Showing posts sorted by relevance for query edgeline. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query edgeline. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Death of Edgeline

I was scrolling through some year old posts and stumbled upon this one, from Art over at print4pay Hotel's, "MFP Solutions Blog"

A year later, almost to the day.

Has anyone heard anything, at all, about Edgeline?

Huh.

See my, historical journey through the odyssey that is Edeline, here.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

HP Edgeline "What Went Wrong"
Art Post

I had an email the other day from an analyst from a major printer vendor. In the email I was asked "what went wrong with this program?" I thought, geez your asking me?? I had done a few blogs in reference to the HP edgeline after it's before and after the release. (HP's Touted Edgeline MFP's "Ready to Rock"? & Who's Afraid of HP Edgeline CM8000 Series?)

Here's my response to the analyst:

Where Edgeline Went Wrong! Maybe I should have named it the Death of Edgeline (arrggg!! Greg Walters from The Death of the Copier already scooped me on that! LOL)

HP tried to take copier market share from Copier Manufacturers, even though they put some copier dealers on, HP did not do it's homework on the media and finishing applications that end users need (or maybe they did, but thought they could capture market share based on cpp pricing).

I heard from many reps around the country who complained that there was no bookletmaker option, the system could not print or copy thicker stock, no 3-hole punching, Slow FCOT, duplex limitations and limited paper supply and the weight of the unit.

If you're going to attack the copier market place, you need to make a copier or MFP centric device, not a printer centric device.

I have client who has an HP MFP because they thought they were getting a good deal on the Internet. Everyone in the office despises the unit because it is not user friendly, I must say over the years that's one thing that the Japanese manufacturers got right "Ease of Use"!

Hey, being on sales for 29 years in the office equipment business you need to "sell" the sales people, and get them pumped!

The "Edgeline" concept was a good one based on the low cpp of color and monochrome, however end users want more from these systems. They want to be able to print almost anything at any given time. Today' business climate is an "on demand one", I want it now, I need this ASAP, we need to make changes now. With the limited specs of the HP Edgeline, sales people could not recommend these systems to end users and some of the
companies that purchased or leased them wish they had bought something else.

My dealership (the one I work for) was in business for 28 years not once did an HP DSM come calling on us to take on the product line. I really don't think HP understands the mentality of the ITEX Dealer Channel. They understand VAR's, but not dealers. Also, why would a dealer take on their product when HP is selling the same product on it's web site?????

Dealers need at least 50% MARGINS, in order to "make things happen "offering anything less in this channel and you're wasting your time and the dealers time. Guess HP thought that everyone should be happy with 12% margins.

Is the end result that HP did not know how to sell them?

Naw, I just think that they rushed the product to market and didn't "copy" how copier manufacturers market their devices. I remember reading something with the pre-launch of Edgeline in reference to HP thinking that they would capture 35% of the volume in "x" amount of years in the ITEX channel! I wonder if that guy still has a job?

Couple of other items I heard, not sure if it's true or not, the entire Edgeline team was laid off, support was moved to Singapore and their may or may not be a second gen HP Edgeline. If there is a second gen, they'll have to dump the "Edgeline" which will be synomous with "New Coke", "Ford Edsel", "BenGay Aspirin", "McDonalds Deluxe", "Apple Lisa", and "Windows Vista".....and the list goes on.

Article written by Art Post at 2/18/2009 10:20:00 PM
Labels: HP, HP Edgeline
Reactions:

6 comments:

Greg Walters said...

Alright so, first things first - the Edgeline is not dead.

Edgeline technology is sound. 95% of print in the world is ink based, not toner...

The MC80X0 unit is perfect when placed in the proper environment...typically not churches, or color production or SMBs or home offices.

These systems fit in nicely for companies that have a real, honest to goodness IT Department, with a CIO.

Booklet maker? Blah! how many really use the option? I have seen the same amount of dust on Canon booklet makers as in the 11x17" paper tray.

Hole Punch? Again, does anybody, besides schools and CRDs still use these? If it is a "requirement", I just roll cases of pre-punched paper into the service agreement.

I have always felt that the "no finishing options" argument was a lazy sales persons way to get out actually selling.

I have also felt the "it's too expensive..." argument another lazy sales person's mantra...

To date, I have not seen the Edgeline offered on the web, EBay does not count. And even if it is, it's called "value add selling" - nobody can get that off the internet.

Once the unit is set up, it is Bullet Proof - I have many units in the field performing flawless.

And people prefer the user panel compared to any other manufacture's - hands down.

Some of the new Edgeline dealers that came out of the copier channel used the Edgeline to spin off other manufacturer sales.

And unfortunately, HP under estimated it's current IT channel's ability to actually SELL - not take orders.

Also, in the copier world, MIF can be converted over to a different manufacturer - like Canon into Ricoh, over at IKON.

HP had no MIF.

HP partners had no MIF.

HP VARs...had no...well you get the point. I doubt any of them really knew what MIF was...


Bottom line:

The "problems" with Edgeline are channel/partner related - it seems HP did not investigate the market(copier) before getting in.

But here is the rub, HP does not want to be a "copier" manufacturer. The do not want to "copy" how copier manufacturers market - they are trying to redefine the model.

And guess what, if anyone can redefine anything, it is HP.

HP is the only organization around who could absorb such a mistake.

Great Post!

http://thedeathofthecopier.blogspot.com/search/label/Edgeline

February 19, 2009 1:52 AM
Jason said...

Greg, I have to disagree with you on many levels (and agree with you on some).

First, for now, yes, it IS dead. It's not currently being produced, so I'd call that dead until they decide to revive it.

Second, "people prefer the user panel compared to any other manufacture's". Wow. I can't imagine whose control panel your customers were using before, but I have had an entirely different experience. Compare the steps to scan to email or clear a misfeed on the HP vs. Canon or Ricoh. The Canon and the Ricoh will win every time, "hands down".

Regarding the finishing options, I agree, they aren't that important. And, if they really are to that particular customer, sell them something else.

I agree with you that HP is trying to redefine the market. I can see some good things in their attempt, but even you admit that the Edgeline was a "mistake".

I also agree that HP was the only one who could survive such a mistake and not even really blink. They will learn from their mistakes and move on to the next generation of machines that may actually succeed.

February 19, 2009 8:42 AM
Greg Walters said...

Jason - very good points.

Yes, no production, and lots of inventory.

Yes, they did lay off the Edgeline Team, and move functions off-shore.

From my prospective, I guess I am comparing "Edgeline Death" to the "HP9055/9065 Death". Having gone through that little escapade with HP/IKON personally. Again, a failure on so many levels.

The next few months will be very telling, obviously, if they don't start up production again - light the candles.

User Panel - yeah, ok, I can sell the Ricoh and the Canon, and yes, even the Kyocera user panels...but none of them have "live video" to show how to remove a mis-feed - my current Edgeline clients/users (100's not 1000's) seem to like that, as compared to their now exiting fleet of Xerox's, Oce, K/M, Sharp and Imagistics.

Indeed, I doubt the down the street business would care that the user menu on the Edgeline is the same as their fleet of 4345's.

Specifically to your "scan to email" issue. I have heard this often as an argument against the Edgeline and I do not understand it.

My client's scan-to-email experience involves, selecting the scan-to-email option, choosing or entering the email address and hitting send...that's all.

And if they authenticate, scanning back to their desktop/email can be even easier. Also, I currently advise clients to scan back to their email and then send out from their email at their desk - securing a digital copy in their outbox - regardless of the scanning hardware in place.(Canon, Ricoh, Xerox, etc.) Regardless, the process is almost identical to the Ricoh's or E-Copy machines.

Selling against the Edgeline is easy to be sure - which is why knowing where to sell it so important and HOW to sell it is very important. HP missed the boat on that issue, they didn't have a firm grip on the "how" so they struggled to convey the message...

Jason, great insight - nice post.

February 19, 2009 11:05 AM

Art Post said...

I'm thinkin HP needed the video because either jams were so frequent or without the video they would have been next to impossible to remove. Just my two cents!

Art

February 19, 2009 5:07 PM
Greg Walters said...

