Features

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

Content Marketing: The Must-Have Marketing Tool

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

Weiss 120by Amy Weiss, The Imaging Channel

Marketing, like any dynamic component of the business world, evolves with the times. In a definition adopted in 2013, the American Marketing Association says it is “… the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

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The Top Five Drivers for Marketing MPS Beyond Price

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

Henderson 120by Sarah Henderson, Clover Imaging Group 

As the managed print services business model matures, I often hear from dealers that MPS programs have become more about offering the lowest cost per page (CPP) rather than about selling solutions. While many providers focus on the benefits and value proposition of MPS, there is a range of providers and competitors who may be willing to quote a lower CPP. 

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Are You Pushy or Pulley in Your Sales Approach?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

Pulley 120by John Pulley, Prospect Builder

Early in my sales career I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Hopkins. Tom Hopkins is my sales hero; and author of numerous books on the art of selling. 
We met briefly while walking on the way to breakfast during a two-day sales seminar. As we walked, this titan of the sales profession introduced himself to me. My reply was an outstretched hand and, “Pulley, nice to meet you.” 

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Are You and Your Account Aligned?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

McLaughlin 120by Ed McLaughlin, Valderus

As an industry we are really very good at understanding the internal metrics that lead to a well-run business and thus profitability. But what about the customers and their metrics … what are the metrics for measuring our performance against the expectations of the customer?

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Opportunities in Vertical Strategies

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

Pearl 120by Steve Pearl for The Imaging Channel

Have you ever considered implementing a vertical marketing strategy for your company, but felt it too much of a burden to really pull off?  A recent conversation with the CEO of an imaging software retailer brought this to mind. He stated that incorporating a vertical strategy for his business was basically an inefficient use of time, money and resources. Why focus on specific industries, he said, when more than 75 percent of his customer base has common challenges?  

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Campaigns: Not Just For Politicians Anymore

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

Roderick 120by Brad Roderick, TonerCycle/InkCycle

Months away from the Presidential election and it certainly has been anything but dull so far. Maybe it’s not the most colorful of all time (or maybe it is), but we do have some interesting characters running. Regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, there is little question that the presidential race has been more engrossing (like something you really know you don’t want to look at but can’t help yourself) than many of the previous races. From the first Republican debate with more racers than lanes, to the most recent Bernie/Hillary brawl, to Trump’s antics/theatrics, as the time draws closer to voting day there will be no shortage of fuel for Facebook posts. (As a side note, how in the world did debates among some of the world’s most influential and potentially powerful people become sponsored by Facebook?) 

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Can Old Imaging ‘Dogs’ Learn New Tricks?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2016

McIntyreby John McIntyre, The Imaging Channel

In 1987, Tom Wolfe’s novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” and Oliver Stone’s film “Wall Street” depicted an amoral investment universe in which decisions are inevitably driven by whatever the numbers dictate is best for investors and their invested dollars. In financial terms this is logical: we do live in a capitalistic society, and a business’s investors (or shareholders) are the literal owners of the company and ultimately get to decide what the company is and does, who runs it, and what they expect in return for their investment dollars.

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Channel Chat: Collaboration

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

What are industry leaders using for collaboration? We asked a panel of experts about tools, pain points, best practices and more, giving them the opportunity to answer some or all of the questions. The answers, like our panelists, are diverse, surprising and informative. Our panel this month:

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KMBS Dealer Channel Turns Up the Volume on Wide Format With EFI

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

Konica Minolta Business Solutions (KMBS) USA, one of the world’s leaders in information management focused on enterprise content, technology optimization, and cloud services, was seeking a partner that could provide a high quality, production-class, wide-format printer that would open new business opportunities for its customers. Operating in both direct and dealer sales models, KMBS’s portfolio of offerings delivers solutions to improve its customers’ speed to market, manage technology costs, and facilitate the sharing of information to increase productivity.

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Shared Service Management Defined

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

by Nancy Von Elsacker, TOPdesk

Service management refers to activities directed by policies, organized and structured in processes and supporting procedures that are performed by an organization or part of an organization to plan, deliver, operate and control services offered to customers.

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2016 Predictions: The Future of Printing

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

by Arron Fu, UniPrint.net Corp.

