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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hewlett Packard Signs as Platinum Sponser for MPS Conference

John Johasky, HP Vice-President to be Keynote Speaker at the Photizo MPS Conference in Amsterdam.

Photizo lands a big fish.
In San Antonio it was Xerox - for Amsterdam, HP.

Congrats go to Ed and the gang.

I will not be in Amsterdam, which is probably a good thing, for I have heard of many, different, odysseys one can experience in the dens of that strange land.

The Mad Dog in San Antonio was fun, one can only imagine the trouble I could get my colleagues into in Amsterdam.

The MPSA will have a strong presence and maybe a presentation or two.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Teacher, The Photocopier and The Toner - This stuff can't be made up.

Some readers may notice my Blog Roll on the left and the more observant may scope a few blogs that are not specifically print or copy related - so it would seem.

I added one, "It's Not All Flowers and Sausages" few months back.

I don't remember why, except perhaps the enticing and mysterious title - but I am sure there was once a post about copying or some none sense along those lines.

But today, when a tile from that blog came across "The Photocopier Continues to Haunt(Taunt) me" I chuckled.

Not at the clever play on words, Haunt/Taunt, but - who uses "Photocopier" as a descriptor anymore?

Teachers, that's who. Those wonderful, whacked out, the "world is my classroom - why are you tardy", pontificaters of the useless, keepers of the children, molders of the future - that's who.

This just in - upon further research into the title, I have uncovered the fact that this blog is written by the author of a book, "It's Not All Flowers and Sausages. My Adventures in Second Grade". Mystery solved.

Anyway - the story here is about a seven year old copier, Staples and Kinkos and customized seat sacks - whatever in the hell those are.

Its a teachers story - here's a tid bit:

"...I mean, isn't it enough that for seven years SEVEN YEARS the photocopier was capable of sending me into a rage I still can't quite put into words? What IS it about the photocopier? It got so bad at one point that Grandpa Mimi offered to BUY ME a photocopier. BUY ME A PHOTOCOPIER!..."

She has many posts about how there is no money for paper or how toner never arrives and how the school's tech guy tells her she has to buy her own toner for a district's laser printer(WTF!).

Check it out, a slice in the life of our second grade teachers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Big are getting Bigger: Xerox 's Largest Acqusition Ever, Affiliated Computer Services: Who?

"We don’t see the world going paperless." Burns on CNBC.

Xerox announced, today, it will purchase Affiliated Computer Services creating a $22 billion global enterprise for document technology and business process management.

The deal is initially valued at $6.4 billion.

Affiliated Computer Services is what's called a "BPO" or "Business Process Outsourcing" provider.

ACS Started in 1988 as a provider to the banking industry. Today, ACS is 23rd on the VAR 500 and boasts recurring revenue of around $5 billion and 74,000 world-wide employees.

"Our recurring revenue model has allowed us to generate healthy growth. The growth potential with this deal will generate solid returns and provide employees the opportunities to expand their expertise," said Lynn Blodgett, president and CEO of ACS.

Indeed, Ursula stressed this new business group will bring "a significant boost to our profitable annuity stream".

The revenue Xerox generates from services will triple from $3.5 billion in 2008 to an estimated $10 billion in 2010.

ACS has nothing to do with copiers, printers, and output devices - it's all process outsourcing and resides in the
the realm of EDS and Perot Systems.

Xerox is moving from the Third stage, Enhancing the Business Process into the Fourth stage of MPS, Managing the entire Ecosystem.

Also, ACS has the largest position in MediCaid and health care field.

So now the field is complete - HP/EDS, DELL/Perot, Xerox/ACS and Ricoh/IBM.

There is a very good interview from CNBC, here. Check it out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Engage or Die? Managed Print Services Reaching Another Sea Change

In an article appearing in the MicroScope UK by Billy MacInnes, Ed from Photizo outlines a possible approaching tempest for the traditional resellers - KillSwitch Engage.

This is nothing new for we who have been engaged in MPS - evolution occurs in months, not years.

Last month it was "define MPS" today it "engage or die", next month it will be "channel competes with the manufactures" - again.

For us in the trenches, the glass will be either half-full or get the point.

The large manufactures do not have the flexibility that the channel posses - the Channel may not have the Global coverage the manufacturers do - competing with manufacturer MPS, in the SMB should make your mouth water - and by SMB, don't we mean 100-1,000 employees?

That's at least 500 printers and possibly a few dozen copiers, right?

Enjoy the article:

Analysis: Resellers need to engage with print managed services

by Billy MacInnes
25 September 2009

IT resellers risk losing out if they fail to seriously engage with managed print services (MPS) opportunities within the next
five years.

The warning comes from Ed Crowley, CEO at specialist market research company Photizo Group. He suggests large numbers of resellers will not be able to break into the MPS space if they delay the move because rivals that make the leap to become what the company terms “hybrid dealers” will have so much more to offer.

