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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Death of Printers: I've Been Saying It For Over a Year - HP Will Not Be Selling Printers

In an article by Jon Fortt, at Brainstorm Tech, HP's Bruce Dahlgren illustrates a future without printers; without printer sales people.

Indeed, Jon's article, title, "The death of a (printer) salesman" is ominous.

If not a bit cosmic.

I had a conversation the other day with an MPS Visionary who is starting to think that not only is MPS changing the copier channel, it is changing the Selling Model - Wow.

As sited here on DOTC, the shift has been underway from copier sales to more Business Acumen ever since MPS got "hot".

Here is the article, enjoy.

The death of a (printer) salesman
Posted by Jon Fortt, senior writer
March 30, 2010 7:00 AM

"In the near future, most big businesses won't actually buy printers. The shocker: HP is looking forward to that.

Enterprise printers aren't going away. But soon, most big companies will pay for the output, not the box. Photo: HP.

Bruce Dahlgren's job at Hewlett-Packard is to sell printers to big customers. Well, sort of. During a recent huddle in a conference room at Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto, he was talking about what will happen when big customers stop actually buying printers.

Sound unthinkable? It’s not. Rather than purchase equipment that gets old and breaks down, these days a growing number of companies would rather let someone else own and manage the office copiers and printers — make sure they’re up-to-date, stocked with supplies and arranged in the most efficient way — and instead just pay for the work the equipment does. The model is called managed print services, and it’s all the rage.

In fact, it’s a big part of the reason Dahlgren is at HP (HPQ) in the first place.

Soon after HP CEO Mark Hurd arrived at the company five years ago, he recognized that the vaunted imaging and printing group wasn’t doing a great job with large businesses. Part of the problem: IPG executives were used to marketing to consumers, and lacked deep experience in enterprise sales.

Vyomesh Joshi, the printing group’s executive vice president, once told me that it was humbling, but he realized he needed Hurd's help to turn things around.

In a controversial move, Hurd brought in Dahlgren, a former colleague at NCR (NCR), to lead the enterprise printing business and spearhead managed print services. (Because of a legal dustup with previous employer Lexmark (LXK) regarding a non-compete agreement, he had to take some time overseeing Europe before settling into the role.) Since then, Dahlgren has been scrapping with the likes of Xerox (XRX) for share in the market.

So far the services business has grown to the point where HP manages 19 billion pages per year. The total value of all managed print services contracts stands at about $5.5 billion. Revenues have recently gotten large enough that HP executives review it separately from the other printing operations.

A race to print money

The spoils of the managed print services war should be considerable. Photizo Group, a research firm, estimates that by 2013 it will more than double into a $60 billion global market, and more than half of all enterprise printing devices will be under a services contract. Dahlgren says that today, only about a third of HP’s enterprise customers have begun using managed print services at all, and another third are evaluating it. “So I don’t shy away from a $1 million contract,” Dahlgren says. “Because I know that once we get in there, this thing really expands.”

In this environment, the company that locks up the most market share could eventually wield decisive influence over which enterprise printer and copier brands thrive. If HP wins, it gets to eat a big piece of Xerox’s business. If Xerox wins, it gets to do the same to HP.

So it makes sense for the printing giants to jockey for market share grab now, especially since businesses don’t want to buy equipment anyway and companies like HP can promise coveted cost savings from switching to the services model. But what happens when that stage is over, and investors still want profit growth in the imaging and printing segment?

Dahlgren has an idea of how it might work. He offers a customer as an example: HP had begun managing most printers and copiers for a hospital when someone noticed that the station for printing the hospital’s ID wristbands was located right near the admissions station. That would make it possible to print each patient’s picture, in color, right on the wristband.

Not only would it make it easier for hospital staff to check them, it would add a valuable layer of security. And in the print services contract, HP can charge more for the new wristband-printing service — similar to the way the cable company charges more for premium channels. Says Dahlgren: “Wouldn’t it be cool — we’re not there yet — but wouldn’t it be cool if when a doctor printed out a patient’s information, there was actually a picture there?”

It would be cool. And apparently profitable for HP, too."

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

So...What, Exactly Is A "Document"?

Somebody asked me what was meant by "document" in my definition of Managed Print Services.

Good Question.

Here's my answer:

"Any portable, presentation of information"

Wide Open.

