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SEPTEMBER 2017

VOLUME 24 NO. 9

Connecting People, Ideas and Products in the Document Imaging Industry since 1994

engage ‘n exchange

MANAGED PRINT AND IT:

Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services KONICA MINOLTA ACQUISITION OF MURATEC Signals Deeper Investments in Industrial Printing

GROWING COMPETENCIES: Dealers Make Case for Developing Internal Managed Services Platform

DEALER SPOTLIGHT:

Mike Feldman, Xerox

Vision Office Systems

NEW LEASING STANDARDS

THE REBIRTH OF XEROX: How a Century-Old Manufacturer is Transforming the User Experience

Office Technology Service Excellence Award

DIAMOND LEVEL

ENX Magazine

PO Box 2240 Suite 729 Toluca Lake, CA 91610-0240 USA tel: 818-505-0022 fax: 818-505-9972 email: enx@pacbell.net www.enxmag.com

We would like to thank those of you who have sent us address change information. HELP US CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES To correct or delete your address from our subscription list, please call, fax or email us.


NEW A3 Color MFP

SPEED

100 PAGES PER MINUTE Fastest in its Class*

High-speed color printing for SMB and departments

WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 ÂŽ

New Opportunities. New Sales. New Profits. The new Epson WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 offers a unique way to increase your sales and attract new customers. Fully network and MPS compliant and with PrecisionCoreÂŽ Line Head Technology for high-speed printing and low energy use, the WF-C20590 can be installed with any 110V outlet. To learn more about our business products and how they can increase your sales, visit Epson.com/WorkForceEnterprise

RETHINK EPSON * Compared to best-selling A3 Color MFPs with MSRP of $41,000 or less. Competitive data gathered from manufacturer websites and third-party industry services as of Nov. 2016. PrecisionCore and WorkForce are registered trademarks and EPSON Exceed Your Vision is a registered logomark of Seiko Epson Corporation. Copyright 2017 Epson America, Inc.


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Request a Demo Today! Contact your CIG Sales Representative (866) 734-6548 | cloverimaging.com 781417A | Clover Imaging Group, Amplify, and their logos are a trademarks owned by Clover Technologies Group, LLC, and may be registered in the United States and other countries.


In This Issue

26

CHANNEL INSIGHT

The Rebirth of Xerox: How a CenturyOld Manufacturer is Transforming the User Experience By Erik Cagle

16 32 36

32

40 44 46 46

50 54 58 59

50 6

60 •

www.enxmag.com | September 2017

STATE OF THE INDUSTRY Managed Print and IT: Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services By Erik Cagle DEALER SPOTLIGHT Straight Talk: Vision Office Systems’ Fred Habbal Predicts Independent Dealers Will Prevail By Erik Cagle MARKET INTELLIGENCE Konica Minolta Acquisition of Muratec Signals Deeper Investments in Industrial Printing By Keenan Thomson MANAGED SERVICES ROUNDTABLE Growing Competencies: Dealers Make Case for Developing Internal Managed Services Platform By Erik Cagle SALES & MARKETING Account Management: It’s About Relationships, Relationships, Relationships By Charles Lamb SERVICE EXCELLENCE DIAMOND AWARD WINNER Prosource’s “Customer Obsessed” Philosophy Leads the Company to Double-Digit Growth By Erik Cagle LEADERSHIP Stop Managing the Past and Start Building the Future: Why Leadership is More Important than Ever By Ray Stasieczko LEASING The New Leasing Standards: What You and Your Company Need to Know By J. Mark DeNicola SERVICE MANAGEMENT Protect the Power to Protect Your Bottom Line By Ken Edmonds PRINTER TECH TIP By LaserPros DISPLAY ADVERTISERS INDEX We Saw It In ENX Magazine


YIELD IS...

MONEY Get Standard Print Yield with Less Toner

*Yield and saving results based on MKIC internal testing using STMC standards.

Engineered for Efficiency, Kaleidochrome Color Toner Can Achieve High Quality Print Yield Using Significantly Less Toner*. For more information on how Kaleidochrome® Color Toner can save you money, call your Future Graphics representative today.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE TODAY Sales: 1 (818) 837-8100 | Tech Support: 1 (800) 466-0246 | Email: info@fgimaging.com | Website: www.fgimaging.com © 2001 – 2017, Mitsubishi Chemical Imaging Corporation dba Future Graphics. All rights reserved. Future Graphics is a distributor of compatible replacement parts for imaging equipment. None of Future Graphics’ products are genuine OEM replacement parts and no affiliation or sponsorship is to be implied between Future Graphics and any OEM. Trademarks and brand names are the properties of their respective owners and used for descriptive purposes only.


Contributors

Staff

J. MARK DENICOLA, CPA/CGMA/CMA has served 24 years as the CFO and executive director, sales/marketing for Thermocopy, a Knoxville-based business technology company. His core disciplines include acquisition analysis, budgeting, management, new business development, sales management, and business start-ups. Mark has recently been recognized by Corporate Vision Magazine as their 2017 CFO of the Year – USA. He can be contacted at jmdenicola@thermocopy.com.

Susan Neimes Publisher & Managing Editor

KEN EDMONDS is currently employed as a District Service Manager for a major copier manufacturer. He has an extensive background in the imaging business, having owned a successful dealership, serving as service manager for multiple dealerships, and as a Document Solutions Specialist for Sharp Electronics. He has more than 40 years of experience in the electronics and computer fields. For further information email him at Ken.Edmonds@CKE-Enterprises.biz.

Erik Cagle Editorial Director

CHARLES LAMB is the President and CEO of Mps&it Sales Consulting. His firm delivers proven methodologies and processes that assist dealer principals seeking a successful transformation into the managed services space. He’s created complementary solutions including Funnelmaker, Gatekeeper, and Shield IT services. For more info, call 888.823.0006, e-mail him at clamb@mpsandit.com, or visit www.mpsandit.com.

Ronelle Ingram Contributing Editor

RAY STASIECZKO is the owner of Ray Stasieczko Consulting and a veteran of more than 25 years in the imaging industry. A longtime writer and speaker on the industry circuit, Stasieczko helps organizations navigate their way through change in a quest to transform the way they do business. He can be reached at raystasieczko@gmail.com. KEENAN THOMSON is Senior Analyst for gap intelligence, a San Diego-based consumer electronics, imaging, home appliance and IT market research firm with emphasis in helping product manufacturers and resellers understand current market trends in order to respond to competitive changes. Keenan is responsible for MFP-Copier and production print market intelligence services at gap intelligence. He leads the company’s printing team and is a manager of the analyst division. He can be reached at kthomson@gapintelligence.com.

8

www.enxmag.com | September 2017

Christina Kim Editor

engage ‘n ex engage ‘n exchange engage ‘n exchange

México & Latin America

La Revista del Distribuidor Dealer Source

engage ‘n exchange

Corporate Office

Susan Neimes - susan@enxmag.com Erik Cagle - erik@enxmag.com 10153 1/2 Riverside Drive, Suite 729 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 tel. 818-505-0022 • fax. 818-505-9972 ENX Magazine is published monthly by Affinity Business Communications, Inc. Any inquiries should be sent to: enx@pacbell.net or mailed to the corporate office. Copyright ©2017 by ENX Magazine printed in the U.S.A. All reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. Cover photo from depositphotos.com

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


Quality

Consistent • Reliable • Guaranteed

Quality... Fortunately, we’ve spent decades working with our factories making sure we can offer unheard of compatible quality that’s comparable to OEM product. Nectron has long since established exactly where our product is made and to our unique and exacting specifications. We pass that quality and those savings along to you, all backed with an ironclad 1 year guarantee. Try us and find out why Nectron is that one bedrock provider of quality, inventory, and savings that so many resellers and wholesale distributors can rely on year after year.

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l Specia ! e l Sa

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• 30 pages per minute (3011i) • 35 pages per minute (3511i) • Dual 500 Sheets • 33.6 Kbps Fax (Option)

• 42ppm (M3040/3540idn) • 52ppm (M3550idn) • 62ppm (M3560idn)

AirPrint

FREE! $

650

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l Specia ! Sale

Up to

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7” LED Touch Panel

All supplies & Parts available for prompt delivery! ENX Magazine | www.enxmag.com

All prices, rebates, and availability are subject to change without notice. Please call us to confirm.

Nuworld is not responsible for typographical errors or inaccurate specifications. Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.


Copiers • Printers • MFPs • Faxes • Scanners E m a il: info @ n u w o rld in c.co m

Order Online! www.nuworldinc.com

Blind Drop Shipping

Copiers, Faxes, MFPs, Printers, Scanners

FAX-2840

High Speed Laser Fax

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HL-L5100DN

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HL-L2340DW

27ppm B&W Printer • Duplex • Wireless Network..........

BIG SALE! BIG SALE!

DCP-L2540DW

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PPF-4750e

High Perf. Laser Fax | 33.6Kbps | Network.....................

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Color Digital MFC | 23ppm | Dplx | Wireless Network.....

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21/21ppm Color MFP • Duplex Unit (MC210D), 2nd 520-Sheet Tray (MC210S1)

MC210S1

White Boards w/ Integrated Printer

• 50” Diagonal (UB-5335) • 62.1” Diagonal UB-5335 (UB-5835)

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$949 $1159 UB-5835

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Duplex & 40GB HDD, CMY Color Toner Set

UB-7325

Interactive Electronic White Board w/ Integrated Printer

• 62.1” Diagonal • 4-Panel Electronic Board

BLOWOUT SALE! BLOWOUT SALE! UB-T880W UB-5338C / 5838C

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MFC-L5700DW

Interactive Elite Electronic White Boards

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• 82” Diagonal (UB-T880W)

MFC-L8600CDW

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DOCUMENT SCANNERS

30ppm Color MFP • Duplex • Network.............................

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2-Panel Electronic Color White Boards

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60ppm Color Scanner for PC & MAC

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Image shown: SD375

695

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MP301SPF

31 page per minute B&W Copier • 1GB RAM Memory • 50-Sheet Auto Reverse • 250 Sheets Tray Document Feeder (Input Capacity) • 600 x 600 dpi Resolution • 100 Sheets (Bypass)

MP501SPF...............................$2275 MP2501SP...............................$1869 MP2554SP...............................$2855 SP 3600SF............................BIG SALE! $50 REBATE! SP 3610SF.............................................. SP 4510DN............................................. $40 REBATE! SP 4510SF.............................................. $100 REBATE! SP 5200DN............................BIG SALE! SP 5210SR............................BIG SALE! $100 REBATE! SP 5300DN............................................. SP 5310DN............................................. $150 REBATE!