Art - I was thinking the same thing - if you need to have a video showing how to clear a mis-feed, than aren't you admitting that your hardware will indeed fail?

But- HP studied how users would come up to a copier, see the "wrench" on the display and leave - so often was this observed, the engineers decided to address this issue; with the video.

I was skeptical - but after an end user raved about the "...man on the screen showed me..." how to go get a jammed paper, and the electric bread crumbs led her to error- she loved it and it convinced me.

February 20, 2009 12:48 AM

Ed said...

Well, I worked on the Edgeline team in hardware engineering (and am no longer with HP).

The Edgeline program was driven by two managers who were obsessed with "grabbing copier pages." VJ had a PowerPoint slide showing the number of pages printed annually for numerous purposes, and on numerous devices (eg office prints, books, newspapers, copiers, offset press, etc).

VJ showed the slide everywhere he went, and began referring to the many copier pages as "the big bar." The second manager was an R&D section manager who was obsessed with building a page-wide array device that could print across an entire page without moving the printhead.

There were many within R&D and marketing who drank the kool-aid, and most were "yes men" who bought the big bar dream, even though it had a peculiarly bitter taste. But there were others who quickly saw the insurmountable marketing barriers (channels, distribution, margins, support, lack of finishing partners, etc) and R&D barriers (dry time, paper thickness limitations, nozzle clogging, material costs, etc). But of course, the realities were glossed over when it came to selling the program up to VJ and Hurd.

It was a classic case of Emporer's Clothing.

The dream clouded reality, big time. A few of us bailed out of the team (just as well, as we were "too negative"), and joined other saner groups at HP's Vancouver division.

We knew Edgeline was going to hit the fan. Hard.

I won't tell you how many millions were poured down the Edgeline black hole. I am only now shaking off the ugly memories and doing a quick web search to read about the aftermath, and found most of the comments here to be insightful.

Looks look Canon is still going after the big bar. But at least they seem to know how....

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Death of the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology has been Greatly Exaggerated

The HP CM80x0 Edgeline.

There is a small firestorm of "concern" brewing around the comments I shared here from the Lyra Symposium regarding the Edgeline.

Couple this with the report that HP moved Edgeline assets "off-shore", and Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are bound to permeate.

It's referred to as the F.U.D. selling technique and is used by the more shadier copier sales people out there - "X".

If you run your business, your department or your life from a position of Fear, then you have probably been a victim of this selling technique. If so, stop right now, move your mouse over the "X" in the top, right hand corner and click.

No room here for the fearful.

Here's the story - HP is NOT putting Edgeline out to pasture, end of life.

HP IS behind Edgeline, supporting Edgeline, and Edgeline is part of the future.

Resellers are still certified, my techs still service Edgelines, I can still get service parts, toner and engines - all is moving forward.

So if your "X" sales person is telling you that the HP CM8060 is at "end of life" - move your mouse over the "X" and click him out.
---------------------------------------------

All this hub bub has given me pause, so I reflect.

It's true, HP has not sold as many units as they would have liked, but how have I been effected?

How have my clients been effected? What does this all mean to me, personally?

Sparking up PrintSolv and checking into our fleet of CM80x0's, I remember the dozens of reasons these clients chose Edgeline.

One company, wanted to explore saving money by reducing energy consumption as compared to their Canons. The Canons had "all the bells", including 3 hole punch, 11x17 and scanning. After looking at the actual usage, 11x17 output was less than 1% of total. Three hole punch, hadn't been used for "...2 years..."

At last month's Customer Review Meeting, we confirmed that since August of 2008, energy consumption for copiers declined 11%.

This was predicted. This is measured. This is a fact. The Edgeline is GREEN.

A side benefit was a reduction in paper purchases from 17 cases/month to 12 cases/month. Duplex was set as default on the Edgeline and all other HP devices.

Scrolling down, I see one client who currently prints about 15,000 color images a month.

Well, I should say, 14,500 Color Accent images a month.

This client was absolutely fed up with the poor customer service, unpredictable color quality, numerous jamming and a ridiculous contract the Konica Minolta dealer was "unwilling to help with".

Indeed, when the unit did print color correctly that is without a "pinkish" hue, a 12 cent/page charge was incurred. After looking at their output, which is revenue generating, almost 80% of the pages had less than 150 characters of text in color. Not many pictures or graphs.

We installed the Edgeline for a 30 day evaluation, which expanded into a 90 day evaluation. Earlier on, the cost savings looked significant for color cost alone. But when we rolled in the ease of use, lower energy consumption, lower amount of disposable service parts(no drum, fuser, etc.) - and the ability to EASILY remove mis-feeds - the Edgeline looked even better "on paper".

I can not say that the Edgeline will not mis-feed, but when it does, end users do not simply walk away from the "blinking wrench"; they easily fix the problem using the AutoNav and live video display. Simple.

Today, because of the Color Accent functionality found only on Edgeline, my client saves a significant amount of money printing color at the black and white rate - printing color text.

The biggest impact on the organization has been reliability - the Edgeline is bullet proof.

But, the client is saving "lots" of money - the Konica is sitting in the corner of the room, used as backup - the lease is still in effect - for another 21 months. Even carrying the lease on this dead machine, they are reducing costs.

One more example -

A very small fleet of Edgelines(4 units) we installed before going with PrintSolv.

These units notify my offices and the client when supplies hit a minimum and service issues reach a certain level. For instance, magenta down to 3% issues an email; three consecutive mis feeds in the ADF, trigger a service email.

To date, we have dispatched 3 service calls to each machine, when notified of a problem, by the machine. That's 12, premptive, non PM service calls in the last 18 months.

Our tech shows up before the end user calls our toll free number. There have even been cases when our tech will show up while the Admin is speaking to our dispatch.

These four Edgelines replaced five boxes from Xerox. My client had been a Xerox customer for DECADES. But saw an "account executive" rarely if ever; the end users knew the service technicians by name, first name.

This account represents quite a few Edgelines - quite a few.

The Take Aways - How to work with Edgeline, from a customer's view and from the Reseller's perspective.

If you arelooking getting more than 4 Edgelines, install a trial unit.

If you are a reseller and you have a prospect who is looking to roll out more than four Edgelines, install a trial unit.

And when going through the trial process, treat it as a sale - perform the site survey, collect end user requirements and network security issues. Train the end users(twice or more) on all the relevant functions.

Set the system up to email your client and you when issues arise.

Do not try to fit this "square peg" into a round hole - do your homework. Both client and provider.

Sustainability - the Edgeline and HP is very Green. Reducing power consumption and landfill materials.

When the unit is installed in an environment that fits, the system performs very well.

I know. I have replaced Canon, Konica Minolta, Xerox, Imagistics and Toshiba with Edgeline.

Edgeline treats business documents the way they are in the real world - hardly anyone uses 11x17 - it's a fact. Sure you can find some who run nothing but 11x17, those are not Edgeline prospects.

Hardly anyone use the 3-hole punch - it's a fact. If it is a "big" issue, pre-drilled is the way to go.

Whenever one penetrates a market with very established players, who apply a tried and proven sales and manufacturing model, such as the copier industry, one is bound to take a few hits.

HP is not going to someday stop printing - but there will be companies that will one day stop copying.






Crazy Disclaimer - the above accounts are a "conglomeration" of cases illustrated as individual clients. The facts remain the same.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Six Questions to HP - Canon, OPS Elite and the Odyssey That is Edgeline

I've had the opportunity to pose queries to HP directly. The questions are via email, the answers are prompt, succinct and a bit, "political".

From Tom Codd, Director, Enterprise Marketing, Imaging and Printing Group, HP and Larry Trevarthen, Market Development Director, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

It's only six questions, enjoy.


1. Death of the Copier (DOTC), Will the OPS Elite resellers have access to the Canon product? If so, when, if not, why not.

"HP and Canon’s joint strategic intent is to extend customer choice in MPS as we believe this is the customer segment where the combination of HP’s MPS and Canon’s MFDs offer the greatest value proposition for customers. As the alliance with Canon evolves, HP will assess the possible extension into the channel space. This could include, but not be limited to, some select OPS partners that will be designated as agents and work with HP’s Direct Sales teams on new MPS opportunities."