“Firms that make the transition are so successful because it completely changes the customer dynamic and the customer relationship. Resellers will have a very difficult time competing once they come up against hybrid dealers,” Crowley says.

Levels of commitment

Photizo Group categorises IT resellers, office products dealers and office supplies resellers and remanufacturers as hybrid dealers, committed, testers or fence-sitters.

According to Crowley, less than 5% of IT resellers, office dealers and supplies remanufacturers/resellers have become hybrid dealers able to sell and support managed print services. A further 10% are committed to making the investment in people and technology to deliver MPS. Of the rest, around 25% are testers, which are not fully committed to MPS, and almost 50% are fence-sitters.

Photizo Group estimates that up to half of the latter two groups will not be able to break into the MPS market after 2014.

In the US, half of the hybrid dealers are from the office product space and a quarter each are IT resellers or office supplies resellers/remanufacturers.

Crowley says the IT channel has struggled with the MPS approach because it is so used to a box-selling mentality.

Channel role

He suggests the channel has a critical role to play as vendors seek to promote and sell MPS to SME customers in the wake of a dramatic fall in sales of printers, copiers and multifunction devices.

Until now, vendors have concentrated on selling MPS to enterprise customers, mainly on a direct basis, but their attention is beginning to shift to SMEs.

“A lot of the activity so far has been enterprise-centric,” Crowley says. “The vendors have not really approached the SME market yet. Some vendors may attack it directly, but for most it will be difficult to scale their systems.”

Reseller involvement

He adds that resellers should prepare for a blizzard of channel programmes from vendors in the coming months, pointing out that almost 18 schemes have been launched in a little over 12 months in the US.

“Europe is a little bit behind, but we see a very similar situation developing and an increase in the pace of the number of new programmes,” Crowley says.

He reveals that HP’s channel programmes in the US have not
been as successful as they needed to be with capturing office product resellers.

“It has been very successful with direct programmes to the enterprise, but the channel programmes are struggling a bit,” Crowley says.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

One "Big Copier" or a Small Fleet of MFP's? What say You?

Nathan over a Adventures of Office Imaging put up a nifty little comic.

Thought provoking. I found myself internally selling either option.

It's a classic and evolving story - I believe HP touts a statistic that for every "copier" in the field, there are 5-8 laser-based devices.

Seems to me that a mix of devices within the fleet is realistic.

Having a fleet of smaller devices, distributed though out an organization is not bad, it's the management of those assets/supplies/service that can get tricky.


Joe and Zoe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good Things Start With A Pencil

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last to The Table - Canon Makes Us All In - Canon Managed Document Services

Ok - this makes it final - everyone is on the MPS bandwagon.

In Vegas, Canon announced it's Managed Print Services program, "Managed Document Services".

As you probably already know, and according to the Rob Sethre, senior analyst, the Photizo Group,

“MPS is the fastest growing segment of the imaging industry, growing at a compound annual rate of 30 percent. Although historically MPS has been targeted to mainly large accounts, Photizo anticipates that MPS will become increasingly popular with small- and medium-sized enterprises, thereby putting dealers who offer these services in excellent position to capture a larger share of customer opportunities.”

So the biggest issue with the Canon announcement is, "What took you so long?"

The Press Release:

LAS VEGAS, Sep 22, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Setting a new standard for delivering managed print services to regional and global customers, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital document imaging and advanced office solutions, today launched Canon Managed Document Services (Canon MDS), a new unified, global initiative for outsourced print and document management services.

In concert with Canon Inc.’s recent global announcement consisting of a standard service menu and methodology, Canon MDS provides the infrastructure, tools and support to serve small to enterprise offices and CRD environments on a global scale, while also serving the needs of customers with a local geography.

Based on a common menu of tools and services, the Canon MDS offering evaluates a customer’s needs and ensures continuous improvements through a five- phased approach, including:

1. Discover and Analyze

2. Design

3. Deploy and Transition

4. Support and Manage

5. Evaluate and Review

As small- and medium-sized business customers look to take advantage of managed services models, Canon MDS empowers its network of authorized dealers to provide document services by packaging sophisticated tools and technologies that can easily be leveraged in customer deployments.

In the U.S., Canon has been successfully delivering managed print services to many top-tier organizations in the region for several years through its Canon Business Solutions subsidiary. Now with a common menu, Canon can offer its global customers a consistent approach and range of services regardless of their location.

“Today as customers increasingly recognize the monetary and workplace efficiency benefits of migrating to an outsourced solution, customers and dealers alike are looking to print manufacturers to deliver the complete print and document workflow solutions that will help reduce total cost of ownership and improve overall efficiency,” said Sam Yoshida, vice president and general manager, Imaging Systems Group, Canon U.S.A.

“This new Canon MDS offering, in combination with the technological innovations available with our products, such as the new imageRUNNER ADVANCE Series, will allow our customers and sales channels to tap into a single-point-of-contact to utilize and leverage the regional and global expertise and resources of Canon like never before for outsourced services.”

