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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Will Happen to Managed Print Services When Aliens Land on Earth?


Long ago, before the Star Wars Generation grew old, people who discussed alien planets, time travel, robots with brains, or life created in a petri dish would be labeled as "off", "introvert", odd, strange, socially awkward, clumsy, etc.

Not today.  Today, it's not so geeky to talk about anything in the context of science fiction.

Signs -

In the 2002 movie "Signs" Mel Gibson plays a reverend who after losing his wife, rejects God and Faith.  Aliens play cat and mouse for a few days utilizing crop circles as navigation symbols.  The invasion is concentrated around these designs; Mel's family lives on a farm and has recently been a victim of other worldly graffiti.  As more and more indicators reveal themselves families begin to suspect the worse.

The movie is a tapestry of past, present, and future events all woven together leading to the ultimate ending where all the pieces fall into place; hindsight is 20/20.  Everybody saw the signs, but nobody put them all together until the very end.

With this in mind I pose this question with all seriousness and grace - in a cold and analytical manner:

Do you See The Signs?

If not, let me point out a few of the Crop Circles in our cornfield:
  • Recharger: Gone
  • Lay-offs: Prevalent, secular
  • 3D Printing: The latest 'Adjacency' does not make marks on paper
  • IBM sells off Servers - "...its the Cloud, stupid..."
  • Dealers offering Coffee and Water Services - no, really, its true
  • Old Content - We're telling each other the same thing again and again, expecting new results
  • Self-implemented MpS engagements; fewer clients need our services
  • MIF reductions - If your numbers are up, you're simply trading MIF with a competitor
  • Financial: Sharp, Panasonic, Kodak, HP - if the exchange rate wobbles, look out
  • Show attendance:  ITEX, Recharger, BTA; each was much bigger than they are now
  • Paper plants closing: International Paper announced the closure of one of its biggest plants in 2013 - primary output was 8.5x11
  • IBM sells off SDN - googlitize it
  • IPad: Almost as many sold as cases of paper, just kidding, but you get the point
  • E Signatures - from car loans, to insurance forms, to lease payments everybody is doing it except you
  • Google sells off Motorola - patents more valuable than the hardware
  • Kids these days - all Thumbs and not a newspaper to be seen
  • Lawsuits - desperation; it's like hoping for a penalty when you are down 3 points, late in the game.
There Are Two Groups -

"People break down into two groups when they experience something lucky. Group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck.

Just a happy turn of chance.

I'm sure the people in Group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation isn't fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own.

And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in Group number one.

When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope.

See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky?"

Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?"

"Swing Away, Merrill"

What signs are you ignoring?  Do you see crop circles, but blame the "kids down the street" for little late-night shenanigans?

Is it a coincidence that International Paper is shutting down paper plants, that HP refers to IPG as the "once cash cow", newspapers and magazines shift away from print, that industry show attendance dwindles, MIF falls off lease, and dealers now provide toner and coffee services, all while hardware margins shrink?

It's not so cryptic. The more difficult conundrum is figuring out which group you're in...

"Do you believe it because it's true or is it true because you believe it?"

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