2. DOTC, Is Canon providing the service on the HP/Canon line?

"Under the expanded alliance, HP will continue to service its printers and Canon will provide servicing and support for their full range of MFDs. HP will remain the initial point of contact for the customer in support, break/fix and supplies replenishment situations. Canon service personal will be dispatched for the actual support work."

3. DOTC, How does this effect Edgeline's future? Will there be new Edgeline devices?

"The new, expanded alliance between HP and Canon will have no effect on the future of HP Edgeline. HP continues to sell the CM8060 and CM8050 MFPs with Edgeline Technology. Furthermore, the Edgeline MFPs continue to meet customer needs and add value where it counts – operational cost savings, reliability, productivity, administration and environmental friendliness."

And three questions posed to Larry Trevarthen, Market Development Director, LaserJet Enterprise Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

1. DOTC, Is HP selling Edgeline? And, if not, when did HP decide to cease selling Edgeline?

"Yes, HP continues to sell the CM8060 and CM8050 MFPs with Edgeline Technology. The Edgeline MFPs continue to meet customer needs and add value where it counts – operational cost savings, reliability, productivity, administration and environmental friendliness."

2. DOTC, How will HP support the Edgeline customer and the Edgeline dealers today or in the future?

"As always, HP will continue to provide first-class customer premise equipment (CPE) support as long as the products are sold and to additionally support current and future customers and resellers with service and parts. Furthermore, HP channel partners are critically important to our business, and we intend to continue to partner with them for our current single-function and MFP products, services and solutions, including transitioning to next generation products."

3. DOTC, Is there a replacement product? If so, what is the timeframe?

"HP does not comment publicly on future product announcements. However, the CM8060 and CM8050 MFPs are and will continue to be important assets in our portfolio and for our customers who value cost savings, performance, environmental friendless and device consolidation. We are committed to extending our leadership in the MFP market and to providing our customers the best products, services and solutions. We will continue broadening our printing portfolio in order to offer an exciting lineup of products for our enterprise customers. The HP CM8060 and CM8050 Color MFPs with Edgeline Technology continue to be ideal solutions for customers who need a departmental-class color MFP that helps improve productivity and control operating costs."



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HP - Above the Fray...

With the re-org at HP IPG there are a few new faces in prominent positions.

Faces from all over the world and people who have fresh ideas and a passion for printing.

As I talk to and work with these people, here are some of my reflections, observations and ideas:

1. The HP/Global acquisition-

I had first thought Xerox had "stole" out from under HP - I was wrong.

HP, after long consideration, and a detailed accounting review, did not want Global. And if they didn't want Global, they sure as heck wouldn't want IKON.

2. HP doesn't know how to market the Edgeline-

I had once thought that HP was trying to slam a square peg, through a round hole, when they tried to work with their existing IT integrators and that they had no plan.

On this issue, I was right and wrong.

The square peg thing - yes, I was correct.

My feeling that they had no plan, I was wrong.

HP had a plan but it was a flawed one.

I am speaking to Edgeline and the space the unit resides in the market.

Nobody has said this out loud to me, but when Edgeline hit the market, some felt "if you build it, they will come...". By adding it to the top of the price list, IT managers will naturally gravitate to the Edgeline as they have for decades with the other HP printing products.

The idea sounds great - present Edgeline to IT through HP's already developed and well trained IT integrators in the field. After all, the current HP integrators are as close as family, know HP's quality, have established relationships with clients' IT divisions and can easily add Edgeline to their product portfolio.

Unfortunately, if you throw some of these technology folks into a selling situation against seasoned copier people, the techies will get slaughtered - and move back into their comfort zone.

This issue will be magnified when the 100+ pager per minute Edgeline hits the streets(not that far in the future) - at 100 plus, isn't that a Segment 5? Well, ok, but it's not production, it's office/business color output at 100+ pages a minute. So do we now redefine the Segment system? And how did all those Segments get determined in the first place and by who?

This is what I believe HP understands now:

Edgeline can not be sold like a laser printer.

Traditional copier dealers are more likely to sell an old school copier than Edgeline - so authorizing within that channel is foolish.

The traditional dealer can find enough "faults" with Edgeline compared to the "cheaper" copier-de-jour, to pivot an HP lead into a copier sale.

-Or even worse, the copier dealer may be motivated to sell HP MFP's, place the client on a supplies inclusive agreement supported by third-party supplies...shudder.-

I wonder if that has ever happened.

Authorizing existing HP integrators -

The Edgeline competes with copiers. I.T. integrators know little about that market. For instance leasing, Cost per copy, meter reads and first copy out times are all foreign phrases.

HP knows now, but might not have before, that you can not work with an existing copier dealer and expect them to get Edgeline and HP's Print 2.0 methodology and how to articulate the differences between and the advantages of going with a "printer" company over a "copier" company.

This is good news, missteps are part of growing.

By the way, speaking of missteps and growing, nobody knows better than the current "honchos" at HP (at least the ones I talk to) about learning how NOT to integrate an acquisition: Compaq is in the forefront of "learning opportunities".


HP is growing the channel organically.

This will take a while - 3-5 years.

This will not be pleasant - converting I.T. order tackers into output solution providers.

HP is not getting into the copier fray and will be taking the high road.

This will change everything.


And my recommendations:
  • Stop bringing in so many people from competitive printer manufactures
  • Cultivate your base of IT integrators
  • Hire from the Copier industry(gag, j/k)
  • Think more like a copier provider, but not too much
  • Develop a Pull marketing campaign around the best integrators
  • Market answers to business problems
  • Develop and replicate the "Ideal HP Printing VAR" as though the VAR was employed by HP
I am sure I can think of more...but this is enough...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Edgeline - "Just an InkJet"


Just an Inkjet printer? Well, yes...it's like comparing the Kon Tiki with the Space Shuttle.

I have heard this from a few prospective Edgeline clients recently.

- And I have to ask myself, how did this come to be?

- How did this statement of fact come to be an objection in the selling process?

- How can Edgeline Technology, ink based, first be compared to and then relegated down to the level of a "DeskJet 500"?

In a phrase, "My Competition and the Ignorance of my Prospect."

The ignorance issue, I can deal with. Ignorance can be cured, stupidity can not. And in this case, if Ignorance is the disease, I am the Cure.

More importantly, what lies beneath this "objection" is the fact that competitors to Edgeline may be paying attention and developing strategies against it.

I can not tell if this is an organic occurrence or if some "xerograhic" people are distributing "talking notes" - to be honest, I can not imagine anyone (Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, K/M) worrying too much about their eroding market share relative to Edgeline.

Edgeline just isn't there yet. Well, the Edgeline technology is but all the necessary "accouterments" around the technology (channel, brand recognition, business philosophy, etc.) from HP are not in place just yet.

Edgeline has only been on the streets for about a year now - and there is a long row to hoe on the way to moving 3400 units a year.

It will get there - and in five years, we may be all all lauding how impossible it must have been to use machines that only produced color at 60 page per minute.



If you like this post, try these:


So Really. What is the Big Deal about "Ink Jet"??

A Return to Edgeline

Edgeline...and the BreadCrumbs...





Friday, January 30, 2009

Lyra Symposium 2009 - The Death of Edgeline

Two years ago Edgeline was all you heard about.

HP had set their eyes on the copier world again and this time it was different.

This time HP has it's own machine, not some "duct taped" apparition.

This time HP was in charge of the channel, not partnering with a non-committal, old school dealer channel.

With Edgeline and an existing VAR channel, The Death of The Copier was just around the corner.

The machine utilized ink, did not use heat, corona wires, or static.

Demos were conducted, partners and service technicians trained.

Awards like the "Must See ‘em award" at the Graph Expo trade show, the “Technology Award” from the Microsoft Vendor Program (MSVP) and kudos from no less than BLI came rolling in.

Elite dealers made unit commitments - the world was their oyster.

The world waited -

And waited.