From post cards, to Post-Its. From a handwritten letter to a three dimensional rendering.

Speaking of...

Enter the Personal Cubic Display - just another document...I know, mind blowing, isn't it...

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Fun Video - This is How One Sells a Caddy!

Odd thing is, the Red Chinese did this - those crazy, newbie, capitalists!

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Commercial Paper Shrinks for Second Week

UPDATE 1-U.S. commercial paper shrinks for 2nd week - Fed
14 hours ago via Thomson Reuters

By John Parry and Walden Siew

NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. commercial paper market shrank for a second straight week, hinting that companies may still be cautious about the pace of economic growth, Federal Reserve data showed on Thursday.

Firms typically use commercial paper to restock shelves in anticipation of consumer demand and to pay wages. Many have been trimming commercial paper issuance as they slow the pace they add to inventories, for fear the U.S. economic rebound might run out of steam, some analysts say.

Recent shifts in the commercial paper market "are linked to a slowdown in the inventory rebuilding cycle that we saw in the second half of 2009," said Howard Simons, strategist with Bianco Research in Chicago.

For the week up to March 24, the size of the U.S. commercial paper market fell by about $7.9 billion to $1.114 trillion outstanding from $1.122 trillion the previous week.

In addition, money market funds, which are big participants in the market, have been selling commercial paper recently, eroding the market's size, said Tony Crescenzi, market strategist and portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO).

As risk aversion subsides, some investors in money market funds have been switching into riskier, higher-yielding assets such as corporate bonds and stocks, analysts said.

A surge of corporate debt issuance over the past year has replaced some of the short-dated commercial paper debt companies and banks might otherwise have sold, limiting the size of the commercial paper market, strategists add.

"Companies have been terming out their debt and (are) not interested in issuing," Crescenzi said. "Companies can issue debt at longer maturities at decent yields" to borrow fairly cheaply, he added.

The overall U.S. commercial paper market is now about half its peak size of $2.2 trillion outstanding in August 2007 when the credit crisis began.

U.S. asset-backed commercial paper rose to $414.4 billion outstanding in the latest week from $410.3 billion outstanding the previous week.

Unsecured financial issuance fell by $11.6 billion after falling by $24.2 billion the previous week. (Reporting by John Parry and Walden Siew; Editing by James Dalgleish and Padraic Cassidy)

Secular, not cyclical - Print Is Dead.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Managed Print Services and Beyond - I Know One Name? (IKON)

There is a very, very big shoe about to drop in the MPS universe - the "Alan Parson's Project", also known as the Preparation "H", RiKON's - Managed Document Services

I have mentioned in various discussions, observing many "want ads" appearing across the country for Managed Document Services Specialist / Managed Print Services posted by IKON. 

Small, interesting point here, the ads are posted by IKON, not Ricoh. At one point, my Google Alerts were bringing 3 to 5 returns from IKON a day. 

I noticed this morning, only one, out here in Irvine. To me, this says they have hired up and are about to roll out the MDS program. It's no secret that IKON, on paper, should have the best MPS talk track in the world. They have an FM - where the standard "assessment" is paramount and software called "TRAC".

Ikon has an EDM division - they know how to craft and sell an SOW. The sales force is huge - feet on the street. A fairly large service footprint - access to multiple manufacturing service parts(debatable, I know) And they should be able to go after business at the Enterprise and SMB level. 

 Indeed, it is my opinion, and I think this is shared by some, that IKON MDS solution has the potential of providing a pallet of services, supported by a very good Professional Services consulting staff, an above-average fulfillment system, and a vendor-agnostic toolset helping clients manage their environment. Of course, every, single, MPS program out there looks fantastic on paper, doesn't it? 

Been there, done that, got the pink slip to prove it. (Well, not me personally, but you get the point...)

IKON MDS is built on Three Phases: 

Total Fleet Managementt – a range of baseline support for deploying and managing diverse fleets of output devices, including supplies, service and maintenance (preventive and restorative), and management reporting. 

Intelligent Device Rationalization – a strategic assessment of current assets, business processes and workflows to help organizations achieve a balanced deployment utilizing the right device at the right time. 

Optimized Business Processes – a consultative approach to design, plan and implement improved business processes. 

