January 2015

by Patricia Ames

The Imaging Channel sat down with Doug Albregts, president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) at the Executive Connection Summit in Scottsdale and learned that “laid back” can be quite irresistible. Join me in the SpeakEasy.

by Amy Weiss

Among the many articles written about the Executive Connection Summit last October (and there were many, many articles, recaps, blogs and more), there was a great deal of focus on the bigger concepts, connections and companies highlighted at the event. And all of that was well worth the focus — companies like Cisco, SAP, Samsung, Sharp, and OKI are huge, and their presenters were excellent.  But also key to the Executive Connection Summit is a group of companies known collectively as Technology United (TU), and it was this group that perhaps best exemplifies what can be achieved when thought leaders, movers, and shakers come together.

by Robert Palmer

In some respects, the office imaging and printing business in 2014 was not so different from any other year recently. Hardware prices declined steadily. Print volumes in most segments waned as paper gives ground to digital display. Inkjet continued its persistent march into the office workgroup. The transition to solutions and services fueled by a steady diet of mobile and cloud-enabled applications leads the industry’s efforts to expand beyond hardware. Everyone is dealing with the impact of mergers, acquisitions, and various market entrants and exits.

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

While some higher-tier market segments have snapped back to life since the recession, the low end of the market has never fully recovered, and it’s doubtful it ever will. The reasons why are well documented and they’re hardly new: Wireless technology has driven down hardware shipments by putting an end to the requirement that each home computer be tethered to its own printing device. Other new technologies like smartphones and tablets have helped eliminate — or at least greatly reduce — the need to print many documents, which has lowered cartridge consumption.

by Michael Howard, HP

A company’s IT environment is an often-overlooked gold mine for increasing productivity and enhancing workflow.  An effective IT environment offers the foundational organization every business needs, from document management to data information sorting and storage. And underutilizing it isn’t just ineffective – it’s costly. An enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5 million per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.

by West McDonald, PrintAudit

I’ve trained a lot of sales reps over the years in the art and science of conducting assessments. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from my students is how hard it is to get any real cost information when you’re doing an assessment. Everything up to asking for pricing tends to go pretty smoothly, and then bam! The cost wall comes out of nowhere. It can sometimes feel like you are asking for their first born child or doing something illegal. The worst part is that real cost information has such a huge impact on whether or not a customer will buy into the results of your completed assessment.

by Jordan Darragh, PrintReleaf

When I sat down to both research and outline my thoughts in preparation for writing this article, I looked back at all the recent blogs, news articles, and industry magazine columns I had saved, bookmarked, or read in the last six months. I figured this exercise would give me a pulse and representation of “new technologies” in our industry … and it did. However, while combing over headlines and digging into details I kept coming back to one simple question: What is “our industry”?

by Toni DuGal, Novitex

With major computing trends today’s norm – Mobile, Internet of Things, Big Data – it’s hard to imagine the Managed Print Services (MPS) of the past and how MPS revenues reached $18.9 billion in 2013, according to the Photizo Group. Over the past 15 years, the MPS market has changed dramatically from the number and types of vendors who offered MPS to how those vendors systematically removed the human element from MPS – severely hampering client relationships. To understand why the market took that drastic shift and the steps it needs to take to become human again, we first need to take a trip down memory lane.

by Lindsay Kelley, Dealer Marketing

Let’s explore practical tips you can implement right now to engage prospects and convert them into highly qualified leads. What do you do once you’re on LinkedIn? Evolving from a copier dealer to a managed IT services dealer is no small feat. The industry as a whole is in transition. That transition makes sense to those of us inside the industry; however, to the outside prospect, there is a perception and stigma that comes with a copier dealer. What does that mean for you as a dealer owner? It means that you need to quickly make that transition from a company that has traditionally sold a box to one that provides valuable IT services that, oh by the way, offers copiers as well. Copiers may be the dealer’s bread and butter, but IT services are the future.