Fast forward to January, 2009. More specifically to the last session of the three day Lyra 2009 Symposium.

On stage sits the panel of esteemed financial pundits who specialize in analyzing the print industry. Keith Bachman, Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Enterprise Hardware and Imaging BMO Capital Markets, Rob Sethre, CEO Woodford Group, Charles LeCompte, President Lyra Research, and Shannon Cross, Managing Director IT Hardware and Imaging Technology Cross Research.

Someone from the audience asks about HP Edgeline.

The panel does not hold back.

Phrases like,
"...the Edgeline has had no success at all..."

and proven to be an "objective failure" or HP is at best "...persistent at their failure..." seem to echo off the dark blue velvet back drop.

Of course, it didn't help that HP just announced the "relocation" of Edgeline R/D from Vancouver to Singapore. No, that did not help at all.

Edgeline falls within in IPG so the discussion blossoms once again with phrases like,

"...IPG is getting decimated..."

because "...Hurd is now focusing on IPG...trimming the fat..." so IPG can be "...more nimble..." especially when "...there is no more growth coming from the cash-cow..."

As bad as all this is, and deservedly so, there is a silver lining of sorts. It is expressed that no other firm in the world would be able to absorb such a disappointment. Additionally, it was commonly believed that HP will "do something" to get into and ultimately dominate the copier market.

As for suggestions on how HP could do just that - Shannon Cross in a wonderfully abrupt and direct manner clearly stated,

"HP should buy Canon."

She followed up with, "they should buy Xerox...but there would be dominance issues." I believe alluding to the monopolistic aspects of such an occurrence.

HP Should Buy Canon - that is the take away from this session.

An acquisition like this would allow HP to own outright, their laser engines and give them some sort of foothold in the copier industry. But, in light of the relative strength and dominance Ricoh will soon have in the industry, the question has to be, does HP have enough guts to get into the fray?

If only HP had a gutsy-type guy at the helm...

UPDATES:

The Death of the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology has been Greatly Exagerated


Friday, April 11, 2008

More On The Konica Minolta Danka thing...

From the press release -Danka Business Systems PLC Signs Agreement With Konica Minolta to Sell U.S. Business Operations

Published by Webmaster at 9:48 pm under Konica Minolta, News

Business Systems Office Imaging Company ("ST. PETERSBURG, FL, Apr 08, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) — DankaPLC (Danka) (OTCBB: DANKY) (LSE: DNK.L), a leading supplier of office imaging equipment and support services in the United States, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement with Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. ("Konica Minolta"), to acquire the company’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, DankaDOIC"), through which Danka conducts its business operations.

"In addition to continuing support for the entire Danka customer base with a complete range of products and service capabilities," said A.D. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Danka, "I am pleased to say the new organization will also provide the added benefit of direct access to Konica Minolta’s world-class technology, distinctive product offerings and financial strength. Customer relationships will grow ever stronger as a result."

Frazier credits Danka employees for accomplishing a remarkable competitive transformation. "They redefined the manner in which document workflow solutions are managed and serviced in small-to-medium sized enterprises and in the extremely competitive high volume production print marketplace. Their success, achieved against a backdrop of having to overcome the company’s daunting corporate legacy issues, translates to new relevancy and value for the Danka approach."

Frazier added, "Nevertheless, the costs associated with trying to remain an independent player in an extremely competitive industry are imposing. This transaction represents, by far, the best outcome for Danka’s organization and staff. It preserves the DOIC organization, allowing us to serve our loyal customers while addressing the holding company’s burdensome financial obligations. We are confident that Konica Minolta’s stated desire to invest in, and grow, DOIC’s business will be rewarded in the customer marketplace."

The acquisition by Konica Minolta is designed to build and expand upon the foundation established by DOIC. "Konica Minolta’s acquisition of DOIC will further enhance our leadership in the color and high volume production print markets while complementing our overall growth strategy with our independent dealers and branch network," said Jun Haraguchi, President and CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "We’re excited about the prospects that this strategic acquisition will create, and believe the combined strength of the new organization will be beneficial to our customers, the DOIC customer base and the DOIC employee family."...

Edgeline -

When Xerox bought Global, it didn't take long for both Canon and Ricoh to pull out of the Global channel, leaving lots of locations with no support.

Canon, Kodak, Toshiba and Edgeline all appear on the front of the Danka equipment page. I would imagine that HP would love to remain on that page. Will Konica continue the relationship?

Konica Minolta's color Biz-Hubs are in the same space as the 8050/60 - we are replacing Xerox and K/M with Edgeline's all the time.

I wonder how the sales staff at the "new" Danka will respond. Everyone knows sales people are lazy and take the path of
least resistance. (I sell for a living) And if presented with prospect interested in 50ppm color, will it not be easier to direct that interest into a Konica sale over the "new and unproven" Edgeline?

Or how about learning a completely new technology to sell AND support vs selling the "zero-graphic" process as "proven" and "reliable"?

No matter what the corporate line may be, this does not bode well for the only national distribution channel for
Edgeline. Danka presented little value in the first place and now that value has been reduced even more.

But wait, maybe it is good for Edgeline - Perhaps a headline like,

"Konica Minolta buys DANKA for $240 Million - Adds Edgeline to Product Mix"

"In a stunning move, Konica Minolta and HP and announced a "partnership in understanding" opening all of Konica Minolta's existing and newer dealers access to the new CM8050/60 with Edgline technology..."

Very interesting times.




Thursday, April 1, 2010

As of Today, Edgeline is Gone: The beginning of the End Started in Vancouver

Just under three years ago, Edgeline hit the market.

At the time, all the hoopla and programs felt like a plan, a strategy - not simply wishful thinking.

Over a year ago, January 27, 2009, I reported the shuttering of the Edgeline group in Vancouver.

I knew then.

For the last 12-15 months I have been counseling clients on this development and making plans.

Last month, I installed 15 Edgelines.

Between now and the end of May, I have five for sure and another 17 possible.

HP should discontinue product (and not tell anyone) more often.

Parts and supplies will be support for five years.

From InfoTrends InfoBlog, Robert Palmer writes:

"These types of MFPs are typically leased under a click-based service contract, and HP’s reseller channel is simply not equipped to support that type of sales/service motion..."

"...HP admitted as much when the Edgeline-based MFPs were announced, noting that the products would primarily be sold through direct engagements with large corporate accounts. The CM8050 and CM8060 served an important role for HP in its initial forray into Managed Print Services (MPS)..."

"...In short, HP does not have an adequate channel to move the volumes needed to support the Edgeline platform long term..."

That last sentence pretty much summed it up.

It was fun while it lasted, and the Edgeline technology will live on.

Today, it can be said, that HP is out of the copier business.

How much longer before HP evacuates the printing, hardware business all together?

See More Here.

Click to email me.






Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Death Of Edgeline, Again...This Time for Real. No Really. I Mean It this Time

OK - Sorta.

As reported here back in November of 2009(The Word From Hurd: IPG Growth Includes Wal and K*Mart) , Edgeline may see the light of day, under a flashing blue light.

I can't say how official it is, but a reader informed me that the vaunted Edgeline, the Destroyer of Copiers, the New Way, will be at End of Life, April 1, 2010. Parts, supplies and support will be provided for five years.

So ends another chapter in odyssey that is HP.

And like Obama voters today, six months from now, you won't be able to find anyone willing to admit they ever heard of Condor.

In a recent WSJ article, it was stated that HP, since last year, has been quietly placing photo kiosks in WalMarts across the country. To the chagrin of Kodak. (talk about the Death of Something)


The word on the street is that HP will be providing these in all 3600 Wal*Mart stores across America. 3,600? No wonder nobody at HP returns my calls.(just kidding)

What does this have to do with Edgeline?

The top image is a HP ML1000D mini lab - the backbone to the WalMart photo kiosks.
This image is a CM8060 with finisher and a large capacity paper tray, much like the 40 or 50 I have installed around SoCali.

What do you see?

Let me tell you what I see.

I see a huge commision check - this "take down" will generate growth over 300 percent for HP's global retail publishing line.

