Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Synnex Beats Q2 Estimates, Looks Ahead To UC, Health-Care Expansion

From an article at ChannelWeb:

"...On the managed print services front, Murai said Synnex had seen continued success with PrintSolv, its managed print services program for VARs, which he said is gaining support even from printer vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark and Xerox that have managed print services programs of their own.

"HP has really embraced what we're doing, and we're working very cooperatively with both Xerox and Lexmark, which although they still have their own programs, understand and recognize what we have is gaining exposure and traction," Murai said.

"What it allows us to do is allow our reseller partners to gain much more visibility into the print environment, introduce new products, and consolidate. When we make a bet we go with both feet in.

The solution we have is what sets us apart. We support all manufacturers' print devices..."

See the complete article here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Managed Print Services Appointment - Another Ticked Off Konica/Minolta Client:Leasing and "Integrity"

It's sounding like a broken record, she wasn't upset with the service, the response time or even the performance of her eight Konica Minolta copiers.

I mean, the organization generates 179,000 images a month, why wouldn't they have FOUR, FULL BLOWN 1050'S? Right?

And of course, 36 months into this 60 month, why WOULDN'T the K/M rep come in to upgrade to "bigger, better, faster..." for less?


You think this is wrong?

It's a little gift from Mother Nature.

I had a first appointment with a prospective MPS Engagement the other day.

Our primary contact was kind enough to send her current spend and three active proposals - all on one spreadsheet. The more perceptive of you will no doubt see the red flags associated with a prospect dumping this data prior to a first appointment.

It ended up better than I had expected. Although, I do not believe we will sell them anything more than a few small machines over the next 18 months.

Try explaining an 18 month cycle to your sales manager.

The Basic Problems - "This is like Deja Vu all over again."

There are nearly 100 employees in this organization and I expected her to say that they owned 90 plus desktop printers - instead, they have 9. So, that's eight copiers and nine "laser" based desktop units for around 100 users. Very good.

Also, as is my style, I challenged her on some of her internal findings which she quickly and assertively defended - not out of insecurity but because she knew them to be truth. It was obvious that the copier dealers hadn't questioned her findings - they ignored them all together.

Ok, that's TWO in the "plus" column, her stock was rising.

And then the clincher - the lease has two years remaining, these "copier guys are...ripping me off...and I don't know what to do about it". She wants to get out of her lease(impossible), she wants to combine the service volume on all the machines into one invoice(pool volume) and she believes that she does not need so many 1050's(Duh).

And to add insult to injury, she shopped out their existing equipment configurations as if she was engaging today, discovering she is paying double what they "should be paying"(times where different 3 years ago when the lease was initiated)

By now, everyone could she the huge chip on her shoulder, even her.

To make things more interesting, I asked her how it went when she presented all this to Konica/Minolta. Yeah, I know, it's like taking a stick and poking her with it - it's fun and sent her off.

An almost audible 'Click' goes off in my mind. Three check marks in the good column. I decided I could work with her.

So we sold nothing.

For the next 45 minutes we discussed the Konica Minolta lease. Because she didn't have her copy handy, I pulled out my copy.(Yes, I have copies of almost everyone's lease) and we reviewed together.

We outline the termination process - "...you mean to tell me when the lease termination date is reached, the lease doesn't really end?", she said, "My rep never told me this. As a matter of fact when I was asking her and her boss questions about being oversold and their unwillingness to work with me, he said I had just questioned his integrity! Which is improbable, I doubt he has any to question." 


I was considering poking her again with that same stick but decided against it. A mans got to know his limitations.

When we landed on the subject of pooled volume, her attention piqued. You see, she has a minimum on the 1050s that is never reached and minimums on each of the smaller(750's)that they are always over. So if K/M were to put the entire fleet under one min and a single agreement, there would only be one invoice, no overages and a slightly happier client.

My prospect could only hope, but hope is not a plan, is it?

We instructed her on what to negotiate for, who to negotiate with over what.(Service Manager for service, Sales director for lease) and to always line out whatever you do not like. Again, this point was illustrated with copies of some service agreements, showing bright, red lines through blocks of text.

This is not the first time I have had to do this - in this month alone, I have tutored 3 separate clients with three different copier manufactures in the Dark Art of lease and S.A. negotiation.

The Take Aways -

This is a classic example of the kind of sales activity that will drive copier dealers banana's, make sales managers question your talent and ultimately gain you LIFE LONG clients.

We didn't engage around lease payments, volume levels, CPC, CPI or SLA's. Our discussion, and make no mistake, this was a discussion, revolved around solving problems - the benefits of one simple invoice, the reason to move from capital expenditures to operational, customer service beyond the one hour response time and especially how a lease should be a lease, not a customer retention device.

And especially. When a copier Vendor's(or anyone's) only move is to argue his "integrity" - put down the pen, point at him, and laugh in his face.

Side Note:

It seems lately that I have slammed copier sales people. I know plenty of really good copier guys/ladies; people who sell openly and upfront, who don't present anything more than what they are. They are professional and committed to helping their customers.

I do not dislike copier people, I like them. 

Which is why it is important to point out the bad apples and terrible practices - they make my job so much more difficult.

