Features

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

Channel Evolution in Action: Trade Shows Represent the Changing Industry

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2015

by Amy Weiss

It seemed timely that our “channel evolution” issue was scheduled to go into production as we were returning home from the ITEX conference. A frequent comment regarding trade shows is that they are a microcosm of the industries they represent. That has commonly been the case in the imaging channel, as trade shows have evolved along with the trends in the industry. Large OEM presences, a plethora of Chinese supplies companies, a focus on managed IT services – you name it and industry trade shows have been exemplary of the trend.

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Of Zombies and Butterflies: The Need for Channel Diversification

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2015

by West McDonald, Print Audit

Anybody who watches “The Walking Dead” understands that transformations aren’t always fun, nor do they always result in something better than the original product. Zombies are evidence that unwanted change can result in some not-so-positive results. You start your day drinking orange juice and whisking the kids off to school only to be bitten by some grey-skinned member of the zombie apocalypse. Next thing you know you’re drooling, walking with a limp, and looking for some juicy brains to snack on. Talk about a bad way to start the first day of the rest of your undead life. 

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Retail Shopping Provides Great Disservice for Printers

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2015

by Larry Jamieson

Online shopping has grown by astronomical proportions over the past decade, and it sometimes seems a little mind boggling what we can now purchase with a click of the computer keyboard. It is the old mail-order paradigm on steroids as we can find what we need today and have it on our doorstep tomorrow if we are willing to pay for overnight shipping.

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Channel Evolution, Channel Opportunities: A Guide to Going Paperless

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2015

by Christopher Zybert, New England Document Systems

Going paperless
is far from a novel idea. In fact, the concept of going paperless has been around for quite some time. The origins of the paperless society can be traced back to 1978, when Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster, a British-American information scientist, first envisioned a future in which all paper is replaced by electronic documents and storage. He understood that technology would eventually eliminate the need to handle print documents, and that record keepers would instead become information specialists.

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HP Rolls Out Complete Laser Printer Redesign Featuring JetIntelligence Technology

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2015

by Robert Palmer

At a press and analyst event in New York City, HP unveiled its latest laser printers aimed at SMBs and small workgroups. The one-day event began with a press conference led by Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of HP’s LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions business, followed by a hands-on product showcase featuring HP’s newest technology. The showcase allowed time for in-depth review of the new machines and provided attendees with direct access to many of the engineers and product managers behind HP’s latest products. Attending this event brought back fond memories of the good old days in the printing market, when hardware announcements used to matter. 

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Executive Corner With Kurt Schmelz, President, U.S. Channels Group, Xerox

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 03/31/2015

by Amy Weiss

Kurt Schmelz was appointed president of the newly formed U.S. Channel Group (USCG) within Xerox’s Channel Partner Operations in January. We sat down with him to learn exactly what that means, where he came from, and where he and the USCG are headed.

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SpeakEasy: Doug Albregts, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/04/2015

by Patricia Ames

The Imaging Channel sat down with Doug Albregts, president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) at the Executive Connection Summit in Scottsdale and learned that “laid back” can be quite irresistible. Join me in the SpeakEasy.

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Force Multiplier: Technology United Represents at the ECS

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/04/2015

by Amy Weiss

Among the many articles written about the Executive Connection Summit last October (and there were many, many articles, recaps, blogs and more), there was a great deal of focus on the bigger concepts, connections and companies highlighted at the event. And all of that was well worth the focus — companies like Cisco, SAP, Samsung, Sharp, and OKI are huge, and their presenters were excellent.  But also key to the Executive Connection Summit is a group of companies known collectively as Technology United (TU), and it was this group that perhaps best exemplifies what can be achieved when thought leaders, movers, and shakers come together.

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Office-Printing Market Year in Review: Steady Progress in the Face of Change

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by Robert Palmer

In some respects, the office imaging and printing business in 2014 was not so different from any other year recently. Hardware prices declined steadily. Print volumes in most segments waned as paper gives ground to digital display. Inkjet continued its persistent march into the office workgroup. The transition to solutions and services fueled by a steady diet of mobile and cloud-enabled applications leads the industry’s efforts to expand beyond hardware. Everyone is dealing with the impact of mergers, acquisitions, and various market entrants and exits.

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Despite Declines, OEMs Hunt for Opportunities In Lower-Market Tiers During 2014

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

While some higher-tier market segments have snapped back to life since the recession, the low end of the market has never fully recovered, and it’s doubtful it ever will. The reasons why are well documented and they’re hardly new: Wireless technology has driven down hardware shipments by putting an end to the requirement that each home computer be tethered to its own printing device. Other new technologies like smartphones and tablets have helped eliminate — or at least greatly reduce — the need to print many documents, which has lowered cartridge consumption.

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Optimize Your IT Environment to Prepare For New Opportunities and Threats

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by Michael Howard, HP

A company’s IT environment is an often-overlooked gold mine for increasing productivity and enhancing workflow.  An effective IT environment offers the foundational organization every business needs, from document management to data information sorting and storage. And underutilizing it isn’t just ineffective – it’s costly. An enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5 million per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.