 If the above seems vaguely familiar, see the chart below: 

It's the same - Another interesting point, the job description for an MDS Specialist at RiKON includes:

"...Performs complex business analyses of customer’s business communication requirements and develops benchmark demonstrations, proposals and value propositions that exceed customers’ requirements resulting in the development of new customers and retention of existing Managed Print Services account by applying a consultative approach...

" Wow - ok...does this sound like a "copier sales guy"? I know the MDS project, ahem I mean the "Alan Parsons Project" was initiated a while back; back when MPS was hot. Before all the other copier dealers tried and failed. 

So it will be with great interest we watch the press releases as RiKON/RBS/Ricoh start to announce all the "big MDS" wins that will undoubtedly occur between now and the end of the summer. 

One thing - I wonder if there will be a hardware gate inside the MDS commission structure. 

  Click to email me.

The Final Definition of Managed Print Services...for now.

Ok. This is not a tease.

We here at Death Of The Copier are making a stand.

Staking our claim, drawing a line in the sand.

Here is my definition of Managed Print Services, as of today, March 23, 2010,

"...the act of managing components and processes associated with moving, saving and presenting information in the form of documents..."

...and the crowd goes crazy...well, at least the crowd smiles, brightly...on a beach...somewhere in SoCali.

Here is my take on the definition.

The Managed Print Services Universe is large enough to include all of the parts in the MPS Ecosystem - hardware to software; single function devices to third party toner; from paper supplier to lease company; from remote monitoring to invoicing workflow. It is all here in MPS, and so much more.

More importantly, as we on the inside of the industry struggle to define what it is we can make money with, some of us may be forgetting the prospect, the customer.

After all, isn't MPS suppose to be all about the Client, not about us?

Some say, MPS is simply about "print". I know, I know, its right there in the moniker.

But if we hang our future on the 'P' we are doomed.

Just ask the current pool of unsatisfied copier/printer/output dealers failing with MPS.

And yes ~ it does have a tinge of oldskool and includes EDM.

This definition works; it doesn't tie you to the print, but includes the print.

When using this, your clients and prospects will respond favorably and won't hear "copier" or "printer" so you are not pigeon holed into an equipment and CPI competitive battle.

Your assessments will naturally expand beyond volumes and supplies cost.

This definition can be used by toner folks, copier guys, wide format, FM, software, printer resellers, leasing companies, paper suppliers AND IT VARs.

But the most important aspect: I have been asking PROSPECTS and CLIENTS what they think of it. Market testing, as it were.

I tell them, and then I ask them, what does it mean to them.

Most shrug and say, "... you manage all my processes and units around my information..." - perfect.

One more time - Managed Print Services is,

"...the act of managing components and processes associated with moving, saving and presenting information in the form of documents..."

Inclusive...not exclusive. Brief. Succinct, and Tweetable.

Definition settled.

There. Now we can be friends.

Let us hold hands and frolic amongst the waves, shall we?

Click to email me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oce REBRANDS Their Current Fleet Management program into Managed Print Services

This is like updating your online Profile.

Well, at least Oce is being honest about it.

In a press release, today, Oce announced Oce MPS, a rebranded version of the company's current Oce Universal Fleet Management service.

"The new offering provides enterprises with optimized utilization of document output equipment, better control of document-related expenses and improved operating efficiency. The net impact is a marked reduction in the total cost of office print/copy, which is estimated at three percent of revenue according to such industry analysts as Gartner, IDC and InfoTrends..."

Oce's stated, idea of a Successful Managed Print Service:

"...Successful Managed Print Service solutions should include a comprehensive assessment of current and future document production output that is aligned with a customized migration strategy for managed print. Staff training and equipment optimization to reduce costs and curb inefficiency are also components of a solid managed print plan. An optimized fleet configuration and effective ongoing management can reduce costs as much as 30%.

MPS Goals:

Improve multi-brand fleet performance and ultimately standardize the fleet

Separate underutilized from cost-efficient systems

Calculate true cost of ownership

With proper managed print, companies receive the resources needed to better control document process operations and expenses. By assessing existing devices relative to the print trends of the organization, it is then possible to redeploy existing assets and achieve a better ROI.

There are many cost-saving strategies inherent in MPS.

Some of those can include:

Route document production jobs to the most efficient device to reduce costs
Encourage document sharing by establishing departmental charge-backs for the cost of printing..."

See it all here.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lexmark on the Block? Bank of America speculates "Yes"

Once again, there are rumors of Lexmark's demise.