I see a machine that is based on Edgeline technology, housed in an identical chassis, utilizing the identical LCT.

I see a strong printing engine that will be able to run on "retail" hours.

I see a company who consciously got out of a dying, copier industry.

Alias, poor Edgeline, I knew you well...

"These kiosks stay installed for nine or 10 years," H-P Chief Executive Mark Hurd told investors at a conference in San Francisco on Tuesday morning. H-P gets "100% supplies connect," he said, referring to the sales of the additional printing products.


Ah yes, remember the good ole days, here?


Click to email me.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HP Edgeline, Hawk? Layoffs for 200 - Moving Edgeline to Singapore...

Reported yesterday in the Columbian.com, HP is continuing it's downsizing of the Vancouver location and according to the article, "scraping its Edgeline team".

HP “is shifting prototype testing, as well as some work on research designs, engineering specifications and drawings, abroad, including to Singapore,” according to U.S. Department of Labor documents. This inkjet lab move will affect at least 52 Vancouver employees, a labor official said.

"Similar work done by HP’s Vancouver-based Edgeline Development and Operations Group will also move overseas, according to other documents. This will affect at least 93 Vancouver employees, who work for HP and for 15 related contract staffing agencies, the Labor official said..."

It doesn't look like Edgeline will go the way of the Hawks - but could OPS VARs be nervous?


UPDATE:

The Death of the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology has been Greatly Exagerated



Click to email me.




Sunday, June 1, 2008

Xerox is NOT Afraid of Edgeline...

Anne Mulcahy - From InsuranceNewsNet.com, Xerox Corporation at JPMorgan. A question posed to A. Mulchay ask what Xerox thought of regarding Edgeline.

The response - "...On HP and Edgeline, I think for all of you who followed it, I think there certainly was a lot of fanfare about Edgeline really being the entry with inkjet into the office marketplace for HP.

I think it would be fair to say that it has been extremely quiet. That any information available would suggest that it has had very little impact right now on the marketplace in total.

I think the challenges are ones that are inherent in liquid inkjet, which really doesn't allow you a lot of media flexibility with high quality, and that is I'm sure something that HP is working on.

We chose solid ink as a technology in that part of the market because of the advantages of quality and media flexibility. We're pretty excited about the prospects for solid ink going forward, and that is a proprietary technology for Xerox. So I would say we have not seen much from Edgeline.

We never take for granted the fact that competitors get better; but right now I think we have been able to compete very favorably against Edgeline in the marketplace.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greg's Top 12 Events of 2008 - Managed Print Services, Edgeline and Napa

from 2008...

It's just my view. These are MY "top of mind" events and posts in 2008, in no particular order:

1. Ikon/Ricoh - Easily the biggest event of the year. After much rumor and guessing, Ricoh NOT Canon steps up. 

 2. WEB 2.0 - The Wild, Wild, West The BlogaSphere, social networking. From MySpace to LinkedIn. It is crazy out here. There are no rules, everyone is an expert on how to "monetize" your site, but nobody has a track record - it's all new. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can instantly become an "expert' - I do not understand this phenomena and I have practically given up trying.

 2.1 Andrew Keen's book, the cult of the amateur. Monkeys with typewriters - that's what we are. Thanks to him, I no longer reference Wikipedia.

3. The Death of The Copier - Why Do You Write? I write to read what I write. The "success" of The Death of The Copier is not measured by how many views occur(16,000/month) or the average time spent on the blog(two minutes 48 seconds). I measure the success of the blog by how often I go back and add to it. If my interest is still there, than the blog is succeeding for me. An unforeseen and added benefit of TDOTC, has been all the people I have met out here; unknowing mentors, colleagues, cohorts, planners, visionaries and all around great peeps.

4. Photizo - defining and elevating Managed Print Services From start up, first two newsletters, now two locations, a conference and more, the folks over at Photizio, Ed and the gang, I have found to be the most knowledgable group in terms of Managed Print Services and the industry. I found them quite by chance, via a google search, and it has been a pleasure ever since. I look forward to watching and working with them in 2009.

5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking". I do not tweet.

6. Napa - The Dump, the Wine and the Hot, Microbiologist - Huba, Huba As I mentioned in point #3 above, The Death of The Copier is for my entertainment and one of the most "entertaining" posts I have(in my opinion) is about an HP Green Symposium in Napa. It still makes me laugh right out loud.

7. Magic Castle, A Week in The Life - Every now and again, I am suddenly reminded why I like it so much out here.

8. Single Unit Install - Not the biggest sale of the century, not even close, but a significant and fulfilling experience. One that I did not write about. This past year, one of my clients involved a 90 day cycle which included a 30+ day trial for a single Edgeline.

The total sale was for ONE Edgeline.

But, this one particular engagement had every nightmare available: bad lease, terrible service, a color machine (K/M) that did not perform, a single line of color text costing a dime each. Monthly volumes were around 10,000 images, mostly color and 95% printed. 

Today, as I click over to the PrintSolv tab in my Mozilla browser, I can see that total life count on the Edgeline is 99,000 images. (Since August) This month they have 5,900 color images, all of them printed - no color copies. We solved many issues: Recommending they purchase instead of lease (because of the benefits of the Economic Stimulus package of 2008) was "refreshing" and negated any "bad taste" they had from their current lease. 

Although they went with a new Edgeline, the existing lease is still in effect, the old machine is tucked away and relegated to "back-up" duties. Color overages - a perfect fit for Color Accent, saving thousands in "click" charges. Automated Supplies Ordering - the machine emails us when it needs supplies. 

This in addition to the information available via PrintSolv. Easy to use scanning, and simple mis-feed resolution with "live" video walking the end user through the process. 

And this is as good as it gets: 

“Greg, I just wanted to say that we love the CM8060...it prints consistently and much faster than the Konica c500. I’ve noticed it handles its tasks much better. I can scan large document sets to myself via email while it is printing other jobs, and continue to scan while it is still processing the previous scan batch – all with no hiccups. Your response time to our requests has also been very good. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to work with the HP Edgeline..." 

9. The Hardware Begins to Disappear; Customers get Smarter - Machines are all the same but people still care 

Are clients smarter? As the commoditization of output devices continues, does it really matter if there is a little blue label that says "HP" on your printer? 

Clients are looking for more - more help, more business, more control, more vision...but they are not in our industry, they wake up in the morning thinking about their business model, not printers, copiers or Managed Print Services. So, how can they be "smarter" then us? Maybe more informed then they use to be, but they should never be smarter then us - ever. 

I've  found (once again) the smart clients are the ones who understand that they do not know everything and need to surround themselves with experts. Experts who posses business acumen, people who are not walking spec sheets. 

10. Gas Prices/Mortgage and Credit Crunch - The Gas Price restricted the miles I would travel, the Mortgage crisis eliminated two of our largest customers, the Credit tumble slowed or delayed commercial purchasing decisions - but all of these factors shot the interest in Managed Print Services through the roof. 

11. Managed Print Services - Changing the copier model and creating another. The Photizo Group, as do I, call them the Hybrid Dealers

12. Bill Caskey Bryan Neale and Brooke Green - These folks are on the cutting edge when it comes to Selling and the sales process, the mental attitudes and beliefs needed to succeed. And they are overall good people. 

13. Web 3.0 - The Death of Print? I still have not figured out Web 2.0 and now there is talk of the Web 3.0. The next decade will be the decade when printing is truly redefined into something we can not fathom today. 

 It should be fun.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is Anyone Really AFRAID of Edgeline?

From an opinion post on the Print4Pay Hotel Thursday, May 24, 2007 - Here are 15 points reflecting why Edgeline is not to be feared - remember, this is exactly one year ago, today. My responses in RED.


Who's Afraid of HP Edgeline CM8000 Series? ...


