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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Is It Workflow? Or Is It Just a Tool?

Tool: “something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession.” – Merriam-Webster.

Back in the good ol’ days, before MpS, a few smart folks started referring to scanning as the on-ramp to document management. Not a bad way to look at it, and not a bad way to turn an ancillary tool into more than what it is – that's called marketing. It’s akin to selling copiers as “document management engines,” when all they really do is put marks on paper. It’s selling an idea, not the machine.

Today the new dimension in managed print services – workflow – is undergoing the same marketing treatment. As the rush toward this niche intensifies, intrepid voyagers be aware: There is a difference between workflow tools and workflow.

Read the rest, here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

013: Wall Street Lets Up on HP: But Why?

From the Wall Street Journal,

"H-P’s numbers buy CEO Whitman some breathing room. Hewlett-Packard Co.‘s first-quarter earnings declined 16% as the technology giant continued to see weaker sales across all its divisions, including its core personal computer business, reports the WSJ’s Ben Worthen. Shares nevertheless soared in after-hours trading as H-P’s numbers beat Wall Street estimates..."

We listened to HP's earnings call (Feb. 21st) our 4th, and for the life of me, I can't find the 'silver-lining everyone else sees - but there is one.

HP is following the tried and true public formula for companies on the mend - 
  1. Admit problems...
  2. Clean house...
  3. Blame economic headwinds, past leadership and bad deals of the past...
  4. Make the future seem as though it is going to be very bad...
  5. Report numbers that are "less bad" than the original thought/projected...
  6. Get the street off your back..
    There's a concept in military science called, "shaping the battlefield".  In HP's case this means setting expectations so incredibly low, feeding detractors fog and allowing media-allies, 'privileged access'.

    When you hear, "...HP beats Wall Street analysts projections..." question what data these analysts utilized establishing their forecast.

    For the rest of us, here are the numbers that hold relevance.  The largest technology company in the world, the company that grew from humble beginnings into the corporation we all work for, the entity that rode the output wave, encouraging over printing along the way, is fighting for her life:

    See the rest here.

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

    What if Nobody Buys MFD's ?

    The day MemJet rolled out their program over at the MPSA was a good day. It seemed many years since there was something new and exciting to talk about that had anything to do with hardware.

    Sure, all the standard OEMs have released new models and refreshed their offerings - but they are all more of the same - well, I guess in the case of A4 to A3, LESS of the same thing. Xerography has been around for a hundred years, melting plastic on paper is mundane and even a really cool technology like melting wax onto paper has lost its novelty.

    I know, I know, MemJet is simply a fast inkjet.

     They're fresh and for now, their machine is smoking fast and like no other. One more thing about MemJet - they are opening a channel specifically for and exclusively of, managed print services providers. The good folks at Memjet feel they can negate the lack of brand recognition by pairing with more sophisticated and relationship based, MpS selling professionals; dare I say, 'trusted advisors'. Resellers who have honed their skill beyond the box, earned client trust and are comfortable presenting on value, not brand.


    A few days later, we listened to Xerox earnings call.

    The rest here...

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    Greg Walters, Incorporated