The Canon MDS offering leverages several innovative technologies and tools that uniquely combine Canon developed device functions, software solutions and professional services capabilities.

They include:

- imageRUNNER ADVANCE Content Delivery System, which offers capabilities for remote services, including remote installation of imageRUNNER ADVANCE firmware updates, embedded software options and MEAP applications

- imageWARE Enterprise Management Console with Plug-ins, which can be used for on-site enterprise device management, customer-managed meter collection and service alerts delivery

- imageWARE Remote, which enables the automatic submission of meter data and service alerts for pre-emptive support and consumables fulfillment, e-Billing functionality and integration with leading third-party Dealer ERP systems, such as OMD and e-automate

- uniFLOW Output Manager is an intelligent and highly scalable print management software suite with modules for Universal Secure Printing, Rules-Based Routing, Authentication, Desktop Accounting and Print Center Management

- Canon U.S.A. Professional Services brings the expertise to design and implement managed document services, from analyzing a customer’s print environment and developing new designs to reporting results and identifying areas for future improvements

- Canon MDS Knowledge Portal provides a secure Web site for business development and support, including business plans, training modules, best practices, white papers, case studies, industry analysis and more

The Canon MDS initiative will provide the framework and know-how required for Canon and its channel partners to effectively deliver managed services to clients. Based upon this introduction, Canon intends to capture a larger share of the growing market for outsourced document related services.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Holy Crap! Dell buys Perot Systems - Getting Serious About MSP

Perot Systems was the business Ross Perot created years after selling EDS to GM. It is EDS-like - providing IT services to corporate clients.

Right or wrong, I have always viewed Dell as a "second tier" PC provider. I remember when it was Dell and Gateway, slugging in out for all that "mail order" business, while I sold IBM PS/2's and Compaq DeskPro's.

Dell never made anything, they simply aggregated off-shore parts into a box.

Times have changed. Well, I guess the times change a while back...

"We consider Perot Systems to be a premium asset with great people that enhances our opportunities for immediate and long-term growth," Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, said in a statement. "This significantly expands Dell's enterprise-solutions capabilities and makes Perot Systems' strengths available to even more customers around the world. There will be efficiencies from combining the companies, but the acquisition makes such great sense because of the obvious ways our businesses complement each other."

One article here.

Six Questions to HP - Canon, OPS Elite and the Odyssey That is Edgeline

I've had the opportunity to pose queries to HP directly. The questions are via email, the answers are prompt, succinct and a bit, "political".

From Tom Codd, Director, Enterprise Marketing, Imaging and Printing Group, HP and Larry Trevarthen, Market Development Director, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

It's only six questions, enjoy.

1. Death of the Copier (DOTC), Will the OPS Elite resellers have access to the Canon product? If so, when, if not, why not.

"HP and Canon’s joint strategic intent is to extend customer choice in MPS as we believe this is the customer segment where the combination of HP’s MPS and Canon’s MFDs offer the greatest value proposition for customers. As the alliance with Canon evolves, HP will assess the possible extension into the channel space. This could include, but not be limited to, some select OPS partners that will be designated as agents and work with HP’s Direct Sales teams on new MPS opportunities."

2. DOTC, Is Canon providing the service on the HP/Canon line?

"Under the expanded alliance, HP will continue to service its printers and Canon will provide servicing and support for their full range of MFDs. HP will remain the initial point of contact for the customer in support, break/fix and supplies replenishment situations. Canon service personal will be dispatched for the actual support work."

3. DOTC, How does this effect Edgeline's future? Will there be new Edgeline devices?

"The new, expanded alliance between HP and Canon will have no effect on the future of HP Edgeline. HP continues to sell the CM8060 and CM8050 MFPs with Edgeline Technology. Furthermore, the Edgeline MFPs continue to meet customer needs and add value where it counts – operational cost savings, reliability, productivity, administration and environmental friendliness."

And three questions posed to Larry Trevarthen, Market Development Director, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

1. DOTC, Is HP selling Edgeline? And, if not, when did HP decide to cease selling Edgeline?

"Yes, HP continues to sell the CM8060 and CM8050 MFPs with Edgeline Technology. The Edgeline MFPs continue to meet customer needs and add value where it counts – operational cost savings, reliability, productivity, administration and environmental friendliness."

2. DOTC, How will HP support the Edgeline customer and the Edgeline dealers today or in the future?

"As always, HP will continue to provide first-class customer premise equipment (CPE) support as long as the products are sold and to additionally support current and future customers and resellers with service and parts. Furthermore, HP channel partners are critically important to our business, and we intend to continue to partner with them for our current single-function and MFP products, services and solutions, including transitioning to next generation products."

