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Monday, May 30, 2022

Week 5, May 13- #WFH, #AI, #MPS


This week, we've reached the saturation point when it comes to "work from home is here to stay" content. As more folks are getting back to an office of some sort, the meeting room is being redefined, and businesses that evolve with an adaptive workforce own the future.

Read the rest, here.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Greg Walters, Inc. Releases the DOTC Office Technology Partnership Ecosystem.

12 Influences and Influencers Outlined and Measured in the DOTC Office Technology Partnership Ecosystem Model
 
 
Oconomowoc, Wi. – Greg Walters, Inc. announces the release of the DOTC Office Technology Partnership Ecosystem 
(DOTPE) blueprint. The DOTPE identifies 12 Influences that shape the customer experience. Examples of Influences include OEMs, Training firms, Infrastructure, Software Applications, Finance, Toner Suppliers, etc. Within each influence, one or multiple Influencers vie for relevancy and participation in the sales journey. 

This change in perspective is mandated by the current business environment, in which t
he customer journey is no longer transactional, but never-ending. A strong team of niche providers working toward a common goal, with clear and transparent roles, will collaborate and provide a collective and increased value to customers.

“For over a decade, we’ve defined the network of vendors and resellers as the 'Office Technology Landscape.' This view needs an update," said Walters. "In today’s dynamic and turbulent business environment, it is beneficial to establish relationships beyond vendor and reseller.  Companies that utilize partnership ecosystems drive innovation, maximize efficiencies, and bring greater value to their clients."
 
The group is currently interviewing and evaluating Influencers against 20 data points. The model will highlight and rank relevant firms within each Influence, measuring everything from financial viability to their social footprint.
 
Through the model, resellers will see how existing relationships stack up and make educated decisions when building or revamping partnerships. The ultimate consumer will compare their existing or future providers against established standards and KPIs.
 
Technology resellers, and managed IT firms will benefit from the DOTPE by knowing who to review when forming their specific ecosystem.  Prospective clients will gain insight into the quality and effectiveness of their provider when compared to other industry resellers.
 
The DOTC Office Technology Partnership Ecosystem model is available now at thedeathofthecopier.com and the evaluation results will be presented throughout the summer.
 
For more information or to be considered as an Influencer contact Greg@grwalters.com. 

 

Three Ways to Cut Through the Clutter with Content Marketing


Great article over at The Imaging Channel:

I have not always been a digital marketing native. I started in marketing and advertising in the early 2000s and eventually became in charge of creating print advertisements, printable brochures and flyers as well as printed newsletters. But I did have one big advantage over my print-friendly colleagues – for the purpose of maintaining her privacy, I will call her Elyse.

Elyse was our company’s webmaster, and my good friend. We shared a passion for content creation and marketing and would sometimes sit for hours, not only brainstorming effective print content, but also web content. It is from Elyse that I first heard about Google Analytics and metadata as well as the importance of SEO.

Through those talks, and later through its implementation, I quickly came to realize that digital media had a distinct advantage over print. If there was a need for a change to the content, you didn’t have to make a frantic run to the print shop, it was easy enough to make the change on the fly and simply re-upload it. Digital media had another excellent advantage – big data. Using big data allowed...

Read the rest, here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Flat Rate and Hiring: Do Managed print Services Specialists still exist?


Lot's to discuss - Good talent is difficult to attract, titles mean things, MpS is still alive, myself, West, and Ken will talk to these and much more - in less than 32.5 minutes. 

The Bigger the Better? Maybe Not. The Imaging Channel.

The copier industry not under the OEM thumb.


This is a GREAT illustration of the stark dichotomy of our industry - OEM v Dealer. 

You know this, and live this - for decades, the OEMs drove the industry(which is natural) and in doing so, ignored until the very last every issue that diminished the sale of hardware. 

