The People of MPS Channel Voice

Print Volumes are Declining. What’s Your Plan?

Christina Robbins

by Christina Robbins | 10/24/2016

An interesting headline appeared recently in my hometown newspaper The Denver Post: “Video One gets June 5 closing date, set to sell 17,000 movies before final day.” The article explained that after 34 years, Denver’s oldest video store was closing. The article caught my attention because it describes a business that adapted in small ways to changes in their customer’s needs (they did start carrying DVDs and then Blu-rays in addition to videocassettes), but they did not anticipate or adjust for the true market change represented by Netflix, Hulu and other on-demand video services. Ultimately, that failure to adapt cost them their business.

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The Four Roles of Sales Leadership – A Personal Development Plan

Brad Roderick

by Brad Roderick | 10/20/2016

Sales leaders, are you feeling a little overwhelmed this time of the year? The fourth quarter is already speeding along with very little time to make any significant changes to the trajectory of 2016 revenue, and just when it’s time for that full-court, end-of-the-year press, prospects disappear into vacation and holiday season. Soon, reps will be starting to go into autopilot mode and the new budget for 2017 will be due.

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Sales Transformation: What Does it Really Mean?

Eric Stavola

by Eric Stavola | 10/18/2016

For years I have been listening, reading, and hearing about our industry’s sales transformation — heck, I think I have even written a few articles on the subject. The sales transformation we were talking about was making the shift from selling hardware (commodity) to selling a service (annuity). However, lately I have been thinking, is that really it? I mean, we all work for or sell for at some level a manufacturer that manufactures hardware. So am I really to think that our industry is transforming away from hardware completely?  No, absolutely not. Transformation by definition means a complete or major change in someone's or something's appearance, form, etc.

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What Values Drive Purchasing Decisions?

Dan Strull

by Dan Strull | 10/12/2016

You walk into an office, armed with knowledge of the industry tools, ready to tell the customer exactly what they need. You’ve found the perfect solution! The presentation goes exactly as planned, you highlight a great feature, a feature you think is perfect for this customer, and you scan the decision maker’s face. You’re surprised by the look of total disinterest. What went wrong?

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Q&A With Karsten Huster, President, NT-ware

Patricia Ames

by Patricia Ames | 10/10/2016

NT-ware is a German software company in which Canon, in 2006, acquired a majority stake. NT-ware is the creator of uniFLOW, a software platform for print, scan and device management. At the recent analyst event at Canon headquarters in Melville, New York, Mason Olds, senior VP and general manager of Sales, Business Imaging Solutions division, mentioned in his presentation that Canon’s solutions business grew 18 percent and this growth was primarily driven by sales of the uniFLOW product. We were impressed by these numbers and wanted to explore in more detail how Canon is accomplishing this, so we sat down during the event with Karsten Huster, president of NT-ware, to get the scoop.

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The Non-Paper-Dependent Office

Lance Elicker

by Lance Elicker | 10/06/2016

A common complaint I hear from companies we work with is, “I have too much paper, I need to get rid of it.” There are many reasons to want to get rid of paper: Lowering printing costs, being able to more easily find important information, not losing paper copies during a catastrophic event, and really a whole host of other reasons drive business owners to want to eliminate paper.

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What’s the Word? Why Customer Referrals Are So Vital

Loretta Jones

by Loretta Jones | 10/04/2016

Despite all the focus that goes into advertising and marketing campaigns, there’s nothing like word of mouth to generate interest in products and services and influence customers.

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MPS – Out of Vogue or Making a Comeback?

Sarah Custer

by Sarah Custer | 09/27/2016

In recent years, it seemed many were tired of hearing about managed print. It’s old news.Been there, done that. Industry event presentation tracks were focused on other areas — mostly managed IT services and the “dreaded” millennials. While it’s always good to continually review logical adjacencies for your business and keep up with the latest workforce trends, I was surprised to see how infrequently managed print was being discussed compared to previous years.

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Windows Server Upgrades - A Print Opportunity

Henning Volkmer

by Henning Volkmer | 09/22/2016

If Windows Servers are not a focus piece of your offerings, you should reconsider. And fast. Why? In recent years, Microsoft has made major changes to Windows Server, and now is your opportunity to capitalize. Companies have gone through the necessary upgrades for their older print servers and they are starting to realize two important things: What is no longer available, and that new methods to fill this gap aren’t to their liking. As a result, this is the right moment to sell software solutions and possibly add a piece of infrastructure to your management portfolio that is traditionally controlled by your customer. Few things have better margins than software and services, making this an incredible opportunity.

