Showing posts sorted by relevance for query internet of things. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query internet of things. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Death of the Internet, Paper...and Single Payer Healthcare

9/2014

Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness - most visitors focus on the seven square miles of the valley.  If you haven't seen the valley from Tunnel view, you should.

For all its rough exterior and dangerous trek possibilities, I was amazed at the ease of access to almost every waterfall - paths have been constructed suitable for wheelchairs.

When Apple released the iPhone 5Si the A7 chip set immediately attracted our attention - in essence, the A7 promised delivery of transparent connectivity between all (Apple) devices AND capturing sensitive data in the device - NOT THE CLOUD.

When I open an email on my iPhone, my MacBook knows and I can continue to read it on the laptop...or tablet; they are all connected.  That means, when a call comes into my iPhone, I will be able to answer on my MacBook;  I'll check voicemail, on my iPad.

When texting from my iPhone, I'll be able to attach voice and video to the IM and regulate how long that message exists - it will self-destruct in three minutes or exist forever.

As far as security, all our information, passwords, credit card numbers, bank account information would be held on our personal devices behind security hardware and fingerprint scanners.

By connecting to other devices directly thereby utilizing them as sensors, the iPhone is positioning to become the nexus of all things connected.

"One word, kid, apps..."

The connectivity of everyone is impressive, but that's just a fraction of the story; the key has always been the software.  Today we buy 99 cent solutions to our million dollar challenges, in the near future, we will all simply write our own apps as we need.

The Shape of Things to Come (respect to TR7), a list of the next hierarchies to transform - enjoy:

The Death of Nationalized Healthcare -  In this new walled garden, we control our health from blood sugar monitoring to the latest cancer treatment.  But here is the kicker, with smarter devices connected privately to whoever we want, without 'cookies', our health data is ours.  We won't need 'clearing houses' or central databases to store immunizations history.  What's more, a great percentage of diagnosis equipment testing labs will be obsolete.  If you stop and think, it is easy to see.

The Death of the Search Engine - We search the mesh directly, not up and down

The Death of the Internet - who needs the internet when all devices connect through a web of personal servers.

The Death of Apps - We will write our own, ad-hoc

The Death of the Internet of Things - Connected people, not things

The Death of Spreadsheets - BI is an app that connects to billions of other apps/sensors

The Death of Cell Services - The Mesh will carry voice and video

The Death of Cable Companies - We are the Cable Company

The Death of ISP - No need for an internet service provider

The Death of VoiP - Just as homes are getting rid of the phone-on-the-wall, so to shall B2B

The Death of MSP - Self-healing systems, simpler and easily affordable(free) technology

The Death of Paper - Information moves faster than print

The Death of Hierarchies - everything will flatten

The BIG Transformation - The Death of Hardware

The Convergence is progressing to a point where our decision processes will be supported by software/apps instantaneous and dynamically.

Apps are nothing more than thoughts frozen in time, converted into repeatable algorithms, manipulating a stream(or streams) of inputs. The old ways meant this processing was static - the algorithm doesn't change directly.

This too, shall change...

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Was the 2014 Executive Connection Summit "The Best Show Ever"? Really?



Well, well, well...40 years of evolution and look where we are today.  Scottsdale, AZ under the watchful gaze of one of the true gentlemen on the planet - Mike Stramaglio.  Mike and I first met at a Lyra show and have had many conversations around the sluggish acceptance of the 'connected world' by our industry.  Mike's world has always been about new technology, M2M, P2P and business engagements blooming into personal relationships.

So it is no surprise that MWAi rises as nexus for our next transformation as evidenced by the conference in Scottsdale.


The universal goal of the summit was to show the industry something new; a more advanced approach to the always changing economic climate and our business models.  The underlying motivation was to illuminate the benefits of Technology United and the integration of Forza with hardware platforms from Samsung, Okidata and Sharp.
Yeah, it was good. But...it could have been better and let me tell you why.
I'll start out by suggesting you read Patricia's account, here, Andy's summary, here, and Amy's report, here. They all nail the look and feel of the 2014, Executive Summit.

Hey, I gotta tell you, I didn't know what to expect. All I know is Mike could put a bunch of guys up there tossing cats back and forth it would still be a hit.

Fortunately, no Cat Jugglers.



My kind of group.
By the way, do you know what "MWAi" stands for?Mobile Workforce Automation Intelligence.  Unleashed Workers Unite!
It's Not CompTIA -

There I was, sitting in the mid to front row. When Intel goes on about chips here and chips there, I can't help but remember the "they're chipping cows" webinar of 2012.

CISCO starts espousing the internet of things, I am intrigued and remember presenting the Internet of Things two years ago.  This after SAP talks mobility, the cloud and something called 'in memory computing', which is where the mother of all algorithms will reside.


And when a seasoned managed services mentor gets up and tells us, "if you can do MPS, you can do managed services..."  my head nearly explodes - like in Scanners - the MPSA has evangelized this mantra for years.

I know, I know.  My frustration is simply a projection of my perceived shortcomings and insecurities.  Okay, I get it, move along.

Speaking of CISCO, Joseph Bradley put forth the best presentation on the connected world I have ever witnessed.

Ever.

He not only talked 'Star Trek' stuff, but integrated our corner of the world into his talk track, discussing how "...imaging devices and other business equipment are inherently included in  'things'  'people', 'process,' and 'data' - the four components of the Internet of Everything"

Technology titans like SAP, CISCO and Intel rarely come to our events - all three were there and delivered.

What About Us?

Sharp put in great words, Todd explained Samsung's position and future in the industry and Oki told us about being the first, second choice.  Not one sold the latest MFP, toner cartridge or drone on about product lines, Segment 2,3,4, TAM and the opportunities in color.  I did not drown in Powerpoint.

Great America sent the team and hustled through an apposite presentation.  Matt from Intellinetics and his cool box brought the show to end.

Why the show was good:

1.  The content was stellar, the best I've been witnessed in either the IT or Imaging realm.
2.  Offline conversations were above the fold - great people moving in the same direction, figuring it out as we go.
3.  I never felt I was being sold.

