Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Magic Quadrant: Reflection of MPS or Marketing Budgets?

"The New Matrix is here!  The New Matrix is here!"
So, yeah...

the Magical Matrix came out last month showing just about everybody - Xerox, Ricoh, Canon, Lexmark, HP, Konica - in the "Leaders" sector for Managed Print Services.

Kyocera and Toshiba end up as "Visionaries" - I guess an erasable copier can be considered visionary - and ARC looks to be the only "Niche Player".  I've always wondered if there is a correlation between the amount of money folks spend with Gartner and their placement in the upper right. Probably not.  Either way, the square looks skewed.

Reflect with me now and consider for a second the definition of managed print services:
"...The active management and optimization of document output devices and related business processes..."
If I had "Greg's MPS Almanac", this is how I would stack the pile:

1.  Xerox - Next Generation MPS
2.  Ricoh - The New Way of WorkIntelligent.ly
3.  ARC
4.  Canon - Fragmented but becoming clear

5.  Lexmark - Verticals, F500, transactional
6.  HP - Who? Except in LA
7.  Konica - Why sell anything but copiers with landed margins like that!

See, There's This Thing Called MIF and Apparently, It Needs Scrubbing...

One of the strongest arguments in MPS is lowering cost through the reduction of the number of devices.(Optimization).  This single leverage point is difficult for an OEM to reconcile as long as there are plants building machines.

I'm not saying players won't shrink MIF - Global loves shrinking Ricoh's MIF; Ricoh and Canon exchange MIF as often as Clinton flip-flopped and HP is out there reducing her own MIF.(Something to do with Ink vs. Toner and what-not)

In this year's Mystical Matrix, everybody except one, operates manufacturing plants and the one player is presented in the lower left.

Not to me.

ARC is different. Specialized and tasked with REMOVING DEVICES FROM EVERYBODY'S MIF, they're about as close to MPS Purity as possible.

Check out the progression:

And the Point?

Millions of dollars are spent by purchasers every year based on who is placed where and I don't think the Mystical Matrix has an once of relevancy in MPS.  The fact that ARC is placed in a lower quadrant tells me that Gartner's definition orbits machines in the field or images captured/under contract.  Which is a losing argument not for the future.

The companies mentioned aren't at fault - HP has a good MPS program, Xerox's is better; Ricoh has a solid MPS program, Xerox's is better.  But the comparison is on a GLOBAL scale. How many of you are selling to Fortune 500?

If anything, the ranking shows how similar ALL the programs have become. They're painting with the same set of colors - or worse - only one.  It would be as if Van Gough painted Starry Night with a single color.


We've gotten to the point where all MPS programs look, act, feel, and taste the same.  Where touting the number of collected awards is part of a value proposition . In a world that increasingly regards 'expert research' as rear-view-mirror forecasting, why do we listen?

"No, Really, What's Your Point, Greg."

In a past life, one of my value-props started with, "You know mister prospect, all devices are the same."  I did this for two reasons:

1.  Neutralize competitors selling speeds and feeds
2.  I could sell five different lines

The latest slew of awards and accolades proves my point - all machines are the same.  Here's the kicker, this isn't simply my, personal view - more than likely, your prospects think the same way.  They don't care about BLI or Gartner - they barely think about print - the care about how you empathize and help them solve problems.


The best to be done with any of these studies is to ignore and move on.

Click to email me. 

1 comment:

  1. Greg - could one of us be called Neo and the other can be called Morpheus - I'll go with either. Now where talking the Matrix - what wrong matrix - We still have places for Trinity and Agent Smith