Contributions and insights from leading voices in the MPS, document management and office technology industry.

HP Inc. Ups the Stakes When It Comes to Printer Security

by Amy Weiss | 3/7/16

Once upon a time, printers were printers and very little more. They sat on people’s desks, they connected to a computer, and they printed. Those days, however, are for the most part long gone. While standalone printers exist, forces such as print and document management programs, the smart MFP and the Internet of Things have combined to ensure that today’s workplace print devices are connected, networked, and accessible to workers in various areas inside and outside the office, from both desktop and mobile devices.

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Does Your MPS Program Cause More Pain Than Profit?

Sarah Custer Supplies Networkby Sarah Custer | 3/2/16

Even with all their virtues, MPS engagements can sometimes cause pain for those involved. Maybe it’s a painful process for your staff. There could be inconsistencies or service gaps for your customers. There may even be pain imposed by your business partners. Almost every reseller has certain vendor obligations they must meet, whether to manufacturers, remanufacturers, software providers, ERPs, and so on. Those obligations can often overcomplicate solutions or processes that should otherwise be simple for the reseller and their customers.

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Lexmark’s Q4 and FY15 Report – a Microcosm of the Industry’s Maladies

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/1/16

Exercising reasonable due diligence on behalf of its readers dictates we at the Imaging Channel scrutinize the quarterly and annual financial reports of the key firms in our industry and interpret what the results might mean for the channel and the overall market. Sometimes, an analysis of these announcements provide us with a clear and unvarnished view of the state of the industry. Lexmark’s recent Q4 2015 report is one of those state of the industry revelations. It is difficult to review the Lexmark earnings release in isolation when several major OEMs in the industry are awash in news of mergers, divestitures, acquisitions, and shifts in strategy.

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Managing IT Services Expectations

by Marc Winter | 2/29/16 

“It’s like we spend more time fighting for pennies on the floor instead of taking dollars off of the table.” This is an amazing quote from an owner who hasn’t met expectations from his managed IT services business. A lot of dealers are reaching this conclusion, and the cause is usually a combination of high expectations and low ceiling business execution. So what can dealers do to recalibrate?

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Big Data, Predictive Analytics and the IoT: The Buzzwords are the Real Thing at ECS 2016

by Amy Weiss | 2/23/16

MWAi Intelligence held its fifth Executive Connection Summit (ECS) February 18-20 at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. Featuring a solid day-and-a-half lineup of presentations from industry leaders as well as a press conference,awards ceremony, and multiple dinners and networking opportunities, the ECS has solidly established itself as the industry’s premier event.

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Five Ways to Use Big Data in Your Business Right Now

by Patricia Ames | 2/17/16

Everybody talks about big data, but what is it really? Where do you get it, how do you compile it, and how can you use it in your business RIGHT NOW to be more effective? 

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Finding Millennials: There Are Plenty of Us to Go Around

by Ericka Gordon | 2/15/16

I’m actually shocked by the notion that employers can’t find enough millennials looking for work. At 24 years old I fall right in the middle of my generation in terms of the age range. Most of the millennials I know landed their first job this past year or have actively been looking for their first job. So, the idea that employers can’t find younger job seekers is hard for me to comprehend. However, I’ve heard this complaint a number of times and by now you guys should know I’m a bigadvocate for communication, so let’s talk about it. Where do millennials go to look for jobs?

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Speakeasy: Q&A with Jim Cerkleski, Clover, and Mike Stramaglio, MWAi

by Patricia Ames | 11/27/15

Clover Technologies is a global powerhouse in the imaging supplies industry and is the world’s largest collector and recycler of inkjet and laser cartridges as well as cell phones. Jim Cerkleski heads this massive operation with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and getting an interview with him is about as easy as sighting a unicorn. Thanks to a new partnership with MWAi, the donation of a Harley “Fat Bob” for raffle as part of MWAi’s annual Rolling Thunder charity ride, and the Tokyo Innovation Fair, the impossible has occurred. Join us in the SpeakEasy as we discuss strategy with Jim Cerkleski, as well as Mike Stramaglio, the CEO of MWAi. 

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Yogi Berra on Channel Strategy for The Printing Industry Part 3 — Outsourced Services Selling

by Doug Johnson | 2/9/16

In this final installment of my three-partseries, I’ll cover the “second fork in the road”—the outsourced services business model.  In the last blog, I discussed the first fork in the Yogiism “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”—transactional selling.  Ubiquitous access to data and information has created near perfect knowledge in the market, accelerating the commoditization of transactional selling in our market, and businesses at each step of the value chain must align their assets and competencies to the realities of commodity selling in a flat or declining imaging and printing market.