Why the show was great:

1.  Old skool dealers on the cutting edge - don't give me any guff about how Millennials are the only demo to embrace new tech
2.  The CISCO presentation - holy crap.  Nice touch on recognizing his fresh, days old, promotion to VP
3.  Intellinetics/Intel/Forza - the dark horse of the show.  Matt was last to present and probably had the biggest move in the industry, under his arm
4.  The House - The wine bar would have been enough.  The bourbon bar would have sufficed.  The whiskey tasting put many to shame.  The scallops rocked.  The service was five-star and what in the hell is a "Smoked Manhattan"?






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Monday, December 26, 2016

Is the Internet the Garden of Eden or God?





For decades, the internet has provided everyone from professor to trivia experts instant access to information.

What once was,

The internet is molded in our likeness...
The internet flows with falsehoods...
The internet is nebulas a formless ghost of past, present and future...

In the beginning, there was darkness -

...and then there was light...

Connecting the worlds computers offered us access to just about any 'fact' we could imagine - in theory anyone could connect with the source of research, witness news as it happened, or form opinion based on available information.


In the days before 'shells', the internet was free-form - we connected at the prompt, bumping around in MiRC rooms, and searching with tools like InfoSeek, AltaVista and WebCrawler. Bulletin boards offered asynchronous, yet informative, relationships.

Then came Prodigy, Compuserve, Delphi and finally, America On Line. These communities helped technological neophytes engage the bold, new world. Over night, the sparsely populated playground of nerds flooded with teenager angst and desperate housewives: "Cyber-sex" and "troll" hit the lexicon.

It was great.

From oil changes to Russian political history, if you have a question, the answer was out there on the 'net. Raw. Unedited and sometimes, difficult to find. It was a treasure hunt.

Move forward 20 years and there are 60 trillion webpages using an index 95 of petabytes - nearly twice the size of data mankind created, ever.  But what in the world can 60 trillion webpages tell us?

The internet is full of gossip...
The internet is full of dogma...
The internet is filtered...

Generations of adults have grown up with the internet and google. But now the raunchy and raucous cyber-land is settled and gentrified.  Today, proper search engines find what the "collective" wants, not necessarily what we, individually, are searching.  Indeed, even when the "powers that be" utilize "my" unique internet wonderings as my personal baseline, I want what I want right now, not 30 days back.

I am reminded of the time I took a few inner city(Los Angeles) kids for an off-road trip in the San Bernardino mountains.

Every year, a group of young city-dwellers would venture "up the hill" for an all volunteer sponsored trail ride in the forest.  It was our chance to show off the woods and their opportunity to get out of the concrete jungle.

The little girl in my truck was wide eyed.  It was her first time in the mountains.  Her head on a swivel, she innocently asked, "Where do all those trees come from?"

"What do you mean?" I responded.

"Who planted all those trees!?"

I was stunned.

Every tree, bush, or swath of grass this little girl had ever seen was designed, planned, and planted - her environment was completely man-made.

And that's the point - I fear the internet has an overcrowded and hollow wonderland between what we know, and what we strive to understand.  Seductive in design, the results are not organic.

She lived in somebody else's world.

So it is with the newly connected, brave new world.  The masses do not question the virtual until they have the eyes to see the real.  The internet is WestWorld -  fooling us into believing somebody else's vision of reality.

We have willingly removed the distinction between 'virtual reality' and 'reality'. All of our things will be digitally connected.  Someday, we will all be connected through the 'inter webs'.

Is google, God?

The escape, if there is one, resides in the 'old ways'.  The way of the printed, read and repeated word.  Searching for answers in the real world, along the Path.

Storytelling.

Don't get me wrong, the internet is a wild and entertaining place.

It's a shame we'll need to be connected via technology only to discover we've been connected all along.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Internet of Everything is the Next #ManagedPrintServices ...


February 8, 2015

As you know, CISCO plans on connecting every, single thing and Apple looks to connect every single person:  a combination beyond comprehension.

In the early days of managed print services, remote monitoring of devices was cutting edge technology - with just a handful of software providers, we knew the internet of things when it was simply the internet of printers and copiers.  Our connected realm was the vanguard - the shape of things to come.

Today, the rest of the business world is recognizing a need to shift focus from boxes to relationships, from project based revenue to repeating streams.  HVAC, electrical, automotive and even shoe manufactures are grasping the meaning of everything as a service.

We've done this - we've changed business models, our OEMs have struggled against the tide and the independents prevailed.  It doesn't matter if companies are managing laser printers or laser guided missiles, toner levels or tire pressure, ROM flashes or app updates, the managed print services niche, all 100 of us, broke through years ago.

Here is my point - print volumes are decreasing and one day soon, "will fall off the cliff", like buggy whips and cotton looms.

But this is not an "extinction level event".

We can pivot out of copiers/MpS into any niche, vertical or industry as providers understand the IoT means "Everything As A Service".

We've had the C-level conversations about 'relationship' and value outside the product/machine/widget.  The refrigeration sales-rep has no clue what all that means.  Refrigeration, HVAC, home security, plumbing, traffic lights, automotive sales - they are all evolving into recurring revenue and customer centric managed services.

MpS is not evolving into the IoT, the IoT is transitioning into MpS.

Good stuff here and DOTC posts about IoT, here.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Is Paperless-ness a Sexy Result or a Mundane Goal?





Have you noticed an increase in "paperless" talk?

Scuttlebutt generated by folks who make a living selling print/copy devices.  Their argument goes something like, "... I've been hearing about the paperless office since 1978.  It hasn't happened yet.  It's never going to happen..."

On the other side, parties are pushing the paperless office as worthy goal. Headlines like, "...Five Reasons You Should Go Paperless..." and "Go Green, Go Paperless..." haunt news feeds and timelines across the internet.

Who will find themselves on the wrong side of history?  Will businesses start printing like it's 1999 or does digital transformation impact everything BUT print and copy?

I'm going with the folks letting go of the past, challenging the present and riding technology into the future.