1279

$

MPC306SPF............................$1975 MPC2004.................................$2649 MPC2504.................................$3845

$75 REBATE! SP C250DN............................................. $30 REBATE! SP C340DN............................................. SP C342DN...........................BIG SALE! SP C440DN............................................. $100 REBATE! SP 5200S...............................BIG SALE! SP 5210SF.............................BIG SALE! SP C250SF.............................................. $125 REBATE! SP C252SF............................BIG SALE!

IMAGEPROGRAF

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SD375......80-100-130 sheets per minute SD440..............60-130 sheets per minute SD710..............60-135 sheets per minute

IPF 770 IPF 770MFP

IPF PRO2000

IPF PRO4000 IPF PRO4000S

24-inch Large Format Printer

36-inch Large Format Printers

44-inch Large Format Printers

BIG SALE! 350 $885

$

Rebate (IPF 770)

CT-S801

300mm/s / 256K Mem.

CT-S601 Image shown: CT-S801

$999

REBATE AFTER REBATE

Multifunctions

DEAL!

MX-C301W • 30 pages per minute

$520

LASERJET M130FN....................................................$110 REBATE LASERJET M130FW..........................................................BIG SALE! LASERJET M225DN..........................................................BIG SALE! LASERJET M605N......................................................$200 REBATE LASERJET M606DN/X......................................................BIG SALE! LASERJET M607N/DN...................................................NEW INTRO LASERJET M608N/DN/X...............................................NEW INTRO LASERJET M609DN/X...................................................NEW INTRO LASERJET M402N.........................................................$80 REBATE LASERJET M402DNE....................................................$80 REBATE LASERJET M402DW......................................................$80 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M277DW........................................$80 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M452DN.............................................BIG SALE! COLOR LASERJET M452NW............................................BIG SALE! COLOR LASERJET M553DN.......................................$160 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M553N..........................................$120 REBATE COLOR LASERJET M553X..........................................$240 REBATE

Digital Duplicators BEST BUY

$799

ALL REBATES ARE VALID THROUGH AUGUST 31, 2017

DOCUMENT SCANNER Fi-7160

MFPs MX-M266N MX-M316N MX-M354N

58ppm B&W Duplex, Network-Ready Printer

REBATE AFTER REBATE

MFC-L2740DW

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$

KX-CL400

18ppm Color Laser Printer

• 1200x1200 dpi Resolution • 128MB Memory

$459 $499 $599 MC210D

58ppm B&W Duplex, Network-Ready Printer

$645

DP-MC210P/D/S1

MC210P

ALL REBATES ARE VALID WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

LASERJET M605DN LASERJET M605X

BIG SALE!

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LASERJET PRINTERS & MFPS

PANAFAX UF-5500 PANAFAX UF-6200

MFC-J5720DW

Color InkJet AIO | 35/27ppm (BW/Color).......................

MONOCHROME & COLOR

MULTIFUNCTIONS PRINTERS FAXES PANABOARDS

/ 5835 BIG SALE! UB-5335 2-Panel Electronic

BIG SALE!

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200mm/s / 384K Mem.

CT-S310II

BIG

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160mm/s / 384K Mem.

Rebate

(IPF 770MFP)

400

$

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825 $800

$

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(IPF PRO4000) (IPF PRO4000S)

IPF680/685 24-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTERS.......$360/$400R IPF780/785 36-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTERS......up to $1100R IPF830/840/850 44-INCH LF PRINTERS..................up to $1625R IPF PRO6000S 60-INCH LF PRINTER...................$1300 REBATE IPF815MFP 44-INCH LARGE FORMAT PRINTER.....$2916 REBATE

Parts Order Hotline: 562.977.4949

All prices, rebates, and availability are subject to change without notice. Please call us to confirm.

Nuworld is not responsible for typographical errors or inaccurate specifications. Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

NBS / ENX | September 2017


Since 1985

Your Prime Source T EL: 800.729.8320

FAX: 800.829.0292

INSTANT REBATE SALE! ALL INSTANT REBATE PROMOS ARE VALID THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 TO CANON PREMIER PARTNERS OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

• PRINT • COPY • SCAN • FAX

MF236N MF247DW MF249DW

85

65

$

$

MF414DW MF416DW

• PRINT • COPY • SCAN • FAX

• 35ppm • 250 Shts, 50-Sht MPT • 33.6 Kbps Fax Super G3 • PS (MF416DW)

REBATE MF249DW

MF419DW MF515DW

• PRINT • COPY • SCAN • 35ppm (419DW) • FAX • 42ppm (515DW) • 500 Shts + 100-Sht MPT • Duplex Versatility, W-Ntwrk Both models can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

Both models can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

125 135

$

$

REBATE

REBATE

MF414DW

MF416DW

LBP251DW LBP253DW

B&W Laser Duplex Printers with Wireless Network • 30ppm (LBP251DW) • 35ppm (LBP253DW)

$

75 125 $

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MF419DW

MF515DW

LBP312DN

B&W Laser Duplex Printer with Network • 45 pages per minute • 550 Sheets + 100-Sheet Multipurpose Tray

75

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60

REBATE

LBP251DW LBP253DW

• Up to 35 pages per minute • 256MB Memory • 500 Sheets + 50-Sheet MPT • Duplex Versatility • 33.6 Kbps Fax Super G3 (D1550)

125

$

REBATE

200 150 $REBATE

$

REBATE D1520

375 200 $REBATE

$

810CDN

820CDN

$

135 $150

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REBATE

MF634CDW MF731CW

Color Laser Duplex Printer with Wireless Network • 28/28ppm (BW/Color) • 250 Sheets + 50-Sheet Multipurpose Tray

B&W Laser Duplex Printers with Network

210 175 $REBATE

$

REBATE

REBATE

LBP351DN LBP352DN

• 33.6Kbps • 19ppm Print (L100) • 26ppm Print (L190)

• Duplex (L190)

Image Shown: FAXPHONE L190

LBP654CDW

LBP351DN LBP352DN

Both models can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

120 165 $REBATE

MF733CDW MF735CDW

• 19/19ppm • SCAN (BW/Color) • FAX (MF634CDW) • 28/28ppm (BW/Color) (MF731CDW) • Wireless Network

• PRINT • COPY • SCAN • FAX

REBATE

$

FAXPHONE L100 MF634CDW FAXPHONE L190 MF731CW •• PRINT COPY LASER FAX BASED MFPS

• 26ppm (BW/Color (MF810Cdn) • 36ppm (BW/Color (MF820Cdn) • 550 Sheets + 1-Sheet Multipurpose Tray • Duplex Versatility MF820CDN can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

• 28/28ppm (BW/Color) • 1200 x 1200 dpi Resolution (Print) • 250-Sheet Cassette, 50-Sheet Multipurpose Tray • 50-Sheet Duplex DF • 1GB Memory (Copy/Print) • UFR II (Host-Based), PCL 5c/6, Adobe PS (MF735CDW) • Duplex, Wireless Network • 33.6 Kbps Fax Speed

D1550

MF810CDN MF820CDN

• 58ppm (LBP351DN) • 65ppm (LBP352DN) • 500 Sheets + 100-Sheet Multipurpose Tray • 1GB Memory

LBP253DW can only be sold to 3P Authorized Dealers!

$

MF733CDW MF735CDW

D1520 D1550 • PRINT • COPY • SCAN • FAX

• 24ppm (MF236N) • 28ppm (MF247DW, MF249DW) • 600 x 600 dpi Resolution • 250-Sheet Cassette + 1-Sheet Multipurpose Tray • 512MB Memory (Copy/Print) • Duplex, Wireless Network (MF247DW, REBATE MF249DW) MF236N

• PRINT • COPY • SCAN • FAX

95

$

REBATE

70

$

$

75

REBATE

REBATE

L100

L190

LBP712DN

Color Laser Duplex Printer with Network • 40/40ppm (BW/Color) • 550 Sheets + 100-Sheet Multipurpose Tray

80

$

REBATE

All supplies & Parts available for prompt delivery! ENX Magazine | www.enxmag.com

All prices, rebates, and availability are subject to change without notice. Please call us to confirm.

Nuworld is not responsible for typographical errors or inaccurate specifications. Registered trademarks are properties of their respective owners.


Copiers • Printers • MFPs • Faxes • Scanners E m a il: info @ n u w o rld in c.co m

Order Online! www.nuworldinc.com

Blind Drop Shipping

Same Day Shipping

AUTHORIZED PRINTER

PARTNER PROGRAM ALL INSTANT REBATE PROMOS ARE VALID THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Award-Winning Samsung Products

CLX-8640ND / CLX-8650ND

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REBATE

REBATE

• 19/19ppm (BW/Color) (C1860FW) • 27/27ppm (BW/Color) (C2670FW) SL-C2670FW

$70 REBATE

SL-M3370FD

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BIG SALE! CLP-775ND

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$185 REBATE

B&W Duplex Copy, Print, Scan, Fax, Wireless Network

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Erik Cagle

State of the Industry News Briefing

Managed Print and IT: Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services

S

ell everything as a service. Anyone who has sat in on a conference presentation exploring the future of the office technology space is familiar with that refrain. It’s a conversation that begins, but doesn’t end, with managed print services and managed IT. Think of these two disciplines as a gateway to the everything-as-a-service universe, one that opens the door to document management and workflow, managed voice services (phone), managed energy, facilities management and cloud services. The customer engagement lynchpin that ties them together is their ability to be monitored, measured and managed. When you consider the possibilities offered by the Internet of Things (see Konica Minolta’s Workplace of the Future platform), tomorrow is a lot closer than you think. Both MPS and managed IT have experienced their share of growing pains—managed IT in particular— as the technology stacks have continued to morph. But there is good news for dealers who have been hesitant to enter the world of managed services, perhaps due to fruitless previous experiences. Both the technologies and processes for entry into these disciplines have improved substantially within the past five years. Given the reported stagnant growth on the hardware end, holdout dealers need to shake out the cobwebs and refocus on the opportunity to add value within their client base. It is not only dealers who are adjusting their focus to a wider services-spectrum perspective. Just ask Doug Johnson, chief strategy officer for LMI

IF YOU’RE NEW TO MANAGED PRINT AND EVEN IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN SERVICE TECHNICIANS, YOU NOW HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY TO START ON THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF SOMEONE ELSE AND DEVELOP YOUR COMPETENCIES. Doug Johnson, LMI Solutions

Solutions. After all, it was only last year that LMI Solutions announced it was becoming a managed business services infrastructure company. It will provide managed print, document workflow, IT and managed energy services. “For someone starting out in managed services, it’s almost easier now. All of the infrastructure for many of the assets and competencies outside of face-to-face selling of the solution can be found out in the market,” Johnson observed. “That reduces a lot of risk. If you’re new to managed print and even if you have your own service technicians, you now have the flexibility to start on the infrastructure of someone else and develop your competencies. Over time, you can decide which assets and competencies you want to develop yourself and which ones you want to partner. “There’s a lot better tools and capabilities that allow you to have a professional, national footprint very quickly, whereas 10 years ago, they didn’t exist.”

