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

IT Growth in 2016

by Marc Winter | 1/6/16

As we kick off 2016, IT providers are set to implement their best-laid plans to drive growth over 2015. Many have done some research into trends, aligned their businesses to mimic the competitors that they believe are successful or will just push forward with 2015 initiatives. Do you believe turning the calendar to a new year provides the opportunity to “reset” or that fulfilling the trending needs of clients is an ongoing part of your business?

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Yogi Berra on Channel Strategy for The Printing Industry Part 2 — Transactional Selling

by Doug Johnson | 12/28/15

In mylast blog, I hypothesized that the printing and imaging market is bifurcating and affecting all points of the value chain.  Economic buyers in the (near) future will either buy in transactional, commodity-like ways, OR they are buying outsourced services.  The former is often done by functional-level and below decision makers while the latter is done by C-level decision makers. 

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A Millennial’s Opinion

by Ericka Gordon | 12/21/15

It’s a curse and a blessing to be a millennial in the workforce. It’s a curse because no one takes you seriously. Everyone assumes you don’t know what you’re doing and even worse, that you don’t care to learn. Well, I’ve got four years of higher education that suggest otherwise. Matter of fact, as a millennial, the struggle to convince someone you’re worth hiring is enough to make you consider going back to school to learn even more. But, it’s a blessing because everyone wants to know your thoughts. No one can deny the fact that 
millennials’ opinions are relevant. If millennials’ opinions weren’t relevant, I wouldn’t have been asked to write this column. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Here comes that sense of entitlement.” But does it count if it’s true?

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Time to Step Up Our Environmental Strategies

by Steven Pearl 12/17/15

Sustainability has been a hot button with customers in the imaging industry for years, with vendors offering lower-energy-use products, utilizing safer manufacturing methods and offering environmentally responsible waste-collection programs. Of course, having to meet more stringent government requirements and certifications were critical driving factors for these improvements, but it has trickled down to our customers, who are now more sensitive than ever regarding sustainability-related issues. Well, we can all expect to step it up a notch. Now that the Global Climate Accord has been passed, it would be wise to anticipate an even greater interest and sensitivity to the environmental impact of imaging-related products and services. Basically, expect 2016 to be a watershed, sustainable year, and it would make sense to start getting ready now, before customers begin asking about issues related to reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. 

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Sharp Charts Course for the Future at National Dealer Meeting in San Antonio

by | 12/10/2015

by Robert Palmer | 12/10/15

Sharp’s National Dealer Meeting, held December 3–6 at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, was a whirlwind of activity from beginning to end. It was an important event for Sharp given the firm’s recent financial difficulties. Despite continued strong performance from its Business Solutions group, Sharp has struggled financially while transitioning from a consumer-oriented business to that of a B2B-focused company. As a result, there has been no shortage of news, speculation, and rumor surrounding Sharp’s long-term prospects since its last dealer meeting two years ago.

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Oh By the Way, HP Inc.’s Digital Capture Launch Also Includes Two New A3s for MPS

Amy Weiss

by Amy Weiss | 12/10/2015

On December 3, HP Inc. announced a series of new products and solutions, including two new JetAdvantage solutions, three new scanners, and two new A3 MFPs. We have talked about the scan and capture solutions extensively over at Workflow, but for the purposes of this publication we wanted to take a closer look at what was an interesting hardware launch for the newly formed HP Inc. — the HP MFP S965dn and HP MFP S975dn.

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HP’s Final Earnings Results as a Combined Company Indicate Tough Road Ahead

by Robert Palmer | 11/25/15

On November 24, Hewlett-Packard Company announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 and fourth quarter ended October 31, 2015. The firm noted that Q4 was the final quarter in which Hewlett-Packard operated as one combined company. The separation into two independently traded public companies was completed on November 1.

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Unicorns, Server-less Printing and Other Myths

by Martin de Martini | 11/18/15

In the venture investment community, aunicorn is a startup company whose valuation has exceeded $1 billion. Similar to its fairy book meaning – a legendary creature never seen – we are drawn to it in the hopes that it is really true. More often than not, however, something too good to be true is found to be less than promised.

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Muckawanna

by Patricia Ames | 11/16/15

Many, many moons ago when I was in college living what now seems to have been a glorious carefree life, I had the great pleasure in taking part in a spring festival we called “Muckawanna.” When the days started getting warm again and the specter of finals was still many weeks away, there would be a day of ridiculously childish behavior that was absolutely cathartic. 

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Kyocera Partners with Biscom and DocuWare for New Integrated MFP Solutions

by Robert Palmer | 11/11/15

On November 10, Kyocera Document Solutions America (KDA) announced it has partnered with Biscom and DocuWare to introduce new solutions aimed at helping organizations gain better control over business-critical information.