The paper less office is here, now.  I've seen it in businesses across the country and in varied industries.  My view is supported by the current standing of our Big 3; Xerox, HP, Lexmark.  If the business world is so enamored  with marks on paper, why are the jewels of our industry experiencing years of decline?

  • Is it because the world suddenly realized trees are not a renewable resource?
    • No, trees have always been renewable.
  • Is it because print and copy services are expensive?
    • No, cheaper than ever.
  • Is it because managed print services illuminated decades of overselling?
    • No. Customers do not care.
Business is moving away from printers and copiers because they are utilizing technology to enhance internal business processes.  Businesses aren't going paperless to go paperless, their continuously improving processes resulting in reduced costs and less paper.

One of my axioms:
"The more paper flowing through your organization, the less efficient your processes."
The past illuminates the future - Green columnar paper.

Not that long ago, company financials were calculated on green paper.  Sales, profits, operations plans were reviewed quarterly - 90 day old data was acceptable.

Then VisaCalc, MultiPlan and Lotus changed everything as hand calculations and mechanical pencils gave way to the QWERTY and mouse.

In an instant, general ledger reports could be generated in days instead of weeks.

In less than a decade, sales of green columnar binder paper dropped off a cliff.

Ask your CFO.

We weren't worried about saving trees or the Chewbacca's; new tools streamlined existing, paper based processes.

As a matter of fact,  output skyrocketed as paper-based workers printed everything from invoices to recipes, financial reports, emails and resumes sat abandoned in output trays around the globe - the salad days of office print.

The Internet of Printers? No.  The internet of Processes

Strange and wonderful things occurred over the last decade - 'clouds' support more efficient distribution of technology.  The internet generation occupy cubicles and boardrooms; continuous improvement collides with digital technology every day. Focus has shifted from faster mechanical devices to streamlined processes.

Information flows from one department to another; from human process to human process. Today, the slowest component of business processes is the conveyance of information via paper.

As technology permeates business operations, organic efficiencies eliminate paper as a mode of information transfer.   This is to say, implementing a paperless movement is not as effective as optimizing business processes when it comes to reducing paper use.  It is an 'inside-out' versus 'outside-in' approach.

The theme is simple:  instead of 'reducing paper usage' or saving trees, focus on increasing efficiency.

Have no doubt, as you eliminate redundancies, your paper, printer, copier, and supplies spend will decrease.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Greg's " Deep Impacts" of 2015: HP Inc., Epson & Sunset of an Industry



"Greg, what were the biggest events or issues from last year?'
...a seasonal tradition.
This year, like last year, my initial reaction is, "Not much."  Which is soon followed by a wave of angst.

Most of the industry is insane.

OEMs keep releasing new models...which aren't all that new...like it's 1999.  Mobile print, document management, managed print services, automatic toner replenishment, managed services and that fictitious managed network services, are all the 'rage'.  Same as last year.

The consolidation continues as dealer after dealer are gobbled up by yesterday's rival or taken over by a capital investment firm.  Same as last year.

Clients aren't making copies and office print is on the decline.  Same as last year.

But there are golden nuggets in 2015; it wasn't simply the "Year of Tears".


1.  HP Split - Jettisoning print

This was no surprise.

I believe the world of print is heading into HP's wheelhouse - smaller devices, low operating cost, and direct supplies management.

Managed print services is not complicated.  When considering the influences, especially MPS automation, there's no need for a dealer. With today's technological advances in M2M, a national company can provide toner and service more efficiently than a 'local' reseller.

Someday, HP will deliver MpS anywhere in the country - without a local service network.  No need for a middle man.

The split is good for HP, not sure if it's good for the channel.

2.  The Sunset of An Industry

Xerox is in decline and Icahn, the Master of Disaster, buys more and more.  He's going to oust Ursula then slice and dice the Big X - another Kodak moment.

Meanwhile,  Lexmark the wallflower, hikes up her skirt, beguiling suitors with promises of MpS, revenue streams.  Multiples are good, but who's going ask Lexi to dance?

HP's vision, as mentioned above,  is one of continuous transformation.  As business evolves, and technology removes the mundane components, like print, loud, hot, expensive machines designed to make marks on paper,  lose relevancy.

Consultants still place the OEMs in the upper right and tag big spenders as 'visionary' - who ever has the largest marketing budget or the nicest rooms in town, gets the best reviews and accolades.

Elsewhere, offshore concerns are marching to the 'print/copy is relevant' drum, churning out devices like crazy.

All points Terminus.  Like Childhood's End, one day, memory of a once great paper making machine will be remembered in song, not substance.

3. Epson: Shining Star, for you to See

Yes, I mocked the hell out of the 'bags of ink'.  But I poke fun at those who attract. You should consider Epson for the following reasons:

  1. De-emphasize print - I know it hurts, but print is not all that important and walk-up copy is dead(except for SLED) in the end, print is simple because fewer people print.  Why fight the trend?  You cannot win. Epson takes the complexity out of printing with this device  Just sell it.
  2. "Close and forget" mentality - Imagine a device that requires one or two touches a year and one toner delivery every three years.  Quick, do the math.  Get a good chunk of margin up front, put the device on MpS and forget about it.
  3. No technicians, no toner delivery, just monthly billing - That's all.
About this time last year, my advice to independents was to jump on the reduce-print-servers bandwagon.  I told a bunch of dealers to get with a company called PrinterLogic - they didn't.  Today, Printerlogic is banging big deals all over the world.

You could have been part of that movement.  You could have been telling your clients how to reduce the cost of print by decreasing the number of print servers.  You could have elevated the MpS discussion above and beyond toner and service calls. You could have sold a bunch of stuff, too.

But you didn't and now you've lost a bunch of accounts.

Boo, f'n, who.  If you're not retiring or selling out, get on the ink-bag train. Call Epson, now, but it might be too late.

10 Years Out - 

What is the future of print, in the year 2025?  No business print.  Little in education, more in government, healthcare will be paperless.

The internet of things will be the internet of everything - plants will talk with light bulbs which will communicate with coffee tables, the paint on your walls and your inhaled nano's .  Everything, everyone will be connected, all the time.