Diving into the IT End

There’s no dearth of tools that speak to the managed service universe. Collabrance, a GreatAmerica Company, is a master MSP that offers white-labeled managed IT solutions to the dealer channel. They offer technical support via a liveanswer service desk to triage and solve IT problems. Collabrance provides a fully vetted technology stack that includes backup and disaster recovery products and services, antivirus, firewall and email—all sold through office technology dealerships. The company also furnishes business support, including hardware-as-a-project, sales training (with virtual sales management) onboarding assistance and business training. According to Greg VanDeWalker, senior vice president of IT Channel and Services at Collabrance, the successful onboarding of a new service such as managed IT requires an upfront commitment from the dealer’s corner office to treat it as a new business. “Managed IT is not something business owners can just dip their toe into in the hopes of growing their business. It’s a very complicated business with a continued on page 18

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Managed Print and IT: Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services IT’S NOT JUST PUSHING TECHNOLOGY FOR THE SAKE OF TECHNOLOGY. IT IS UNDERSTANDING HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP OR IMPROVE A CUSTOMER’S BUSINESS PROCESS. Andreas Krebs, All Covered

longer selling cycle and the issues are much more critical,” he said. “You’re managing people’s network data. When a copier’s down, you can swing jobs to a different copier. When their email is down, their business isn’t moving. As a business owner, you need to commit that this is a business you’re going to make successful. Additionally, do you have the right people in place and do you have the tools necessary to be successful in managed services?” IT services is the calling card for Konica Minolta’s All Covered, which delivers a vast array of technology solutions that include managed IT services, cloud, application services, project support, IT security, consultation and education through its dealer program. All Covered guides dealers through the onboarding process and provides training and feedback. The key to a successful IT services program at the dealer level entails understanding your clients’ technology and business needs, notes Andreas Krebs, head of marketing at All Covered. “It’s not just pushing technology for the sake of technology,” he said. “It is understanding how technology can help or improve a customer’s business process. Partnering with a company like All Covered can help build the capabilities to be able to provide this type of guidance for the dealer’s customers. “A dealer needs to look at its own resources and decide what strategy’s best for them. Some have more experienced technology people to help identify more complicated technology opportunities, but they need at least two resources that can do onsite support.”

Print Management Tools

The Clover Imaging Group provides a complete MPS platform, ranging from device management to auto toner fulfillment and turnkey seat-based billing (SBB) programs. The firm recently launched a new custom content, verticallydriven dealer marketing program, Amplify, which encompasses marketing and training on entering the managed IT space. According to Luke Goldberg, executive vice president, global sales and marketing, the suite of user-based tools from Print Audit and the seat-based billing program are entry points into adjacent services, such as document management and workflow. “Too often, we are still only managing device output in what we call MPS. This isn’t really MPS, it’s really managed printer

services, not managed print services,” Goldberg said. “We are not managing print when we only look at devices, we’re just managing printers. User management is key to adding value contract period after contract period. Given the commoditization of the page and small declines in output, we can only stabilize profits and continue to drive end user savings by looking at user patterns, behaviors and changing workflows associated with print.” Print Audit recently expanded upon its remote monitoring management tools for the user, device and document level with the acquisition of Neostream, a document management specialist. The move enables Print Audit to give its clients a tool to manage a page regardless of its physical or digital form, according to West McDonald, Print Audit’s vice president of business development. One of the best strategies dealers can use for selling managed services is to not sell products but rather provide all-inclusive service. Being successful with this strategy entails escaping the traditional sales mindset. McDonald sees ample opportunities for dealers to sell managed IT to their existing customers. “In theory, managed print isn’t something that should have taken off in our channel but it did because of the sales expertise of the copier and imaging companies in the independent channel,” he said. “The appetite for everything as a service is increasing in the world at large. What slowed them down before is they had to go after a completely different customer base. I think if they’re willing to put the sales mechanisms into place as they did with managed print, then they’ll have similar success.”

Assessing the Situation

Lexmark offers a customized solution for dealers that addresses their unique strengths, existing investments and relationships, all tailored toward the dealer’s current level of MPS engagement. For newcomers, Lexmark provides full backend infrastructure to run their MPS operation, enabling dealers to remain front and center in their relationships with end users. A sound evaluation practice at the beginning of any engagement is the key for dealers in sitting down with their clients, notes Greg Chavers, vice president, North American Business Channels and SMB for Lexmark. This will help guide implementation, optimization efforts and ongoing management strategies. In kind, a dealer should make an honest assessment of the firm’s own Greg Chavers, Lexmark strengths and weaknesses. “Some dealers who are proficient with the break/fix side of the business may excel at a new MPS SLA schedule, but may be challenged with in-house tools’ capabilities or expertise to perform an assessment,” Chavers said. “Wherever the dealer is lacking, they must quickly act to close the gaps. Sometimes, that may mean investment in infrastructure. But often, it is continued on page 20

18

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Managed Print and IT: Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services identifying and establishing partnerships with the players in the market most capable of filling those gaps, whether that be technology, logistics, or operational or industry expertise.” Toshiba America Business Solutions offers a comprehensive MPS approach that addresses all aspects of a customer’s communication needs, including document capture and workflow, output management and digital content display. Through its Encompass process, Toshiba analyzes a customer’s business and operational requirements, such as network infrastructure, document processing (capture/management/ output), security protocols and total cost of ownership to identify opportunities for improvement. According to Kathy De Santi, MPS program manager for Toshiba, the key to properly crafting an MPS platform begins with assembling an account team that is properly compensated to encourage program sales. Once a dealer devises how to sell and price an account, it must decide whether it can operationally support MPS, or may be more suited to outsource part or all of the engagement. An analysis of a dealer’s client list will help identify which accounts can be converted to MPS immediately. “They may want to start locally and then expand to regional or national accounts once the processes are established and refined,” she said, adding that paper intensive verticals—legal, insurance, real estate, education and health care—are target rich in most reseller markets. One of the manufacturing forerunners of the managed print revolution is Xerox, which for years excelled in the larger enterprise space but now sees a tremendous opportunity for dealers in the meaty middle part of the SMB sector. Jim Joyce, vice president of MPS for Xerox’s US Channels Unit, points to research that says the SMB world has seen Jim Joyce, Xerox just 25 percent penetration and existing loyalty in that space is very limited. The lack of dealer/customer adhesiveness can be attributed to MPS programs which only provide supplies and break/fix. True, quality MPS adds layers that expand into secure authorization and analytics, which can open the door to ECM and workflow automation opportunities. “If you’re going to get into ECM, workflow automation and even the Internet of Things space, you need a fundamental IT team and expertise,” Joyce cautioned. “If you go back to the root fundamental of the 370 architecture of the IBM machines and the root level of the ISO model for networking, everything still comes back to those things. The way software is written, the way the network architecture and hierarchies are built, and the way security algorithms are built, you have to have that expertise if you really want to provide a holistic managed service to the end client in the SMB space. That, to me, is a very attractive thing to the buyer in SMB.” 20

www.enxmag.com | September 2017

Managed Energy Services Gives Dealers Another Power Tool

S

ometimes an idea seems so simple, it makes you wonder why no one thought of it earlier. In an age of smart devices enhancing connectivity and providing statistical measurements, the ability to bring relief to a decades-old challenge such as energy usage screams opportunity for a service provider. Is it possible to go from selling copiers to managing energy? Count Doug Johnson, chief strategy officer for LMI Solutions, as someone who is ecstatic about the possibilities that managed building and energy services can offer. LMI Solutions has embarked on a pilot program in which dealers are selling managed energy services to their MPS clients. The beauty of this solution is that traditional providers on the commodity side—the electricians and mechanical service providers—are more likely to be in contact with a facility manager than a CFO, who is the person most likely to buy into a managed service concept. It’s also the CFO with whom the dealers are quite familiar with in offering MPS and IT. Cost reduction opportunities in managed energy dwarf that of the printing space, Johnson notes. The electric panels, rooftop units and lighting are all connected, and there are a number of solutions on the market for collecting data. LMI Solutions has thrown its hat into that ring in order to serve the office technology space. “I think there’s an opportunity for this industry to reach those who are piqued in managed print and managed IT to provide another adjacent service that most customers need,” he noted. “If you’re a tenant and paying utility bills, you’re interested, or if you’re a building owner, and these are your assets, you’re interested. Here in Phoenix, if I can cut someone’s energy bill 20 percent, I’m a rock star.” ♦

Dealing with IT Challenges

The dealer channel is replete with stories of dealerships who abandoned managed services after a cluster of bad experiences. This is particularly true in the managed IT sector, where sudden and ongoing technology evolutions have created bad investments and frustration. Too often, VanDeWalker points out, dealers fail as a managed IT provider by trying to be all things to all people. When a dealer has scaled to 80 or more customers, with varying degrees of services, keeping straight which customers are on what plan can become problematic. By picking what technology and services you want to offer, it will mean that a certain segment of your customer base won’t be a good fit for the solutions, and VanDeWalker says dealership owners need to reconcile themselves to this fact. In the long run, managed services can bring a higher valuation for the overall business when it comes time to divest. continued on page 22

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Managed Print and IT: Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services GIVEN THE COMMODITIZATION OF THE PAGE AND SMALL DECLINES IN OUTPUT, WE CAN ONLY STABILIZE PROFITS AND CONTINUE TO DRIVE END USER SAVINGS BY LOOKING AT USER PATTERNS, BEHAVIORS AND CHANGING WORKFLOWS ASSOCIATED WITH PRINT. Luke Goldberg, Clover Imaging Group “For the part of your customer base where it is a good fit, the valuations on managed services are significantly higher than the multiples on a hardware-type business,” he said. “When you look at merger and acquisition data, companies on average are getting $1.33 of valuation for every dollar of recurring revenue for managed services. You don’t need as many customers in managed IT to have a $5 million valuation business as you do in the copier business. However, you need a lot more customers in the copier business because monthly recurring revenue tends to be smaller and there’s also a significant amount of hardware where you just don’t get that high of a valuation on it.” One of the most common mistakes made by dealers is shortcircuiting on the sales end. LMI Solutions’ Johnson preaches the importance of consultative selling: the uncovering of pain points and the understanding of client needs in order to create a customized solution, rather than off-the-shelf products or software. The longer managed service sales cycle—speaking to higher level executives rather than operations personnel—is part of the services engagement and a far cry from selling commodity products transactionally. “A lot of dealers make the mistake of not investing properly in finding the right sales people and training them,” he said. “Then they have to make sure they are compensating them and incentivizing them in the right ways to sell services.”