Influence has been shifting for a decade as customers find better ways to move data within and outside of their organization without a big copier in the hallway. The Fear of Covid kicked the transformation into hyper-drive, leaving the OEMs in the rearview mirror. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Walt's Weekly Words, Week 4


This week, there is more content around employment, and the insistence of returning to the office by management, ownership, and the C-Suite. The transition back to the cube is experiencing resistance as the negatives of supporting two offices begin to take hold.

#Apple employees petition for more flexibility, as businesses get back to 'business', occupancy rates across the country continue a slow regression.

#Austin, Texas is reported to be on the office space recovery. This is a mirage. The increase is tied to the return of government workers.

Buyers Want More Than ECom & Retail - GAP Intelligence



Good article on The Imaging Channel.

It has always been my opinion that ECom is NOT a panacea nor is it a threat.

ECom is a stepping stone; one of many Influences within the New MpS Partnership Ecosystem.

"When considering the inventory challenges that dealers and MPS providers are currently facing, it’s important to understand that they’re not unique to the channel and these customers would be challenged to find available printer inventory to purchase online or in-store as well..." 

-Valerie Alde-Hayman, gap intelligence 

Friday, May 20, 2022

The DOTC Partnership Ecosystem - #Ecosystem #MPS #Copiers


The Partnership Ecosystem:


"It is a term that describes – relatively accurately – a state in which partnered businesses interact with each other on an equal footing. Although this describes partnerships in the past, the identification and quantification of this situation are significant. It represents a shift in how partnerships are seen by analysts." - AllTopStartups

Jay McBain has been evangelizing this structure for years.  If you don't know about Jay, Googlitize his name and check it out.

###

The DOTC Partnership Ecosystem consists of 12 primary categories, plus one for Clients settling on 13 total Influences.

Within each Influence, there is at least one Influencer.  An array of Influences work with a customer-facing entity, typically, the Dealer.  All Influencers have sway on the customer experience. When the system is aligned, powerful solutions are successfully brought to market, solving real-world business problems.

This model represents a closely connected network of resources and providers similar to the structure of Market Places.

OK let's quickly explore the Influences within a DOTC Managed Print Services partnership ecosystem:

Monday, May 16, 2022

Walt's Weekly Words - Week 3

This week the "Suck ups" at work still suck but #WFH is softening the blow.

Social Media and freedom of speech are big subjects. Musk isn't the only one purchasing stock - Carl dips into the Xerox pool, twice in April.

Twitter is in the process of being purchased as one side of the aisle gains ten's of thousands of followers overnight while the other side loses thousands. Meanwhile, Twitter, for the second time, admits to overestimating the number of subscribers - Twitter utilizes a proprietary algorithm to calculate "active users".

The 'Twitter Experience' is shedding light on the entire social media construct. From Twitter to Google, to FaceBook, the sheen is off the rose as Musk may crack open the entire SEO/algorithm/fact-checking/shadow banning/account suspension schemes from ALL the platforms.

In more media news, the Biden administration rolled out its, “Disinformation Governance Board” under the Department of Homeland Security a move that has been in the works.

The timing is kismet.

On the WorkFromAnywhere front, studies continue to support increased productivity and profits generated during the great Covid lockdowns as the argument for employees returning to the cubicle grows louder. Critics and observers are citing negative psychological, economic, and diversification impacts of the #WFH movement.

Your MPSA published 10 points of the "2022 Print Industry Trends" by Louella Fernandes, great over the horizon points.

Enjoy the weekend reads.

Read the rest, here.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Managed Print Services 2007 to 2022: That Was Then, This Is Now


The managed print services (MPS) renaissance of 2022 rolls on, and it got me thinking: What’s the difference between then and now?

Let’s compare, shall we?

2007 – That Was Then

OEMs – Believe it or not, few OEMs had viable MPS practices, departments, or divisions.  If an idea did not perpetuate or drag copier devices with the sale, it was not considered.

Supplies – This sector asserted to have been in managed print services for 20 years, which of course was impossible.  This claim was an indicator of how the industry was going to equate MPS with selling supplies.