Information will finally move at the speed of thought.

How about in the year 2020?  Just like the computer dealers of the 1980's, copier dealers will fade into history. Few copier dealers will remain.


Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood








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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

CubeSats, Ion drives, and the Internet of Space


Thousands of small satellites, circling the globe maintaining geosynchronous orbit.  Quarter sized thrusters hold these nano-boxes in place. Engineered like microchips, one thruster contains a grid of 500 needles — each a solar powered, custom-built nozzle generating ion sprays.

Not science fiction.


"CubeSats" are small ( 4 in × 4 in × 4 in) satellites, launched in space, in a low-Earth orbit - as of January, 2019, there have been 1,000 cubesats launched.

These devices are cheap and with newly developed 'fusion engines', they have the ability to remain in place or move to a different location.  Applications range from communications to giant, space-born, billboard signs.

The copier industry was the vanguard of connected devices(M2M) and we should be looking for future avenues of growth.

Imagine 5 or 6 or 7G connectivity speeds running on a mesh of cubesats.  Imagine all things connected; plants, paint, elevators, RFID, CCTV, and yes, even one or two remaining photocopiers.

Perhaps the Internet of Space is hyperbole.

I'm sure there were doubters and naysayers when the first copier connected to a thing called the "network".  Either way, is connectivity the 'manifest destiny' of our time?

"Manifest Destiny held that the United States was destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent." - History Channel


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Communist Red China & #Lexmark

Chinese and American

"State Governments' Failure to Scrutinize the Purchase of Lenovo and Lexmark Equipment Jeopardizes Data Security"

A report released from embargo on February 24, 2020, "Stealing From States: China's Power Play in IT Contracts" unearths scathing facts around Lexmark, the US military, Communist Red China and state/federal contracts.

Lexmark doesn't want you reading the report - and for good reason.  You will be shocked to learn the degree to which Lexmark has been challenged in the past over security issues, and why being connected to or owned by a Chinese company is worthy of high concern. For instance, in 2016 the Chinese Communist Party passed the China Internet Security Law. This law requires any company headquartered in China, to keep data in-country and allow Chinese authorities to 'spot-check' on the data at any time.

"A Chinese military unit has been inserting tiny microchips into computer servers used by companies including Apple and Amazon that give China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to a new Bloomberg report."

So much for data security.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Webinar:The Internet of Things

July 2, 2:00PM - Free Webinar.

Curious about how all this new technology can help your practice or dealership?

Wondering what all the hub-bub is about Big Data, BYOD, and Business Intelligence?

Are you seeing your volume decreasing?  How about your MIF?  Some studies are calling for 40% of the channel to disappear by 2014.

What should you do? What can you do?

There are no silver bullets, but tune in and learn about a few options.

Eventbrite - The Internet of Things: New Technology in Imaging



Greg Walters will be presenting on the new technologies, how to survive and thrive during this secular shift.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins… The Qualifications of a Copier Salesman…


Never mind that he is hundreds of miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, he lives on a boat, sells "big-iron" copiers...and has a blog. Introducing Pirate Mike.

I received a "hit" today from one of my internet-search-spiders-thingies, and read the resulting post while waiting for the Rover to be washed - it was 86 degrees and sunny - as I scrolled along the post I literally laughed out loud.

Upon further research, all good bloggers do this, research that is, the story of Pirate Mike unfolds.

I will not steal his thunder. Instead I recommend you read his post here, then go to his site - all of four posts - I am sure with the eyes of the world upon him, he will blog with the best of them...

I have copied, edited slightly, and pasted his post here on my site.

Enjoy:
-------------

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins… The qualifications of a copier salesman…

I have uncovered or become aware of some odd understandings relative to work over the last couple of months. I am not sure really sure how to articulate them, but what I can do is describe them to you and you can figure them out for yourself.

The idea of 7 deadly sins is not spoken of in the bible directly but was used in early Christian teachings to illuminate the idea that man was prone to sin. Catholic teaching broke sin into 2 classifications, venial and mortal sin. The 7 deadly sins are capital or mortal sins.

Listed in the same order used by both Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century, and later by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem The Divine Comedy, the seven deadly sins are as follows: luxuria (extravagance, later lust), gula (gluttony), avaritia (greed), acedia (sloth), ira (wrath), invidia (envy), and superbia (pride).1

Every day I walk a simple path.

I talk to people and listen to their problems. After considering the causes and effects of their situation I ask them questions to probe into what they have done to fix their problems and how that effected their situation.

I pay close attention to the things that bother them the most and try to get them to prioritize their problems and find out what they are willing to do to fix or remove the problems. I identify the people involved in the problem and the people that are affected by it. I try to assess how much the problem costs them in both hard and soft costs.

Once I get a picture of who is involved and the process that they go through to solve their problems, I get an idea if this is something that they want to fix now or in the future.

At the end of the day I have to sit with myself and put together a plan of action and present it to the people that are responsible to fix the problem. If they buy into what I have put down they agree and act, if not they disagree we discuss it further. If we cannot come to an agreement we both go our separate ways and they continue with the situation that they have as it was before I came along.

This is the life of a document management equipment and services professional.

We are sometimes referred to as the "copier guy." I am sure that in this day and age we should be called the "copier person," as the gender reference is quite unnecessary. In this game either sex has the same opportunity to participate in the 7 deadly sins that are so profound in this industry.

When I talk about being a corporate pirate most laugh and think I am joking or exaggerating the situation but if you could be a fly on the wall in our building and the many buildings just like ours you would not sleep at night.

Ok, that is probably an exaggeration, but it would shock you and in many cases disgust you. After almost 5 years in this industry many things make me feel ashamed of the people I work with and for.

I have said that your success with a company like mine as a customer is dependent on your connection to it. If your rep is not good, neither will be your experience with the company they work for. Manufacturers and dealers of office equipment and document management services work on a very basal level. And in many cases the parent company or distribution organization is quite evil by nature. Your only hope is to have a buffer "rep" to keep you whole in the experience, or at least minimize the beating (both financial and emotional) you will take from it.