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Canon’s Latest uniFLOW Software: Yet Another Sign of a Digital Future?

by Amy Weiss | 2/4/16

On February 2, Canon U.S.A. announced the release of the latest version of its output management, device management and smart scanning solution, uniFLOW V5.4. The new version of Canon’s software offers one integrated platform for print, scan and device management, improved scanning and mobile printing, and enhanced office printing.

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Multi-Channel Marketing: What You Need to Succeed

by Kevin Craine | 2/2/16

Marketing and IT professionals in all industries face a number of challenges with cross-channel marketing, the first of which is integrating customer data.  While organizations often have a wealth of data at their fingertips, studies find that many struggle to leverage that information effectively across multiple marketing channels. This lack of integration can erode organizational performance as the competitive landscape continues to evolve. Customers expect an increasingly seamless and transparent experience while the number of channels for discovery and evaluation of new products and services continue to increase.

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Predicting 2016: Some Things Never Change … Some Things Do

by Martin de Martini | 1/29/16

The year 2016 is here, so naturally it is time to make some predictions about what this year will hold in store for the print and document capture industry.

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Déjà Vu: Xerox Announces Plans to Split in Two

by Amy Weiss | 1/29/16

On January 29, 2016, Xerox announced its fourth quarter earnings as well as its plans for separating into two independent, publicly traded companies. Needless to say the latter, which was leaked by theWall Street Journal the night before the official announcement, somewhat eclipsed the former.

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Brother’s Big Laser Launch Targets the Workgroup

by | 01/27/2016

by Amy Weiss | 1/27/16

On January 20, Brother International released a series of monochrome laser printers and all-in-ones for office, workgroup, and higher-volume print environments. The launch, which is a refresh of the firm’s laser product line, is said by Brother to be the largest and most in-depth in the company’s history.

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Mission Critical: Unify Sales Team Training

by Aaron Dyck | 1/26/16

Nearly one in eight jobs in the U.S. are full-time sales positions, but according to a study conducted by Caliper Corporation, more than 55 percent of salespeople lack the necessary skills to be successful. Providing proper training to your sales team can help boost effectiveness as well as productivity, making it possible for you to outsell your competitors. 

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Breaking the Communication Barrier

by Ericka Gordon | 1/22/16

I can see why Baby Boomers and Gen Xers wouldn’t be interested in getting to know their millennial co-workers (and vice versa). What could we possibly have in common, right? We millennials spent our weekend out on the town at concerts and trendy bars while you spent yours in a gymnasium or on a field watching your son/daughter’s sports team. But how we spent our weekends is the very least of what we have to offer each other. Once we get past the “How was your weekend?” small talk there’s an opportunity to learn some personality traits about each other that could be really beneficial to the business.

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Muratec America Enters Label Printer Market

by | 01/20/2016

by Amy Weiss | 1/20/16

On January 15, Muratec America announced its entry into the label printer market with a series of digital presses designed for short-run, high-definition color labels. The Precision Label Series (PLS) consists of the PLS-2112 digital press and PLC-2112F digital finishing system, and the PLS-5150 digital press and PLS-5150F digital finishing system.

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Expect the Unexpected: How to Prepare for Disruptive External Events

By Mark Ptakowski | 1/18/16

As 2016 begins, many of us are focused on setting up our individual pieces of the universe for success. While planning is important for every part of your business, it’s particularly critical for protecting the safety of employees and security of your business assets. According to Novitex, 43 percent of companies that have experienced a major loss of their business data without a proper recovery plan in place and never re-open, and 29 percent close within two years of an incident.  

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Being the Person Who Has What It Takes, Part 2: From the ‘What’ to the ‘How’

by Brad Roderick | 1/11/16

In the last installment of this blog series we looked at “grit” or “mental toughness” as a necessity for anyone looking to be more, create more or do more than the average person.  James Clear puts it this way: “In every area of life – from your education to your work to your health – it is your amount of grit, mental toughness, and perseverance that predicts your level of success more than any other factor we can find.” According to Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania, “Our hypothesis that grit is essential to high achievement evolved during interviews with professionals in investment banking, painting, journalism, academia, medicine and law.”

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How Does Technology Affect Managed Print in 2016?

by Amy Weiss | 1/8/16

One of the more interesting ways to start each year is by watching the stream of new technology that comes out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Every year it takes over my RSS feed, my Twitter stream and my email, bombarding me with the latest in technology and cool gadgets that I absolutely need to make my life better.

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