Sunday, March 29, 2015

Never Go Out of Style: Managed print Services Inside a VAR

"You come and pick me up, no headlights
A long drive,
Could end in burning flames or paradise..." - T. Swift 
Mps Practice Managers, sales people, BDMs, specialists, consultants, experts, evangelists, directors, principals, planning managers and vice-presidents - I got a question for you:

If you had the chance to build an MPS practice, today, from scratch, inside a VAR,  how would you do it?

Where would you start?  Building a team? Compensation plans?  Assessment tools and DCA's?

What's your visionary statement?  Would you put together another, two dimensional, old-skool, top-down, business plan?  Really?

What about legacy accounting systems, dispatch, vendor relationships, existing BDM mentality, corporate philosophy/culture,  probes, NOC, SLA's, BDR, MS and customer transformation off paper?  Can you lead or will past mistakes haunt like the phantoms of Macbeth?

Inside this turbulence,  I'm sure some ask,

"Why in the world would you ever come back to a dying niche to build anything?"

"I should just tell you to leave 'cause I
Know exactly where it leads but I
Watch us go 'round and 'round each time..."

Life moves fast, doesn't it?  One day you're in the mountains of Southern California, the next you and all your things are heading north to a place called Oconomowoc.  It is true, after a month of exploration(interviews), I've ventured north to work with a VAR, helping promote, evangelize and provide managed print services for our clients.  Welcome to my worldgalaxy, Universe.

There is a degree of 'deja-vu' - except for the weather, geography, timing, history, and personal landscape - I've been here before.  But there are just enough differentiators to keep this voyage on the good side of insanity.


Flashback, October, 2011 -

Over the past 4 years, I've helped people build or improve managed print services practices.  I've co-written, end-user print policies, where once there were none.  I've guided providers towards selling more MPS and MS.  I've helped end users(healthcare, water districts, etc.) manage OEM copier reps, software vendors and service providers while reducing prints, costs and number of devices.

In each engagement, I've played on their team, embedded into all facets of their business - from interviewing CEOs to writing proposals - I've lived on both sides of the table.  Hands on.  Customer facing.
"Cause you got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like..."
November, 2014 -

One day, late last year, a colleague and buddy asked me to help him put together a managed print services practice manager job description for his client - an IT VAR in Wisconsin.

While explaining the best qualities, I stopped and said,

"...this is great, but there isn't anybody who would fit all these requirements.  Tell me more about this opportunity..."

Discussions led to interviews, to face to face trips followed by an offer letter.  Like Ulysses and the Trojan Wars, one more Odyssey awaits.  I've taken a position directed to create a sustainable DocMan/MPS practice.
"And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
'Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style..."
What Now?

A myriad experiences have collected between now and the last time I was in an office.  From Southern California to Davidson, NC, Washington D.C. to South Beach, Sydney to Belgrade - this collective knowledge converts into wisdom directing me along the path to nirvana.

But you and I know the challenges, don't we?
  • Will ownership be 100% onboard?
  • Will the company culture adapt to a services based argument?
  • Will the BDMs embrace or reject MPS?
  • Can I put together a team of vendors who support me and my clients move off paper?
  • On and on and on...
It is my belief that MPS embraces ALL facets of managing information and CAN lead organizations into a services based, recurring revenue business model.  I also believe organizations which the universal movement off paper, while managing existing print environments, are the real 'trusted advisors'.
"And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
'Cause we never go out of style
We shall see.  I'm in for the long term, the challenges and success.  Here's to never going out of style...
You got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt
And I got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt (tight little skirt)
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time

'Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style..."

"Why does he love her so much?  I mean what is it about her?"
"I don't know. I don't think I've ever known.  I think sometimes you get it right the first time, and then it defines your life, it becomes who you are." - Hank Moody


  1. Good luck brother if I can't have you on our team than I wish you the best. Go spread the good word and I look forward to visiting with you soon. LIUM

  2. David! Thank you. I will always remember that limo someplace...i forgot where...CHEERS!