Features

Independent editorial coverage on the latest hot topics in managed print.

Connecting SMBs With the Digitization Tools They Need – and Can Afford

xerox lgsqBy Leah Quesada, Xerox

While it’s true that large enterprises often have more eye-catching budgets, channel partners shouldn’t overlook small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). SMBs employ more than half of the U.S. population, drive innovation, and create about two of every three new jobs.  They are a critical part of the channel partner sales base and desire what enterprises want in terms of security, mobility, customization, productivity, and above all else, digitization. The trick is figuring out what tools and solutions partners can offer SMBs that meet their budgets. 

.

Why Outsource Inbound Marketing? Why Should Your Customers Outsource Print Fleet Management?

duhonBy Bryant Duhon, Prospect Builder

We get some variation of these questions frequently: “We’ve been in business for [insert number of decades here]. We have a marketing staff. Why should we outsource our inbound marketing strategy?” At times, we’ve stumbled over trying to figure out exactly how to answer that. The obvious reasons are to “rent” expertise you don’t have and because you (or your staff) doesn’t have the time to either develop the expertise or devote the time to implementing a strategy (after all, strategy without implementation is useless).

.

Augmented Reality 101: Introduction to Marketing’s Future

muratec 150By Andrew Jones, Muratec America Inc.

At a recent industry event, attendees got a brief augmented reality introduction, learning what augmented reality is and how it may eventually affect the communication dynamic between brand and customer. Enterprise level organizations, such as IKEA, Jose Cuervo and Heineken, have already embraced this new technology in successful campaigns. It’s just a matter of time before augmented reality moves downstream to SMBs. Office equipment dealers have a great opportunity to familiarize themselves with this new technology in its early stages (i.e., today) and play an integral part in SMB adoption.

.

Are Business Inkjet and the SMB the Perfect Match?

Epson 150By Larry Trevarthen, Epson America

The small-to-medium business (SMB) market has provided a large, yet complicated opportunity for dealers and vendors. The SMB segment has more diverse needs and less infrastructure support compared to the large enterprise segment, and therefore requires more support from their vendor partners. While SMB customers can be more agile in their decision making due to their smaller size, technology implementations can be time consuming due to the level of assistance required. Therefore, it is critical for SMBs to develop strong channel relationships to find a solution customized for their needs. 

.

Proactively Prospecting for Sales Growth

Roderick TICBy Brad Roderick, TonerCycle/InkCycle

The pressure is real. The competition is intense. And the statistics, egads! Buyers don’t need you. Buyers know more about you than you do. Half of B2B buyers are going to buy over the web, which is becoming the most popular channel for purchases. 

.

How the Cloud and SaaS Can Help the SMB Run Like the Enterprise

samsung lgsqBy Eddie Castillo, Samsung Electronics America

Everybody wants to land a whale. And why not? Since today’s technology is much more easily demonstrated than explained, it makes it even easier to land a big sale with an enterprise customer. Based on the centralized, hierarchical structure of larger businesses, it can be much easier to demonstrate the power of groundbreaking technology and impress a single customer; whereas with SMBs, you often have to put in much more time and legwork to match the volume of your larger clients (and many times they are not the type to spring for the bleeding edge). If the sum of all of your accounts with 10 small businesses equals the same as the revenue you collect from a single, large account — and it takes a relatively shorter time to make the sale to your larger customer — then why would you even bother with the little guys? 

.

Speakeasy: ‘I Am Business, First and Foremost’ — Q&A With Mike Feldman

MikeFeldmanby Patricia Ames

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Feldman, corporate executive vice president and president of North America Operations at Xerox, during the Executive Connection Summit hosted by MWA Intelligence and Technology United. Feldman is a seasoned executive with broad experience within two giants of the channel – HP and currently Xerox. The war for market share is on — join me in the SpeakEasy and learn how the battlefield is taking shape.

.

Channel Chat: Securing the Office

by | 05/30/2017

channelchatIn case you hadn’t heard, security is kind of a big thing right now. Securing the office is one thing, but securing all the devices in the office is another. The insecure network can be deadly to business, so we asked some industry experts for their input on some of the top security concerns for today’s office.

.

The Wild West of Imaging Device Security

by | 05/30/2017

Samsung securityby Eddie Castillo, Samsung Electronics America

Among the many devices connected to a typical corporate network — computers, cell phones, tablets, theoffice coffee machine — it appears that most folks forget about their printers, scanners, and MFPs when it comes to security. Or at least that’s what the findings from The Ponemon Institute’s study, “The Insecurity of Network-Connected Printers,” would suggest. The study revealed that “56 percent of companies ignore printers in their endpoint security strategy” while 66 percent fail “to establish and enforce printer security policies that are consistently applied across the enterprise.” 

.

The Importance of Securing the Office: Three Vulnerabilities That Are Putting Your Customers at Risk

by | 05/30/2017

Continuum TICby Michael Amiri, Continuum

Today’s cybersecurity and threat landscape is evolving rapidly, and small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly seen as “easy targets” that are ill-equipped to identify and mitigate the growing number and variety of attacks being carried out. 
While some businesses have begun deploying basic infrastructure or endpoint protection solutions, the reality is that today’s hackers are continuously developing new means of gaining entry to systems and networks—including through peripheral devices, social engineering or phishing schemes, viruses and malware, and others. 