Dealers – Resellers were dubious and at times hostile to the concept of managed print services. The first rule of MPS was “reduce the cost of print,” which quickly translated into lower revenue. More importantly, MPS negatively impacted the golden goose – service revenue.  A sales mantra was, “We can reduce the costs associated with your print by 30%.” Who in their right mind would knowingly reduce revenue by 30%?

Read the rest, here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Area 00 of the Z22 MpS Renaissance Model.



The #DeathofTheCopier #MpS Renesiance Model, Z22.  "Area 00".  

The DOTC RenMPS Z22 includes a pre-amble in Area 00, something I've not seen on any other MPS Model.

If your MPS practice has failed or is struggling, you probably didn't completely utilize Area 00.

For starters, SWOT is a necessary step in Area 00, something I'm sure you conducted before getting into MpS. 

There are three pillars of Area 00:

#Marketing / #Sales
#Infrastructure
#PartnershipEcosystem

Area 00 is the planning stage of MPS.  An internal analysis, and structure build before going to market.

It is very important.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Walt's Weekly Words - Week 2

New this week.

The #RTO return to office movement chugs along, policies are being drawn up - some stacked against the employee. Big Blue is using Slack to wedge into the hybrid model - irony as IBM is a foundational member of the Work in the Office model.

If there is one word that describes the copier industry it is "resiliency", three groups of work from anywhere employees are developing and of all things, managed print services is still your leverage point into the future.

Enjoy.

Read the rest, here.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Darkness



With all that's going on in the world, deja vu is all over the place:

  • The Russians/Soviets are the enemy, again.
  • The word "Stagflation" is being used, again. 
  • Gasoline prices are through the roof, again.
  • Interest rates getting to double digits, again.
  • Huge political turmoil, again.
  • Abortion rights in the news, again.
  • The President of the United States is international befuddlement, again.
  • The US is in a proxy war, halfway across the world, again.

Back to the 70s - 

Then-President Jimmy Carter got on national television, all three channels, and told citizens of the greatest nation in history to "turn down" thermostats to conserve energy.  Gas prices crept up to 86 cents after a decade of below 40 cents per gallon.  

The national speed limit went from 75 to 55MPH for the dual purpose to conserve fuel and saving lives.  Studies reveal the latter did not occur.

Euthanasia, Karen Quinlan, Save the Whales, abortion, and No Nukes were the social issues of the day.

Japan was taking business away from the Big Three automakers, and Detroit was in an economic tailspin.  "Stagflation" ruled and everyone was afraid of the Soviet Union.  

Hostages in Iran, Marines died in the desert in a failed rescue attempt.

Are we in a Billy Joel video?  No.  No, we are not.

But we, a Nation, have been here before and we will be here again and again.  It was bad back then in the 70s.  It was bad in the 60s.  Some say it's bad right now.

It is nothing new and we'll get through this, like your parents and your parents, parents did.

And exactly how your kids will, too.

Do you like Sax?  Of course, you do...

Friday, May 6, 2022

Office Snacks: Zooming Away

I've been saying this for years.  The beer on tap in the break room, blue jean Fridays, Taco Tuesdays, donuts after 5 PM, foosball, espresso machines, company BBQ, and EXTRAVAGANT, high budget Christmas parties are all velvet handcuffs.

Don't get me wrong - I HAPPILY ENJOYED every cup of fresh brewed, every single company-sponsored, 12 Martini lunches, each trip, shot, and slab of meat provided.

I did and I would again.

But I understood the assignment - and the game - and appreciated it in the manner it is offered.  

  • The Cinco De Mayo lunch is a payoff.  
  • The breakfast just before a technology show is a payoff.
  • The client appreciation dinner is a payoff.
  • Tickets to the Bucks game?  Not just a playoff. You guessed it, payoff.

The manipulation is more insidious when not recognized.  Once you see the motives behind the gestures, you have control.  

It's called the "Observer Effect" - "...the disturbance of an observed system by the act of observation..."

So chow down on those free granola bars, chug the draft, but keep  "observing the system."