Oki? Sharp? Brother?

Who shall woo the Lex?

Trading at a 52 week high, the Kentucky based printer manufacture looks to be a good LBO candidate.

Last year, the stock was settling around $15 a share. On Tuesday, it closed at $36.82, up 5.53 percent.

The fact that the stock is trading at its 52-week high makes it attractive.

"These types of deals occur at market tops," said Tom Carpenter, vice president and senior equity analyst at Hilliard Lyons in Louisville.

Carpenter also noted that Lexmark has significantly improved its printers over the past couple of years and focused on segments in which people print more.

Lexmark's market capitalization is close to $3 billion.

And with their focus away from consumer and more towards B2B, they have made some inroads and may be attractive to a more financially sound, tier II player.

Lexmark eyed as takeover candidate

Lexmark Advances on Talk It May Be an LBO Candidate

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Copier Crime and Schools: Jefferson Parish, The Big Easy

'...The school system is getting fleeced by these copy people," board member Mark Morgan said, referring to what school officials estimate is more than $600,000 in copy machine overcharges over the past five years..."

Board President Gene Katsanis thinks that schools might have lost as much as $1 million on their copier contracts over the past 15 years.

He and others want to hear from principals who signed leases for the machines without authorization.

"Some of the principals are telling me they are in dire straits over the copy situation," Katsanis said.

"Some of them can't pay the bills, and they never will be able to pay the bills.

The situation down in Louisiana, sums up like this:

For decades, school principals had been initiating and signing copier contracts for their school.

Each school individually driving the purchasing process reportedly the principals "did not have authority" to sign the leases.

Although there is a state approved vendor/manufacture list, principals where sourcing from one of six, separate, local dealers.

This past summer, it was "discovered" that the schools were paying too much for copiers and overages.

One of the suppliers, Bell Office Machines, did a quick analysis of the current purchasing procedures - this analysis should not be confused with a MPS study.

Mr. Poole, owner of Bell, promptly reported to one of the board members, Ray. St. Pierre, his findings: "They can't get out of the leases," Poole said. "School after school is locked into tons of money."

"The agreements that principals had been signing for their own schools' copiers typically had non-cancellable clauses, lasted five years and were re-sold to third-party financing companies, St. Pierre, said.

Supported by these findings and at the recommendation of Mr. St. Pierre, the board required all schools to source future copier leases through a single dealer; coincidentally enough, Bell Office Machines.

It should be noted that Bell Office Machines has been selling copiers to the school system's central office for the past eight years - Eight Years.

While nobody questions Mr. Poole's "findings" - interest is being focused on the relationship between Mr. Poole and Mr. St. Pierre - golfing buddies for the past two years, Mr. St. Pierre reported not knowing what Mr. Poole did for a living until this past summer.

At some point, Mr. Poole struck up a conversation regarding the school district's copiers and Mr. St. Pierre liked what he heard - I imagine this occurring on the 19th green - this no doubt, led to Poole examining the districts practices.

So, not only is there a ruckus over bad copier deals, there is some question as to the shady deal allowing Bell Office Machines to become soul supplier. This deal apparently built upon on a golfing relationship.

Of course, it gets worse.

Further investigation reveals that Poole is a contributor to St. Pierre's political campaign - huh.

"We need to take it out of the hands of the principals," board member Martin Marino said.

"They're ripping us off," Katsanis said of the other vendors. "And I don't want to do business with people who are trying to take advantage of us."

Again, this stuff just can't be made up...delicious!


Cut down cost of copiers for Jefferson Parish schools: An editorial

Overcharging, favoritism alleged in Jefferson Parish schools copier contract

Copier controversy continues in Jefferson Parish schools

DOTC stories about Copiers and Crime: Here.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The 2010 North American MPS Conference, May 3-5 - A Good Time Shall Be Had By All

2010 MPS North American MPS Conference

Last year was the beginning. About 150 Managed Print Services thought leaders gathered, commiserated and planned; the MPSA was born.

Today, the MPS hurricane is in full gear with dark clouds, wind, and chaos.

It's only been a year, but there are more MPS tools, vendors, compensation models, channel programs, and workflow solutions, one can shake a stick at; which one of these is the best?

What the heck is SharePoint and how is that going to help me sell more MPS?

What exactly does a MPS end user REALLY want? And how can a traditional or Hybrid dealer step up?

