Features

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

Can Old Imaging ‘Dogs’ Learn New Tricks?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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’

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

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

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

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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Speakeasy: IT From the Outside — Q&A With Mona Abutaleb

by Patricia Ames

The Imaging Channel had the chance recently to meet with Mona Abutaleb, president and CEO of mindSHIFT Technologies, and discuss that firm’s integration into the Ricoh Americas family. Of course there were a few surprises. Join me in the SpeakEasy.

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Demystifying the Design of a Document Strategy

by Kevin Craine

How well we manage documents and information has a great deal to do with how well we manage our businesses and organizations. And as the line between traditional printed documents and modern digital information continues to become less and less distinct, the challenge of designing effective document strategies has become even more difficult. The evolving role of documents, the complications of technology, and changing business demands all conspire to make the task seem overwhelming.

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Channel Chat: Best Practices in Sales and Marketing

What do the experts find to be sales and marketing best practices? 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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HP Printers Enter the IoT, but What Does it All Mean?

by Jim Lyons

Our industry has seen some major developments this year under the umbrella of “the Internet of Things” (IoT). Incorporating If This Then That (IFTTT) services, Hewlett-Packard has worked diligently to offer its hardcopy customers a breakthrough in what I like to call the area of automated printing. In its big reveal, a blog post by HP’s Phil McCoog recently announced, “HP Launches the HP Print Channel on IFTTT Creating Over 40M IoT Printers.”

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What Does a Top Sales Professional Look Like?

by Steven Branstetter, Crawford Thomas

In business and in life we set goals; goals that determine the choices we make and the directions we go. One common practice for reaching these goals, popular with top athletes, is visualizing what you want to achieve. In my opinion visualization is one of the great keys to success in life, but it is a useless technique if you do not know what to visualize.

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Finding Your Perfect Mate With A Service Call

by Martin De Martini, Y Soft

Managed print services, when you think about it, is becoming less and less about print management and more about service. Customers are looking to extract additional value out of their existing fleet investment with improved workflows. The channel is looking to offer value-added solutions alongside hardware as a way to expand their businesses. It sounds like a match made in heaven; however selling software and services requires a different approach.

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