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

Foxconn and Sharp Finally Come to An Agreement; Has Sharp Dodged a Bullet?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/31/16

The on-again, off-again union of financially ailing Sharp Electronics of Japan and Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn was finally agreed to on March 30, months after an initial agreement was reached in principle. Inking the final deal came after weeks of wrangling over details of the actual fiscal standing of Sharp – which revealed a company far worse off than originally presented — and thus, how much Foxconn was willing to pay.

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Marketing at its Best: Vendors Meeting Inkjet Customer Needs

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/30/2016

by Jim Lyons | 3/30/18

As a career-long practitioner and, for the last 10 years, a professor of marketing, it can be a bit frustrating when confronted with the outside world’s perceptions of just what “marketing” is. Primarily, in what I see as the most common misperception, many people equate “marketing” with “advertising.” Here, I want to take a shot at changing that thinking (always a danger) by pointing out some great responses by some of our leading inkjet printer vendors in applying the “Marketing Concept”.

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The Selling Professional of Today

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/28/2016

by Greg Walters | 3/28/16

"What do you want out of life, kid?” I remember the first time somebody asked me that question. I hesitated, a 20-something kid, trying to figure my answer and this guy’s angle. In the end, I stammered out an incoherent response; he was recruiting for A.L. Williams.

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HP’s Spring Launch Part 3: In the Shadow of the PageWide Debut, New OfficeJets and LaserJets Bow

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/25/2016

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/25/16

In Part 1 of this series we looked at HP’s rationale for rebranding its page-wide devices, and in Part 2 we took a deep dive into those new releases. But while the floodlights and the red carpet were being rolled out for the PageWide coming out party, HP also released a number of new Officejet and LaserJet models, brands that have been essential “meat and potatoes” products in HP’s line for decades. Before we take a look at the new models, here is an update to HP’s positioning and messaging for these two major business printer lines:

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By Definition, I Am a Millennial — Whatever That Means

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/24/2016

Jenna Stramaglioby Jenna Stramaglio | 3/24/16

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennialsare born between 1982 and 2000 and represent more than one quarter of the of the nation’s population. We also carry 1 trilliondollars in student loan debt … YAY! We have all read the statistics and everyone keeps talking about us like we are some enigma, but if everyone would just take a step back and see us for what we are then there would be no problem. We are just another generation that is different than the one that preceded us — just like Gen-X and just like the Baby Boomers.

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HP’s Spring Launch Part 2: A Look at the New PageWide Products

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/23/2016

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/21/16

In Part 1 of this series we looked at HP’s rationale for rebranding its page-wide devices. Rebranding movement aside, however, the spring launch event was all about new HP printing products – PageWide, OfficeJets, and, LaserJets too. Under the broad banner of “Printing Reinvented,” the firm introduced:

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Hiring the Right Salespeople to Grow Your MPS Business

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/22/2016

by Aaron Dyck | 3/22/16

Hiring the right sales team is the number one challenge for any business. In managed print services the turnover rate is above 50 percent, so it’s important to choose your new sales hires carefully with an eye toward the long term. Salespeople always look and sound great in interviews, but what impression will they make on your clients? What will your customers experience once they are a member of your team?

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HP’s Spring Launch Part 1: What’s in a Name? Business Inkjets Relaunched, Rebranded

John McIntyreby John McIntyre | 3/21/16

In the high tech biz, we have become accustomed to observing a new product technology capability debut and swiftly create a tsunami of disruptive change, often resulting in the upending of a long dominant and established product category. The elements in driving this market transformation are often easy to discern; benefits over the more mature technology such as speed, price or operating costs, functionality, usability and durability, among others. In most categories, the advent of a new offering with significant benefits makes choosing the new entry an easy and apparent decision; a “no-brainer” in everyday vernacular.

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Three Steps to Ensure Digitization Drives a Strong Return for Financial Firms

John Garippa Novitexby John Garippa | 3/17/16

Though we are in the digital era, many financial services organizations remain highly dependent on paper. It would be easy to assume that the number of documents being filed is decreasing, but, on the contrary, filing volumes double every 10 years. Firms continue to receive and create an abundant amount of documents, ranging from applications to advisory agreements, statements, transaction confirmations and correspondence — all of which must be managed and stored in compliance with FINRA and SEC regulations.

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A Millennial Viewpoint: Why Your Paper Process is Driving Away Talent

NoahMithrushby Noah Mithrush | 3/15/16

I’m going to be blunt and straightforward, because I only have another 600 words or so to show you why your slow paper processes are driving away millennial talent. I have never used a fax machine. Call me new-fashioned. I think those machines are extinct now, right? They should be. What about that whole process of signing a document, where you send it to me as a PDF, I print it, sign it, scan it, email it to myself, then forward it back to you. I did that once (HA!).

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This is Not the ‘Old’ Xerox: Apps, Automation and the IoT Are a Big Part of the Company’s Future

Amy Weissby Amy Weiss | 3/14/16

On March 9, Xerox hosted its 2016 Office Technology Event at the Gil Hatch Center in Rochester, N.Y., where it unveiled a slew of new hardware, software and innovations to the gathered press and analysts. An announcement of 14 new ConnectKey i-Series MFPs was the mere tip of the iceberg at the event in which Xerox demonstrated that it is an organization with its eyes solidly on the future.

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Three Alternatives to ‘Clicks’

by Greg Walters | 3/9/16

It’s been almost a year since I’ve written about copiers here at The Imaging Channel. During that time I’ve been in the field, in the IT realm, watching office print disintegrate from the end user side of things.  It isn’t 1999 out there; companies are not buying big, 11x17 copiers as they once did and end users are not printing emails or recipes by the thousands anymore.  On the good side, end users don’t hate printers or copiers as much. Unfortunately, that’s because end users hardly, if ever, think about print.  To them, toner on paper is approaching irrelevancy.  

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Chargeback and MPS: Top Tips For a Chargeback Program

MichaelDErricoCITby Michael D'Errico | 3/7/16

Despite the move to digitization, printing still reigns as an essential office function. While this would seem to indicate the need for organizations to have a clear understanding of how much they spend on print and document-related services, the reality is that most companies have limited insight into the complexities of their document infrastructure.

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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

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/23/2016

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

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/17/2016

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

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/15/2016

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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