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Power = Data – Q&A With Innovolt

Patricia Ames

by Patricia Ames | 09/14/2016

Innovolt, an innovator in the power protection sector, recently announced the appointment of two top executives in the channel – Ed McLaughlin and Phil Boatman. The Imaging Channel was intrigued by what we see as an aggressive move in the space and wanted to find out more, so we decided to talk to not only Innovolt CEO Jun Ho Son, but also the new team, President Phil Boatman and Vice-Chairman Ed McLaughlin.

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Retention Versus Acquisition; Where Millennial Reps Should Focus and Why

Brandon Gross

by Brandon Gross | 09/08/2016

I still vividly remember my first week in this industry, starting out at a copier dealer in Los Angeles as an account manager (snazzy term for entry level sales rep). On my desk was a computer, notepad, pen, highlighter and a 50+ page list of businesses that included ZERO current customers. My sales manager explained that once I completed a series of online training classes about MFPs, I was to begin calling the list of businesses and setting appointments. I was zealous and ready to start dialing for dollars, to prove myself and kick off my new career with a bang. Little did I know the road ahead was long and paved with challenges college hadn’t prepared me for.

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Is Print Really Dying? Read the Numbers, Not the Headlines

Luke Goldberg

by Luke Goldberg | 09/06/2016

If you have been in the imaging industry for any length of time or follow it as closely as I do, you know that on any given day a Google search will yield a vast number of articles predicting the death of printing. However, the fact that this has been true for several years now leads to the question: is print really dying?

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Services Interference

Eric Stavola

by Eric Stavola | 08/31/2016

In my daily conversations with business owners and decision makers, I am amazed at how in touch most of them are with their key initiatives for their business. Just ask them what their key initiatives are, and they will go on and on listing their goals and objectives for the fiscal year. What is very interesting, though, is that when I ask a follow-up question about what interferences will hold them back from hitting those initiatives, most of these key leaders struggle with the answer.

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The Path to Quality

Ken Bechard

by Ken Bechard | 08/22/2016

Quality document processing is not as simple as pushing the print or scan button or fixating on ensuring that each project meets production standards. This narrow focus can have the reverse impact on quality, leading organizations to miss the mark. What elements are key for delivering quality? Here are three strategic steps you can take to put your organization on the right path.

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Is Hardware Limiting Your Sales?

Christina Robbins

by Christina Robbins | 08/09/2016

Sometimes imaging resellers only think about selling hardware, but a simple shift in thinking helps to increase the size of each sale leading to business growth. Rather than simply considering which scanner a customer needs, think about the larger challenge they’re trying to solve. Frequently, you’ll find that pairing enterprise content management (ECM) with your scanning services is a simple, effective upsell that adds value for your customer. Best of all, technology innovations are making it easier than ever to start selling these solutions.

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Is It Time to Outsource Your Content Creation?

Aaron Dyck

by Aaron Dyck | 08/04/2016

Blogging and social media are proven web traffic drivers that are here to stay. Both of these inbound marketing channels offer you the ability to engage with your website visitors and followers in a deep and meaningful way that can add value to your business. Today’s online business buyers are interested in useful information, not sales talk. Blogging and social media allow you to tell your readers about who you are, what you do, and why they should work with you, without the high-pressure sales talk of traditional media.

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Q & A With Gil Pekelman, CEO, Atera

Patricia Ames

by Patricia Ames | 07/25/2016

Atera recently announced the availability of "The Benchmark," a service that provides comparative data for IT professionals worldwide so they can understand how they perform compared to colleagues and be better prepared for future trends.

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Are You Asking the Right Questions When Buying Technology? The ‘Why’ is What Matters

Lance Elicker

by Lance Elicker | 07/21/2016

Have you ever seen a great sales presentation about a software or technology and thought, “My business needs to have this”? You make the purchase, and then three years later the software you had to have to help run your business better isn’t being utilized the way you had hoped it would, or even worse, it’s not being used at all? Unfortunately, that is an all-too-common theme that I have seen over my years in this industry.

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Can You Simplify Your Managed Print Services Life?

Greg Walters

by Greg Walters | 07/18/2016

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

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Eight Secrets of Powerful One-on-One Meetings

Brad Roderick

by Brad Roderick | 07/05/2016

The concept is simple. Typically weekly, the supervisor and direct report get together for 30 to 60 minutes. The general purpose of one-on-one meetings is to improve communication, build relationships and coach. The meetings are scheduled in advance, include an outline or agenda and are more informal than a full review or a project update/status meeting. Doesn’t sound too tough, does it? Get together regularly, get caught up on personal and professional issues, share some information and offer a little coaching. The fact is, great one-on-one meetings are extremely simple and extraordinarily powerful. They are also rarely done well and generally held inconsistently, if at all. Simple concept, tough execution.

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