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

Ricoh Convergence 2016: Smart Operations, Apps, Verticals and (Very) Interactive Whiteboards

Patricia Ames

by Patricia Ames | 12/05/2016

Ricoh pulled out all the stops at their latest dealer meeting in late October in Las Vegas. Called Convergence, the event gathered a big crowd of about 1,400 guests, including yours truly. Convergence focused on the company's plan to collaborate with dealers to help mitigate the changing work environment impacted by technological disruption. Ricoh’s plan includes sharing resources and expertise with their dealers, as well as equipping them with new technology their customers need in today’s business environment. Ultimately, the company aims to help dealers take advantage and succeed in the changing document imaging environment.

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Driving Business Outcomes Versus Chasing Technology

Eric Stavola

by Eric Stavola | 11/28/2016

With all the talk of businesses needing to adapt to a connected world, digital leadership roles are on the rise. I believe over the next few years that these roles will be evolving as company executives learn what is required today in order to thrive in what market research firm Gartner calls the “digital cultural revolution.”

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The People Side of Security

Erich Kron

by Erich Kron | 11/16/2016

Often, information security focuses on technical solutions to combat cyber threats. While technical controls are important, it is at least as important to remember the users in the fight against cyber criminals.

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Five Questions to Get Print Conversations Restarted in 2017

Henning Volkmer

by Henning Volkmer | 11/14/2016

Are your customers avoiding conversations around printing? It’s likely because they feel there are no interesting ideas to pursue that would really drive their business. A private cloud enterprise print solution is your ticket to breaking through this perception in the upcoming year.

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The New Adventures of Old Xerox – Part 1

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 11/08/2016

In what will be the last quarterly report before the company splits, on October 28 Xerox released its third quarter earnings report and delivered more details about the pending spinoff of its business services group, to be named Conduent. The company stated that the separation work was proceeding as previously announced, and that the spinoff and creation of Conduent would be accomplished before the end of 2016 – so sometime in the next seven weeks. Considering that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are included in that end-of-year period, a lot of midnight oil will be burned by the Xerox team in pursuit of completing the task at hand.

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Modern MPS: Are You Tracking Machines or Users?

Luke Goldberg

by Luke Goldberg | 11/07/2016

At one time, when print management was in its infancy, the most important considerations for an organization implementing it were “how do I collect the page counts,” “how do I account for cost per page” and “how much should I charge?” While these are still valid questions, they are not indicative of today’s mature managed print services (MPS) market, which has moved well beyond the initial value propositions of reduced costs and optimized printer fleets. Today’s MPS platform, in fact, transcends even the device itself, and is frequently concerned with user management.

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Optimizing Printer Deployments for Mid-Market Businesses

Steve Feldstein

by Steve Feldstein | 11/02/2016

For decades, business professionals and societal commentators have entertained the idea of a paperless office. While it is clear that electronic processes have significantly transformed business workflows, it is also evident that most offices are still far from being paperless. Print is a time-tested way for important information to be absorbed, communicated, and organized. It continues to offer benefits around comprehension, convenience, and simplicity. As a result, businesses large and small still rely heavily on print, and often on devices with the added ability to scan, integrate with business systems and connect with cloud services.

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Building a Successful Managed Print Practice Just Got Easier

Miles Jobgen

by Miles Jobgen | 10/31/2016

“Know what’s in your toolbox.” My calculus teacher was fond of this mantra. Sometimes, an equation could be simplified with a basic algebraic concept instead of a more complex formula. But if you didn’t know what “tools” you had, getting stuck for days became a very real possibility. By being aware of all of the things at your disposal, finding a solution becomes a more routine exercise.

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Being the Office Newbie

Ericka Gordon

by Ericka Gordon | 10/26/2016

Being the newbie at work is intimidating. Fresh out of school, you really don’t know anything about how things actually work in your field. There’s a huge gap between education and the workforce, but that’s a massive topic that I wont get into today. So yes, as I was saying, you have no clue what you’re doing. You wake up earlier than you did for those dreadful 8 a.m. classes, you dress up like an adult hoping no one will notice you’re an imposter, you sit in that awful traffic your parents used to complain so much about and spend eight hours trying not to leave the entire office with the impression that you’re a complete idiot. That’s a lot of pressure.

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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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Interning: An Inside Look

Ericka Gordon

by Ericka Gordon | 09/30/2016

There are many different types of internships. They range from fetching other people’s coffee to having the chance to get your hands on real work. I even came across an internship that allots one lucky applicant the opportunity to travel literally anywhere they want around the world (I’m talking multiple locations here) for two months. They called it an unternship. The person selected gets to map out their own adventure to gain real-world experience outside of a cubicle on the company’s dime.

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A Few Thoughts on HP’s 'Disruptive' Announcement — Part 2: Ripples on the Imaging Industry Pond

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 09/30/2016

After HP hurled two pebbles (maybe big boulders?) into the imaging industry pond in mid-September, the ripples are expanding. We presented our initial thoughts on the announcement in the first part of this series, as well as in a webinar, which you can view here.

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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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