Features

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

The Platform

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/14/2014

by Jake Fishman, gap Intelligence

I may be young compared to many of my peers in the office imaging analyst community, but my approach to the channels and technologies that I track can be pretty old school. Even as a growing share of my analysis shifts to services and solutions, I’m still drawn to the tangibility of speeds, feeds and CPCs. I remain fascinated by how they play into the sales strategies that have evolved from decades of reps hustling to close a deal or flip a box.

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Your Customers Are Talking; Are You Listening?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/14/2014

by Robert Palmer

As the imaging market continues to migrate to a services-led model, there are noticeable changes occurring in all facets of the business. Products themselves are evolving from feature-driven output devices to application-driven platforms designed more for information management than simply printing pages. As a result, equipment manufacturers have revised their approach to the market by rationalizing product lines to limit overlap and address more customers with fewer models.

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HP and Lexmark Battle Over Office Market With a Bevy of New Machines

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Charles Brewer | Actionable Intelligence

Back in October Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark unveiled a remarkable number of new machines aimed at the office. It appears that the two firms independently decided that there will be some recovery in the office equipment market in the new year and they’d better have the goods to take advantage of any pent-up demand.

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HP Goes With the Flow

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Jim Lyons

On October 30, HP made a major, headline-grabbing printer announcement, which included a number of new products and solutions for small, medium and large businesses. And while the traditional view of such an announcement might typically focus more on the hardware, it’s the “solution” side of the story that piques the interest of those close to the business, who note HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group’s (PPSG) strengthened concentration on forward-looking areas.

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New Technologies in MPS for 2013

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Greg Walters | Walters & Shutwell

Johannes Gutenberg understood it has always been about communications — not simply marks on paper: “It is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams.... A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine.”

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Print's Power Problems and Power Players

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

In many a class I took over the years, scientific principles and theories were taught and, if possible, demonstrated. I remember being most intrigued by the elements of those concepts that remained unalterable, true. Often, such elements were absolute — black or white — but because of this, they were also eternally relegated to the realm of idea versus experience — purely conceptual, though presumably real. Absolute zero: a temperature that can never be reached, even in the coldest parts of outer space. Infinity: an endless quantity of space, time or both that simply can’t be bound, because to give it boundaries would be to limit it, and to limit it would go against its very essence.

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TypeHaus Takes on Health Care Issues

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

Well, it’s official: Health care is forever changed. Don’t worry — this reference isn’t political. The changes I’m speaking of are with respect to all those forms, documents, records and other paper miscellany that accompany a visit to a doctor or hospital — or used to, anyway. I have to admit, I hadn’t even realized there was some amount of comfort for me associated with all those papers it took me eons to fill out, to be passed back and forth countless times during the course of my always lengthy visits with doctors and specialists — that is, until they disappeared, of course.

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Managed Print Services and the Value of Print

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Robert Palmer

If you spend much time following the imaging business these days, there is one question that is often repeated: How long can printing remain relevant? It is an interesting question to ponder. On the one hand, the printing business is under attack from numerous disruptive forces, all of which have been discussed and debated by pundits the world over — including within the pages of this publication. Yet the “paperless office” that was predicted more than 20 years ago has been very slow to materialize. Printing, while certainly threatened and on the decline, remains an important part of our everyday lives.

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MSPs: Evolving the Face of MPS

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

Anyone in the print business who isn’t aware at this point that managed service providers (MSPs) are entering the MPS space — and are even being assisted by old industry players to do so — must have been living under a boulder the past few years. “We’re definitely seeing more and more MSPs adding print to their mix, when they started out without it,” said Don Jones, senior partner and principal technologist of Concentrated Technology, an IT consulting firm. What’s behind such a major shift in this space?

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The Changing Role of Printing in Small And Medium-Size Businesses in the U.S.

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Larry Jamieson, The Photizo Group

Print volumes have been a concern for the printing industry for nearly as long as the industry has existed. Ever since businesses owned machines that could print on paper, the printed page has been the primary method of communication and record retention for companies.