3. DOTC, Is there a replacement product? If so, what is the timeframe?

"HP does not comment publicly on future product announcements. However, the CM8060 and CM8050 MFPs are and will continue to be important assets in our portfolio and for our customers who value cost savings, performance, environmental friendless and device consolidation. We are committed to extending our leadership in the MFP market and to providing our customers the best products, services and solutions. We will continue broadening our printing portfolio in order to offer an exciting lineup of products for our enterprise customers. The HP CM8060 and CM8050 Color MFPs with Edgeline Technology continue to be ideal solutions for customers who need a departmental-class color MFP that helps improve productivity and control operating costs."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ricoh Files U.S. Patent Infringement Suit Against Oki Data

Details are still sketchy and this sort of thing usually takes place thousands of feet above most of us.

But it is about MFP's. We will be watching this one.

Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Shiro Kondo, President and CEO. Hereafter "Ricoh"), Ricoh Americas Corporation, Ricoh's managing sales company in the United States (Kazuo Togashi, CEO. Hereafter "RAC"), and Ricoh Electronics, Inc., Ricoh's manufacturing company in the United States (Yoshinori Yamashita, President) filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission on September 18, 2009 (U.S. EST) against Oki Data Corporation (hereafter "Oki Data") and Oki Data Americas, Inc. (Oki Data's United States subsidiary) for violation of Section 337 of the United States Tariff Act of 1930.

Among other things, Ricoh seeks an exclusion order from the ITC barring Oki Data's importation of Oki Data products that practice certain United States patents owned by Ricoh. Further, on the same day, Ricoh and RAC filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (State of Delaware) against Oki Data and Oki Data Americas, Inc. for infringement of other United States patents owned by Ricoh. Together, the lawsuits concern eight United States patents that cover products including digital multifunction printers (MFP) and printers.

Since April of 2006, Ricoh and Oki Data have been negotiating for the renewal of a patent license agreement between the two companies. Because the companies have been unable to reach an agreement, Ricoh is taking necessary action to protect its intellectual property against unauthorized use. Ricoh respects the intellectual property rights of others, and expects the same treatment in return.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A "Pyramid Scheme" in Copiers - The Struggles of Governor French Academy Continue

This story has legs - four of them.

We first brought you this account last month. The same, familiar routine, "shady" copier dealer churns customers, flexing buyouts into upgrades, never returns equipment to leasing company. Lease company continues to bill, receives no payments, sends letter, customer is shocked to learn they are still on the hook for the original lease.

This is excessive - there are around 7 leasing companies involved, possibly an eighth, and they all want this school to pay up. The school owes about 50 million clicks worth of Francs.

Nasty business, this.

And yet, so delicious...

When I first started on my DOTC, writing journey I would review my Google Analytics daily.

Checking how many hits came in and from where - I could tell my parents looked once, a few hits from my sister, some acquaintances etc. And after things "blew up" I would occasionally check the popularity of particular articles.

Those days have long since past - I rarely look at the stats - until last week.

A quick perusal of the most popular articles revealed an interesting point - views of lease related articles tripled over the last 60 days. Tripled.

I credit this spike to:

1. More interest in leasing because more people are making decisions to get new copiers
2. More people are looking for ways to get out of their existing lease

And unfortunately, this type of action makes our jobs that more difficult.

Escalation -

Now, the Illinois Attorney General's is involved. They announced an investigation, and the local gendarmes, already on the case, are cooperating with federal authorities.

Officials at Governor French Academy say the school owes at least $500,000 after leasing copiers from Kevin Welch of Okawville, in what they now call a complicated Ponzi scheme.

Thus far, no criminal charges have been filed.

So, copiers are at the heart of this intrigue - greed, schemes, local non-profit, and federal investigations.

Keep an eye out for a little sex, some drugs, gambling and hookers in this escapade.

Quel dommage!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

12 Things I Hate About Managed Print Services

12. How some I.T. people think "printers" are below their intellectual standards.

11. How some purchasing agents think of MPS Providers as a cell on the Big Spreadsheet.

10. The dealership/VAR owners who don't allow MPS Sales Professionals access to the company's existing customers.

9. Manufacturers who still think MPS is CPC.

8. Bad copier salespeople.

7. How some in the industry focus more on themselves than the customer.

6. Lease agreements.

5. Newbies who don't think they are Newbies.

4. "Experts" who haven't been in the field for over a decade.

3. MPS training text that has been generated through the simple Search and Replaced function; "MPS" for "copier".

2. MPS Practices that are better than mine.

And the Number One thing I Hate About Managed Print Services -

1. The word "Print" in Managed Print Services.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Canon and HP Announce Alliance - the Silence is Over and The Questions Begin

HP and Canon will share technology enhancing their existing partnership. HP will start selling Canon products by the end of the year; these units will carry the Canon placard, eventually switching over to the blue "HP".
"HP will now have the full line of hardware to bring to the customer," said Bruce Dahlgren, senior vice president of sales and services in HP's IPG. "And [Canon] will be able to leverage our managed print service as a way to get their copiers sold."