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Getting Cost Information for Your Assessment When the Customer Says ‘No’

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by West McDonald, PrintAudit

I’ve trained a lot of sales reps over the years in the art and science of conducting assessments. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from my students is how hard it is to get any real cost information when you’re doing an assessment. Everything up to asking for pricing tends to go pretty smoothly, and then bam! The cost wall comes out of nowhere. It can sometimes feel like you are asking for their first born child or doing something illegal. The worst part is that real cost information has such a huge impact on whether or not a customer will buy into the results of your completed assessment.

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New Technologies Take Cues From the Past

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by Jordan Darragh, PrintReleaf

When I sat down to both research and outline my thoughts in preparation for writing this article, I looked back at all the recent blogs, news articles, and industry magazine columns I had saved, bookmarked, or read in the last six months. I figured this exercise would give me a pulse and representation of “new technologies” in our industry … and it did. However, while combing over headlines and digging into details I kept coming back to one simple question: What is “our industry”?

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People: The Driver for the Future of MPS

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by Toni DuGal, Novitex

With major computing trends today’s norm – Mobile, Internet of Things, Big Data – it’s hard to imagine the Managed Print Services (MPS) of the past and how MPS revenues reached $18.9 billion in 2013, according to the Photizo Group. Over the past 15 years, the MPS market has changed dramatically from the number and types of vendors who offered MPS to how those vendors systematically removed the human element from MPS – severely hampering client relationships. To understand why the market took that drastic shift and the steps it needs to take to become human again, we first need to take a trip down memory lane.

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Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Dealership’s Sales and Learn the Digital Language of Your Buyers

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 01/03/2015

by Lindsay Kelley, Dealer Marketing

Let’s explore practical tips you can implement right now to engage prospects and convert them into highly qualified leads. What do you do once you’re on LinkedIn? Evolving from a copier dealer to a managed IT services dealer is no small feat. The industry as a whole is in transition. That transition makes sense to those of us inside the industry; however, to the outside prospect, there is a perception and stigma that comes with a copier dealer. What does that mean for you as a dealer owner? It means that you need to quickly make that transition from a company that has traditionally sold a box to one that provides valuable IT services that, oh by the way, offers copiers as well. Copiers may be the dealer’s bread and butter, but IT services are the future.

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Nashville Schools Adopt Comprehensive Document Output Strategy

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/01/2014

by Tom Bayersdorfer, MNPS

Education: easily one of the hardest professions on the planet. On top of the enormous challenge of preparing students for productive, rewarding lives for decades to come, every school district faces the same mundane operational challenges that any organization does. One of those operational challenges is cost-effectively managing people, processes and equipment — especially when it includes thousands of users in dozens of locations. 

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The Prospects in Our Industry Have Learned A New Language — Do You Speak It? 

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/01/2014

by Lindsay Kelley, Dealer Marketing

We are in the middle of an evolution. Not only are we transitioning our businesses into reputable managed IT services providers, but our customers are evolving as well. More and more, buyers are rejecting our sales team’s offers to educate and inspire with meaningful insight, but why? It’s because we’re not sharing our message in the same language the prospects are speaking … digital. In this two-part series, we’ll examine the top B2B social business tool you can use to gain market share and grow your bottom-line sales. 

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HP’s Supplies Business Adapts To An Evolving Print Industry

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/01/2014

by Robert Palmer

The printing business soldiers on despite a continued onslaught of dire predictions from pundits and naysayers — both inside the industry and out. A quick Internet search today reveals hundreds of articles forecasting the death of paper, the death of printing, or the paperless office. Most of these predictions deal with issues surrounding a rapidly evolving workforce that is increasingly younger, more mobile, and technology savvy. Digital and mobile technologies have fostered more efficient and effective ways for working with information, and knowledge workers have become less dependent on paper. 

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Adopt Corporate Social Responsibility And Adopt More Customers

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/01/2014

by Jordan Darragh, Print Releaf

As businesses become more conscientious about how to contribute to the common good, corporate social responsibility (CSR) best practices make their way into the conversation. A growing trend, CSR still remains relatively ambiguous to many business decision-makers. It is time to unpack the highly popular term “CSR” and understand where best practices are headed, how they’re evolving, why CSR is growing in popularity, and perhaps most importantly, how it benefits customers in the imaging industry. 

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Who’s Winning, Who’s Losing as Demand For Color Keeps Growing?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 10/01/2014

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

Ask a printer-industry geek “What’s hot right now?” and the answer will be “Color.” Or, at least it should be. After all, the low-hanging fruit for MPS practitioners is now as abundant as water in a California reservoir and the 3D market is as far away from maturation as I am. But while growth in 3D and MPS rises and falls, respectively, the market for color devices is looking pretty good at present. Listening to the OEMs’ earning calls this summer and reading their quarterly financial results for the past couple of years, it’s clear that hardware manufacturers are experiencing some level of revenue growth from the sales of color hardware and supplies. While some have been more successful than others, in general, the OEMs have reported that they’ve been selling more color devices over the past couple of years.

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