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Samsung Pushes Hard to Be a Major Force in the Office

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

It’s becoming abundantly clear that Samsung is serious about taking some share of the office equipment market away from more established players like Canon, Ricoh, Xerox and others. This summer, Samsung expanded its A3 portfolio by adding five new entry-level machines to its MultiXpress line, which hitherto had only two A3 units. In addition to broadening its selection of hardware, Samsung is investing to better support its channel partners in their efforts to add more enterprise clients and further penetrate small to medium-size businesses.

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Who Are the People of Managed Print?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Greg Walters, Walters & Shutwell

Thinking about the people of managed print services poses a complex query: How can anyone pick one or a few special people as standouts within the managed print services ecosystem? Even though MPS, in its current form, is roughly four years old — closer to five — the ecosystem is loaded.

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The MPS to MNS Evolution: Eliminate the Risk and Cost With Network Monitoring Software

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Markus Brinsa, Paessler

In business, as in nature, evolution is vital to ensuring survival of the species. Through continuous innovation, the managed print services industry has evolved from providing a straight-up hardware product to offering full-service imaging solutions. As the industry faces the next frontier — the move from managed print services to complete managed network services — a new breed of services and solutions have emerged to help service providers make the leap with ease, less risk and low cost.

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The New Math of MPS Pricing

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Sarah Henderson, West Point Products

I still remember the first conversation I had several years ago with a dealer principal who very confidently stated, “MPS pricing is just the old cost-per-copy bundling with a new name — no big deal!” Fast-forward about six months later, and this same dealer expressed frustrations about having to take printers under contract and summed up MPS pricing as “guessing — and hoping not to get burned.”

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Executive Corner with Meagan Moody

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

This June, Ricoh announced it had partnered with Digital Gateway to create a new dealer system interface. The Imaging Channel asked Ricoh’s Meagan Moody a few questions about the project.

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Executive Corner with Gordon Snider

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

The Imaging Channel sat down with Gordon Snider, Director of Business Development, PrintFleet, to ask some questions.

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MPS – One of EBS' Most Profitable Services

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

A company named after the family that founded it, Edwards Business Systems (EBS) opened its first office in 1954 in West Reading, Penn., and has since grown to 11 locations (including Virginia Business Systems, or VBS) that serve businesses large and small across eastern Pennsylvania and central Virginia. Originally a copier dealer of Konica Minolta and Ricoh products, EBS expanded its line to include HP devices in 2005, at which time it also decided to build an MPS offering. Here’s EBS’ success story.

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Service Offerings Grow as Hardware Markets Remain Depressed

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Charles Brewer

Hardware manufacturers have indicated that their equipment and consumables businesses remained lackluster early in 2012. Unfortunately, most printer and copier makers are sending signals that they do not expect things will turn around anytime soon. With only a few exceptions, the OEMs reported flagging sales and profits in the first quarter of the year, and revenue from hardware and consumables remains depressed. Services have become the one bright spot in the industry, however, and the space continues to see a lot of activity.

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MPS Market Flooded With New Entrants

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Mike Huster

Since Photizo Group was established in 2006, focusing its gaze upon the managed print services (MPS) industry, there has been an amazingly quick growth rate of the MPS market. The journey has taken us from simple copier contracts with a monthly cost per page to comprehensive document management and business process optimization. Today, there is a buffet of new MPS programs and opportunities for dealers and decision-makers to choose from.

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M&A Activity Connects Print With Other Services

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

Ever wonder why it came to pass that printer and copier providers started becoming managed service providers and vice versa? If so, you’re not alone. Perhaps it was when print devices became network-capable. Perhaps it was when the recession hit, and companies were forced to think of new businesses they could diversify into to survive. Perhaps it was something else altogether. Whatever the case may be, though, there’s no doubt that this crossover trend is real and here to stay.

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