For that matter, how do we get appointments and what in the world do we do when we find ourselves in front of a C-Level prospect?

Where can you go for some cover, some answers? Where can you get realistic, sound, field tested MPS advice? Who can help me separate Myth from Reality?

Fear not, the answers lie at the river bend in San Antonio, Texas, this May(3-5th).

Steps from the Alamo, like minded MPS visionaries will walk the halls of Omni La Mansion Del Rio.

Venture with these Titans of MPS, ask them questions directly over hors d'oeuvres in "Battleship Row". Sit wide eyed as your peers pontificate the MPS bleeding edge.

The theme this year is MPS: The Next Stage...

It's all about the Third Stage, "Enhancing the process..."

Most of us equate enhancing business process with EDM or software.

This is true, but is there more?

Oh yes, much, much more, indeed.

Ed and the gang put on a great show last year, this year's will be stellar.

Go here. Register now.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

For IT Providers: Managed Print Services Could be the 24th Chromosome

Some who know me, know that I am a First Person Shooter(FPS) enthusiast - PC Gamer.

From Doom to Quake to Half-Life to Day of Defeat, I have been online gaming since 1999.

A few years back, a movie based on the Doom FPS was released. In spite of the predictable mayhem, and The Rock, it wasn't that bad of a flick - pretty good actually.

In the movie, the remains of an ancient civilization have been discovered on Mars. A humanoid civilization is similar to us except for one distinct difference; they have an extra pair of chromosomes, 24 vs. our 23.

The 24th pair gave this race superhuman abilities - great physical strength, speed, and the ability to heal in minutes versus weeks.

Managed Print Services and Doom? No.

But how about this: Managed Print Services is your 24th chromosome.

At one point in the movie, the hot, female, scientist isolates this chromosome and injects it into her dying brother. He awakes completely healed - faster, stronger - and rips up the bad guys.

Imagine your VAR/Dealership as the shot-up, dying, brother - with 23 chromosomes.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WOW! Ever been On Demon Drop?

managed Print services Job Trends graph

managed Print services Job Trendsmanaged Print services jobs

As a kid, I would venture down to Sandusky Ohio, Cedar Point, and ride the best roller coasters in the world.

I remember when Demon Drop opened. It was the "bomb".

A simple trip up and a ten-story drop - remember, this was in 1983, before the internet and online gaming.

Imagine my surprise when I read the Demon Drop had been relocated from Sandusky, to out here, in my neck of the woods

I was checking the updated graph showing job openings with "Managed Print Services" in the description - couldn't help but make the comparison.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Manage Print Services is On Fire - and 50% of Us are Unsatisfied

2010  DOTC.

Art over at P4P just concluded a non-scientific yet revealing survey: You're now selling Managed Print Services "Your Thoughts Now".


It's been a great success for us 25%
It's been ok for us 26%
It's not reaping the profits we thought it would 36%
If we had to do it over, we would not have gotten into MPS 14%

Quick math shows 50% in the "Unsatisfied" category.

Juxtapose this with an incredible number of new "MPS Information Portals" coming online, the huge volume of MPS-forum chatter, and enough Managed Print Services consultants to sink the Titanic - it doesn't add up.

Oh yes, it does.

Fifty percent of you don't feel MPS has paid off. You don't see a lot of sales, or profit. You have sent your sales teams to school, evaluated and purchased software, and maybe even hired an outside consultant.

You expected too much too soon.

MPS is not as simple as putting laser printers on CPI.

MPS is a bit more than selling speeds and feeds, triggered by lease-end.

You can't arrange to perform a study through the purchasing department.

Your 30-day, hardware cycles will not apply.

Your manufacturer only wants to sell more units, not engage in MPS, no matter how their MPS program is pitched.

The reason there are so many new portals and an ever-increasing plethora of know-it-alls is that, even after 2-to 3 solid, MPS years, the MPS landscape is fraught with mystery and doubt. This is nothing like when color first came out.

If you're into the second generation of MPS at your practice, here are some recommendations:

1. Join the MPSA, get to know the real Titans of MPS and network
2. Devour every nugget of MPS knowledge out here on the net.
3. Visit your existing clients and ask THEM to define MPS - then sell that.
4. Evaluate your current infrastructure and realign it to your core.
5. Evaluate and change your existing compensation plan.
6. Determine your MPS Selling Funnel. From Qualification to support.
7. Read DOTC, follow me, and join the DOTC Group on LinkedIn

The economy is not going to turn around soon, and when it does, it is not going to rescue our industry - it has changed forever.