Who is zooming who?

"You think you're smooth
And you can pick and choose when the time is right
But just look behind, you'll be surprised..."


Thursday, May 5, 2022

New and Improved Managed Print Services Model, "Z22"



Managed Print Services has been around for decades and as a concept offers the opportunity to expand beyond the printed document.  It always has been.

Things change, they always do, and this is true for managed print services.  I was involved with developing an MpS model back in 2007 and again later, twice, with the MPSA.

There is no wrong model - there's just a more 'right' model.  Mine.  Which is now yours.

The typical, status quo MPS model stands on three basic phases, "Control", "Optimize" and "Enhance" and is progressed sequentially, with a Beginning and a Terminus.

I never liked it as a step-by-step process.  Managed print Services is an ongoing system - what today we call a "flywheel".  

So when looking at the above illustration, you'll notice there are no arrows.  Sure, the hexagons sport numerals, and yes, you must start with Hex"00" and bounce through the remaining areas, but the process can move from 02 to 01 to 03; non-sequential.

Here is your new and improved MpS Renaissance Model, Z22: 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Happy #MayTheFourth


On a hot August, Florida evening in 1977, my family and I stood in line.

My father never liked standing in line, but if you've been to Florida on a family vacation, standing in line is ubiquitous - in line at Disney, in line for dinner, in a line of traffic - the trip down I-75 was a continuous line into a world of lines.

This night was different, we were standing in line to see something we could have seen back in Westland but the buzz rivaled Space Mountain.

For the first and last time, my family and I would stand in a line to see a movie.  In the land of the Mouse, the family Walters was waiting to see a movie called "Star Wars".
 
The critics were not happy, calling out shallow characters, and a predictable, "Arthurian" plotline.  

The critics didn't know squat.  

When it was all said and done, some movie-goers will have sat and watched this movie 50, 60 times. In a theater.  

Lunch boxes, Christmas specials and you know the rest.

Over the next few years, I would see the same movie five times, read the book dozens of times, and listen to the entire soundtrack before each and every Highschool football game.  (I'm told I sounded like a Tie Fighter coming through the line.  This I do not remember)

Back then, in 9th grade, I was lucky enough to have a film class.  In film class, we made a movie.  

I had no idea how to make a movie(8MM, black and white, no sound) All I knew was that film is an easy "A".

A buddy and I sat on the floor of the school and scooted around on our butts while the brains of the operation filmed us.  Up one square, click.  Another square, 'click'.  This went on for 9 weeks.  It was stop-action and we raced around the halls zooming every which way...

At the end of the semester, our film was the best in class.  Although the writer, director, cameraman, and editor did all the work(one guy) each of us received an A.

Fast forward about 20 years, I am watching the making of Phantom Menace when I recognize a face on the screen - there was the guy who made the movie back in 9th grade.  Doug Chiang.  I fell out of my chair.

Doug has gone on to win multiple Oscars working with GL and the ILM.

My one claim to fame in Hollywood is staring in Doug's first feature film.  His people have not returned my people's many calls.  :-)

Happy May the Fourth!


Doug and George
Doug Chiang, whose first movie I starred in, and some other dude.


#theforce #Nabu #StevensonJuniorHighschool #starwars #work #people #like #school #film #football #writer #maythe4thbewithyou #maythe4th #maythefourthbewithyou

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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Walt's Weekly Words - Week 1


W
hile researching/roaming the inter-webs I find interesting, #Evernote worthy, pieces. Here are a few transformational tidbits, webcasts, and content vetted by me, for you.

#WorkRemote, get paid less? The battle dividing offices will define the future of work 
| US work & careers | The Guardian

"In addition, up to half of America’s jobs are projected to be freelance by 2030 and two-thirds of employers now regard some form of remote work or hybrid work as “the new norm”. Many companies are declaring themselves “fully remote”, giving them a competitive edge over those requiring presenteeism."

Read the rest, here.

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated
greg@grwalters.com
262.370.4193