For months, maybe a year, the industry has predicted this and waited - this is a big deal. Maybe not as big as the IKON/Ricoh assimilation, but still big. 

I am sure more will be out in the following days and weeks answering questions like: 

How will this work with the existing VAR channel?
Indeed, is this for the Enterprise (HP direct) business only? 
Does this now open up all Canon dealers to HP? 
Does this now allow all HP SVIP/OPS VARs access to the Canon/HP line?

Canon and HP: A Response to Ricoh/IKON?

Canon U.S.A. Acquires San Francisco-Based NEWCAL Industries

A press release from Canon. (Source: Business Wire)trackingCanon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ) and HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced an expanded alliance to jointly market and distribute a new range of multifunction office systems that unite the best of both companies: Canon's leading multifunction devices and HP's enterprise printing and imaging assets. 

The alliance builds on an established relationship between Canon and HP, and positions the companies to offer customers a new class of web-enabled solutions that combine Canon's superior multifunction device processing and imaging systems with HP's leading device manageability, IT integration and office workflow capabilities. 

With the broader range of software and service offerings supported by EDS, an HP company, along with Managed Print Services from HP and Canon's global Services and Support offerings, enterprise customers now have access to one of the most complete offerings in the industry, delivering improved efficiencies and greater cost savings. This alliance includes current and future product portfolios from both companies, providing customers greater fleet compatibility across their entire office printing infrastructures. 

Canon and HP also will benefit from access to each other's management and third-party development software portfolios, including Canon imageWARE Enterprise Management Console and Canon MEAP as well as HP Web Jetadmin and the HP Open Extensibility Platform. The expanded portfolio of products and services is expected to be available to customers in North America and Europe, as well as global customers from these regions. 

"Through this new alliance with HP, we look forward to bringing the advantages of Canon's high-versatility, high-performance multifunction products to an expanded user base," said Masaki Nakaoka, managing director and chief executive, Office Imaging Products Operations, Canon Inc. 

"We expect this will maximize benefits for both companies' customers while also paving the way to increased growth for both Canon and HP." "HP has long been an industry leader with a portfolio of products, software, services and solutions that enable enterprise customers worldwide to improve their imaging and printing efficiencies without compromising the reliability, quality or professionalism of their documents," said David Murphy, senior vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

"In growing our relationship with Canon to offer customers value-added and more holistic IT solutions, we are confident organizations will enhance productivity with their imaging and printing and overall business workflow needs."

Ricoh to Buy IKON - Shot Heard Around the World

When Do You Look the Prospect in Eye and Say "No"?

From a question posed on LinkedIn - 

For me, selling every single day B2B, I believe that it is about Qualifying on a continuous basis- explicitly with the customer and internally on your own checklist. 

One approach I have found is to mention this right up front, on the first call - "...Mr. Prospect, if at any time during our journey, either of us sees that there isn't a fit, if, for instance, you notice that my process doesn't mix with yours, or if I see that my recommendation isn't in your budget, either one of us can decide to part ways. 

No hard feelings...does that sound(look or feel) fair?" 

Ok, maybe a little old school on the Fair Trail, but you get the point. Make it ok for your prospect to tell you no - AND make it easier for you to say no. But you gotta have 'it' - the Cheddar, the confidence, the testicular fortitude, the knowledge that you have something that others will want...simple as that. Selling is different nowadays (no it isn't but people feel better thinking it is). 

There is no reason that any selling professional should be any prospect's "whipping boy" unless we let them treat us like one. Or perhaps you're into that sorta thing, I don't judge. And that is the real problem. 

There are too many amateur salespeople, working for cheesy sales organizations being taught "the pencil sell", "puppy dog close", F.U.D. and techniques, it makes our job more difficult than it should be. 

As for how to tell a pain in the butt prospect that you don't want his business...simply tell him he deserves different and give him one of your competitor's business cards... wait for it...wait for it...those of you with the 'cheddar' know why -

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The 22 Year Old Grudge - Randall, Wisconsin Population 3,510 - Snubs Toshiba

“There are questions of security involving this organization,” Randal town supervisor Robert Gehring said, referring to Toshiba,

“This outfit should not have been allowed to continue to do business in this country.”

Oh boy.

Small town. One Copier. Evil doings and politics...

Published September 12, 2009 | 11:07 p.m.

Randall dumps Toshiba copier in lease


RANDALL — It’s not the fact the town will get a new copier that is newsworthy. It’s why the town is getting one that raises eyebrows.

The board voted unanimously Thursday to lease a new color copier for an amount of money not significantly different from what it had been paying. While it does have some added capabilities compared to the copier it had been leasing, a need for those new features is not what prompted the town to get six different copier bids.

The town needed a different copier, supervisor Robert Gehring contended when he offered to explore other options, because the one they have was manufactured by Toshiba. As a matter of principal, Gehring disagrees with the lease or purchase of any product of Toshiba.