I most of the time try to overlook how others act and the underlying tones that are so prevalent in my business. I try very hard to balance myself and offer solutions to problems and charge people a equitable price somewhere between the extremes that are going to be presented by my counterparts. I also try to the an expert in the areas of topic so that I bring value and am not making money without earning it and putting in the work needed to earn the business for the long term.

I was privy to a conversation which displayed the ugliness that is so frequently seen that makes even the most native business person wary of people in our industry. When dragged into the conversation I was a presented a scenario and asked a question. I answered, "oh that is greedy you can't do that well I mean you can but you will be exposed and the customer will hate you for life."

Everyone looked at me like I was a Martian speaking Swahili.

I for a brief moment remembered why I consider leaving this business almost daily. The sad thing is it is the culture that has been fostered for many generations of salespeople and managers and is not needed at all.

You could almost say the 7 deadly sins are the 7 needed qualities of a "copier salesperson."

Companies interview perspective employees and make sure that they have ample quantities of each of the 7 deadly sins and forgo any real qualifications.

My first boss said, "Michael even a monkey can do this job." He further illustrated, "I could tape a lease to the back of a blind dog, kick him out of the building and eventually he would come back with it signed." He would later prove himself correct and become wildly successful as a salesman, sales manager and then a branch manager for a fortune 1000 company.

So let's for fun look into the world of a copier salesperson just briefly and examine the qualifications first hand shall we.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 1

Latin: luxuria (extravagance, later lust)

In copier sales an effective sales manager will show a young salesperson how to drive their desires for things which of themselves are not evil but to excess are lustful. Whether it is sex, money, power, control if you are still breathing surely you don't have enough of any of them.

A good copier salesperson will never be satisfied, and will always be disappointed with how much they sell, how much they make (see greed), how quickly they get promoted, how long their vacation is. A great copier salesperson will stop at nothing to further their lust of all things corporate.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 2

Latin: gula (gluttony)

In copier sales the best sales representatives will be easily identified by how well they gorge themselves on all things corporate. Copier salespeople are not temperate or aware that they should have any natural limits to anything the desire (see above).

A good manager will gather his or her sales people together on a regular basis and teach basic gluttony. This is really quite a simple thing to learn, you just take your newbie's out and feed them a $200 dinner, drink 2 or 3 bottles of very expensive liquor/wine, and have grand discussions on how they too can have more than they can legitimately use for themselves. A good sales manager will take the new people out shopping and show them how to buy things they don't need or will ever use.

The virtue of overkill will be a daily practice until they even employ it in their own lives.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 3

Latin: avaritia (greed)

Money is just the beginning of greed. A good sales manager will make sure to teach the principle if the customer is spending $10 and is unhappy they will gladly spend $20 to be happy, even when the solution costs $2 and can be sold at a profit for $4. Why would you save the customer $6 when you can increase their budget based on the pain they have and make an extra $16, $8 of which you will get to keep.

Managers are quick to instruct their salespeople to get what is theirs and a bit more. It is so bad that over time it becomes so common that the goal is to see how much you can charge someone without them going bankrupt before they make their first payment and lock themselves into the deal or before they realize how bad they got screwed.

Greed goes way beyond the customer but reaches into the team that they are on and the associates that they work with. Greed says that you must sell everything in your neighbors' pond before reaching into your own. A good manager will promote greed as it facilitates the need to sell more and makes everyone more competitive as they must to survive.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 4

Latin: acedia (sloth)

This is a principle that is taught by the manager that has to be managed all the time. It is the manager's job to manage focus of their salespeople and ensure that their needs are met first. Sloth is taught as a privilege. If you over achieve and sell more than anyone needs, and ensure the managers needs are cared for you can do absolutely nothing.

They are taught to sleep in, stare at their computers, take time off. It is the reward for proper lusting, greediness, gluttony as well as the other 3. When you have overloaded on the other 6 deadly sins you must Sloth. Slothing becomes a way of life. You wake up driven by the lust of being over full (gluttony) and greed and the reward for over achieving is Slothfullness.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 5

Latin: invidia (envy)

A good and experienced manager will stack rank their salespeople and grade them against all of the other salespeople across the organization regardless of how much of an apple vs orange comparison it really is.

A good copier salesperson cannot stand to see another have success and becomes driven by the lust of success to overachieve and be as greedy as possible so that they can overcome and surpass all of their comrades.

A quickly rising manager will ensure that every one of their sales reps cannot stand to even hear of someone else's success or participate in an activity with someone they think could possibly out do them.

Envy resents anything that is good that happens or is good about anyone that they see. Envy is very closely related to Pride, and it drives the lust of self worth which is the fuel that makes pride gluttonous.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 6

Latin: superbia (pride)

A sales manager cannot graduate until they are good at making each sales person believe that they are the best and deserve everything and more. Days of sloth are awarded to those that can be the fullest of themselves.

Copier sales people gorge themselves with the lusts of the flesh and material goods until they cannot move or afford to move then are pushed out the door with belief that they are the only person alive and that they deserve more. They are rewarded for becoming a prima donna. A good manager will know how to control their prima donna's and let them all think they are 1. A practical organization will parade their top performers around and show them that they are invaluable and that they can have anything they desire fueling their lusts.

Then the manager just begins over and finds new untapped desires and drives them to gluttony with greed, and keeps them competing with envy in the fearlessness of their pride. When they fall over from exhaustion they give them days to recuperate by awarding them time to Sloth. If they are having a bad month they will use their pride to control them with the envy and wrath of their fellow associates.

Qualification of a good copier salesperson 7

Latin: ira (wrath)

Wrath is a byproduct of the final two deadly sins Envy and Pride. It is quite ugly and not as common but is a product of greed and envy.

When someone else has success a good copier sales person becomes instantly envious and because they are excessively greedy they fuel this emotion with wrath, which satisfies their pride in that they should be the only one that can be so successful or rich or whatever the deadly sin promotion is for the month. It is most obvious when the greed of one sales person takes an account from another to fuel their lust of one of their desires. Since they cannot satisfy this gluttony with their own accounts they must do it with someone else's. It is much more pleasurable to satisfy themselves with someone else's accounts.