Be prepared. Take this time to do some soul searching.

Click to email me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

An Interview From Adventures in Office Imaging

Yup! More self-promotion.

Nathan and I have been exchanging insight and views for a year or so now - good peeps over there or...over here.

Last month he interviewed me as a MPS Provider and as a MPS contributor.

So with his permission, I am reposting here.

MPS Providers interview #4: DOTC1:1
6pm - Feb 19, 2010

AIOI: What company do you work for?

DOTC: Death Of The Copier - one of the premier niche publications in the world.

AIOI: How many employees does your company have?

DOTC: We currently employ millions.

AIOI: How do you personally define Managed Print Services?

DOTC: Anything and everything the person on the other side of the desk says that it is.

AIOI: How long have you been involved with Managed Print Services?

DOTC: Its not the age, its the mileage. Let's just say, I have been in MPS longer than Staples has.

AIOI: What benefits does your MPS program offer your customers?

DOTC: We at DOTC try to tell it like it is, we may not always be correct, but we don't care.

Also, most people in our industry/niche are some of the most dynamic and fun folks to work with or be around - so why can't we show this off to those outside the industry?

Do we really need to be so...bland?

Copier nerds? Yes! Toner-dudes? Of course! MPS Geeks? Sure, why not? Belly up and share some stories.

In addition to the blog, we assist dealers, new MPS practices and individual Selling Professionals in "translating the corporate dogma" being spewed from consultants and the "big boys". We boil down or negate the propaganda, for the Selling Professional.

The Death Of The Copier, currently, has no "sponsor" - I don't advertise or engage Infotrends, so it is unlikely that you will ever see, "DOTC" in the upper right Quadrant. So, I can afford to be a rogue, a provocateur as you will. Suits me just fine.

AIOI: What are some of your major successes?

DOTC: Ok, now we get serious.

I have had the honor to advise an MPS selling team at a dealership, somewhere in the south - this client, who shall remain nameless, engaged me (yes, a check was made out to "The Death of the Copier) to simply "talk" about my successes and my failures in MPS - he wanted to get a real, from the trenches, no bullsh*t view of MPS. He had been a paying customer for some of the more well known copier consultants.

After talking for a couple of weeks, we moved to 1:1's with the selling staff.

Here's where the success comes in, during one discussion, I was able to pontificate and advise this selling professional on one specific account. I told them what I would do in that situation.

Well, I'll be damned if they didn't take my advice, say what I said to say in the way I said to say it, resulting in a close, a sale. I was stunned, flabbergasted, proud.

To me, this is the greatest success in the world. I know now how the consultants must feel or at least had felt back in the beginning.

It is weirdly fulfilling to have somebody take your advice and see results in the form of dollars, because they did what you recommended.

AIOI: What separates your MPS program from your competitors?

DOTC: In many ways, I have few, if any, competitors.

My uniqueness is my history: I started selling B2B solutions, accounting systems, back when the AT was still a viable device, when Epson 24-pins where all the rage and connected via parallel ports. I was in that niche for nearly 7-8 years.

I have sold uniforms, excuse me, I mean, Corporate Identity Programs and AFLAC insurance, excuse me again, I mean, pre-tax, self-funded employee benefit programs; again, all B2B.

Add to this my stints in the Office Equipment Industry, sprinkle in a little, Detroit smart-ass and viola!

In the end, my true "competitor" is Time.

MPS Providers interview #3: Greg Walters
1:10pm - Feb 19, 2010

AIOI: What company do you work for?

Greg: SIGMAnet - one of the larger, west coast IT services provider.

AIOI: How many employees does your company have?

Greg: We currently employ 100+

AIOI: How do you personally define Managed Print Services?

Greg: MPS is any process designed and implemented to reduce costs associated with moving, creating, storing and presenting information.

AIOI: How long have you been involved with Managed Print Services?

Greg: Technically since 2007. But I have been in the copier industry since 1999. Starting with Oce, through Panasonic and finally served three years at IKON. Going way back, I started working with clients in 1989, Selling B2B accounting software(AccPac, Timberline, Great Plains, Solomon, etc.)

AIOI: What benefits does your MPS program offer your customers?