“There are questions of security involving this organization,” Gehring said when the product’s lease agreement came up for discussion last month. “This outfit should not have been allowed to continue to do business in this country.”

Gehring’s opinion stems from an incident in 1987, when Toshiba Machine, a subsidiary of Toshiba, was accused of illegally selling machinery used to produce quiet submarine propellers to the Soviet Union, which was allegedly in violation of an international embargo.

The Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal also involved the Norwegian company Kongsberg Vaapenfabrik, strained relations with Japan, and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two senior executives.

Top government officials contended that providing technology to make the USSR’s submarines harder to detect created a significant threat to America’s security.

For Gehring, this is enough reason to boycott the use of any equipment made by Toshiba, which is also responsible for the invention of radar, microwave ovens and the technology used in MRI exams. It is why he voted against the copier lease under a different town administration and brought up the issue again.

This time he prevailed in his quest, though other officials cited the new copier’s functionality and price comparison as the reason behind their vote to lease a different copier.

Full article Here.


Indeed, Toshiba Machines and two executives were found guilty of selling technology to the Soviet Union - violating Japan's Foreign Trade Control Law

From the L.A. Times, March 23, 1988 -

"...The court fined Toshiba Machine 2 million yen--about $15,700.

Ryuzo Hayashi, 53, former director of Toshiba Machine's foundry department, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and Hiroaki Tanimura, 51, former deputy director of the company's first engineering department, received a one-year sentence. But both sentences were suspended.

A Foreign Ministry official said the sentences appeared to be light because the violation was a first offense for the defendants. He added that Hayashi and Tanimura did not act for personal gain but in the interests of the company..."

22 years is a long time when grinding axes...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Movie: "Surrogates"...TheMatrix Meets SecondLife Meets DieHard - A World For No Paper

What is the way to reduce paper output costs to zero?

No paper at all.

Paper is the perfect medium, for now. It's static, portable, abundant and common. Easy to use and universally excepted, paper is the ultimately simple, graphic user interface. The basic transportable transfer of information.

The "Holy Grail" - the Paperless society - will need to somehow transcend this basic need, the simple, constrained manner in which data and information is collected and presented to others - we would need to skip the solid medium all together.

Connecting directly into the mind.

Sure, just like Johnny Mnemonic, right?

In this movie, much like The Matrix, real humans are physically safe and sound at home, connected to the "machine". "Surrogates", extremely good looking and capable droids, live out their physical lives - much like Second Life.

Life controlled remotely, with the mind.

Enter some science fiction and some science fact.

Stay with me here, recently as seen on 60 Minutes, scientists have now been able to a) implant sensors onto the brain, reading electric impulses triggered by thought and b) manufacture a cap that detects the same type of brain/mind activity - the result - controlling a mouse or ANY OTHER DEVICE.

It's called BrainGate and it is just the beginning.

So I'm thinking, not only would we be able to program TiVo or order Chinese by just thinking - we will be MindFax'ing each other.

From text books to FaceBook - instantaneously and in hi-def.

No keyboards, no dual-monitors, no printers, ink cartridges or toner deliveries and no paper.

Yes, a fertile imagination...

Imaging Industry Information Looks at The Managed Print Services EcoSystem

One of my common themes with MPS is "how can any manufacturer get behind pure MPS when the goals of every engagement should be the reduction of both MIF and volume?

How can a dealer use MPS as a "marketing" scheme to leverage more hardware placements?

It just doesn't reconcile.

It seems GMTA - one of the Old Guard(no offense meant)Tom Callinan, has a great description on this subject. He says,

" of the long-term goals of MPS is to reduce the number of devices used by a company. What does this mean? It means that the industry players—those that depend on an already shrinking revenue pool—are going to deliberately accelerate that revenue decline..."

Tom has a good grip on the conundrum. Read the entire post here.

Oh No! Another Imaging Publication! Yeah, but, this ones got me in it. How bad can it be?

Imaging Solutions Reseller launched its site today.

Scott Cullen, the Editor, says, "...we like to think that Imaging Solutions Reseller is more than just another imaging publication.

We’re exclusively an online, interactive publication that is written, edited, and managed by industry insiders. Our audience is anyone who sells and services imaging solutions (hardware, software, parts, consumables), including independent dealers, VARs, and manufacturer direct branches.

Content is determined and created by our editors, bloggers, and an editorial board consisting of dealer principals and feet-on-the-street sales reps..."

Ok - should be interesting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Death of Managed Print Services : Photizo Identifies The Fourth Horseman

Sept, 2009

TheEndOfTheWorld as WeKnowIt 

It was a free Photizo webinar about vendor-provided MPS programs and how somebody looking to get into MPS could evaluate all the choices. 

A simple, straight forward, easy to understand theme. Attending would be a good way of keeping up with what others think. 

Besides, I could work some spreadsheets and email while keeping one eye on the slide deck. The presentation was interesting, the questions posed engaging - the answers even more gripping. 