Fear of Commitment

Commitment issues certainly plague dealers, according to Lexmark’s Chavers, and dealers who fail to adequately invest in their strategy will encounter difficulties, regardless of how much they depend on their vendors. Hiring talented individuals is part of that commitment. Dealers will probably need to look outside their organization to find personnel equipped to handle MPS and the associated workflow improvements. “Having an experienced MPS leader oversee the new business area will be critical to delivering the results dealer owners are expecting,” Chavers said. Part of that willingness to invest entails an all-in proposition. Dealers who shop the low-cost managed IT solution tend to regret the move, according to All Covered’s Krebs. To inspire confidence, dealers need a solution augmented by experience, time, energy and resources. A one-stop shop solution can be 22

www.enxmag.com | September 2017

more efficient and economical in the aggregate than a series of managed pieces that require multiple vendors. “It’s not impossible to do in-house, but most don’t have the resources or experience to build out the capabilities to do inhouse,” Krebs said. “We have a dedicated team for security, for enterprise level redundant cloud data centers, infrastructure support, an application development team and our own managed voice offering. It’s being able to provide this seamlessly to the client is what spells the difference in whether you are going to be successful or not.” Echoing VanDeWalker, Xerox’s Joyce notes that dealers who try to take on anything and everything are challenged from a profitability standpoint, which jeopardizes their ability to deliver value to the customer. Vertical specialization can provide a way for dealers to develop competencies within a business sphere. The expertise this specialization yields can allow the dealer to become more efficient and capable. “I have found in a number of cases that some of the channel partners are reluctant to specialize,” Joyce noted. “It’s no longer just selling a copier or printer in the general market, it is more laser-focused.” Careful planning and an organized structure go a long way toward minimizing failures, according to Toshiba’s De Santi. If not done properly, change management—adding, moving or removing devices—can impact service, supplies and customer satisfaction. She also pointed out that non-networked devices limit program capabilities, whereas networked devices enable proactive Kathy De Santi, Toshiba monitoring to automate supply replenishment, error alerts and meter reads. Connecting customer printing devices to the network maximizes device utilization and program benefits.

Charting the Objections

Whether they’ve failed themselves or have heard anecdotal horror stories, dealers still harbor objections toward managed services. Some dealers avoid managed IT because they tried it previously but discovered they were ill-equipped to be successful, according to VanDeWalker. Particularly those dealers who bought IT specialists, then found they were unable to deliver just on the break/fix proposition. “(Collabrance’s) offering has evolved quite a bit from the time when many dealers were getting into managed services five or six years ago,” he said. “We’ve got the formula down, proven processes and are able to coach our partners in what they need to do in order to be profitable in this business today.” The inability to understand pricing models can provide wideeyed moments for dealers. Krebs recalls several customers who sought out cloud solutions, only to find that the actual price was much different than that “quoted” by online tools. “A lot of times it goes by data usage and how much of a pipe you need,” he said. “The costs can quickly skyrocket. It’s not continued on page 24

We Saw It In ENX Magazine


Managed Print and IT: Gateways to a Growing World of Dealer Services WHEN YOU LOOK AT MERGER AND ACQUISITION DATA, COMPANIES ON AVERAGE ARE GETTING $1.33 OF VALUATION FOR EVERY DOLLAR OF RECURRING REVENUE FOR MANAGED SERVICES. YOU DON’T NEED AS MANY CUSTOMERS IN MANAGED IT TO HAVE A $5 MILLION VALUATION BUSINESS AS YOU DO IN THE COPIER BUSINESS. Greg VanDeWalker, Collabrance just on the cloud but with other services as well. In the dealer channel, there’s so much that needs to be thought through in building a program.” One of the primary roadblocks dealers erect themselves is in not making the leap from the current curve of the business model they’re on to the next one, Johnson points out. When their core business experiences a downturn, dealers often don’t have the resources to move into an adjacency. In truth, the investment to ramp up need not be so great. One issue Johnson sees is that some dealers try to build all of their managed services competencies themselves, as opposed to relying on a third-party provider. “You don’t have to build your own plane in order to learn to fly,” he said. “That’s why we spend a lot of time on education. They should determine what they need today, partner for what they don’t have, and figure out which things they want to bring in-house long term and which they want to partner. But open your eyes in the market to the broader things. “You can buy a wholesale page today that you can mark up. You don’t need any operational competencies to do that, whereas if you’re building everything with your own components—your own data collection, proposal tools, analytics—it takes a while to do. A lot of companies will fail with that before they get any traction.” Goldberg chalks up much of the reluctance in adding managed services as a matter of bandwidth and expertise. In the early days of MPS, he notes, dealers were challenged in converting hardware sales representatives into managed print reps. This remains an issue as dealers still struggle to devise compensation models and change the mindsets of hardware reps familiar with shorter sales cycles and immediate gratification. “In order to branch into other services, you need to hire, train and assimilate yet another sales and service team which comes at great investment with fairly long, or in some cases, no ROI,” Goldberg added.

The Internet of Things to Come

Whether or not dealers are advocates of managed services, it is clear that many experts see a continuing diversification toward 24

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everything as a service, particularly as the age of the Internet of Things opens up the ability to monitor, measure and manage virtually any cost center within a client’s operations. Some naysayers may scoff at looking too far into the future when dealers are still struggling with MPS and managed IT. To quote from The Simpsons, “Why make 31 flavors when you can’t get vanilla right?” But VanDeWalker sees a rich future of possibilities for managed services, particularly as IoT enables more remote monitoring possibilities. “When I look at some of our most progressive partners that we do business with on the [GreatAmerica] leasing side of our business, they’re doing managed IT, print and security, which has so many elements to it, including perimeter cameras and sensors. When you think of the connected office with touch screens and video conferencing, we’ve got partners that do all of that. When you think of how complex it is to manage all of it, that’s kind of where we’re going. To stay ahead of competitors, dealers must proactively take strides to becoming a holistic solution for their customers.” There’s an old adage that customers are continuously seeking “one throat to choke.” In a layer of multiple services that diversify beyond print, Goldberg cautions against the dangers inherent in becoming a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none. However, he sees much movement in the dealer community toward print security, which he feels is a hot-button issue. He believes more third-party providers will offer wholesale turnkey solutions, just as Collabrance and All Covered do for dealers seeking to enter the managed IT space. Xerox’s Joyce is another proponent of following the IoT movement and the opportunities around specialization, particularly for environmental measures including air and sound quality—an area where companies have already devised software solutions. “For our partners, it’s walking a path where getting documents and managing print effectively creates an economic opportunity in the platform. Then they can move into managed content services,” he said. “Content then lends itself very effectively to the world of IoT. We refer to that as the agile workplace.” Cloud services will be another avenue for dealers to monitor as a potential services outlet, according to McDonald, but the options are abundant and many of them market directly to users. Server-less computing has been in the news, and as is the case with many aspects of the service world, it becomes more about capabilities and deliverables, West McDonald, and less about physical products. Print Audit “The strategy a dealer will have to adopt is to change the way they sell things, but in the copier channel, it will take a long time before that changes,” McDonald said. “As we know, our channel’s not going to do anything until it starts to hurt. The hardware sales model isn’t working for the OEMs, either, so how can that not change?” ♦ We Saw It In ENX Magazine


Erik Cagle

Channel Insight News Briefing

The Rebirth of Xerox: How a Century-Old Manufacturer is Transforming the User Experience

I

t stands to reason that if one wants to still look good at the age of 110, it takes more than a little cosmetic surgery to make it reality. For the Xerox Corporation, it began with January’s separation into two companies: Conduent, a business process outsourcing company, and Xerox, the document technology company. The process continued two months later with the single largest product launch in Xerox history. That is a facelift of epic proportions. But it doesn’t end there.

Mike Feldman, at NYSE Opening Bell Ringing

Xerox is transferring tens of thousands of direct sales accounts to its channel partners, providing endless opportunities for those partners to grow business while enabling Xerox to concentrate direct sales on the largest accounts. Xerox is also seeking to bolster its dealer recruitment efforts on a global scale with double-digit growth, and the company seeks to further augment its commanding share of the managed print services space. But there’s no denying that much of the buzz surrounding the 26

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Norwalk, CT-based manufacturer centers on the launch of the ConnectKey portfolio of 29 AltaLink and VersaLink printers and multifunction devices, announced in March. ENX Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Mike Feldman, executive vice president of Xerox Corp. and president of North America operations, who shared his views on how this mammoth initiative will enable Xerox to establish a better foothold in the A4 market while bridging the paper and digital divide by enabling end users to print for less while printing less. The company also seeks to maintain its standing as a leader in both the A3 space and managed print services realm. Tell us about your career path leading up to Xerox. FELDMAN: I started with IBM, doing an internship while at Pace University. I went directly to HP after graduating and spent 24 years there, working in the printing group as well as with PCs, servers, storage and other IT related products and services. I also worked directly with channel partners, end users and enterprise customers. I left HP in 2012 and a few months later joined Xerox. At first, I was running our large enterprise business globally as well as the managed print services business. The MPS business was responsible for not only direct MPS, from Xerox to enterprise customers, but also our MPS business with channel partners who were serving their customers, mostly SMBs. Some We Saw It In ENX Magazine

of those channel partners were also serving larger customers as well. I performed that role for a little over three years. On Jan. 1, when Xerox separated into two companies, we reorganized and I became the president of North America operations for U.S. and Canada. Now I run sales and service delivery to all of our customers, both direct and indirect through our channel partners and all customer segments—enterprise, SMBs, graphic communications and everything else that we do with all of our customers and partners. Our channel partners consist of multi-branded dealers; sometimes we refer to these as document technology partners. These are some of the bigger dealers you’ll find across the country—Loffler, Usherwood, LDI—as well as our distributors like Tech Data, SYNNEX and Ingram, plus other channel partners and direct marketers. Xerox agents are a big part of our channel business and we’re working hard to transform the model of how we work with the agent dealers and really strengthen their business. Earlier in the year, it was reported that Xerox is moving tens of thousands of direct accounts to channel partners. How is this progressing? FELDMAN: It’s ongoing. We did move some accounts earlier in the year and we’re moving another small group shortly. Another big move is planned for Jan. 1. We’re in the final stages of planning and hope to have all

continued on page 28


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The Rebirth of Xerox: How a Century-Old Manufacturer is Transforming the User Experience mobility, with scanning capabilities on the smaller devices. That’s what we’ve achieved with these products.