.

Is Office Equipment Security Finally Getting The Attention It Deserves?

by | 05/30/2017

Canon TICby Dennis Amorosano, Canon U.S.A.

With security breaches and cyberattacks plaguing businesses at an increasing pace, security becomes even more prominent on the corporate agenda. These challenges are compounded by technology advancements, which have a positive impact on productivity yet raise concerns for where, how and by whom information is accessed. It is surprising then that a subtle yet potentially vulnerable area has not historically received as much attention by the majority of organizations – enabling security functions on and around traditional office technology (printers and MFPs in particular).

.

An Office at Risk: Securing Your Most Unsuspecting Asset, The Printer

by | 05/30/2017

HP TICby Christoph Schell, HP Inc.

Earlier this year, a printer prank using an unsecured printer circulated around the internet, sparking conversation and laughs — but this is a serious issue impacting offices around the globe. The reality is, in an age where security breaches are becoming an unfortunate and everyday occurrence, organizations are scrambling to ensure they have safeguards in place to better prepare for the inevitable. While measures are frequently in place to prevent unauthorized building access or privileged access to the network, one area that is often overlooked is the network-connected printer. 

.

Beyond the Breach: Securing Your IT Through Employee Awareness

by | 05/30/2017

Konica TICby Andreas Krebs, Konica Minolta

Not even the most expensive security system can help you if you can’t “patch” your business’s greatest cybersecurity vulnerability: your staff. Research paints a sobering picture: according to a study by the Identity Management Institute, more than 90 percent of cyber attacks are only possible through information stolen from employees.

.

The Super Scary, Increasingly Prevalent and All-Too-Real Threat of Ransomware

by | 05/30/2017

Ransomware TICby Amy Weiss, The Imaging Channel

A quick disclaimer to start things off: ransomware is a topic that is almost impossible to keep current on. Just like a new car loses value as soon as it’s driven off the lot, by the time ink meets paper on a magazine’s pages the ransomware field will have changed. This article was started just before the WannaCry ransomware outbreak hit the British National Health Service (NHS), eventually infecting (as of this writing) more than 75,000 users in 99 countries. Think technology changes fast? Market leadership in ransomware changes faster than you can say “cybersecurity.” So what facts can we count on to remain relatively solid? Let’s take a look.

.

Three Hardware Trends Affecting the Channel Today

Hardware trendsby Amy Weiss, The Imaging Channel

When it comes to the course of the office imaging market, there is a constant ebb and flow, with any number of trends to point to as the cause. Ancillary or adjacent markets such as production and label printing are taking hold with many dealers, digital convergence is affecting print volumes and creating shifts into the software and “everything-as-a-service” arena, and talk of the paperless office continues to inform almost every move. And yet, in the face of change and occasional decline, the hardware market itself continues to chug along. There are many factors affecting this; here we take a look at just three of the major trends affecting the hardware channel in 2017.

.

Cutting The Cord: Wireless Scanning Delivers Big Time Benefits in the DX Economy

Kodak 150by Sid Bhattacharya, Kodak Alaris Information Management

Digital transformation, or DX, is set to continue dominating boardroom conversations. In fact, analyst group IDC forecasts that by the end of this year, two-thirds of the CEOs of global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy.

.

Executive Corner: Jim D’Emidio President at Muratec America Inc.

Jim DEmidioby Patricia Ames, The Imaging Channel

Early last year, Muratec America, a traditionally office-equipment-centric division of Japan’s Murata Machinery Ltd., announced its entry into the label printer market. We suspected then the firm may have found an interesting new market to explore, and have kept an eye on the venture. A little over a year after that initial launch, we caught up with Muratec America President Jim D’Emidio. 

.

The Value of Print Revisited

Konica 150by Erik Holdo, Konica Minolta

Up until very recently, the opportunity for production printing devices has been relatively static.  The commercial print marketplace has consolidated, overall image quality has improved, turnaround times have lessened. At the same time, specialty substrates, spot colors (including metallics, white, etc.) and variable print have provided some market opportunity for those selling and using production devices. However, have we really added value to print? Or have we just been getting better and faster at producing the same old product?

.

Hardware Trends That Help Modern Workflow

Canon 150by Hiro Imamura, Canon U.S.A. Inc.

The enterprise continues to be transformed by the changing workforce, their expectation that the method of exchanging information in a business environment needs to be as convenient as it is on their personal devices, and the sheer pace of technological change. In particular, employees who have grown up with Web 2.0, the growth of cloud-based services, advances in smart devices and increased applications for artificial intelligence are laying the foundation for the next generation of enterprise IT. The foundational changes wrought by these movements demand that enterprises adapt and respond to avoid being left behind with an outdated, legacy-laden IT architecture.

.

Unlikely Hardware Trends – Scanners, Apps and User Interfaces

Scannerby Patricia Ames, The Imaging Channel

As digital transformation continues to grab hold of more and more businesses, paper usage continues to decline. But don’t let this dip fool you — there is still paper at play. A lot of it. Just because you stopped using paper doesn’t mean the rest of the world did too. And then, even if we are truly going digital, all of that existing paper has to be digitized somehow. 

.