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Mobile Shift — The Ecosystem of Hoteling

by Toni DuGal | 11/9/15

The facts are in: As laptops, smartphones and tablets proliferate, they have created an era of mobile workers. This shift in the paradigm has made mobile productivity a business necessity for a company to remain competitive in this market. Many organizations have implemented new mobile work policies in an effort to attract more workers looking for increased flexibility.

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Rumors Fly as Major OEMs Explore Strategic Alternatives

by Robert Palmer | 10/28/15

Following earnings announcements for hard copy vendors these days is very much like listening to a broken record. Currency fluctuations, market headwinds, softening demand, competitive pressures; these terms have become part and parcel when it comes to explaining the challenges facing most imaging OEMs today. The need to cut costs combined with an ongoing shift from paper to digital display has resulted in reduced spending on print in both the consumer and business sectors — and the pain is beginning to show.   

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Being the Person Who Has What It Takes

by Brad Roderick | 10/28/15

As a kid, who didn’t love Halloween? You got to stay up late, run through the neighborhood, and annoy people by ringing their doorbells and screaming at them — and they rewarded you with candy! But the best part of it was that we got to be our favorite superhero.

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Is Your Managed IT Business Model Up To Date?

by Marc Winter | 10/26/15

Managed IT services has been a fairly recent target growth area in the copier space, yet the managed IT services business has actually been around for about 20 years. MSPs exploded onto the market in the mid to late 90s as the volatile tech bubble sent thousands of IT techs into the ranks of the unemployed. As companies shifted IT to an outsourced model, early MSPs reaped the benefits of “green field” opportunities and a huge supply of qualified techs. Buyers had fewer providers and services to choose from, meaning the MSP business model easily delivered high profit margins per seat, server and billable hour. By 1998, the MSP market started to take off. What else was happening in 1998?

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Lexmark Showcases New Customer Engagement Center at Lexington Analyst Event

by Robert Palmer | 10/21/15

I was privileged to attend a Lexmark analyst briefing held last week in Lexington, Kentucky.  With only a handful of press and industry analysts in attendance, the event offered unique insight into Lexmark’s ongoing strategy as it continues its transformation from a hardware vendor to that of a solutions company. At the same time, Lexmark used the event to showcase its beautiful new Customer Engagement Center.

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Yogi Berra on Channel Strategy for the Printing Industry

by Doug Johnson | 10/19/15

For good or bad, I’ve been in this industry a long time — from the early days of the HP LaserJet printer, where we signed up just about anyone who could fog a mirror to resell our products, until now, providing consulting to companies at all points in the value chain.  In between, I worked for an MPS reseller, provided industry consulting and training, and worked for a printing supplies distributor. If the printing industry’s value chain was a bingo card, I’m pretty close to shouting “BINGO” and taking home some really cool industry conference swag.

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Selling to the SMB - A Dealer Perspective

by Patricia Ames | 10/13/15

In conjunction with our “Selling to the SMB” October issue ofThe Imaging Channel, I had the opportunity to interview the always entertaining and remarkably insightful Chris Taylor, President and CEO of Fisher’s Technology based in Boise, ID. As you will see, the SMB is right in their sweet spot and Chris had plenty to share with us! Join me for this online exclusive.

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Executive Corner: Jacques-Edouard Gueden, Xerox

The Imaging Channel’s October issue focuses on the SMB, and we had the chance to interview Jacques-Edouard Gueden, Senior Vice President, Channel Strategy & Operations, Channel Partner Operations, Xerox for this special online feature. Read the October issue of The Imaging Channel to find out how the industry is tackling this growing sector.

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HP Targets Security Breaches With Latest Enterprise-Class Machines

by Robert Palmer | 10/1/15

On September 22, HP introduced three new LaserJet machines aimed at the enterprise sector. The new models deliver a host of capabilities that help set them apart from previous HP products. To begin with, HP’s latest printers and MFPs are all based on the firm’s JetIntelligence cartridge technology, which was introduced earlier this year. As a result, each of the new machines has a smaller overall footprint and offers faster print speeds compared with its predecessor.

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The Next Big Thing in Mobile Is Still Mobile

by Martin de Martini | 9/30/15

IT managers have come to realize that there is no doom and gloom around BYOD initiatives. The stats support this. Gartner estimates that by 2017, the typical organization will support more employees using their personal smartphones and tablets than enterprise-supplied devices. They’ve seen the future and it still involves a mobile device. For the organization, the selling point of BYOD is that it is more cost effective than desktops, productivity will increase and employees will be happier.

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