Printing is one of the most basic business processes; one that has been changing with respect to the conveniences that users now have at their fingertips. Next year will not see its dissolution, but rather a continued evolution with the times to fit in with the developing IT and business landscapes. There’s no getting around it – the way in which we rely on printing has evolved over the years in cohesion with technological developments. Almost everything can now be personalized to fit individual working styles and is expected to move at even faster speed with the Internet of Things (IoT). As employees continue to enjoy the perks of BYOD technology and the mobile workspace becomes embedded into our culture, mainstays from the traditional experience of the office will need to advance in tandem.

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The Four ‘Cs’ of Selling Success

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

by Brad Roderick, InkCycle

Diamond merchants determine the value of each precious stone by judging it by the four Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight. According to the Gemological Institute of America, “Beautiful. Rare. Cherished. Diamonds are the most sought-after gems on earth. Each one is unique. And each has specific qualities that establish its value.”

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It Takes a Village to Produce a Quality Lead

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

by Lindsay Kelley, Prospect Builder

We’ve all heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” What does that mean? According to Wikipedia, “the origin comes from a proverb that leverages the cultural context and belief that it takes an entire community to raise a child. A child has the best ability to become a healthy adult if the entire community takes an active role in contributing to the rearing of the child.”

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Distributed, Disrupted: Connectedness and the Future of Work

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

By Cliff Pollan, Sococo

Team managers, no matter what industry they’re in, will typically experience a common set of challenges – motivating the team, maintaining engagement, creating an environment that promotes team success, to name a few. Now, imagine how much harder it becomes to overcome these challenges when your team is located in, say, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and London. How can team leaders effectively manage a team that’s not even in the same office, let alone on the same continent?

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Speakeasy: The View From the Other Side of the Desk — Q&A With Tod Pike

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 02/01/2016

by Patricia Ames

Tod Pike is a familiar and rather imposing figure in this industry, standing 6 feet, 6 inches tall without his cowboy boots. But he has a soft side — it’s his customers. The Imaging Channel had a chance recently to speak with this longtime OEM executive who has recently taken on a new challenge as a dealer — heading KÔTA, a unique joint venture between LDI Color ToolBox and the Mohegan Tribe. We couldn’t wait to find out more. Join me in the SpeakEasy.

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Channel Chat: Selling to the SMB

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/05/2015

What are the highs and lows of selling to the SMB? We decided to find out by asking a few questions of some industry leaders, giving them the opportunity to answer some or all of the questions. The answers, like our panelists, are diverse, surprising and informative. Our panel this month:

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More Than an Imaging Supplier, Digitek’s Goal is ‘Trusted Advisor’

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/05/2015

by Amy Weiss

It is not an uncommon story in the imaging industry — or any technology-based industry, really — for a business to look completely different today than it did 10 years ago. After all, technology evolves, so it makes sense for a successful business to evolve along with it. The key word, however, is successful. For every business that has successfully completed a transformation, there may be 20 other empty offices, vacant factories and forgotten names. It stands to reason, then, that a business founded in 1998 is a success just by virtue of its continued existence. One that is not only existing, but thriving, goes beyond success, and becomes a model of excellence.

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What The Heck Happened? From One-to-One Selling to One-to-Many Buying

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/05/2015

by Brad Roderick, TonerCycle/InkCycle

I sold my first copier in 1985 — a small Canon with moving platen for $1,299. This was my first sales job and I was making cold calls, in person. I had absolutely zero sales experience and no natural ability, but it didn’t seem to matter. Back then, selling was simple: Buyers compared one copier against another based on speeds and feeds, time to first print and maybe duty cycle (CPP wasn’t part of the picture yet. Trust me, I was there.)

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How to Choose the Right Pricing Model

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 09/30/2015

by Martin de Martini, Y Soft

Choice is always good. But along with choice comes the burden of understanding the details of the choices involved. The same is true when looking at print management contracts with subscription or license pricing options. Here we discuss the considerations for subscription pricing from an SMB solution provider and SMB customer point of view.

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Packaged Solutions Define the SMB Office Technology Landscape

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/05/2015

by Robert Palmer

The office printing market is as competitive as it has ever been, and nowhere is this more evident than in the ever-growing SMB space. Nearly every vendor these days is rolling out full-blown marketing strategies aimed specifically at the SMB customer. No matter how you slice it, the overall opportunity for office document technology in the SMB segment is huge.

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