Mike Feldman and Daryl Walker, VP, Public Sector West, Xerox

of that set up and completed by Sept. 1, and then we’ll be in execution mode so that by Jan. 1, we’ll be moving those accounts. It’s a significant number, tens of thousands of accounts. We have a direct sales organization that can cover a certain part of the market, but there are so many thousands of accounts that we can’t cover because we don’t have enough direct sales people. That is where the channel comes into play as an extension of our market reach. Today, we have too many accounts that we segmented to our direct sales organization. If you look at the account ratio of each sales person, they have more accounts than they can cover well. As a result, we miss opportunities. Our channel partners think we’re covering them, so they’re serving a different set of accounts. We feel we can enable our partners and acquire more dealers to be representing Xerox and reach these accounts in a proper way. We can save our direct sales force for the large accounts, the Fortune 1000 companies, and they can hunt for new business with companies like General Motors. We don’t have much business with them, and the rep that is assigned to GM probably has many other accounts. If that rep had only eight or 10 accounts, he or she could spend more time building relationships with the right people and pursuing those opportunities, while our channel partners, multi-branded dealers and our Global Imaging Systems set of companies can handle the rest of those accounts. 28

In March, the company announced the largest product launch in its 110-year history, the new ConnectKey portfolio of 29 AltaLink and VersaLink printers and multifunction devices. Walk us through the genesis of this undertaking. FELDMAN: We’ve been listening closely to our customers through customer advisory councils and other forums where we get feedback. Customers are saying they want to have a tablet or smart phone-type user experience with our devices. They want the screen to have apps on it and they want to be able to press a button and get something done quickly. They want it to be very intuitive. The MFPs can be so much more than just a printer. Customers want to access their documents on these devices. These documents may sit in a cloud repository like DropBox, or could be on-premise, in a SharePoint or a Xerox DocuShare-type of format. Users want to access the document, sign it or translate it into a different language. We heeded that feedback and came out with these 29 products, the VersaLink and the AltaLink, two families with one user experience and one platform for apps. We’re making it so that these devices—we’re now calling them workplace assistants, because they’re so much more than a printer hiding in a corner—can be in the center and people can get much more out of them. We just needed the right user interface and the right platform, the right security and

www.enxmag.com | September 2017

Your Future of Work Global Tour attracted more than 2,000 customers during the course of 16 events to tout the ConnectKey portfolio. What are the early sales results and how was it received in general? FELDMAN: It exceeded all my expectations, both in crowd size and the enthusiasm of our partners and customers about the devices. They loved the industrial look and feel of the devices, the apps we were demoing and their usability, and the fact that the tablets are built into the machines. The feedback was enormous. We’ve already won some awards and had positive reviews from Keypoint Intelligence—Buyers Lab, Better Buys and PC Magazine. Sales are growing. Some of these products weren’t available for order until June. By the end of September, all 29 will be shipping. We’re very excited about the early results were seeing, particularly the A4 lift we’re getting. We’re going to make a splash in the A4 market, which we’ve been underserving in the past. A3 is a space where we have a market-leading share. In conjunction with the Global Tour, Xerox released a pair of marketing kits designed to replicate the Future of Work experience. How would you characterize the impact of your marketing efforts? FELDMAN: Some of the partners who came out for the tour wanted to host an event at their own location and bring in 50-100 customers for a smaller-scale presentation. That was the genesis of these marketing kits. We called them an “event in a box.” We shipped our partners everything they would need to pull off an event. They’re extremely excited about it. I’ve seen some of the events on LinkedIn; they’ve been posting event pictures, talking about how many people attended. It’s an exciting opportunity for our partners to spread the word to their customers. One of your stated goals is to expand MPS growth and leadership in the SMB market. How are you approaching this objective?

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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The Rebirth of Xerox: How a Century-Old Manufacturer is Transforming the User Experience

Mike Feldman at Xerox Future of Work Global Tour 2017

FELDMAN: We’re a market leader with a significant share of growth in managed print services. For years we’ve served customers directly with MPS, and over the last six years we’ve grown our channel MPS market and opportunity, which is designed for our channel partners to serve their clients, primarily in the SMB space. We know that 75 percent of SMB purchases are made through channel partners. We’ve been working hard to ensure our managed print services offering is easy for our channel partners to interact with and onboard new customers into. We are supplying our partners the right kind of reporting so that they can deliver the value-add to their customers. Also, billing is simplified, whether it’s a cost-per-page model or some kind of base-plus-click structure. We’ve also started a new MPS accreditation program that recognizes a select group of our most strategic channel partners who have demonstrated the desire and the capacity to substantially grow their MPS business. These partners are getting extra investments in tools, marketing and support for their business.

The first quarter was a little slow, but the second quarter was very good and we’re projecting a huge growth for the second half. We are on strategy for expanding our distribution capacity through channel partner signings and acquisitions. We’re also making sure that all of our partners understand our new connected products, including A3 and A4, as well as light production color and we’re equipping the resellers with the tools, training and support, along with the managed print services programs they need to grow their revenue and business. Some recruitment examples include Memphis Communications Corp., an IT service provider; and Standard Business Systems of Little Rock, AR. This is happening globally as well: we’ve signed three companies in the UK. Xerox has incredible brand equity. We’re not just interested in growing our own mono-branded agents or our own Global Imaging Systems; we want to expand with multi-branded dealers. They’re making the investments on their own to come to our training events for sales and service delivery, so they can get up to speed and start to ramp up that revenue.

Xerox is also seeking to recruit dozens of new dealers in 2017 and grow that business by double digits. How are you progressing in this regard? FELDMAN: It takes time from the point when a multi-branded dealer is signed up for them to get significant revenue.

The Xerox 9700, which set many of the benchmarks for office printing, celebrates its 40th birthday this year. How is Xerox positioning itself to address the office market’s printing needs going forward? FELDMAN: We’re proud of the 9700, it was a real breakthrough. Our energy is

30

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on the next 40 years and beyond. We’re in an environment now where we’re seeing the physical and digital worlds collide. With our new 29 ConnectKey products, we believe we can help our customers with a new experience and allow them to do things that they didn’t think were possible a few months ago. That is where we’re heading with this digital and physical intersection. The apps are the way to get there. The user experience made that all very easy for customers. We’re delivering a smart phone-type user experience. Users want to be able to interact with their documents in a physical world but also in a digital world. They want to use the Internet of Things to call Xerox for service or support or new toner cartridges. All of these incredible ideas that are coming out represent the next 40 years for Xerox. The apps are the gamechanger. Global Imaging Systems announced in May that it had acquired MT Business Technologies of Ohio. What can you tell us about GIS’ growth strategy? FELDMAN: When we acquired GIS in 2007, they were a billion dollar organization; today they are over $2 billion. GIS has been growing organically and inorganically, and we think that model works very well. Early in the year, we bought Laser Resources of Iowa. As we find great dealers out there, we’ll continue on with that strategy. It is a fragmented environment and there are still opportunities for more of that type of consolidation. We’re always diligent and disciplined on who we acquire. What changes in the BTA space are influencing your go-to-market strategy, and what influences will play a role in your strategy going forward? FELDMAN: I see a huge opportunity there for the dealers to step up their game in delivering value to their customers. The days of customers just buying printers or multifunction devices to only print or copy something are quickly disappearing. Customers want more services, more solutions to help solve their business problems. They want the

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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vendors and the dealers to help them print for less and print less. Managed print services can do that by right-sizing the fleets and consolidating them, standardizing on one vendor and one user experience. By using MPS, you’ll automatically fulfill toner and not have a bunch of cartridges sitting in a closet. Once you are able to deliver better print for savings to the customer, the conversation quickly turns to how to become more digital, lower print volumes and put more things into a digital environment. Using workflow automation and best-in-class benchmark security are the ways to do that. The products that we have in the office space, the VersaLinks and the AltaLinks, as well as our production and light production products—the new Versant 180 and 3100—are incredible products not only for our customers but for our partners to deliver to their customer sets as well. They can break into new opportunities in the office as well as the back office, where they’re printing more high-volume types of documents. It’s absolutely the way of the future.