"1. No Offset Stacking: I can't believe they made this big of a machine with offset!
2. No 3 Hole Punch: Again WOW! - Big Deal.
3. Limited Card Stock: Only through the by-pass (I think this unit is rated for max 58lb only) - And? So?
4. 11x17: The trays are very slow on 11x17 and the by-pass seems faster! 11x17 is slower, but how often do you need 11x17 in business color environment?
5. Misfeeds: While it doesn't misfeed much at all, if a user leaves a misfeed in over the weekend it will dry out the print heads (ouch!) - Interesting, haven't heard that one.
6. Weight (725lbs): Can not use a stairclimber because there are no stress points! - not true
7. Black cpc: It's not the ink price that will get you but the cost of the maintenance kits! - LOL! service agreement covers that, but there are not any traditional "maintenance kits"
8. Availability for the next six months: slim enough that we are looking to pick up another line! - currently moot.
9. CPP for color: Business .05 and Professional .06 cents per page! - yup.
10. Strangely enough, the letter paper only runs thru the machine in landscape orientation from the LCT (can't even load portrait/speed). - this is true, see my post
11. Standard 1,500 sheet paper supply only! - LCT is 4k
12. VERY slow FCOT (First Copy Out Time) 12 seconds. - yup, 80-90% of documents are printed
13. Ink cartridges load from the bottom of the device (Oh my Back!) - LOL! give me a break
14. To protect the print heads from electrostatic discharge, be sure to touch the
horizontal metal bar to ground yourself before clearing jams that are near the print heads. The print heads are above the print-drum area. - Never heard of this.
15. HP recommends that you do not use this device for printing on sequential paper, such as pre-numbered checks or invoices." - OK, the Edgeline doesn't do MICR.


---
I guess I could further debate the above, but "facts are stubborn things" - it really does take 12 seconds for the first copy to come out. And there is not now, although I hear and friends of mine have actually seen, a three-hole punch option. I recommend pre-drilled paper. This reduces the environmental impact by eliminating "harmful" paper dust and litter(the little paper dots).

If we sweep all the technological advantages and perceived functional disadvantages aside what we have left is a product that is
immediately familiar to IT directors. A product that fits quite well "within it's designed parameters".

I caution all my prospects right from the get-g0; "this machine is not designed for anyone who will make their living off of the quality of color output." If the prospect pulls out a "loop", I have failed in the qualification stage begin to pack my stuff and exit.

The point being, Edgeline fits in a specific business space. Not production. Not desktop. Business color - oh and the above points, although a year old today, smell of fear.




Saturday, October 4, 2008

Managed print Services : 2008

It's just my view. These are MY "top of mind" events and posts in 2008, in no particular order:

1. Ikon/Ricoh - Easily the biggest event of the year. After much rumor and guessing, Ricoh NOT Canon steps up.

2. WEB 2.0 - The Wild, Wild, West The BlogaSphere, social networking. From MySpace to LinkedIn. It is crazy out here. There are no rules, everyone is an expert on how to "monetize" your site, but nobody has a track record - it's all new. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can instantly become an "expert' - I do not understand this phenomena and I have practically given up trying.

2.1 Andrew Keen's book, the cult of the amateur. Monkeys with typewriters - that's what we are. Thanks to him, I no longer reference Wikipedia.

3. The Death of The Copier - Why Do You Write? I write to read what I write. The "success" of The Death of The Copier is not measured by how many views occur(16,000/month) or the average time spent on the blog(two minutes 48 seconds). I measure the success of the blog by how often I go back and add to it.

If my interest is still there, than the blog is succeeding for me. An unforeseen and added benefit of TDOTC, has been all the people I have met out here; unknowing mentors, colleagues, cohorts, planners, visionaries and all around great peeps.

4. Photizo - defining and elevating Managed Print Services From start up, first two newsletters, now two locations, a conference and more, the folks over at Photizio, Ed and the gang, I have found to be the most knowledgable group in terms of Managed Print Services and the industry. I found them quite by chance, via a google search, and it has been a pleasure ever since. I look forward to watching and working with them in 2009.

5. LinkedIn - MySpace all grown up. Much more mature than Facebook with real contacts and real business and NO high school moms pretending to be CEO's...well, maybe. Quite by chance, I fell into LinkedIn. Early, I joined MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, etc. - but LinkedIn, for some reason has held my attention and gets most of my input when it comes to "social networking". I do not tweet.

6. Napa - The Dump, the Wine and the Hot, Microbiologist - Huba, Huba As I mentioned in point #3 above, The Death of The Copier is for my entertainment and one of the most "entertaining" posts I have(in my opinion) is about an HP Green Symposium in Napa. It still makes me laugh right out loud.

7. Magic Castle, A Week in The Life - Every now and again, I am suddenly reminded why I like it so much out here.

8. Single Unit Install - Not the biggest sale of the century, not even close, but a significant and fulfilling experience. One that I did not write about. This past year, one of my clients involved a 90 day cycle which included a 30+ day trial for a single Edgeline.

The total sale was for ONE Edgeline.

But, this one particular engagement had every nightmare available: bad lease, terrible service, a color machine (K/M) that did not perform, a single line of color text costing a dime each. Monthly volumes were around 10,000 images, mostly color and 95% printed.

Today, as I click over to the PrintSolv tab in my Mozilla browser, I can see that total life count on the Edgeline is 99,000 images. (Since August) This month they have 5,900 color images, all of them printed - no color copies. We solved many issues: Recommending they purchase instead of lease (because of the benefits of the Economic Stimulus package of 2008) was "refreshing" and negated any "bad taste" they had from their current lease.

Although they went with a new Edgeline, the existing lease is still in effect, the old machine is tucked away and relegated to "back-up" duties. Color overages - a perfect fit for Color Accent, saving thousands in "click" charges. Automated Supplies Ordering - the machine emails us when it needs supplies. This in addition to the information available via PrintSolv. Easy to use scanning, and simple mis-feed resolution with "live" video walking the end user through the process.

And this is as good as it gets: “Greg, I just wanted to say that we love the CM8060...it prints consistently and much faster than the Konica c500. I’ve noticed it handles its tasks much better. I can scan large document sets to myself via email while it is printing other jobs, and continue to scan while it is still processing the previous scan batch – all with no hiccups. Your response time to our requests has also been very good. Thus far, it has been a pleasure to work with the HP Edgeline..."

9. The Hardware Begins to Disappear; Customers get Smarter - Machines are all the same but people still care Are clients smarter? As the commoditization of output devices continues, does it really matter if there is a little blue label that says "HP" on your printer?

Clients are looking for more - more help, more business, more control, more vision...but they are not in our industry, they wake up in the morning thinking about their business model, not printers, copiers or Managed Print Services. So, how can they be "smarter" then us? Maybe more informed then they use to be, but they should never be smarter then us - ever. I found (once again) the smart clients are the ones who understand that they do not know everything and need to surround themselves with experts. Experts who posses business acumen, people who are not walking spec sheets.

10. Gas Prices/Mortgage and Credit Crunch - The Gas Price restricted the miles I would travel, the Mortgage crisis eliminated two of our largest customers, the Credit tumble slowed or delayed commercial purchasing decisions - but all of these factors shot the interest in Managed Print Services through the roof.

11. Managed Print Services - Changing the copier model and creating another. The Photizo Group, as do I, call them the Hybrid Dealers.

12. Bill Caskey Bryan Neale and Brooke Green - These folks are on the cutting edge when it comes to Selling and the sales process, the mental attitudes and beliefs needed to succeed. And they are overall good people.

13. Web 3.0 - The Death of Print? I still have not figured out Web 2.0 and now there is talk of the Web 3.0. The next decade will be the decade when printing is truly redefined into something we can not fathom today.

It should be fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Return to Edgeline

Managed Print Services is Hot, but Edgeline is Hotter. Getting back to Edgeline.

To authorize by PIN or LDAP or Exchange, that is the question.

One of my recent installs required print, copy, scan and fax rights by authorization(login).

I know authorization is nothing new when it comes to connected copiers - I have worked with hundreds.

Yet imagine the impact on the end user in terms of the degree of "hassle" involved with walk-up copying.

- Example:

Copier sales person - "...it's easy, simply log into the copier the same way you do you computer at you desk"

I.T. guy - "...sure, our end users are familar with their login, and they don't need to remember two different accounts..."

