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Saturday, December 31, 2011

To Boldly Go

And so it has finally come to this - There is nothing new for me to write.  There is nothing I can say, that I haven't said before; Manage Print Services has peaked and it's time to "jump the curve".

Sure, there are plenty of adventures remaining, lots of cold calls, assessments, proposals, and engagements remain to be had.

Have it.

I will certainly NOT stop talking or writing about technology in our little niche - see you at some shows.

But there is more...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Does Making a Man a Knight...Make Him a Better Provider? Yes.

This post was first started April, 2011 -----

The battle for MpS.

As the 3rd Annual MPS Conference fades in the rear-view,  its deja vu all over.

Today, questions around MpS border on the mundane; reflecting, once again, the commoditization of me and of you:

Cold Calls, Dialing for MpS - old school scripts
MpS is Dead - Toner and Service only
MpS is Dying - MIF is shrinking
MpS needs 'farmers' and 'hunters' - labels and boxes
MpS Reps are simply coin operated - sure, that's all we care about, isn't it
The OEMs are not working with the channel - working 'on' is not working 'with'
The OEMs are losing control - do we sell machines or services or supplies
"I have MpS on my HP's.  The copiers are all on a service agreement.  We're fine..."  - quote from an IT guy

So, here we are again...after DOTC defined it...we're stuck asking, "What is MpS?"

"What is Managed print Services?"

What's old is new.  We've all been here before. Timeless.  From Jerusalem to BattleStar Galactica to The Matrix - the footprints we follow are our own...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

" cars out back, if you're ready to take that long walk..."

 " you're scared and you're thinking you ain't that young a little faith, there's Magic in the night..."

Remember when all the redemption you needed was beneath a dirty hood...


I've seen the Rain...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More News from the VAR World: ConnectWise introduces 'Vendor Management'


Today I attended a webinar hosted by ConnectWise titled "Vendor Management"

You remember ConnectWise as a VAR infrastructure software package that includes modules for everything from dispatch to Sales to Marketing support.

"Vendor Management" is new functionality and is intended to assist Managed Service Providers (MSP) in managing technology vendors for their clients.  The MSP could now handle interfacing with the telephone, domain, and internet vendors on their clients' behalf - and yes, not only did one graphic include a "copier vendor" icon, the word "copier" was mentioned no less than 12 times in under 42 minutes.

Their primary concern is? "...vendors are starting to invade each other's space leading to finger-pointing...leaving the customer stuck in the middle..."

With this new module, ConnectWise is recommending the MPS step into the middle of the convergence, taking and maintaining control of their clients' vendor ecosystem.  

This is a valuable service, and strategic in nature along the lines of 'whoever owns the network, owns the account' mentality.

If you manage the Vendors, you manage the access, billing, and relationship and minimize each uniqueness.

Additionally, they see this convergence as predatory. Outsiders infiltrating 'their' accounts, specifically mentioning copier vendors.

The module looks completely adequate with everything from annotation capabilities, workflow, and contract renewal reviews.

A pivot point-  positioning for the approaching struggle.

Click to email me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Greg's Top 12 of 2012 - The End of the World as We Know It...Well, not Really...

For you, dear reader, my personal top 12 for 2012.

A list of what I see happening in the coming year, for us, our industry, and our world.

In a moment of pure randomness, a stream of consciousness, my off-the-cuff opinion - feel free to disagree:

12. Content

Content is everything. And it grows.  Not simply printed content, Tweets, cable/digital TV, cellphone calls, dead-emails, texts, sexts, DropBox, utility bills - bumper stickers, ATM transactions: Everything.

And there is the DarkContent/DarkMatter - the "metadata" - the stuff we can't forget because we've never seen it. For example, if you are running FourSquare, your every step is recorded, not just the cute 'check-ins'.  Your movement is recorded and filed off into the great Rift that is DarkConent.  Same with your NetFlix orders and cable TV viewing patterns, your Visa spends, and the digital footprint that follows your every search, view, post, comment, and click.

All there, all Dark and unseen.  Collective.

The Age of Content is engaged, 2012 will reveal more.

11. Social Everything

Everybody is touching everyone, everywhere - Twitter is going to kill news collectors and email; and not a printer in sight.  DropBox/BoxNet makes sharing large, exchange-choking files a snap.  Tablets will be faster, . PDFs will download instantly(almost) and the screen will be the new 'paper'.

10. Less Copiers

That's right, less 11x17, less off the glass copying.  'Nuff said...

Merry Christmas Morning...2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas From DOTC - 2011

It's a time to reflect, celebrate, and remember.

I know I will be doing all of the above.

On this particular Christmas, 2011, I especially acknowledge all the readers of DOTC.

Lose Yourself - One Shot, You Only get One Shot...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Top Six Managed Print Services Organizations of 2012

Photizo, Supplies Network, Xerox, Great America, MWAi,  & Lyra 

Photizo - They get it right and have been there from the beginning.