What are your top tasks as president for Xerox North America? FELDMAN: We’re always extremely focused on our end customers and our partners in delivering a great experience to them. That experience goes across sales and service delivery, and providing billing to them that’s very clear and concise. We have an internal saying, “customers for life,” because customers never want to leave, so don’t give them a reason to leave. We prioritize customer loyalty and satisfaction. A second priority is going after all the new business out there. It’s a big market, both in the enterprise and SMB spaces, and we need a smart strategy that is both a direct model for those large customers as well as an indirect model for our medium and smaller customers. Playing the right go-to-market strategy is a huge priority to gain share. What can Xerox do to build upon what it’s already been able to accomplish? FELDMAN: We are an equipment sales revenue market leader, globally. However, we’ve been lagging in the A4 market with the smaller printers and smaller multiWe Saw It In ENX Magazine

function devices. That’s an area where we can use our success with the bigger devices to deliver on the A4 promise. With MPS, we are the market leader in the enterprise, and we can offer so much value to our partners so they can deliver a similar experience to their SMB customers. With our mono-branded agents, we’re transforming the model. We’ve had a long history with agents and it’s always been a model where they have sold product on our behalf and we’ve given them a commission. We’re changing that to a buy-sell model, where they can actually buy products and resell them at their price and service the devices. We’re enabling them to do so much more. We’re recruiting dozens of dealers throughout the world, multi-branch, large dealers, BTA-type dealers, or document technology partners as we call them, to extend our reach into the SMB space. And we are a leader in production color and that market is transforming with inkjet technology. That’s how we build on a foundation of strength and extend it into other opportunities where the market is growing. There’s a huge opportunity for Xerox. ♦

September 2017 | www.enxmag.com

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Erik Cagle

DealerBriefing Spotlight News

Straight Talk: Vision Office Systems’ Fred Habbal Predicts Independent Dealers Will Prevail

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he tides of change are swirling all about the office technology space, but don’t pass along any gloom and doom predictions to Fred Habbal. The founder and owner of Vision Office Systems (VOS) of Charlotte, NC, has logged nearly 40 years of experience in the industry, and he’s heard this forecast before. And when it comes to the fate of the independent office technology dealer, Habbal sees nothing but bright skies, especially for his own company. Vision Office Systems recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and pulled the trigger on its first expansion, adding new branch offices in Greenville, SC, and Albemarle, NC. Its highimpact geography is Charlotte and the surrounding 13 counties, which have helped enable VOS to reach the $7 million plateau in annual sales. The company offers hardware solutions from Canon, Muratec, Samsung and Lexmark and provides services including

(from left) Fred Habbal and Jason Habbal 32

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managed print and document management. Habbal has witnessed a cycle of changes during his career, which includes the founding of Charlotte’s Copy Data, which was later sold to Sharp. Not a week goes by where someone doesn’t call Habbal and offer to buy VOS, but he thinks the future belongs to the independent dealer. Habbal doesn’t pull any punches on his views regarding industry consolidators and manufacturers with direct sales operations, nor does he agree with their tactics. ENX Magazine had the opportunity to learn about the unfiltered and entertaining views of Habbal and his son, Jason (the company’s vice president of sales). If the past is any indication of where our industry might be headed, then perhaps Fred Habbal’s insights should be heeded. How is business this year? FRED HABBAL: We are getting a lot of new accounts from our competitors. When you look at what’s going on in the industry, you can’t help but see a bright future for the independent dealer. After all is said and done, nobody’s going to be left standing except the independent dealer. Back when IKON came into existence, along with Danka, what they did was threaten dealers to put them out of business if they didn’t sell to them. Then IKON and Danka went away [acquired by OEMs]. We’re a little more aggressive in our approach. We offer better We Saw It In ENX Magazine

service and personal interaction. Those other dealers, especially the manufacturers, they don’t have any personal interaction with customers. We establish relationships and nine out of 10 companies will do business with people that they know and are comfortable with. If you don’t have a relationship, you don’t have anything. What does Vision Office Systems pride itself on? FRED HABBAL: Service, integrity, honesty, no crookedness—no lying or cheating, deceiving or ripping the customer off—simple, straightforward operations. Our industry is full of crooks. Whatever we tell you today, 10 years from now, it’ll still be the same. I’m not saying that we don’t make mistakes, but if we do, we’ll correct it immediately. You recently announced two new locations in the Carolinas. Why were these cities strategic to your plan? FRED HABBAL: The Greenville/Spartanburg area in South Carolina has been booming since BMW opened a plant there. We have been getting a lot of interest in business. I think in the next three to four months, we’re going to see tons of business coming our way. With Albemarle, NC, we wanted a presence in that area. There’s some big manufacturing companies there and they like to do business locally. We’re located in downtown Albemarle, which is very close to the continued on page 34


Straight Talk: Vision Office Systems’ Fred Habbal Predicts Independent Dealers Will Prevail JASON HABBAL: We don’t bombard the sales people with 15 different software products. We try to pick a company that we can be good at or are good at. Things that they can successfully go out and talk to. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to get deeper and wider into accounts. Vision Office Systems’ customer technology portal.

courthouse and government. We’re in the middle of everything. Talk about the thought process that led you to open these new facilities. FRED HABBAL: We always had plans to grow to different locations, but what stopped us was the recession/depression of 2007-2009 that put all expansion ideas on hold. There was a lot of uncertainty, banks were going belly-up and no one knew what was going to happen. It was just a disaster. The plans had been in place for a long time, so it was just a matter of picking the right time to do it. What are some of your newer areas of business? Is it going the way you hoped? FRED HABBAL: We’re trying to get into a couple of things, but we did not want to do IT. That’s not our cup of tea. We are looking into security cameras and monitoring with someone like Canon. We hear from other dealers about doing water coolers, which we’re looking to get into. We’re also in talks to add Epson as a vendor. We’re going to visit their facilities in California and look at their products.

printing, but they don’t love it enough to spend $200,000 or $300,000 on a printer. The average company does not have the funds or the budget for it. Unfortunately, we learned our lesson from that. We got into it about a year-and-a-half ago and we sold a couple of printers, but we shouldn’t have touched it. Vision is celebrating its 20th year in business. What lessons learned will enable the company to be successful in its next 20 years? FRED HABBAL: You’ve got to go back to the basics—do a good job, be honest and sincere. You can’t promise the world and not deliver. When you sell them a piece of equipment, if you don’t fulfill all of your promises, they’re going to come and bite you. We don’t do that. Whatever we tell you, you can take it to the bank. Your company has traditionally been a hardware-centric company. Can you tell us about how the process of selling software and solutions has been progressing for your sales staff? FRED HABBAL: Selling and servicing the equipment is still our core business. We can do software, but it’s nothing to

YOU’VE GOT TO GO BACK TO THE BASICS—DO A GOOD JOB, BE HONEST AND SINCERE. YOU CAN’T PROMISE THE WORLD AND NOT DELIVER. Fred Habbal We got into 3D printing, but I would suggest staying away from that business. When you hear about 3D printing, you start thinking about all the possibilities, but really your mind is playing tricks on you. People talk about how the computing companies, manufacturing companies and architects love 3D 34

brag or write home about. We knew it would be a slow go, because there’s a lot of things involved in software. You’ve got the installation and the support, and each software company has its own requirements. MPS is doing OK, it’s a good business, but the thing about it is you cannot get enough [deals].

www.enxmag.com | September 2017

What do you look for in your employees? How do you recruit and retain good ones? FRED HABBAL: I learned a long time ago that you always need to be recruiting. Especially in the sales department. We don’t have issues with staffing our service department, there always seems to be good candidates available. Our problem has been the sales people. To cure that, you always have to be particular, always talking to people. If you’re at a restaurant and see a young waiter, that kid has probably graduated or is about to graduate from college. Talk to him. He might be your best salesman. Who do you see as your biggest competition, and how do you differentiate your company from them? FRED HABBAL: My biggest competitor is no one, because none of them do what I do. If you want to compare us with manufacturer branches, those people don’t even come close. They want to go out and win business by giving it away; that’s not selling. The other dealers in the area, they just don’t measure up to what we do with the product we sell, how we do business or our reputation. One company just came to Charlotte, and what I’m hearing from customers is that these people are unethical, pushy and [customers] don’t want to do business with them. We were shocked when we went on [this company’s] Facebook page. The negative comments from people about them were unbelievable. What are your goals for this year? FRED HABBAL: Win more accounts from anybody that we can. We’re focusing on the new location in Greenville and establishing ourselves

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

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email: sales@marsintl.com

www.marsintl.com as a major player in that market. We are very happy, especially with the reception and results that we’re getting down there. When you get a call from a customer who says they’ve heard that we joined the Chamber of Commerce and they ask us to send them a salesman to talk about copiers, that’s exciting. By the end of the year, this branch will be producing very well for us. I believe wholeheartedly that one-onone interactions are the heart of selling. Knock on doors and convert those people from customers to friends. We don’t advertise, we just go out and try to reach people, tell them the story about who we are. JASON HABBAL: We’ve also upped a lot of our social media presence within Facebook and Instagram as much as we can to get the word out to the masses. Obviously, those avenues reach so many more people in such a quick time, so we’ve tried to do a lot more of that recently.

How do you view the industry changing in the future and what are you doing to adapt? FRED HABBAL: With some of these larger companies, they treat their customers like numbers. They don’t give a damn if you’re happy or upset or if they lose your business or not: they’ve got plenty of money and other accounts. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, everything was revolving around the independent dealer, and I think this is going to come back. When the manufacturers were opening their own branches, I reminded everybody that they all had branches in the 1980s and they all closed them down, because they don’t know how to do it. So what gives the manufacturers the idea that they’re going to succeed this time? And here we go… Ricoh just closed their branches. This is going to continue. No company can sustain the losses that these companies are taking with the direct operations. You can lose money for a year or two, but eventually someone at that company is going to say “Enough is enough.”

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I hope a lot of dealers will stick it out and tell the people trying to acquire them to go away. If the future is so bad and the industry is so bad, why are these people acquiring companies? I get a phone call here almost every week from someone who wants to buy Vision Office Systems. Once the manufacturers wake up to see what the hell they did and are doing, the whole thing will change. What is your most favorite and least favorite thing about your job? FRED HABBAL: The worst thing is when I have to fire somebody. It’s something I don’t like to do because it’s too much of a burden when you start thinking about kids, families, mortgages, car payments and colleges. It’s just overwhelming. What I really like is that every day is new and different, not like the previous one. To me, it’s so exciting, even if it’s just a $2,000 order. This business has been very good to me and I’ll never trade it for anything else. ♦

September 2017 | www.enxmag.com

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Keenan Thomson

Market Intelligence

Konica Minolta Acquisition of Muratec Signals Deeper Investments in Industrial Printing

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t first glance, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc.’s acquisition of Muratec America appears to be motivated by the companies’ longstanding OEM relationship and complementary office technology businesses. Konica Minolta gains B&W A4 engine technology, an installed base, channel, and the well-regarded Muratec team. Yet the purchase won’t have that large of an impact on Konica Minolta’s office printing business, and the competitive landscape probably won’t change that dramatically either. So while office certainly played a role in last week’s acquisition, the primary motivating factor for this acquisition was more likely Konica Minolta’s strategic goal of growing its industrial printing business. Industrial labeling is a major piece of this strategic effort and a key near-term revenue driver, with the technology now headlining dealer meetings and other company events. Muratec brings the company a range of labeling and finishing systems, along with an experienced and knowledgeable team. Together, these should enhance Konica Minolta’s existing portfolio of homegrown and MGI systems and ultimately contribute to its growth in labeling.