For instance, when asked about the future market growth for MPS, Ed responded by saying copier sales may increase by 3% by 2013, contrasted against a 28% growth in MPS. 

More importantly, of the 80% of dealers NOT providing MPS, 50% will disappear. 

 Ominous? Yes. 

But there is something more - a darkness slowing creeping over the MPS Ecosystem. 

At first, it's just the feeling that someone is watching you, then that slight prick at the back of your neck, the sudden chill - a kick in the breeze, movement at the edge of your peripherals - are those...hooves...I hear? 


A question was posed by somebody trying to reconcile the "box moving" mentality with this new MPS paradigm; Transactional vs. Relationship. And Ed hit it, 

"...whoever owns the service levels, owns the customer..." - makes sense and is self-evident. 

But then the question turned to the future of MPS - I think somebody actually asked Ed to define the 3 Stages, Control, Optimize, Enhance - "what would be the fourth stage?" was the follow-up question, it seemed to be a rhetorical one. 

But Ed has an answer. The Fourth Stage. 

The first board meeting of your Managed Print Services Association was held this past Friday. This is a significant event and trumpets in MPS as a real, defined philosophy and business niche. In order for the MPSA to begin, MPS needed to have some sort of definition - vague or otherwise, there had to be a common idea to rally around. 

Part of the definition formed around the three stages of MPS, observed by the Photizo group. To be certain, HP, Xerox, and all the other players in MPS either had or developed their own definition in "stages" or "phases" - but the basic 3 stages, Control, Optimize, Enhance apply to most MPS programs. 

As observed here on DOTC, the first two stages are sufficient and fall nicely into the traditional copier, office equipment model. The Third stage, Enhance, is a bit more advanced and demands more expertise. But the Fourth Stage is purely mind-blowing. 

Ed defined the fourth stage a managed print services Practice, managing the entire network. 

Imagine your remote monitoring software reading supply levels, meter reads, service events as well as network traffic, power consumption, and desktop PC usage. Imagine being hired by your client to optimize the network completely. Asset management, service calls, data flow - everything - managing the dynamic IT infrastructure. 

Yes, the Fourth Stage will take the "P" out of MPS - or will it? It is my opinion, that the Fourth stage will see the end of MPS. Hybrid firms swallowed up by the likes of EDS/HP, IBM, InfoPrint, and print devices showing up on Tivoli, UniCenter or MainView not PrintFleet, or Print Audit. The Fourth Stage is the Fourth Horseman - you know who rides and you know what follows. 

Toshiba Announces Elite Partnership with Hewlett-Packard

It's official.

One more arrow in the Toshiba MPS quiver, this alliance let's Toshiba dealers sell HP laser printers directly to customers.

This should fill some of the A4 gaps in TABS hardware line. And HP opens another channel for it's IPG.

I wonder if Toshiba will maintain MPS agreements with genuine HP toner or it's Encompass brand?

And I wonder if now all Toshiba dealers will be sending technicians to the HP site for laser training?

The complete press release:

New Agreement Enables Toshiba to Sell HP Laser Jet Printers Direct to Customers
IRVINE, Calif.--(Business Wire)--

Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) today announced a strategic agreement with Hewlett-Packard (HP) that allows Toshiba to sell HP`s laser jet product line to customers. This agreement expands and strengthens Toshiba`s overall product offering while also meeting the needs of HP-loyal customers.

Toshiba`s elite partnership benefits both dealers and their customers, with dealers receiving pricing discounts that translate to cost savings for the customer. Additionally, access to HP`s line of laser jet products allows dealers to further strengthen their Managed Print Services (MPS) program offerings for customers who already have HP as their single-function printer provider.

"Hewlett-Packard is without question the preferred printer provider for a large
number of the companies we do business with, and by bringing HP to the table
along-side Toshiba`s line of award-winning multifunction products, Toshiba has
succeeded in establishing a competitive advantage that will have a significant
and positive impact on our dealers` ability to succeed in this competitive

said Mark Mathews, president and chief operating officer, TABS.

Managed Print Services

This agreement extends the benefits of Toshiba's MPS, which helps dealers develop additional revenue streams while simultaneously helping customers decrease inefficiencies and reduce costs. The program helps dealers reduce and sometimes eliminate the need for new equipment while simplifying service contracts and decreasing imaging consumable costs.

With its elite partnership with HP, Toshiba can now provide dealers with more options for their customers in both the areas of service and product offerings. The HP laser jet line will be available through dealers to all Toshiba customers, not just those utilizing the Managed Print Services program.

About Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc.

Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) manages product planning, marketing, sales, service support and distribution of copiers, facsimiles, multifunction printing products, network controllers, and toner products throughout the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., TABS has five divisions: the Electronic Imaging Division; the Toner Products Division; the Document Solutions Engineering Division; the International Division; and TOPAC U.S.A., Inc., dba Toshiba Business Solutions (TBS), a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of TABS, that operates a network of wholly-owned office equipment dealers throughout the United States.


