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, 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 "meta data" - 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 make sharing large, exchange-choking files a snap.  Tablets will be faster, .PDF's 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...

9. Less Print

Yup, more airlines, schools, and businesses replace printed manuals with digital, tablet presented manuals and text books.  Been to StarBucks lately?  "Do you want your receipt, today?"  When you say 'no', they don't even print one.

Simple, everyday BeMod - organic and not forced. From the individual up.

8. Mobility Print - the last Gasp

It is over before it began and still a slower death than TouchPad.  Seriously, the best indicator that something is dead, Kodak invests in it.

7. InkJet fades

Like the Last Days of Disco, inkjet will fade into the confines of your mother's closet.  Literally.  Home use, SOHO will play the tunes, but never admit it in public.  InkJet - Fly Robin Fly.

Yes, I know, inkjet is still talked about, sold and sometimes regarding as the print world's savior.

Nope. Nadda.

6. MpS in the US continues

Of course, there are oodles of machines out there that still need toner and some service - if putting those two items under a Cost Per Image engagement is MpS, than your MpS is still alive - have at it.

5. Lexmark Better

Quiet, but deadly? Let me tell you what I like about Lexmark - they know who they are, they know their limitations, and they OWN what they are good at - verticals. Their stock is rising.

4. Xerox More services, More MpS & XPPS comes to US

Watch Xerox.  When I started this article, two weeks ago, XRX was at $7.50, today, they are over 8.  I hear rumors that everyone from Ursula to the guys on the dock are being trained on how to craft, present and sell MpS deals - deals that run through XPPS AND include ACS services.

Could this be true? Yes.

3. HP, Tumbling

I love Mother Blue.  I do.  They created the ecosystem and inspired everyone from Tektornix to IBM into laser printing.  HP rules the technology world.  Nobody does anything without being touched by some sort of technology with HP DNA inside.  Nobody.

This summer, it looked to some as though Mama Blue lost her mind.  She attempted to boldly go into the future by shedding her past.  Most criticized - all were shocked.  In the end, the oracle of HP chose to ignore the reading on the wall, beheading the leader and installing a clone.

"...A significant spot is the Imaging and Printing Group (IPG), which saw revenues decline 10 percent and operating margins at 12.8 percent. This division has been the HP cash cow for years. While commercial business is increasing, consumer declines in revenue and units shipped are dragging down performance..."  - here.

PC's and Desktops are the $30 billion anchor around IPG's neck.

2. VAR's, VAR's, VAR's & VAR's

The Borg, Xerxes, Decepticons...or Saviors?

The VARs are coming and no matter how you dress up your Classic Copier Dealership, without a complete transfusion, when you step into the particle accelerator that is MS, you'll get smashed.

In the beginning of 2011, half as many folks were in MpS as are today.  At the end of 2012, the VARs will be licking their wounds, but enjoying what they consider a beachhead.

False comfort.

1. The Beginning of the End of the Imaging Channel - this time, for real...

MpS is Dead.

It's dead because we define MpS as " and service under a CPI billing structure..." no more.

If you stay there, you will die. The pool of prospective S1/S2 engagements isn't static, it's organically fading.

Beware the ones who say MpS is alive and well, they want to keep you in those low-end, entry levels - scared.  And they want to hold you suckling the teat of ignorance and mystery at $550.00 a class; Butts in Seats.  Think I'm wrong?  When was the last time you got ANYTHING out of the current crop of MpS classes?  I thought so.

The niche is dying, pruning the lifeless while the survivors move on.

Copier sales will lessen. How are all those service contract renewals going?  MpS is killing copiers and their service contracts almost as effectively as 'these harsh economic times'.

Managed Print Services has taken up the slack for lower copier sales and contracts which haven't renewed.

MpS HAS saved jobs, keeping food on the table.

MpS HAS saved companies - smart people with vision have lived this.  These people will see before most, that MpS, defined as Stage 1 and 2 is a short term comfort.

It won't last, it can't last.  Stage 1 and 2 MpS is unsustainable.

"If the Imaging Niche goes away, What Next?"

Go look at the agenda for the 2012 MPS Conference then check out Lyra, 2012, Information Management Institute and iTEX is on it.  Check out the latest advancements in PSA and RMM.

The End is at Hand.  No Fear.

The world moves, it always has.  Let's move with it, together.

Click to email me. 

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