Greg: My MPS Engagements bring all the benefits associated with Stage 1 and 2 of the MPS process.

We are fairly deep into a partnership with our distributor when sourcing and fulfilling supplies. I have a team of technicians and we specifically work with "HP houses", which are not that difficult to find.

We are certified up to Edgeline and we run all of our MPS on CPI agreements; B/W we typically sell at 0.0120. Not the cheapest, but we aren't the cheapest and all our supplies are OEM.

Additionally, I can work directly with IT for all their needs - from servers to storage to staffing. This is a major competitive advantage when working with IT-types- I have people who speak their language. What is more intriguing, even if I never engage a MPS client for their traditional, IT needs, the simple reason that I CAN gives me instant credibility.

Also, we are not afraid to work with any manufacturer, vendor or dealer. For example, when one of my client's true, output requirements(as determined by me) dictated a machine that I would not supply, my Partnership with the client allowed me to manage spec'ing the unit, and managing the RFP process.

I worked the copier guy.

An interesting spin, wouldn't you say?

AIOI: What are some of your major successes?

Greg: Successes are all over the board - I have saved a company $1,000.00 per month, not that much, but 12k to this small business was greatly appreciated.

I am currently 12 months into a 36 month project, we have currently reduced their hard cost by $500,000.00; my replacement ratio right now is 1:5, for every machine I place, I remove 5 other devices.

I have advised prospect and client alike on the ways of copier leases - sometimes resulting in a new equipment placement, sometimes not.

As a result of our assessment, I have helped many clients evaluate and re-align their oversight and internal accounts payable process.

AIOI: What separates your MPS program from your competitors?

Greg: This goes back to the IT Services - when I walk through the door, I am not a copier dealer, I am not a toner supplier, I am not simply a laser printer service company, to the prospect I can be much, much more.
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Photizo Group Launches MPS Portal

And by Portal, I mean doorway.

There are a good number of MPS News sites popping up.

I remember the good ole days when it was just me and Google Alerts.

No worries, the more MPS-news-type sites that sprout up, the more readers I attract - odd.

Anywho - Photizo is re-vamping and relaunching their MPS Specific Portal.

As I am sure some reading this may "feel" that DOTC is colluding with Photizo, I do quote them often, please know, that if there were better MPS sources, I would mention them as well.

Just remember I define what "better" is.

Press Release:

March 5, 2010 – Lexington, KY –

Photizo Group announces the launch of, an online news portal focused entirely on events and information about the managed print services (MPS) marketplace.

Dealers, resellers, vendors and other readers will find ideas and case studies to help them achieve better MPS program development and delivery. HP, OKI Printing Solutions, and Ricoh have signed on as inaugural sponsors.

A variety of content has been aggregated on the site, making it one of the richest sources of information about the MPS marketplace:

· Daily MPS Insights news feed

· Daily updates to the MPSInsights Blog

· Quarterly MPS Insights Journal (paid subscription access only)

· Business directory listings

· Industry events calendar

· White papers

· Case studies

“The MPS market is exploding, and the amount of information is, too. Trying to run and grow a business, and deal with a fire hose of information is just not possible. tames the flood of information with quick reads, succinct ideas and a repository for information readers can come back to,” said Ed Crowley, CEO and founding partner of Photizo Group.

Readers can visit at their convenience to read and research articles on:

· Channel development

· End-user purchase criteria

· Decision-maker evolution

· End-user MPS deployment

· MPS current events

To submit news releases, articles and other content, contact Misty Hamel, Photizo Director of Marketing at

# # #

Media contact:
Misty Hamel

Director of Marketing


The Photizo Group is the premier source for ongoing business intelligence about the rapidly growing opportunity of Managed Print Services (MPS). MPS involves managing hardcopy device fleets (copiers, printers, multifunction devices, and fax machines) in a unified fashion, often outsourcing this to an external vendor. Photizo Group provides the most complete body of research on the Managed Print Services market. From its landmark MPS study in April 2008 to ongoing research covering North America, Europe and Asia, Photizo has emerged as a leader in dynamic business intelligence about the MPS market. The firm also offers proprietary studies and custom consulting. Vendors, dealers and enterprises can find MPS information and resources at, including an “MPS Quick Facts and Figures” page.