This lust and greed creates the wrath of the sales person that is feeling envious of the success of the greedy and gluttonous sales rep. A good manager deals with wrath in the most obvious way, with a good dose of pride. "You are not going to let so and so do that to you are you?" "You know you are twice the sales person they are!" Then an experienced sales manager will look for a lust that can fuel the envy and promote the rep that has wrath to go out and be greedy enough to show up the original rep. Wrath is a great way to push someone to compete with the others when the other 5 are having little effect. Sloth is reserved for those that have been over gluttonous for some time and had a lot of success being lustful and greedy.

The seven deadly sins require a lot of effort to perfect so typically a good manager will only focus and practice one at a time till they manage a group of major account executives or specialists. In which case the sales people are quite advanced and can practice multiple sins at a time.

This requires a very greedy and prideful manager that can truly harness the energy of their people and use it to fuel their own desires (lust) and gluttony. And of course a good manager works their sales people to death chasing after the dream while they practice the greatest of all sins; Sloth…

In the end a good copier salesman or saleswomen (which there are many) are taught that they deserve whatever they can take from someone else and that it is ok at any cost. They are taught to pull out the stops and go for broke. They are taught how to gamble as professionals and to know when to risk it all for the payoff of the ultimate permanent full time sloth which is held as a carrot to a donkey.

I hope you have enjoyed this enlightenment…

PS – There are organizations that promote the 7 virtues and moderate their sales people keeping them "connected" and customer centric. But they are far and few between, and almost nonexistent in the copier business.

This is why I live a simple life on a 34 foot boat, forsaking the trappings of Dallas and all that is offers. Not that I haven't had my moments being caught up in the limelight. I was after all a 2 time president's club winner and a 1 time circle of excellence winner for that unnamed fortune 1000 company that way talked about above. I am the prodigy of that sales manager that eventually became a branch general manager ;)

Life is fast, life is hard, life never lasts long enough to learn how simple it really is. We complicate it so that we can feel superior to everything else that God has created, when really we were created from the very dust that everything else walks on - Pirate Mike

I am sure that this is considered blasphemous to those that are in my industry as we all want to believe that we are saints. (It is part of our pride) – Pirate Mike

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins
Posted by Pirate Mike at 1:41 AM

Mike's Blog



See also:

The Death of the Copier Sales Person - The Return

Damn The Torpedoes, Fire Your Customers!

Are Customers Smarter Now?

The New SalesPerson - Death of the "Close"

--------------------

Click to email me.




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seven Deadly Sins...Copier Salesman


This post first appeared on DOTC, January 2009 and is the DOCT book.  This is a truncated version, get the rest, in the book.

Never mind that he is hundreds of miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, he lives on a boat, sells "big-iron" copiers...and has a blog. Introducing Pirate Mike.

I received a "hit" today from one of my internet-search-spiders-thingies, and read the resulting post while waiting for the Rover to be washed - it was 86 degrees and sunny - as I scrolled along the post I literally laughed out loud.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How Not To Sell Managed Services: Cold Call Blitz?


First person to get ten appointments gets to ring the cowbell and a Starbucks, $10 gift card!

Oh the joy...but then again, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth, just now...

They are coming out of the woodwork.

"Business Performance Consultants" - wow.

Is your management team paying other people to come in and teach you how to sell?

How to present MPS?

How to 'demo' MPS?(Oh my gawd, just shoot me now)

Worse, is upper management putting together a Phone Blitz designed to 'kick-start' your MPS opportunities?

LOL! First Rule of DOTC, keep your resume fresh.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Kids in #Oconomowoc: There are no such things as SEO Experts.



They were celebrating something...it was unclear and it was late.

Young turks all, full of passion, possibilities and a zest for "the new way of everything".  Kids of the internet, comfortable in that soft pool of warm ignorance - seven or eight, twenty-somethings out drinking; nowhere to go but up.

You remember those times, don't you? Think "The Breakfast Club" grows into "St. Elmo's Fire" on the way to "The Big Chill". I was smack-dab in the middle of Elmo's Fire expecting Rob to start blaring away on the Sax.

In some capacity, a few of these folks are builders of websites and experts in the way of SEO. They know all there is to know about, well, everything online - branding, selling, travel, food, publishing, online life, whiskey, tinder and the ways of the world.

Predictably, as I queried deeper,  their conversation rolled defensive.  I admired their passion but they had no idea.


I told them "there are no such things as SEO experts but Curling is a sport..." - 

You would have thought I kicked a beehive and they never heard of curling.

The SEO expert in the crowd took exception, of course.  I mentioned the first four returns on every search are bought and paid for and the algorithmic changes google inflicts benefit only google.

Calmer winds prevailed.  He understood.

I said "eyeballs do not equate sales" -

Shock!

"Attention is the new currency," one yelled.

"That's like paying for your internet by staring at the bill," I replied.  They didn't get it...until they did.

When web/media experts spew this line, it seems more like a rationalization.

I postulated "the passing of brands" -

It's happening.  Labels, brands, silos, demographics and vertical industries are all combining into one, huge horizontal, market.  The Blob.  I was hitting nerves.

We ranted to each other, it was a group rant.  They thought I was unhinged, opinionated, old and out of the know.  Aghast, in unison, they chimed, "What's your BRAND."  One might have asked if I still had my AoL email account, I don't remember.

Then they googled me.

Laughing,

"Death of the Copier?!... a book?! Really?" -  the branding expert quipped.
"...it used to mean something else, now it means the death of those who copy...", my reply.

"Fifty Shades of Managed Print Services! What the heck is managed print services?" - the fresh from South Africa, website builder spouted.
"...nothing.  Its dead...", my eyes are hurting by now, rolling on infinite loop.

"People still print?!"
"No." I said.

And that's when it happened.  The sparks and fury of embroiled discourse cooled. I sat there, sipping on Jack, watching them, digits a blur, reading.

Silent.