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Friday, September 4, 2009

More Copier Leasing Crime: How Would You Like to Be Sued By SEVEN Leasing Companies?

There is plenty of blame to go around.

I am starting to get Deja Vu with all this.

Just for kicks, here is a list of some of the articles here on DOTC dealing with "wrong turn leasing":

Governor French Academy files another suit alleging fraud in copier lease: Marlin Leasing

Another "GACKED" Sales Forecast: Idaho School District Reneges on Xerox Deal

Why Your Customer Should Re-Write Your Lease Agreement: It's About Them, Not You.

Managed Print Services Appointment - Another Ticked Off Konica/Minolta Client:Leasing and "Integrity"

New York City Dept of ED. - Xerox Contract Starts at $36 million - ends up at more than $67 Million - UPDATED 4/6/09

Copier Selling to Schools- Let's Get Down and Dirty in the Mud!!!!

Bad Experiences with Leasing - Toshiba, IKON, Canon, Saxon

WOW -!

The Governor French Academy is on the "list" of SEVEN leasing companies - and you think you have problems?

According to school founder, Phillip Paeltz, the school's next step is to reach out to the seven companies to settle the dispute.

"If they accept it, then I guess this is over," Paeltz said. "If they don't accept it, we will file for Chapter 11 protections."

OMG! You mean to tell me that a copier deal gone bad may bring down an educational institution?

Let's look at Governor French.

Mission Statement:

Governor French Academy's mission is quite simple. We provide:

1. The finest preparation for college-level educational work
2. Complete preparation for college testing procedures, including interviews
3. Thoughtful assistance in obtaining financial aid for college-level education

They bill themselves as a college preparatory school complete with a challenging curriculum, "...young men and women in their crested blazers..." and their site exudes a quiet professionalism.

So how could something like this happen? How could an organization charged with molding these young minds full of mush end up in such a predicament?

They just weren't paying attention - happens all the time.

Full, latest article, cut and pasted to follow.

BELLEVILLE -- Governor French Academy may have to file for bankruptcy to protect itself financially from a dispute involving copy machines, the school's headmaster said Thursday.

"We started to receive bills out of the blue for copiers we don't have," said Governor French founder Phillip Paeltz.

Paeltz said the school has done business with Kevin Welch, of Okawville, for nine years, leasing copying machines from various companies the school staff thought Welch represented. The school staff was under the impression the leases were terminated when they returned the copiers to Welch but discovered later that some of the machines were never returned to the companies, according to Paeltz.

Welch could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Now seven leasing companies are suing the private K-12 school, accusing it of being in possession of 14 copiers. Paeltz said the value of the leases and the machines comes to an estimated $500,000.

Paeltz said the school tried to work through the situation with Welch in April, when school officials first started getting erroneous bills from the copy machine companies, and Welch, according to Paeltz, told the school he would take out a loan to pay the money owed. When he failed to do so, the school filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Welch in July. The lawsuit is pending.

Paeltz said he knows of at least two similar incidents occurring in Illinois, one at a church in Madison County and one at a senior citizens center in Okawville.

Paeltz said the school's next step is to send proposals to the seven companies to settle the dispute.

"If they accept it, then I guess this is over," Paeltz said. "If they don't accept it, we will file for Chapter 11 protections."

Paeltz said a judge will determine the exact amount of the damages in court Wednesday.

Changeforge To Provide Daily News Flash of Our Industry

News aggregators can be productive - if your interested in getting up to date news around our industry, this looks like a pretty interesting alternative.

I've gone over and checked out the site - it looks decent - the following is a cut and paste from friends of DOTC, Changeforge.

Check it out here.

ChangeForge Announces Partnership to Provide Document Solutions Daily to You!
September 1, 2009 · Filed Under Document Solutions Daily, State of the Blog
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Documents Solutions Daily - KWorks Publishing

Document Solutions Daily - Kworks Publishing

Stop spending valuable time searching through countless industry articles trying to keep up with the industry. Now you can get the latest industry trends delivered directly to you. Document Solutions Daily summarizes an average of 20 document technology events that impact your business and can provide you competitive advantage over your competition.

ChangeForge is pleased to announce a partnership with Kworks Publishing to provide our subscribers daily updates of industry news via Document Solutions Daily.

Who Typically Benefits from Daily Updates?

  1. Professionals involved in the office equipment, digital production print and document management industry
  2. Senior Management
  3. Sales and Marketing Professionals
  4. Dealer Principals
  5. Advertising and PR agencies
  6. … and of course you, the ChangeForge community!

Document Solutions Daily (DSD), from Kworks Publishing, is an up-to-the-minute peek into the complex world of office equipment, document management and production printing.

Starting Tuesday, September 8, ChangeForge provides a DAILY news flash of current events affecting the document technology industry. News flash not enough for you? Then take advantage of the special discounted rate offered to our loyal ChangeForge subscribers.

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Greg Walters, Incorporated