Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"The Sky will Blow The Heavens into Stars" - The Future of our Imaging Industry, Xerox, IBM, HP, Content


Autonomy Corporation

"Autonomy is the market leader in the provision of software that automates the analysis of unstructured data, whether in the form of text, audio, images or video." - UBS, July 2008

The other day, I sat in on a webinar.  The fine folks at Lyra were presenting "Printing supplies market trends MPS" - yeah, I know, who the hell would sit in on one of these?

MpS Geeks, that's who.

Of course, the data presented has been fodder for DOTC for the past year; we will never get back the placement levels of 2008, A3 devices are dying(ahem), any recovery will be linked directly to the surviving dealership's ability to focus on workflow, not the box. We know this, correct?

Then a funny thing came up - OEMs are "rationalizing" their fleet offerings.  They are narrowing down the number of models.  


That's when it hit me - not only do we sell "...the active management of processes and components..." in an effort to "reduce costs associated with those processes and components..." we, in the industry, are a prime targets for reduction in costs - "rationalization".

The next shoe to drop? Reduction in head count.  Think I'm wrong?  How would you like to be one of tens of thousand HP PSG employees today?  Or how about one of many HP VARs?  Could there be a reduction in head count on their future? A rationalization?

How about your future?

HP, the largest PC company in the world, is getting out of PC's

It isn't that we are not familiar with tough business decisions.  We all know somebody who has been a victim of such acts.

HP's announced decision to let die WebOS and TouchPad - a product that lived just 49 days - in and of itself is stupendous.  Spinning off their PCs may seem surprising, unless you once sold IBM ThinkPads and remember selling IBM printers.

Go back to IBM, heck go back the the Mopier, the HP9065 and Edgeline; is it really a surprise that after investing a billion, shifting leadership, HP drops and adds?

There is more, much more here, and it is Dark.  The ripples will be felt for years and effect thousands of people.

"Almost everyone at HP found out about the death of the TouchPad and Pre hardware as the public did, in the press release. Only the top executives knew anything about this decision and even senior staff as high as Ari Jaaksi, the Vice President of webOS software, didn’t know about the shuttering of hardware before it happened." - TNW Insider

Change? You could say that.

Was the HP decision to let go the PSG division, one of the Triad, Wall Street driven or some emotional knee-jerk reaction to dismal TouchPad sales?

The answer is 'Yes'...the answer is 'No'.

It's a crazy world, upside down, inside out - we'll make sense of this over the next 18 months - rationalize or remember.

And we'll hear everything from "business is proceeding as usual, you will experience little impact", the typical HP Edgeline, Mopier, 9065 talk track to "see, we told you HP has no loyalty to you, why should you to them?" Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, PC dejour...

We'll read industry pundits explain how 'so and so' will take HP's $42billion company on, re-label and grow.

Meanwhile, 10,000+ HP employees squirm, VARs scramble, 'loyal' HP Enterprise customers call emergency CIO driven IT meetings, evaluating their 5 year technology refresh plans.

General panic smolders just below the surface and MotherBlue stays the course. She's just too damn big to ignore, she can do absolutely anything she wants...

Through one simple announcement, the largest PC company in the world, just got out of PC's. Decades of business remembered and released, thousands of employees' futures hang in the balance, the ripples within the VAR community and the technology sector will shatter the Heavens.

It's worse then you think; it usually is.

I see this as just the beginning, the first in a sequence - tell me, if the largest PC company in the world can get out of PC's, how difficult is it to see the worlds largest printer company, get out of PRINTING?

For it is certain that many more changes will occur within our ecosystem, and rather quickly.

Look at your OEM's - Are they top heavy? More pre-sales support than Sales?  Are they bureaucratic? Nimble? Copier fleets are shrinking, how many techs will we need in 2 years? How about 5?

Now look at your house- how many people in accounting?  Purchasing?  Service?  Is your dealership surviving on back-end rebates, government accounts?  Do you still hand deliver toner?  Really?

Has ownership decided that they don't need to invest anything more into MPS and somehow, they know all they need to know about MpS?

Do you think MpS is for your single function devices, not copiers? Do you still think your future lies in marks on paper?

Hang on, this ride is going to be a rough one.

Content, content,...CONTENT - remember that?


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  1. Greg,

    Thats an interesting picture you paint. So give me bold prediction.

  2. Bold Prediction?

    Most Indy's will die, others will assimilate or transform completely.

    Transform as in moving from providing copiers to selling solar panels - that kind of shift

    OEM's shrink and start to shed their acquired locations.

    Outsiders purchase and pick off parts of or entire OEM structures.

    Layoffs in the channel.

    Shrinkage in the channel.

    Tumble weeds in the channel...

    DOTC = DeathOfTheChannel

    Have a nice day...