End User(usually at the Executive Level) "...you mean to tell me, I need to log in completely, with my password, every single time I want to make a copy??? Forget that..."

Well, for this client, we decided to use the four digit employee number as the PIN. And each PIN has different rights, some can copy in color, some can not. Some users can scan back to a folder, some can not, etc. And all activity on the system can be tracked by PIN. That is to say, ALL printing, copying, faxing, scanning activity.

The four digits work much better then the network login. And with Edgeline, all the PINS with rights, can be copied or set remotely.




Sunday, May 11, 2008

Edgeline Success by being Green

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Newcal – Saving the World One Printer at a Time

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - San Francisco, CA, United States, 04/09/2008 - Using HP Edgeline solutions from NEWCAL Industries, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is taking another step towards saving the planet – one printer at a time.

...When it came time to replace one of MBARI’s copiers, Erin Lamb, Purchasing and Accounting Specialist, remembered the research institute’s goal of implementing innovative technology to reduce human impact on the environment. “We had done some research on other solutions, but nothing compared to HP’s Edgeline. We know we’ve made an eco-friendly choice and we anticipate cost-savings because the Edgeline doesn’t use as much power or ink as our previous copier.”...


Wow!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Edgeline...and the BreadCrumbs...

A seemly trivial function "wows" the end users. AutoNav.

How many times have we walked past a copier that has been "tagged", a sheet of paper taped to it with the "Broken AGAIN!" message written on it?

Or, how often have we gone to the connected copier "de jour" to pick up a print job, and find not a stapled, 43 page Powerpoint presentation but the "blinking wrench of Death" on the control panel?(I know I shouldn't revel in the misfortunes of others but, HA!)

Or, who in the office becomes the "Chosen One" to Clear Jams"?

Or, how many support calls come into our IT Help desk from the folks in HR who can not print out next weeks company picnic agenda because the Toshiba/Canon/Xerox/Ricoh/Konica/Sharp is jammed?(first level support cost is about 20 bucks per call, additional if IT staff is dispatched to HR)

Well, HP saw this too often. So the scientist(I call them "Propeller Heads", and it is a complement) noticed that most, not all, errors at the copier or driven by mis-feeds coupled with the end users' perception that "they can not fix it" - the end user walks away!

That's right, the end user WALKS AWAY. Want to learn more? Click Here.

Enter Hansel and Gretel and the Bread Crumbs

Never mind that the Edgeline utilizes a new, 4 billion dollar in inkjet technology, or that it is built like a tank, or sets up and connects as easily as the HP LaserJet II, or that the 10 inch diagonal, color VGA control panel shows video of somebody clearing the exact jam the machine is currently experiencing - nope, users love to be lead around the machine by a series of yellowish LEDs!

It's like a mini-field trip.

Small LEDs placed all over the unit light up in sequence leading the end user directly to the source of the problem. And with Edgeline, the paper is usually in the finisher or stuck between the engine and finisher. Once the objectionable sheet is removed(or more) the system walks the user out the same way. And the the Edgeline recovers completing the original job.

As impressive as this is during the product demonstration(as is everything covered during the demo) the lasting and most significant features are the ones remembered and experienced 30, 60 days or 36 months after install.

Salute the Propeller Heads...and Gretel...

PS - this must work, the feature is on the newest color systems, the CM6030/40 - by the way, if you see the "M" in the model number, it denotes the common user interface for the control panel - CM4730, CM8060, CM6040.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

- Edgeline -


2/22/2008

No Drum
No Toner Emissions
Low Heat
Nearly Silent
No Fuser
No Fuser Oil
No Static Charge...

This is impossible...and yet after 1.4 billion dollars of R&D, that is exactly what we have today; the HP CM8060 with Edgeline Technology.

If your looking for a color system you most likely will not hear anything regarding HP from the traditional Copier Dealers – there are roughly only 30 or so Edgeline Authorized HP dealers in the country today – this will change. HP has added some 2,000 new sales rep’s in the field and HP is attempting to utilize their extensive channel of IT VAR’s in helping move product.

On that subject – if you know anything about HP you know that as an American engineering company they are second to non, yet as a marketing force, not so good. So now you have a machine that can revolutionize the way every single business prints, and only 30 RESELLERS to “get the word out” and start evangelizing the opportunities.

HP is not a dumb company – they are going to go at this market directly and with their most trusted and experienced resellers. (Danka excluded, for another post)

How about a little background on the HP/Edgeline/Copier vs. Laser/go to market strategy?

HP has their sights directly focused on a segment of the business world that traditionally is ruled by the big copier companies – Xerox, Canon and Ricoh. Nobody knows more about copying then the copy companies and nobody knows more about printing then HP. With the convergence of these two functions resulting in the volume of copies made falling behind the volume of prints, a new dynamic is coming to light. Copier machines are connected and working as printers and printers now are scanning and copying. This issue is worth it’s own post – “To Print on a copier or to copy on a printer?” (later)

Anyway, when looking back at the relationship with HP and IKON (yes, there once was a bright and shinny future in that relationship) – HP seemed to be “testing the waters” in the copier market. Looking at distribution channels and establishing partnerships with “leading edge, technology partners”. HP tried and IKON pretty much kicked them to the curb without a kiss or dinner or anything.

The idea was great on paper yet in practice at the field level, copier sales reps tend to take leads generated for HP and “switch” to a more profitable line (i.e. Ricoh, Canon). And even more egregious, some sales reps set-up managed print accounts with original HP supplies, only to switch them out after a period of time, increasing personal and corporate profit. (Please note here and now, profit is good) So as the years past, just about three years, the IKON/HP relationship cooled, and then froze.

Meanwhile, just over a year ago, HP was rumored to have been in negotiations with one of IKON’s smaller competitors, Global Imaging. HP and Global were negotiating a purchase or merger of some sort. HP had at the time, this new technology code named “Condor” and wanted a channel – Global seemed perfect, HP had the cash and Global had the dealer network. Just about the only other company with more cash and as big a reason to expand its channel was the big “X”. Lo and behold, at the 12th hour, Xerox came in and scooped Global right out from under HP.

Nearly overnight, HP had a significant and expensive product with no way to bring to market – after TWO attempts to work within the copier industry, HP was spurned. (Big-time)

When times call for action, look to what you know best – and HP looked at their existing channel of IT VARs. And that is where the channel resides right now. I am sure there will be changes and additions in the near future. (Danka and HP)

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Monday, December 8, 2008

HP Edgeline One Year Later - From SViP to OPS

The new HP, ex-Xerox technician with 19 years experience and the seasoned selling professional stand shoulder to shoulder staring down at the color, VGA, user panel. Each with the same thought, but neither wanting to say it out loud. The machine before them represents years of research and nearly 1 billion dollars in development costs.

Finally, and predictably, the sales executive turns to the technician and says, "You know what? This ain't a copier."

Since it's release in April of 2007, HP's CM8050/60 has slowly started making waves - however, the seas of the Copier Industry are at 20 feet swells. So much attention given to mergers and acquisitions and financial bail outs that any "ripple" contributed by Edgeline is lost.

To be fair, HPs goals were overly aggressive. To be brutal, HP underestimated their position in the market and the influence of all those perennially content, HP-Centric, Information Technology Directors. And to be just down right nasty, HP didn't survey the selling environment of the everyday copier transaction.

Just because your the biggest, and you product design is based on solid, real world data and you put your pretty, blue logo on it, doesn't mean customers will automatically buy it - There is no "Field of Dreams".

Into the Belly of The Beast - Copier Sales

Have you ever met anyone who likes their copier sales person?

Say what you like, the copier sales person is one of the most tenacious and stubborn persons in the world. He will maneuver, tact, approach and re-approach until the deal is his or the water is so murky his competition is spitting mud for 36 months.

It's a tough racket. And I do mean racket.
  • The copier folks know how to position cost per copy
  • They know how to sell not only the benefits of leasing but also the benefits of PURCHASING.
  • Thirty six, 48 or 60 months all can have benefits
  • "Spifs", promos, discounts, end of month, end of quarter, end of year pricing - file under mundane
  • Leasing, FMV, dollar out, 1-3 month deferred, extra points - yawn
  • Bundled service agreements or separate? Average Up time, no problem. Mean time between failure; machine to technician ratios; Response times vs resolution time, in our sleep
That's the copier world.

