Features

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

Executive Corner With Ed McLaughlin

The Imaging Channel recently sat down with Ed McLaughlin, president of Xiphos Consulting and executive advisor to Sharp Electronics.

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Through Acquisitions and Changing Business Models, ECi’s Commitment To Service Remains Strong

by Lisa Weber

Providing end-to-end solutions for more than 7,000 diverse customers is no easy task. However, Ron Books, president and CEO of ECi Software Solutions, says it’s what his company does best.

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Executive Corner With Brendan Peters

The Imaging Channel sat down with Brendan Peters,  iprint imaging segment manager at Intel Corp.

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Gap Intelligence’s 2011 Printing Industry Year in Review

by Jake Fishman, Gap Intelligence

I think it is safe to say that 2011 was an interesting one for the print industry. Between the impact of currency, natural disasters, recessions and civil unrest, it was hard at times to not view the market as a snakebit, but in my opinion, all of those hopefully short-term events took second stage to some very interesting technology and channel trends. The opportunities provided by these transitions suggest that 2012 will be a fun year.

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The Converging Worlds of Print and Managed Services

by Raegen Pietrucha

“The best laid plans of mice and men …” — well, you know how it goes. Or do you? No matter how deeply a business speculates about future obstacles and attempts to prepare for what it thinks can be expected, the unanticipated appears, throwing a stick in the spokes.

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Selling Managed Print Services: A Primer for VARs

by Jim Rise, Xerox Corp.

What if I told you that businesses with more than 100 employees that need help reducing costs and optimizing assets are an $8-billion opportunity for managed print services? Would that be something you’d be interested in?

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Printer Security and Compliance: MPS Obstacle or Opportunity?

by Greer Deneen

Security and compliance is a high-stakes topic in virtually any company today. Get it wrong, and — depending on the nature of the business — consequences can range from loss of critical data to customer identity theft or the always-invigorating litigation stemming from HIPAA and privacy violations. And that’s only half the story.

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MPS — Beyond Software and Services

by Gil Wazana, Micro Solutions Enterprises

Over the last year, I have been the self-appointed Guardian of Quality when it comes to discussing the importance of quality with respect to consumables within any MPS program. It’s not that quality isn’t important in transactional business, but it seems that most people, whether or not they practice what they preach, tend to talk more about cartridge quality when it comes to transactional or a-la-carte business versus MPS programs.

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Channel Profile: JD Young

by Raegen Pietrucha

Founded in 1949 in Tulsa, Okla., JD Young began its business in the industry as a print shop. The company became a copier reseller in the 1950s, and until recently, it was focused primarily on selling hardware and providing electronic content management. In 2007, though, JD Young headed into MPS with two of its previously established customers, and its business in the arena has continued to flourish since.

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Event Recap: The Imaging Channel’s Managed Print Summit

The Imaging Channel’s Managed Print Summit took place July 19 in Las Vegas. Leaders in the technology and managed print field shared their expertise with a crowd of nearly 300 dealers; IT VARs; software, hardware and supplies providers; those interested in building their MPS offering and those looking to enter the arena.

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HP May Rather Sell Services Than PCs, But It’s Committed to Printers —at Least at the Moment!

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

After reporting lackluster third-quarter results in August, Hewlett-Packard indicated it was restructuring to pursue “higher value, higher margin growth categories.” Details of the planned reorg provoked already-angry HP investors when they learned that the firm planned to end production of webOS devices like the recently released HP TouchPad and signaled it may — or may not — sell or spin off its PC unit.

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The Atlantic Crossing

by Greer Deneen

When you look at Atlantic Business Products today, you won’t see many vestiges of the company’s copier dealer roots. With more than 15,000 customers, 250-plus employees and four locations in the New York City metropolitan area, the organization has — in just a handful of years — evolved into a full-spectrum managed services firm and one of the top five independent dealers in the country.

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Weeks Lerman a Winner Using United Stationers’ Recipe for MPS Success

Launching a successful managed print services (MPS) program can pose a number of challenges for any office products dealer. But a proven recipe for MPS success, such as the one offered by United Stationers, can work even in America’s most competitive marketplace: New York City.

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Interview With Corey Simpson and Greg VanDeWalker

The Imaging Channel recently interviewed Corey Simpson, community director of the CompTIA MPS Community and Greg VanDeWalker, the chairman of the community and senior vice president, strategic relationships, at GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation.

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Follow-Me/Secure-Release/Pull-Printing Options Offer New Opportunities

by West McDonald

You are proud of your MPS offering. And so you should be! You’ve invested in sophisticated print-monitoring software. You’ve hired and trained an MPS sales specialist. You’ve perfected your CPP billing model. You offer an incredible range of options for single-function printers and multifunction devices. If you’re really rockin’ the MPS world, you have both OEM and compatible toner options for your customers, and you’re delivering toner “just in time.” Congratulations! Good for you! Amazing! Now all that’s left is to get a bag big enough to hold all that money you’re going to bring in!

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Managed Print Services: Major OEM Strategies

During the first half of 2011, Lyra had the opportunity to speak with some of the industry’s leading OEMs, including HP, Ricoh and Xerox, about their managed print services (MPS) strategies. Each company has different MPS strategies, which are explored below in summaries of Lyra’s interviews with executives from each company. 

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The Keys to MPS Success: How You Can Gain Focus and Grow Sales

by Ryan Humphrey, Parts Now

Not long ago, managed print solutions was less than mainstream. Now it’s recognized as the present and future way to manage hard-copy output, yet it’s still a business practice not fully embraced by many.

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Why MPS Is Green-ish

by Sherry Lachine, PrintFleet

In the managed print services (MPS) industry, as in many industries, green, at times, is seen as a way to make gold. Many claims about green products or practices may be misleading to customers, making people believe that the company and product(s) are entirely sustainable, safe or environmentally friendly. The term “greenwashing” was coined back in the 1980s regarding the hotel industry’s practice of placing placards in each room promoting the reuse of towels to “save the environment.” In fact, at that time, little or no effort was made to reduce energy waste on the part of many hoteliers; the focus was more on increased profit.

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While the Market Is Declining, Recent M&A Activity Could Be Good News for the Channel

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

Since the earthquake struck Japan in March, I’ve been following its impact on our industry closely. Some Japanese hardware vendors were hit harder than others, of course, but in general, there were significant adverse effects on the entire office imaging equipment industry.

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I Didn’t Ask You to Build a Watch — I Asked You What Time It Is

by Gregg Mader, Printer Essentials

I have conversations on a regular basis with resellers and VARs across the country who are attempting to deliver on the MPS value proposition, as well as distributors who are offering a managed services program to their resellers or VARs, and there is a fairly consistent message. The reseller/VAR community is struggling with gaining traction and consistently earning the opportunity to provide managed services expertise to their current or prospective client base. 

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