“Photizo” is a trademark of the Photizo Group. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Death Of Edgeline, Again...This Time for Real. No Really. I Mean It this Time

March 2010

OK - Sorta. 

As reported here back in November of 2009(The Word From Hurd: IPG Growth Includes Wal and K*Mart), Edgeline may see the light of day, under a flashing blue light. 

I can't say how official it is, but a reader informed me that the vaunted Edgeline, the Destroyer of Copiers, the New Way, will be at End of Life, on April 1, 2010. 

Parts, supplies, and support will be provided for five years. So ends another chapter in an odyssey that is HP. And like Obama voters today, six months from now, you won't be able to find anyone willing to admit they ever heard of Condor. In a recent WSJ article, it was stated that HP, since last year, has been quietly placing photo kiosks in WalMarts across the country. 

To the chagrin of Kodak. (talk about the Death of Something) 

The word on the street is that HP will be providing these in all 3600 Wal*Mart stores across America. 3,600? No wonder nobody at HP returns my calls. (just kidding) 

What does this have to do with Edgeline? The top image is an HP ML1000D mini lab - the backbone of the Walmart photo kiosks. This image is a CM8060 with a finisher and a large capacity paper tray, much like the 40 or 50 I have installed around SoCali. 

What do you see? Let me tell you what I see. I see a huge commission check - this "takedown" will generate growth of over 300 percent for HP's global retail publishing line. 

I see a machine that is based on Edgeline technology, housed in an identical chassis, utilizing the identical LCT. I see a strong printing engine that will be able to run on "retail" hours. I see a company that consciously got out of a dying, copier industry. Alias, poor Edgeline, I knew you well...

"These kiosks stay installed for nine or 10 years," H-P Chief Executive Mark Hurd told investors at a conference in San Francisco on Tuesday morning. H-P gets "100% supplies connect," he said, referring to the sales of the additional printing products.
Ah yes, remember the good ole days, here

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lexmark Get's a Win: And they Have a Facebook Page?

I was going to let this pass without comment.

Indeed, the press release is impressive: Moving BB&T from 30,000 to 10,000 machines, managing supplies and providing initial document work flow - all components of a real MPS. (At what margin, I wonder)

So a mention here may have been warranted.

But then, at the bottom of the release this:

"For more information, see the "Lexmark" Facebook page and the "LexmarkNews" Twitter feed..."

Ok, I am about the biggest MPS Nerd I know, but not even I would "friend" or "follow" any printer manufacturer. Or admit it if I had...

Am I off on this?

Anyway, just an observation - remember when pagers first came out?

LEXINGTON, Ky., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) has awarded an exclusive, five-year managed print services contract to Lexmark International, Inc. ( LXK).

"Lexmark is providing BB&T with an output solution that will significantly reduce costs, while scaling as the company expands and grows," said Marty Canning, Lexmark vice president and president of its Printing Solutions and Services Division. "With Lexmark's managed print services solution across its business, BB&T will have a holistic, streamlined approach that will pay dividends for its employees, customers, the environment and BB&T's bottom line."

Lexmark was evaluated and selected in a strategic sourcing event from among many other printing and imaging providers. As part of the agreement, Lexmark will standardize and optimize the number and type of output devices throughout BB&T's 1,800+ retail branches and at its headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C. Lexmark expects to reduce the total number of devices at BB&T from 30,000 competitive devices to approximately 10,000 new Lexmark laser printers and multifunction products (MFPs) in support of the company's cost savings and business initiatives.

"Lexmark's extensive managed print services capabilities and experience became clear to BB&T during this print optimization project," said Ken Hernandez of Enterprise Spend Management at BB&T. "We selected Lexmark because of the company's thought leadership and the clear experience they have to drive this type of initiative successfully. Lexmark's strong technology offering and competitive pricing make them the right choice for BB&T."

Lexmark will monitor, manage and maintain BB&T's output devices and provide proactive services to ensure toner and other supplies are replenished when needed, eliminating the need to store inventory of these items. In addition, Lexmark will provide ongoing value by automating and streamlining paper-based processes to help BB&T further reduce costs.

Lexmark will also install its Print Release solution, which will enable BB&T employees to authenticate before documents can be printed, faxed, scanned or copied. This approach will improve document security and reduce the number of pages printed annually, thereby further reducing BB&T's costs.

For more information, see the "Lexmark" Facebook page and the "LexmarkNews" Twitter feed.

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