPS makes conservation a top priority as it enables companies to use entire toner cartridges until empty, thus reducing the amount of waste. As part of its commitment to the environment, Konica Minolta’s recycling program prevents cartridge materials from ending up in landfills, recycling all of the returned cartridge.


Welcome to the party.

Zogby Poll Shows People Think Printing Color is a Luxury


In a very well crafted "Social Network Release"(here) from Xerox some of the results, in actuality four points, from a Zogby poll are embedded among marketing puffery.

Xerox doesn't come out and say that the Zogby poll reflects the Phaser as a cost effective alternative, but to the untrained or unaware eye, the post "feels" like Zugby respondents prefer the Phaser.

There is even a quote at the end of the post, praising the ease of use, excellent quality and crediting the color printer with "winning quite a few more bids" - I guess the Death of The Sales Person hit the catering business first.

Regardless, here are the stats from the Zogby poll, as filtered by Xerox:

-More than half of the 2,100 respondents (53%) said they think printing in color is a luxury.

-More than one third of respondents said the expense (35%) is the main reason they did not print more in color, and four out of five (82%) said they would be somewhat or very likely to print in color if it cost the same as black and white.

-Two in five respondents (39%) did not recognize the ROI value of printing in color – they strongly or somewhat disagreed that they spend time thinking about the places in their documents where color would give them more of a ROI.

-About one-quarter of respondents said they most frequently print presentations/PowerPoint documents (28%) or those with graphs (25%) in color.

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Greg Walters, Incorporated