brand will fill gaps in the other’s lineup. Konica Minolta and Muratec have a longstanding, reciprocal engine OEM business relationship, both in the US and Japan. Konica Minolta has for several years relied on Muratec A4 B&W engine technology to fill gaps in its lineup (e.g. bizhub 25e), while Muratec has licensed a growing range of Konica Minolta A3 engines, and—more recently—A4 color engines (1/2017), to supplement its limited homegrown office lineup. Konica Minolta even has an estimated 19 percent stake in Muratec’s Japanese sales company (as of 2013), further illustrating the deep working relationship between the companies. While Muratec’s A4 B&W MFP technology is certainly an asset to Konica Minolta, it is important to note that Muratec America’s engines are currently limited both in range (25ppm – 37ppm) and diversity (only 2 speeds). So, while this acquisition certainly gives Konica Minolta new technology assets, the manufacturer will still require non-Muratec engines (e.g. Lexmark), homegrown engines, or a combination, to Konica Minolta A4 Engine Suppliers (# SKUs) Engine Type • BW • CLR

OEM History, and Office Portfolio and Channel Strategy

In its Aug. 1 announcement Konica Minolta identified a “mutual and complementary product lineup with Muratec,” referring to the two companies’ lack of portfolio overlap. Each 36

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Lexmark 4

Konica Minolta 6

Muratec 1

source: gop intelligence MFP-Copier Pricing & Promotions Report, August 06, 2017

achieve a complete A4 B&W portfolio. In the near term, expect Konica Minolta to leverage Muratec’s A4 B&W technology to fill its low-end lineup (e.g. the 25ppm bizhub 25e), while otherwise continuing to utilize Lexmark A4 B&W engines at the mid- and high-end of its lineup (e.g. the 35ppm bizhub 3320, 42ppm bizhub 4020/4050, and 50ppm bizhub 4750). In terms of channel, Konica Minolta has signaled that it is not seeking significant channel expansion, and therefore the company should be expected to focus on capturing larger Muratec dealers in the coming months, with smaller Muratec dealerships possibly converting to other brands in the longer term. There are a number of dual-line KM/Muratec dealers in the US, suggesting that Konica Minolta has an opportunity to strengthen its presence in these accounts (e.g. All Copy Products, Impact Networking, P.O.A., or PERRY proTECH).

Role in Konica Minolta M&A Strategy & Industrial Printing

Konica Minolta disclosed that it has completed 30 acquisitions in the past five years, positioning it as one of the most active manufacturers inside or outside of the print industry in terms of mergers and acquisitions. In recent years, their M&A and investment strategy has largely targeted managed IT services, ECM, health care, various optical technologies, and workplace technologies, while printing investments have typically centered on production areas continued on page 38

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Konica Minolta Acquisition of Muratec Signals Deeper Investments in Industrial Printing (e.g. MGI, Charterhouse, Ergo Asia, etc.). This M&A history, along with the various characteristics of this specific deal, again suggests that it was Muratec’s industrial label press business that was the primary motivation for the purchase and now offers the most potential strategic value to Konica Minolta long term. Industrial printing (labels, KM1, MGI, etc.) is one of the most strategically important and rapidlyevolving areas of Konica Minolta’s business. The company identifies industrial printing, including label printers, textiles, and packaging, as a massive ¥52 trillion (approximately $469.5 billion) addressable market with a low 3 percent digitization ratio, which the company views as a significant analog-to-digital conversion opportunity. In addition, Konica Minolta identifies industrial printing as one of its strongest near-term revenue drivers among its growth business segments (which include medical IT, marketing services, and others), suggesting that the company is directing considerable strategic resources toward this area.

Muratec immediately brings a notable range of label presses to Konica Minolta’s industrial printing lineup, including at least four inkjet digital label presses, two toner-based digital label presses, and four digital 38

finishing systems. These systems will add to the company’s existing range of label systems, including the bizhub PRESS C71cf, as well as a number of MGI systems that have expanded their presence in the past few years and played a major role in Konica Minolta 2016 US dealer meeting.

Strategic Cornerstone

The acquisition of Muratec America also serves as the latest evidence of the intensifying consolidation in the print industry. The acquisition follows shortly after the Chinese consortium purchase of Lexmark’s print business and HP’s decision to buy Samsung Printing Solutions, in addition to a much wider range of manufacturer-led purchases of service/solutions providers and the near weekly pace of channel acquisitions in western markets. Muratec’s decision to be acquired by Konica Minolta also calls attention to the more precarious position that lower-tier brands face in a mature and consolidating industry. With Muratec’s small market share and relative scale, limited units and revenue, and channel and geographic presence (mainly the US and Japan), the company likely viewed an acquisition as a necessary exit strategy. In addition, Muratec’s parent Murata Machinery does not view print (and therefore Muratec) as a significant strategic component of its business. Now owned by Konica Minolta, but operating as a subsidiary, Muratec gains a significantly stronger position under one of the industry’s strongest and financially healthiest brands. And this subsidiary ownership structure, combined with Muratec’s relatively lean

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workforce and small lineup, also likely presents a more flexible timeline for the larger company to successfully integrate the new acquisition.

Competitive Impact

The competitive impact of Konica Minolta’s acquisition of Muratec’s office portfolio will be relatively limited, given that the two companies already have a longstanding OEM partnership and shared many dealer accounts as complementary brands. The acquisition could certainly provide Konica Minolta with new channel opportunities with Muratec dealerships that Konica Minolta deems large enough to add to its authorized dealer channel. In the longer term, it is possible they could leverage Muratec’s technology assets to develop a wider range of A4 engines, which could eventually displace Lexmark as Konica Minolta’s primary A4 B&W engine source, as well as positioning Konica Minolta as an even stronger single-line brand. The purchase of Muratec also certainly has competitive implications in the industrial label press space, as Konica Minolta expands its own inkjetand toner-based press portfolio, as well as its label finishing lineup. In the near term, this acquisition, in combination with Konica Minolta- and MGI-based technology, accelerates Konica Minolta’s label press portfolio development and will surely contribute to the company’s ability to achieve its medium-term global growth targets in industrial printing (¥110 billion in FY2017, ¥120 billion in FY2018).

Acquisition Overview

Konica Minolta continues to demonstrate a willingness to achieve its goals inside and outside of print through an aggressive combination of in-house technology development, strategic investments and partnerships, and a high pace of acquisitions. Representing the company’s most print-centric acquisition in recent memory, the purchase of Muratec plays an important role in strengthening Konica Minolta’s core office print business, but more importantly will better position Konica Minolta to meet its ambitious industrial printing goals in the coming years. ♦

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Managed Services Roundtable

Growing Competencies: Dealers Make Case for Developing Internal Managed Services Platform By Erik Cagle

A continuous drum that has been beaten in the office technology space is the ongoing movement toward offering managed services as opposed to taking a pure hardware play approach.

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et, even as dealers successfully ramp their capabilities in MPS, managed IT, document services, facilities and the entire scope of a customer’s repertoire that can be monitored, measured and managed—either through developed in-house proficiencies or via turnkey vendor solutions—a significant segment of the dealership population has yet to take the plunge. We’ve assembled a roster of medium and large players in the managed services space to examine the core elements of their offerings. We also discussed how they target their customer base, as well as the process of developing their service infrastructure. They’ll offer insight as to whether managed services are a fit for your dealership and offer some strategies and advice for breaking into the most profitable and fastest-growing segment in the office technology sector.

APPLIED IMAGING Grand Rapids, MI Managed services: MPS, IT, facilities This $68 million dealership targets accounts with 10-125 users, and can adjust those parameters depending on other factors, according to Casey Lowery, director of sales. He sees service desk, remote monitoring and management, endpoint security, vCIO services with technology planning, business continuity and hardware-as-a rental as the key elements of a comprehensive managed IT services program. In developing its overall managed platform, Applied Imaging has taken the acquisition route. One of the benefits of this approach, according to Lowery, is the ability to rapidly scale the size of a 40

team. Keeping the service in-house enables the dealer to maintain more control of the process and service delivery than they would if utilizing a master MSP. “There have been several challenges related to this strategy,” he said. “Some customers in the acquired base do not fit the offering model. Also, post-acCasey Lowery, quisition, roles don’t Applied Imaging always remain the same and it can be a challenge to make sure all the individuals that come on board are in the right positions. Additionally, when merging cultures, there will always be a learning curve and adjustment as individuals from both sides try to understand the new environment.” As for the hard costs associated with in-house development, Lowery notes that since many of the tools that are consumed by the managed services model are subscription-based, the costs tend to scale along with the revenue. That makes it difficult to amortize an expense in a way that a dealer can reach a point of being more profitable in the future due to the initial investments. Lowery projects a six-month journey to offsetting the initial investment and continued costs. Lowery believes that from a target customer standpoint, managed services won’t seem ideal if the customer doesn’t believe its core focus should be on its business and instead chooses to concentrate on operational aspects like IT that can be more effectively outsourced. “From our practices standpoint, we are pursuing a pure offering where the solution is completely outsourced to us,”

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he said. “We have found this position to be most successful for us. Based on our current services model, medium-to-enterprise customers are probably never going to be a fit.”

USHERWOOD OFFICE TECHNOLOGY Syracuse, NY Managed Services: MPS, IT, video, security Usherwood Office Technology, with annual sales exceeding $25 million, focuses its managed services efforts on accounts ranging from 20 to 160 employees, serving verticals including legal, education, non-profits, accounting, architects, and engineers. The onboarding of a client into the world of managed IT requires a measured approach. According to company President Lou Usherwood, his firm employs a sixLou Usherwood, step process called Usherwood Odyssey Global IT, which guides clients through a series of events starting with the initial Odyssey Consult, followed by Discovery, Optimize, Tracker, Roadmap and Aegis. The process provides clients with a predictable stack of services built to secure their network environment, stabilize their workflow and boost productivity throughout the office. Usherwood notes the company prides itself on developing a core understanding of IT by embracing legacy and future technologies in order to integrate its clients’ networks. “We would not acquire or partner with a company if we didn’t

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 42


Growing Competencies: Dealers Make Case for Developing Internal Managed Services Platform already have these core foundational elements within our own business,” he said. “In the future, Usherwood is well positioned to add incremental acquisitions to strengthen our organically built core IT foundation.” Since 1998, Usherwood Office Technology has invested more than $5 million in developing its own best-in-class IT solutions platform. While there were times when the investment didn’t seem to be paying dividends for his company, Usherwood advices dealers to exercise patience in moving into a new offering. In deciding whether to offer managed services, Usherwood encourages dealers to look at the big picture. “Where do they see their future and what is their exit strategy?” he posed. “I tend to look at investments over a 10-year period. So I would never invest in an industry or line of business if I didn’t plan on dedicating the next 10 years of my life making it incredible.”