Before Gartner ever considered an MPS Quadrant, Photizo was there.

Back then Gartner didn't give a lick.

IDC, didn't know MPS.

Back then, half of our "esteemed" instructors carpet bagged on dealer fear.

When the consultants of the day were espousing the similarity of  MpS to color and poo-pooing MpS as "just another marketing scheme..." Photizo tagged the name "Hybrid Dealer" - of course, they copied the phrase.

That's what Copiers Do.

While others were 'find and replacing' the word 'copier' for 'MPS', Photizo published the Three Adoption Stages of MpS.

And just as others enveloped those three into their MPS talk-track, Photizo added even more stages, resulting in the above chart.

They've gotten it.  They've been on it from day one.

Now some in our ecosystem confuse me with them, promoting me as a Photizo employee or worse, their hatchet-man.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem being a GunSlinger, but I choose both my allies and my targets - nobody tells me where the Red Dot lands.

Truly, if back in the day anybody else was saying what Photizo was saying, I would acknowledge them as well.  

"...Sooner or later, One has to take sides, if one is to remain human..."

So we make our choices and we stick with the plan.  I chose Photizo because they've been right there on the same page as I, seeing the same things I have in the field from Genesis.  And sometimes, they make people uncomfortable - awe, poor baby...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Okidata - VARs/BTA/PSA/RMM - and Agiliant

I just read the press release from Okidata announcing a relationship between Oki and Agiliant.

You'll remember Agiliant is a newcomer to the MpS space(sorta, they pretty much invented MpS back in the day before flipping out to Pitney) - Agiliant is looking to provide third-party IT services to MpS providers, rounding out any managed services portfolio.

Not a bad model.

Okidata adds yet another dimension to their VAR strategy.  Again, you'll remember back in the summer of 2011, Oki announced a re-vamping of their Total Managed Print portal that included interfaces to many of the popular PSA's.(Connectwise, Level Platforms...)

The VARs are coming, and their infrastructure partners are leading the way.  All this is fine and grand.  But software does not an MpS Practice make.

How are these new VARs going to SELL this new service?  Just like helpdesk and the NOC?

It ain't that difficult, so we should see thousands of VARs embrace and prosper in this new realm, shouldn't we?

It's our ecosystem all over again - let's call it the MpS ExoSystem.

Press Release:

Butch Cassidy, the Return - BlackThorn

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Should we Do with all These VARs?

johnathan, Johnathan...JOHNATHAN...JOHNATHAN...JOHNATHAN !

Next chance you get, check out the last 10 seconds of the ending scene in 300.

Why would a proven model some 3 decades old, not hold up to supporting MpS?

Because no matter how many nifty tools or vendor partners come calling, no matter how 'easy' an MpS program looks from the outside, Managed Print Services is not a bolt-on proposition.

Sound familiar?  Remember the 50% to the MpSr's who failed?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top Morning Indicators Your Day is Really Going to Suck...

We've all been there, experiencing those morning events that just scream to you, "this day is going to suck."

Tie-Dipping in coffee, every shirt is wrinkled, car won't start...

How about these:

You wake up and it's Monday.

You wake up to realize you've stolen anything from Mike Tyson.

You wake up late for the Monday Morning Sales Group-Hug back in the crumbling world that is your company.

You wake up, walk to the bathroom, and Patrick Duffy is stepping out of the shower - it was all a dream. And you might be...well,  "...skip to my Lou, happy...".

You wake up, swear by all the gods of fast food hell, you will never go to Wendy's again. Lift the lid, there are ladies about, feel a stronger than usual back pain, look down and see blood.

- this is what happened to me, today, this morning...

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"...You All Read this Tome for different reasons...I'm asking more of you...sure as I know anything, I am to misbehave..."


"...Let's be bad guys..."

Brick and mortar is dead.  

The ways of the past are limiting.  Still, the Ways are promoted, adhered to, and pushed down from the AllianceArchaic.

We who abide, sleep in the cubical that has become life.  Suckling the metal teat, swallowing the dogma and false promise of a heartless Utopia. Blissful. One day, we wake up selling copiers.

Those of us who see, rile and squirm under the thumb. We are misunderstood chastised and subjugated.  Seen as different, defiant.


Christmas, a Pool, and the Red One Piece...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"We weren't Born to Follow..." - Brick and Mortar is Dead, it's a 1099 World


Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk...

I've been saying it all summer, "brick and mortar is dead."

I've been saying it for years, "the only boss we have is the one staring at us in the mirror in the morning."

I've been saying it for months, "now is the time in history when we can do exactly what we want to do."

Technology is allowing us to sell in the streets and the board room, not on a demo floor. We can communicate with people all over the globe, at any time - email is dead.  I can run an MpS Practice from anywhere - I ain't kidding either.

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated