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

Seven Ways Millennials Can Make the Next Sales Call Better Than Their Last 

Brandon Gross

by Brandon Gross | 07/06/2016

In today’s saturated world of copier sales, it’s more important than ever that millennial copier sales reps are able to differentiate themselves. For reps entering this industry, the pressure to obtain extensive product knowledge is fierce. Speeds and feeds and knowing them better than your competition is what previous generations of reps hung their hats on for years. However, this will not serve in your best interest. The ability to stand out as someone your clients can relate to and trust, to be a true consultant when it comes to their imaging solutions, is paramount. The up-and-coming group of “millennial” sales reps in our industry are in a special position to learn from the old and bring in the new to position themselves and their dealerships with a clear, competitive advantage.

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Eight Secrets of Powerful One-on-One Meetings

Brad Roderick

by Brad Roderick | 07/05/2016

The concept is simple. Typically weekly, the supervisor and direct report get together for 30 to 60 minutes. The general purpose of one-on-one meetings is to improve communication, build relationships and coach. The meetings are scheduled in advance, include an outline or agenda and are more informal than a full review or a project update/status meeting. Doesn’t sound too tough, does it? Get together regularly, get caught up on personal and professional issues, share some information and offer a little coaching. The fact is, great one-on-one meetings are extremely simple and extraordinarily powerful. They are also rarely done well and generally held inconsistently, if at all. Simple concept, tough execution.

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Managing Millennials: How to Become the Millennial Whisperer Pt. 2

Ericka Gordon

by Ericka Gordon | 06/29/2016

Millennial managers are still dropping knowledge. Last month we talked about how to keep your millennial employees motivated. This time around we’re covering tips and tricks for the management process overall.

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How Predictive are Your Analytics?

Sarah Custer

by Sarah Custer | 06/27/2016

“Predictive Analytics” is a very popular buzzword right now. Many are talking about it as the next big thing for their businesses, and some in MPS are hoping it will be a silver bullet for automated supplies replenishment. I was recently preparing for a presentation about supplies management and predictive analytics and realized, like many things in our industry, there are varying definitions and opinions on the exact meaning.

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HP's Printing Sales Model Update: It's Only $450 Million

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 06/23/2016

On June 21, HP Inc., in what the company billed as an “Update [to] Its Printing Sales Model,” announced that it was taking a charge of $225M in both Q3 and Q4 of this year – about $450M in total – that reflects a move to reduce channel inventory of printer supplies; essentially the company is taking back/buying back almost one-half billion dollars in supplies from its channel partners. In Q2, the company reported $3,099B in supplies sales, continuing a declining sales trajectory that has been quite evident:

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Are You Relevant?

Eric Stavola

by Eric Stavola | 06/22/2016

Ever do as I do and Google nonsense late into the night? Recently I was late-night Googling and came across an article that stated Fortune magazine released its first list of top 500 companies in 1955, and of that list of 500 companies only 61 are still in business today. That’s a relevance rate of only 12 percent. Please don’t check my math, just go with it, but the key here is relevance — 439 companies stopped being relevant. This concept of relevance and our industry keeps coming to mind.

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Is A4 Finally the Homecoming King?

Patricia Ames

by Patricia Ames | 06/20/2016

Lexmark unveiled a slew of new equipment at their recent dealer event in Ft. Lauderdale , FL and showcased an impressive array of workflow solutions from their Kofax and Readsoft brands. If you’d like to read more about solutions, Senior Analyst Amy Weiss does an excellent job of covering Lexmark’s flagship TotalAgility refresh in Workflow here, and if you haven’t read my interview with former Kofax CEO and current VP of Lexmark International and President of Lexmark Enterprise Software Reynolds Bish, take a look – he’s at the forefront of their digital transformation efforts.

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Marketing Printing, Not Printers – HP Software Enhancements Improve Mobile, Security, Chromebook Integration, MPS Tools

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 06/13/2016

In HP’s recent Q2 earnings conference call, President and CEO Dion Weisler commented on “the work we are doing around marketing to stimulate printing demand. We are shifting our marketing efforts from marketing printers to marketing printing.”

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Seat-Based Billing: The Future of Managed Print

Luke Goldberg

by Luke Goldberg | 06/08/2016

Stop me if you’ve heard this before — our product is becoming commoditized. We need to find a new way to sell; a way to package our goods and services to create value and differentiate ourselves from the competition.

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The Next Level of the SMB Security Business

Marc Winter

by Marc Winter | 06/06/2016

Cyber security has become a big deal for small business – and it’s becoming an important initiative. The managed customers signed to MSP contracts today and in the last 12 months will uncover data breaches that they assumed you were protecting them from. If there has ever been a time in the IT business to be proactive about a service, that time is now.

