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

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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A Few Thoughts on HP’s ‘Disruptive’ Announcement – Part 1

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 09/15/2016

We just witnessed one of the most momentous days in the history of the printing and imaging industry – September 12, 2016, the day HP announced it was buying Samsung's printer division, and, that it was once again launching a new offensive whose target was to disrupt and capture share in what HP calls the “$55B Copier Market.” The reverberations from the September 12 announcements will ripple through our industry at every level for the next five years at least, and provides tons of food for thought. Here are a few servings (with many more to come).

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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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Konica Minolta Takes its Dealers ‘Rocky Mountain High’ for its 2016 Dealer Meeting

Amy Weiss

by Amy Weiss | 09/12/2016

I felt it would be clichéd to use the term “Rocky Mountain High” in my recap of the Konica Minolta 2016 dealer event held in Aspen, and so I almost didn’t do it. But every time I sat down to write, it was there in my head – and in my defense I used “New York Groove” as my theme for coverage of the firm’s 2014 New York analyst meeting, so let’s just say that rather than being clichéd, I’m honoring a personal tradition here.

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HP Launches JetAdvantage App Portal for Print

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 09/09/2016

If you are a printer company and make money when users print and consume your ink and toner, it behooves you to:

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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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HP’s Q3: The (Down) Beat Goes On

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 08/31/2016

For those who have watched HP Inc.’s performance for a while, especially since last year’s separation from what became the Hewlett Packard Enterprise entity, not many would expect the firm’s low-margin PC operation to be its shining light in a quarterly report during a period when the overall PC market continues to be mired in the doldrums – but go figure.

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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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