The bad ones erode the already small amount of trust in the world today- we must confront them, when they are on the other side of an RFP or on the other side of a cubicle wall - fight them.

Check out these:

Again With The "Leasing"! Enough!

Leasing Your MFP Fleet -

"Beware of DLL, a business nightmare..."

Bad Experiences with Leasing - Toshiba, IKON, Canon, Saxon

Leasing Copiers/Output Devices - UnMasked, Revealed, Cracked Open - EXPOSED

Click to email me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Immelt Opposed to Separation from GE Capital

Jun 23, 2009

General Electric opposes any regulation that would force it to split off from GE Capital, its finance business, CEO Jeffery Immelt said in a memo to employees according to Reuters.

Some investors and analysts said the Obama administration’s proposed restructuring of the nation’s financial regulatory system could force GE to sell or exit its GE Capital unit, which has businesses ranging from leasing commercial aircraft to investing in real estate.

“One proposal in particular, pertaining to the separation of banking and commerce, has led to some media speculation that, if enacted, could require the separation of GE and GE Capital,” Immelt said in the memo.

“It is very early in the process, and Congress will now spend months reviewing and drafting legislation. We are certainly opposed to it, since this issue had nothing to do with the financial crisis,” he wrote, according to Reuters. “GE is and will remain committed to GE Capital and we like our strategy.”

The company is already trying to scale back its GE Capital unit, which accounted for half of the conglomerate’s profit in 2007. Immelt has said he plans to downsize the unit so GE would rely on it for just 30 percent of earnings.

DOTC - Why is this important?

GE Capital finances a huge percentage of office equipment leases - you probably have many customers working with them already.

This could be big for those of us who offer leasing.

Farah and MJ

She adorned hundreds of thousands of bedroom walls...made the case for straight, white teeth.


And also, Michael Jackson too...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Get Your Head Out the Managed Print Services Clouds: Let's Sing Together, "Why Can't You Fix My Printer?"

"...made a call to the printer repair shop, said we had a guy out on the road...pulled up in an old rusty van..."

Well, I guess this means Managed Print Services has really hit mainstream - somebody wrote a song about it.

Nathan Dube wrote and performed this little ditty - and it ain't too shabby - it's rather good.

I like the snappy beat, and appreciate the fact that the song is not "branded".

Check out the post here.

To listen to the song, go here


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Let's Talk About TWITTER - Managed Print Services and Copiers

June, 2009

I have no idea how it all started.

I suspect it was Jim Lyons and his insidious first "Tweet" list on his blog that did it.

I immediately downloaded the software and started listening/reading to thousands tell me what they had for breakfast - all over the world.

Now I ain't the smartest bulb in the shed, but I soon recognized how I could generate some traffic to some older posts of mine by Tweeting.

That was the just the beginning. Oh what a difference a few months make.

I admit, I really had no idea what in the world of Twitter was all about, and I still try to get my head around it - in a nutshell, it's like everything else today - a new way to self-promote and send communiques into the 'verse, like messages in a bottle.

But - and there is always a but - this time, it's different. One can filter out the noise and most importantly, one's self promotion must be carried on 140 characters or less.

This is the challenge.

Putting your deepest and most profound thoughts and ideas in 140 characters or less demands RELEVANCE, actual thought - hence the fact that so many tell the world what was for lunch or how hungover they are.

"Copiers" -

With one of the many Twitter "add-ons", this one called TweetDeck, I can see all Tweets that contain the word "copier". I didn't expect much.

The Tweets that filter through can be hilarious commentary on the world of business from the trenches, I mean, can there be anymore of a "trench" than standing next to or in front of a copier?

There are Tweets from end users, copier sales people, owners trying to sell their copiers or get out of their copier lease. But mostly, and this is the funny thing, most end users are complaining about the copier, the copier salesperson, copier training, and the copier service technician - you quickly realize that 140 characters is often more than enough room to get their point across.

"...How do I break the copier EVERY TIME I use it? I can write HTML code but can't work an all-in-one copy/fax machine. Wonderful..."

"...Muzzles should be a legit work expense. Manic women beseeching Jesus in front of the copier do not a healthy work environment make..."

"...RT @joshuaokc: I walked into the restroom at our restaurant, and there's a waiter making copies on a copier. That's a first! #fb..."

"...small commission...no appointments and its raining....hmmm what's a copier rep t do?????"

And there are Tweets in French, complaining about the copier too.(I think)

Ok- so why should you and I even care what people are saying about their copiers and the people associated with them?

Because we impact what they do and they tell people how they feel about that impact.

I know this is high-level, holistic mumble jumble - and it's true.

Every time you or I walk in and present an approach, and talk with end users, guess what...as soon as you leave their area, they just may be making you "famous" in Twit-ville.

Silver Lining -

Not only can you see a general and non-scientific, real time, study of copier related feelings - one can keep in touch with a close collection of MPS "team members". Your leasing rep, your distributor, and manufacturer - MPS Thought Leaders (ahem) - all Tweeting from their BBerry's.

Instant touch-

I am sure there is and will be more to it than this - for instance, tomorrow HP IPG is announcing something "big" - live Tweets will accompany the live feed - so I we will get the announcement and reaction to it, almost instantaneously, even when I will be on another MPS Odyssey...

Tweet on ...