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Managing Millennials: How to Become the Millennial Whisperer, Pt. 1

Ericka Gordon

by Ericka Gordon | 06/01/2016

A manager’s job is to train the next generation. They want us to know how to sit, shake, stand and even roll over. As young millennials we’re sort of like puppies. We’re still trying to figure out how to adult and unfortunately we put up a lot of resistance along the way. I asked a handful of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers how they manage to keep their millennial employees motivated throughout this training process and got some valuable feedback. I’ll start things off with this great quote from a woman I spoke with.

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Kyocera’s FY 17 Dealer Meeting: Applications and Acceleration

Amy Weiss

by Amy Weiss | 05/24/2016

Here’s a fact: You’re not going to attend a dealer meeting and hear doom and gloom, negative stories and “we are not launching any new products this year.” Dealer meetings are, by nature, positive, exciting, and full of new ideas and product launches that will pump up the dealers and create enthusiasm over the year to come.

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Q&A With Mohan Sethi, Collabtic

Patricia Ames

by Patricia Ames | 05/23/2016

Mohan Sethi is the inventor and founder behind Collabtic, a new collaboration platform for service technicians in the printing and imaging industry. Sethi is not new to the game; his career has been focused on field service for more than 20 years, first as an electrical officer on commercial ships, then in the automotive service industry. Now, he is dedicated to applying his field service and software development experience to develop and deploy a new collaboration platform for service technicians. Collabtic is a powerful way to make any service process more efficient, but it is an especially promising tool for service techs in the imaging industry.

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Maximizing the Value of Digital Marketing ROI

Aaron Dyck

by Aaron Dyck | 05/16/2016

Knowing where to find your audience is key to making that important connection with your prospect. More and more of today's buyers can be found online, making digital marketing the most relevant method of promoting B2B products and services. In order to see the true benefit, however, you'll need to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Read on to learn more about why digital marketing ROI is so valuable, and why outsourcing this vital task to the experts could make the most sense. 

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Hard Copy Makers Speak in Unison: Business Ain’t Great, and the Outlook Isn’t Much Better

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 05/12/2016

If you have spent any time reviewing the latest quarterly and/or annual financial reports from almost all the major OEMs in the printer/copier industry, you can’t help but be affected by the overall downbeat performance shown by these companies – and their less than enthusiastic comments about what the future may hold for their firms.

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Is Mobile Printing Putting Your Information at Risk?

Anthony Dupree

by Anthony Dupree | 05/09/2016

With the rise of mobile workers and the demand for convenience, employees expect to be able to print anytime, anywhere from any smart, connected device. Businesses are moving quickly to meet employees’ needs and are implementing mobile print solutions. If proper actions and protocols are not taken, your solution could end up causing you more problems, such as security breaches and non-compliance issues.

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In Praise of Incompletion

Brad Roderick

by Brad Roderick | 05/05/2016

Some years ago, I was in a small town in southern Mexico enjoying time as a tourist. I'd spent the day doing all the things tourists aren't supposed to do. I'd wandered around areas off of any beaten path, I'd eaten food prepared in, let's say, a very rudimentary manner, and enjoyed a cold drink with no regard to the ice that the bottles had been sitting in. I wasn't completely clueless or entirely ignorant of potential consequences. Foolish? Maybe. Sometimes there's a certain degree of risk in great adventure. I saw shrimp that were being raised in canals and termite tubes the size of subway tunnels. I felt mosquitoes the size of small planes and marveled at the sudden expanse of beach as I stepped out of the jungle. I rode in the back of a truck with nothing more than a hand loop to keep passengers from getting ejected as it zoomed down a highway. And now, a few years later, its funny what sights remain the clearest, what memories remain the strongest.

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Our Ideal Office Culture: Millennials Speak

Ericka Gordon

by Ericka Gordon | 05/02/2016

Your office culture can make or break you in the eyes of millennials. Typically, people spend more time at their office than they do at home during the week, so when accepting a job offer we want to make sure the office is an environment we can enjoy. For Part 2 of my Millennials Speak series I talked with some of my peers to find out what a millennial’s ideal office culture is. This diverse group of millennials come from a variety of professional backgrounds, but there was a consistent tone across the board. Here are the five must haves:

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A Tale of Two Xeroxes

John McIntyre

by John McIntyre | 04/26/2016

The imaging and printing industry is undergoing a period of profound transition, a transition driven by seemingly irreversible technological shifts in the principal business model which has served the industry for half a century. Among many, the changes include:

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Is Managed Print Services Making a Comeback?

Greg Walters

by Greg Walters | 04/25/2016

Back in the day, about four years ago, every OEM, large dealership, consultant and training house had a managed print services program. Indeed, the big concerns tossed millions of marketing dollars at prospective MPS practices — remember the great Oki motorcycle giveaways and those Ricoh MPS roadshows? How about the Photizo conferences?

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