A world of ever changing product, hundreds of models, thousands of sales people and millions of pre-trained, indoctrinated customers.

What's the IT Service Provider world?

Words from the HP/IT service provider channel - "I can get you the best price,because I have already registered you (with HP/CISCO/manufacture de jour) ..how many do you need and would you like delivery on Friday or Monday?..."

Some of the statements heard "around the water cooler" and at various seminars, conferences, etc.:
  • Leasing - "...don't you just divide the sale price by the number of months...?"
  • ost Per Copy - "...explain to me how this works, again...? We DON'T invoice them for toner?...but isn't that how we make our margin, on toner?..."
  • Billing- "...wait, our clients are going to receive TWO invoices from us each month? and we bill for "clicks"...what the heck is a "click"??!!"
  • "Meter Reads - "... how do we know how much to bill them?..."

  • "Service Response Time - "...one hour!?...and four hours on site!...that's impossible. Nobody can do that, nobody..."
  • Total Cost of Ownership - "...there is more than just price? What do you mean, "distributed labor rate and cost per square foot...?"
  • Margin - "32 points!!! I don't treat my customers like that, they won't pay over 7%, max."
  • Misc. - "...what in the world is a MIL?"
From the copier dealer to the MFP manufacturer -
  • "your price is too high on supplies..."
  • "why don't you have 3-hole punch?"
  • "your price is too high..."
  • "why is it so difficult to get a "front end" discount structure"
  • "what do you mean, "explain to me how leasing works?"
  • "what do you mean, 'explain to me how CPC works?'"
  • "your machine doesn't have job build?"
So What?-

In one of my entries, I mention how HP is "above the Fray...". They chose not to purchase IKON and chose to march to a different drum. This I still believe, but it may be more akin to "tunnel vision" than Global Vision.

No matter how narrow or focused the vision, it still includes Edgeline and for years to come. For all the great technology, we are still simply talking about a device that puts "marks on paper" - no magic. In an universal sense, devices in this space, put marks on paper. They are all the same.

So, one year into this odyssey, a year that started off focusing on the machine, ends with a whimper but still with a vision. The next year may not be as dynamic as the past, but I am sure there will be more people looking down at machines and saying, "You know what? This ain't a copier- it's more."

"You can go your own way. Go your own way. You an call it Another lonely day...Go your own way"- Fleetwood Mac



- Edgeline -




Wednesday, September 3, 2008

RiKON - XerGlo - KonDanka - What is an HP Dealer to do?

During an interview the other day, I was asked some good questions...Questions I really could not answer.

1. How will Canon survive losing 30% of US sales?
2. What will happen with all the existing, independent Ricoh dealers?
3. How many independent dealers still exist?
4. How many locations does CBS have?
5. What will the industry look like in 5 years? 10 years?
6. How does this affect the RBS channel?

Wow. As the dust settles, the huge significance of what just happened is almost more than we can bear.

The questions posed to me illustrated how much I really don't know.

How is Canon going to respond to losing 30% of its US sales?

Dang, that is a good question. From the Canon Business Solutions web site, there are only 53 locations in the US.

And Ricoh says it is going to convert IKON's Canon base into Ricoh MIF within the next 3 years...oh really? Do you think Canon might have other plans for those "Canon customers bobbing in the wake of corporate takeover"?

And, how is RiKON going to survive losing nearly 60% of it's business? Or not being able to service those existing customers after the de-certification?

Wowzie.

The bigger question - Why have all these manufacturers purchased the channel to begin with?

I don't see Ford or IBM buying up dealer associations - cereal makers buying grocery chains, or cattle herders purchasing McDonald's restaurants.

What gives?

The old manufacturers' beliefs were,

"...we manufacture and we manufacture very well...we don't have the infrastructure or the knowledge to successfully market, sell or support our finished goods, to the ultimate customer..."


Has this changed?

Has Konica Minolta discovered how easy it is to sell to the ultimate consumer?

Do Ricoh and Xerox think they know better then the folks who have developed and maintained the current channel and selling model?

--- Maybe "yes" AND maybe "no".

To me, this consolidation proves one of my theorems -


"All copiers are the same - every single one."

Look at it, now there are only three main channels each driven by a "manufacturer". Manufactures of "xerographic" machines - they are all the same.

The differentiating factors will be interesting to watch - and the marketing will be fascinating.

Oh How the Mighty Have...Changed -

Like a caterpillar suspended in it's chrysalis, the metamorphosis of the copier industry moves into a new phase. What emerges will be the "Hybrid Dealer" you have started to hear about. Never before, in recent hi-tech history, has a channel been assimilated like this. Change is guaranteed.

I go back to the PC -

In the 80's the PC market was booming but not one manufacturer tried to own the channels - what changed? I mean "consolidation" occurred but through manufactures buying other manufactures and software companies adapting or going away. The channels responded, contracted yet remained intact. The number of distributors thinned as did the quantity of machines - but the channel remained.

It's the Economy - Stupid.

I guess if we look at this phenomena in a macro sense, from 10,000 feet, as an investment, these acquisitions look good.

The stock holders realize a tidy return on their investment, the folks who built the channels(Global, IKON, Danka) can retire rich. The remaining, small independent dealers can now start looking at Canon, Toshiba, Sharp, etc. as equipment competitors more willing to work with then just 12 months ago. Especially Canon.

As for the employees - they can hang on, or move into one of the smaller competitors and help them thrive on all the industry chaos.

Ah...but what about the Customer? -

How does the Customer benefit? Does all this consolidation mean a more competitive industry? Does this give prospects more choices? Will prices and margins be driven down even further?

Right now there is Xerox, Konica and Ricoh - the Very Big Three - and Canon all by itself. So it looks like the customer's choices have just been limited - is that a good thing?

In the short run Canon customers looking to upgrade can leverage this change over Canon possibly resulting in lower pricing as Canon defends the base. But RiKON will go after all the Canon customers with a price point designed to "buy the business" - this could be good for the customer; these two giants fighting over the customer.


By the way, speaking of all by itself - HP

The company with the largest number of MIF (machines in field) is now nearly transparent.

And Edgeline is the humongous gorilla in the room of every single sales meeting in every single IPG office at HP. End of year for HP is October 31st - and I am sure that upper management is "monitoring" Edgeline cycles down to the minute - HP is not use to being in the copier industry.

Competitive pressures were not fully appreciated and channel breadth might have been over rated. How can you expect to push 3,400 units - big, huge, wonderful, new technology units - through approximately 120 dealers? And convert "direct sales people" into document management consultants, overnight?

Edgeline is not a new laser printer; you can not sell it off a price sheet, over the phone.

The selling cycle for these types of units(copiers) is much more complex and usually triggered by an event - lease termination. And if you have no machines in field to begin with, every single unit is a new sale converting a competitor's existing lease.

The sale of an unproven, relative to all the copiers, technology from a "new" player only adds to the pressure. And if this isn't enough- HP sales people are swimming in a part of the ocean inhabited by some of the smoothest, most savvy, and ruthless Sales Sharks in the world - Copier Guys(or gals). The copier folks know how to talk CPC, leasing, 4 hour response time, real service levels and of course, first copy out time(yuck).

And then there is the HP channel -

I don't even want to go here, except to possibly repeat what has been told to me -

"OEM toner is way too expensive..."

"If HP is serious about getting into the copier industry, why do they price CPC so high?"

"Why is there no 3-hole punch?"

"...you mean this big machine can't handle glossy?"

" ...the rebates are too difficult for us to manage..."

To me, all these statements are just examples of lazy people whining. Blah, blah, blah...

Be that as it is, perception is reality. Again, not my reality.

Edgeline is a great platform, HP just needs to work through the "growing pains". Some very good HP partners are here who DO believe and are willing to "tow the line" - for now.

Well, as with everything, time will tell - history will judge. And as Selling Professionals, Agents of Change, we don't hide from history, we make it.