To their credit, in less than 7 minutes, they had my LinkedIn, Twitter, Instaglam and blog up and running. The giggles subsided as all they scanned and read - blogs, articles, bio's, on and on...they had it all - my online roots run deep.

In a few moments, they knew more about me than most.  Of course, all was forgotten seconds after leaving the bar - the new currency has a short span.


We are quick to label those who know a bit more than us, on any specific subject, experts.  I know from the inside.  Often, expert recommendations are academic - rarely tested in the field. This is what we've done to an entire generation.

We bestow the mantel of "they know more than we" just because they grew up on their thumbs and we built tree forts.

Somehow, maturing in a world that has never been without an internet makes people 'smarter'.  How can this be true?

"We shouldn't vault them as more enlightened, we should feel sad that we haven't pointed out the constellations ."

The Millennials don't know crap about crap and that's okay - how many of you knew everything when you were in your 20's?  How many of us thought we did?

But for one generation to regard the up and coming more relevant is a disservice to the younger; we are putting more pressure on the them simply by referring to them as Millennials/Unique.

Why?

The lessons here are simple and complex -
  1. The world of the web is driven by attention; nothing more than a popularity contest.
  2. Some marketers mix B2C and B2B concepts.  True, the convergence is occurring, but to blanket an entire ecosystem with one strategy is a fools errand.
  3. The "Hippies", "Gen X, Y", etc.  Are simply MARKETING LABELS.  Segmentation.  That is all.  Unlike generation gaps of the past based on solid walls of years and societal separation,  technology permeates beyond the boundaries of age - the great equalizer.
Like the people from Kalamazoo, who I met in an Irish pub in Oconomowoc, Wi., you and I have journeyed the same path.  Fortunately, we had the stars to guide us - they use Google maps.

We shouldn't vault them as more enlightened, we should feel sad that we haven't shared the constellations with them.

For me, the affirmation was stellar - we are all the same.

Oh to be young again.

I wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then...



Click to email me.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Decade of #TheDeathofTheCopier: Really?




Long ago, a decade seemed like forever; "1999" a far off party and 2001 so distant, it was science fiction.

When I was young, I couldn't imagine where'd I be beyond 2008.  Today, decades fade away, "like tears in the rain..."

Ten revolutions around the Sun
120 Months
521.4 Weeks
3,650 Days
87,000 Hours

At it's peak, The Death of the Copier was coveted; worth stealing. Not for the plain talk, but for the audience.

In 2008, we were busy back-slapping and congratulating ourselves for selling machines like popcorn.  The future was bright; it was never going to end.
  • Ikon was a huge channel of 'independent' dealers.
  • Xerox was like Kleenex.
  • Ricoh and Canon punched it out for second and third position.
  • HP was on the edge with Edgeline.
  • The rest of the pack was just that, a pack.
Back then, few were 'blogging' about copiers. Out here on the inter-webs, nobody was talking about workflow, managed print services, IT, or business acumen.  Newsletters, magazines and trade shows were the vehicles of delivery.

On this 10th year anniversary, I've travelled back to the future, re-visiting stories of the love, toner, blood and tragedy that is DOTC.


I've dug up a few nuggets:

From a DOTC post, "Top 12 of 2008":

"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"."-  2008.

I talked about Managed Print Services, how copier reps won't naturally progress into the niche, how real MpS requires IT and copier knowledge and something called Business Acumen.  It was like speaking Latin.

The second post, February, 2008: Managed Print Services - That "Hot, New, Thing..."


"A copier sales person does not directly translate into a MPS specialist.

Nor does an IT Services sales person translate into a MPS Specialist. It takes both IT experience and copier experience and a great deal of general, C-level, business experience. 


That holy grail of Professional Selling, "Business Acumen" . Someone with the "Big Picture" insight and manage the details of a solution."

Honestly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's been ten years and we're still struggling to find managed print nirvana.


We still sell copiers.

 How about this one from 2011.  Inspired by the movie Jerry McGuire -

"MPS isn't the end-all, it isn't the only reason to exist - it never has been. Still, with everybody getting in and as many as 50% failing, what now?

With all the OEM's defining MPS ... and reclassifying direct accounts, how can we continue?

Touch More.

More Human Touch. Less PowerPoint. No WebEx meetings, toss the 50 slide business summaries. Instead, press the flesh. Draw on a napkin.

Do that thing we do as sales professionals, look him in the eye and say "thank you, what more can we do, today?"

"Oddest, most unexpected thing..."

Success and change aren't always a result of design. Innovation encroaches from another direction; from the left as we look right, from behind as we look ahead.  Few ever see it coming.

So it is today. As some deny the paperless revolution is near, companies like Alaska Air outfit their 1,400 pilots with iPads.  Apple is making the text book obsolete and banks accept pictures of checks for deposit. Your kids, don't call each other anymore, they use their thumbs.

From social media to MpS, everything is new and unpredicted - there are no experts - the world moves faster than ever before. No benchmarks, no 'metrics', no comparison, no rules.

Waiting for the revolution? Its already here.

"The Me I always wanted to be" - Trust

Trust. It is a big word and one the first MPS Conference keynote speaker attempted to rally behind stating, 


"..Trust is something this industry has got to reclaim."

He is new. He doesn't understand to reclaim something, one must have first possessed it.

"I had lost the ability to bullshit, ..."

Our journey continues.

The path less bumpy when we build partnerships. Partnerships easier to forge over a foundation of truth. Can you be true?

Can you lose the ability to bullshit? If not to your prospects, at least with yourself. Or are you just another shark in a suit?

Can you see the entire ecosystem?

How about instead of optimizing a smidgen of hardware and some toner, you envision Optimizing Everything.

That's right, everything. Managed Optimization Services.


"That's how you become great, man. Hang your balls out there."

Good Stuff.

What have WE, learned over the past ten years?
  1. The Copier is nearly gone
  2. Old ways die-hard
  3. Situations rarely change, people do
My nostalgic jaunt inspired me to seek out memories from the pioneers of the copier-industry social media world.

Before Twitter.  Before Instaglam. Before LI took off...there was Ken Stewart, Nathan Dube, Jim Lyons and Art Post.

I asked them for a tidbit of reflection:

From Ken Stewart -

Wow, it's been that long?!?  What I've learned:
  1. Trust God more
  2. Forgive mankind often
  3. Relish the little things
  4. Let people be accountable to their actions
  5. Just because the folks in the hot tub look like their having a blast, they're secrets are hiding under the bubbles!
Nathan Dube -

Things I have learned:
  1. Don’t trust hype
  2. Disruptive technologies sometimes aren’t and those that are, often take time to produce real change
  3. If the paperless office is coming, I am not seeing it much/at all in New England across most verticals
  4. Story telling is the best way to market
  5. Everybody hates there printer eventually
  6. The future of marketing IMO lies in gamification and interactive content that is more about entertainment than the product you are trying to sell.
Jim Lyons -

Can't remember EXACTLY how Greg and I became friends, but as what seemed like the only two bloggers in the industry back then it was inevitable we'd become friends as well as colleagues. 

A particular fond memory is when Greg had accepted an invitation to the Lyra Conference (Symposium) - where I'd gone from client to contributor. 

Greg and I had been in touch quite a bit but had never met face-to-face and several of the team (including Photizo folks in attendance, though this was before the merger) were excited to meet Mr. Death of the Copier. As we anticipated his arrival I remember enthusing that this was a very much needed "young guy" we were welcoming into the fold!!!

Art Post

Nothing stays the same, change is constant.
There is nothing new in sales even thou there are thousands of sales guru's on LinkedIn promoting their success when they haven't sold shit in years.

There are many stubborn copier manufacturers that refuse to exit the channel. No one copies anymore.

I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end of the roll, the faster it goes.

Thanks guys, for reading DOTC and staying true.

Personally:
  1. 2008, I was married and living in the mountains of Southern California.  5,000 feet above sea level, an hour from the beach - "...things that have comforted me, I drive away..."
  2. Since 2008, I've moved from SoCali to Charlotte to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin - "...this place that is my home, I cannot stay..."
  3. Over 10 years, I've seen small businesses grow and flourish.  I've met the best of the best and the worst of the worst - "...I come and stand at every door..."
  4. I've Failed - "...If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me..."
  5. I've Succeeded - "...I always leave with less than I had before..."
  6. I've become an expert at Starting Over - "...tell me, can you ask for anything more..."
Over the long haul, I've seen the extinction of the typewriter, witnessed the evaporation of the mini and mainframe and bobbed along the turbulent manual-to-PC-to-network-to-internet-to-cloud waters.

I am fortunate to have a place to express.  I'm blessed to be able to write what I would read and humbled others find something, interesting and possibly entertaining.

10 Years. How about you?

On what field did you stand?  Today, do you still stand?  Where will you be in 2028?






Two, three, four

Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?
If you've ever seen a one trick pony then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one-legged dog making his way down the street?
If you've ever seen a one-legged dog then you've seen me
Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door

Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before
Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor
Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?
Tell me can you ask for anything more?

Have you ever seen a scarecrow filled with nothing but dust and wheat?
If you've ever seen that scarecrow then you've seen me
Have you ever seen a one-armed man punching at nothing but the breeze?
If you've ever seen a one-armed man then you've seen me

Then you've seen me, I come and stand at every door
Then you've seen me, I always leave with less than I had before
Then you've seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor
Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?
Tell me can you ask for anything more?

These things that have comforted me, I drive away
This place that is my home I cannot stay
My only faith's in the broken bones and bruises I display
Have you ever seen a one-legged man trying to dance his way free?
If you've ever seen a one-legged man then you've seen me

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Perfect Example of Terrible Managed Print Services Content -

Mold
Social Media Campaign
As I travel the back roads of internet marketing, recording experiences shared by copier dealers, MPS providers and the like, many things become clear:

What are "SEO Experts" -
Content is the art, SEO is relevant until the algorithm is changed.  The mystery of getting to the top of google results is just that - a mystery.  Sure, everybody has a plan and can show you how to get to the top, but is there an ROI?

There are more flim-flam artists in internet marketing than there are toner-pirates in our realm -
Business owners don't know the first thing about web-marketing because we spend our time working OEM rebate, warranty programs and employee issues.  Sometimes you sell.

Either way, getting to know what you need to know about your web-presence is a full time job and trusting those who have the answers is daunting.

All of our websites suck - 
Visually, most of the websites LOOK fine - indeed, some are downright attractive.  But beyond the pretty wrappers, a lot of websites are glorified product brochures with hollow content.

Your web-presence should not be a glorified yellow pages advertisement or deep dive, company resume.

Those are pretty broad observations, so let me boil it down to the latest affront.

I found this in my twit-stream, "Managed Print Services" - see the two screen-caps - the SM expert floods the stream with pictures of ...well.. alluring women.  I know a thing or two about utilizing this imagery, beyond that, the link reveals a most egregious example of click-bait and revolting content.

I don't claim to be a perfect writer, speller or grammar-ist, I know I've forgotten a comma or two and misspelled plenty, but never have I written such drivel - nor have I read a narrative so void.

Submitted for your review, the tip of the iceberg - incoherent content:

"Many organizations are coming up today. 

Many of them are facing problems when it comes to production of many paper copies. The machines are quite expensive, it is also expensive to have a technical team for the services. Many managers are hence opting to outsource the MPS services. You would save a lot of money if engaged with the right services providers. If you would like a professional team, you need to have the contacts of name redacted to protect the innocent.

There are things that you need to consider getting the right service providers since many people have joined the industry, and most of them are providing poor overhaul..."

"Poor Overhaul"?  What in God's, green, Earth is THAT?

This type of content is more prevalent than you think - don't let your social media/website/marketing company do this to you.

Better yet, call us -  I've put together a group of experts, Bright Stars, of internet marketing/sales and transformation and we provide a total solution portfolio of services:

  • WebCasts
  • Reputation Management
  • Website Monitoring and Security
  • PodCasts
  • Video
  • Salesforce and engagement management
  • ...and much, much more...


The sad thing is, somebody, somewhere is paying for this content.







Click to email me.