KDI OFFICE TECHNOLOGY Aston, PA Managed services: MPS, IT, document capture Doing it the right way from the start is fundamental to the KDI Office Technology platform, and that entails constructing a solid MPS platform tied into the ERP system with quality support personnel, notes Greg Bryan, chief technology officer. KDI, which posted sales revenues of $31 million last year, typically seeks out clients with a minimum of 10 workstations and one server. Bryan feels the strength of KDI’s managed IT offering is the experience level of his staff and the company’s experience in providing services for the business equipment environment. “We’ve grown through that digital age where machines were first put on the network, and over time we’ve evolved to be able to match that IT service and support with the MFP world,” he said. Like many of his contemporaries, Bryan believes the benefits of in-house development for KDI’s IT offering far outweighs initial startup costs. It also provides benefits beyond a third-party

solution, which can present its share of integration hurdles. The firm recently acquired a capture company to provide back-file conversions and scanning Greg Bryan, KDI projects, which were previously outsourced. The capability is tied into KDI’s document management offering and represents its move into the cloud. KDI is now aligned with Brazilian provider NDD on its managed print component, which provides extensive metrics, including supply forecasting. While the platform is run from a third party, KDI does all of the service and support internally. According to Bryan, it took two to three years for KDI to fully onramp its own managed services offering. The primary objection to taking the vendor route is a control issue, though he admits the expense proposition for smaller dealers can make it cost- and resource-prohibitive. “If they’re a bigger dealer and have a lot of accounts, and if they’re going to maintain them and can afford it, I think that’s the way to go,” Bryan said. “However, if they’re looking to enhance their offering, then some of these other providers like Mindshift and All Covered that they can get through their vendor/ MFP relationships might be better. We have the resources to do it all internally.”

FRASER ADVANCED INFORMATION SYSTEMS (AIS) West Reading, PA Managed Services Offered: MPS, IT, network, workflow, disaster recovery This dealership, with more than $40 million in annual revenue, focuses its managed services portfolio on the SMB market for customers with 50 users or less. The dealership seeks out IT client candidates that match its technology profile and desire centrally managed solutions ranging from antivirus and security to email and automation.

Many dealers grapple with the decision to rely on third-party solutions as opposed to developing their own competencies, particularly in a nuanced space such as managed IT. Melissa Confalone, vice president of sales for Fraser Advanced Information Systems, notes that developing internal managed service capabilities offers benefits that exceed the initial time and resources required Melissa Confalone, in the developFraser AIS ment phase. “It isn’t turnkey, but it allows you to completely understand every part of the business which, once you scale, gives you the competitive advantage,” she said. “You can adjust your services and your stack as technology enhancements impact your clients and prospects, and you don’t need to be reliant upon the offerings of a third party.” Where do the best opportunities lie within one’s own client base? Most dealers will find that any customer set can benefit from the use of a managed services support model, Jim Pierce, Fraser AIS according to Jim Pierce, vice president of operations for Fraser Advanced Information Systems. From comprehensive services for small businesses to hybrid or selective services at the enterprise level, Pierce believes the true value of the model is in standardization and scalable support architecture. “This allows small businesses to have all of their IT requirements met for a fraction of the cost they would incur by hiring internal staff,” Pierce said. “The model also allows the enterprise to offload management of specialized or selective systems without modifying their current internal support structure. Both scenarios save money for the client while allowing them to bring value to their staff.” continued on page 43

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NOVACOPY Nashville, TN Managed services: MPS, IT, solutions, 3D printing This $80 million dealership offers a wide range of managed services, including 3D printing. On the managed print end, NovaCopy casts a wide net from five Jonathan Kilton, to 1,000 users, while NovaCopy in an area such as managed IT, the prime target is the SMB space. Verticals can play a factor here, according to Jonathan Kilton, director of sales operations, as the expectations and ramifications for a legal client, for example, can be quite different from that of a HIPAA-compliant hospital system. NovaCopy is an advocate for the development of its own managed service capabilities and the ability to customize as it builds out and expands within the customer base. “We have a really good synergy between our product lines—

wide-format, production and copiers, 3D,” Kilton noted. “Our training, processes and how we go about servicing them can be pretty in line from one product to another. When we get into solutions and IT, those are similar as well. We’re able to lean on a lot of our resources to effectively manage those different lines.” The managed IT component is one of NovaCopy’s newest initiatives, having ramped up its offering in the last three years. Kilton has taken a very deliberate approach to growth here, adding personnel, programs and resources to ensure the dealership doesn’t “bite off more than we can chew.” He characterizes the job of IT management as a blend of a postman, medic and security guard. Kilton notes the timeframe to efficiency was different for MPS and IT. On the print side, NovaCopy was able to reach the seven-digit mark in sales in about a year’s time. But a month into the IT campaign, Kilton discovered that he needed to increase his staff from two to five in order to effectively manage it, with heavy focus on processes and automation. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

“It benefited us to have some profitability to lean on, pools of money to help get it off the ground,” he said. “If we were running lean going into that, it would not have been good for our company to go down that path. You have to be ready to commit resources.” Kilton strongly cautions owners not to consider managed IT as a last resort for faltering dealerships. “If you feel like you’re losing control of your base and you’re trying to find something to grasp onto, don’t turn to managed IT,” he said. “The cost of it will put you in a hole completely. Secondly, you’ll start to have a lot of unhappy customers if you’re not adequately protecting them, and given the potential of letting a virus get through…the legal liability alone can put you under. “Don’t overload your IT department, because that will frustrate your people and your customers. It should be well thought out and systematic. It’ll be a change in not only the customer mindset but how you, as a company, operate and do business.” ♦

September 2017 | www.enxmag.com

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Charles Lamb

Sales Briefing & Marketing News

Account Management: It’s About Relationships, Relationships, Relationships

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’ve spent the last ten years coaching business owners and sales leaders on the proper design of their sales model. While I generally focus on new business and how to drive net new revenue growth, in this article I want to discuss something different: best practices to protect and growing your base. How do you expand the relationships and increase your value to your clients? Here are some things to consider when building a strategy for account management.

Engage With Your Clients Continually

Let’s face it—in our industry many sales organizations only approach the customer for contract renewal. Once the sale is made, the two companies return to their corners and their day-today operations and don’t often interact with one another. Many people talk about their quarterly business reviews (QBR) with their clients, but from what I understand these reviews often only involve front-line contacts, and not decision makers. I suggest to dealer principals and sales managers alike that they must develop a QBR process ensuring appropriate engagement with their customer’s senior management. They must not neglect to push that issue. I consider this process to be as much about sales as account management. After the initial agreement is signed, your sales team must continue to engage the most valued clients and sell them on remaining a client. Once you define a process to do this, audit it periodically to ensure that it is 44

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delivering the highest renewal rates possible. It’s also important to conduct a strategic QBR when engaging their C-suite and a tactical QBR when engaging middle management or lower. In other words, provide information that will align with the level of contact you’re dealing with. For instance, I have seen sales reps sit down with a C-level and talk about individual devices, the number of service calls they had last month, and response times down to the minute. And on the flip side, I’ve seen sales reps discuss their “30,000-foot strategy” with an office manager who has no idea what they’re talking about. Every detail is important to someone, just make sure that you’re giving the right information to the right person in your QBR. Remember, the goal of the QBR is to keep that client for the long term. I don’t think it’s necessary to have senior management in every QBR, but if they are involved, make sure you’re discussing pertinent information that they’ll want to hear.

Dos and Don’ts

• Don’t schedule your meetings around the service problems that you’ve handled over the last month. • Do bring in new technology sales opportunities when you can get the decision maker in the room. Remember to share this information as a trusted advisor. You want to make it clear that you’re trying to help their business succeed and not just satisfying your quota. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Proper Protocol and Approach

About once per quarter, I get a call from a dealer who is losing one of their larger clients and wants me to help. They’ll ask, “What can we do?” and I usually answer with this question: “What have you done?” Some dealer principals believe it’s the sales rep’s responsibility to maintain the relationship with the client. I believe it’s an allhands-on-deck job to keep a client. It’s everyone’s responsibility, from the dealer on down. If that client is medium to high in value, then the dealer should have a process that gets them personally engaged with the client’s senior management. You might not become golfing buddies, but you should be involved in the retention strategy for EVERY medium to large client. I see dealers who get to a certain size and begin to throw the responsibility for client retention at their sales organization. WRONG! Of course, the sales organization plays a big part, but the dealer also plays a very important role. Make sure you get to know their senior management by name and engage them throughout the year for strategic partnership goal setting. Grow your relationship with them and make sure you have engagements (like lunch) where no business is discussed at all. Everyone in your company should understand the importance of client retention and your company’s goals. Across many dealer relationships I currently track an 89 percent portfolio retention result and I believe continued on page 45


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that is too low. Set your renewal goal for 95 percent or above and make sure you help each person in your company know how to contribute to that goal. Create a reward program and drive it every day of the business year. Have open discussions with all employees about winning and losing clients and take in suggestions and recommendations on how to keep your retention rate at 95 percent or above. A company in Dallas, Sewell Cadillac, has a commercial where their customers say they’ll NEVER buy a car from any other dealer. They don’t talk about the company’s sales rep, they don’t talk about the make, model or features of Sewell cars—they talk about how they feel and the relationship that Sewell has with them. Imagine creating that type of relationship with your clients! Relationship building is a GIVE, GIVE, GIVE process from your side. We’ve all met someone who has the gift for creating GREAT relationships. Think about it—when someone is looking out for your success, it creates absolute loyalty and a moneymaking culture. The last time you dealt with an unruly client, how did you resolve that situa-

tion? I once had a client whose business model was stronger on the weekend than weekdays. They had so many untrained weekend warriors they destroyed the copier every week. Every Monday, we’d get the call—“this piece of junk is a lemon!” usually with an enormous amount of slanderous name-calling. I’m sure everyone has faced a client or two like this. So how do you handle those situations? I went to the owner and told them that I was going to solve this problem. As politely as I could, I explained about the untrained users. But more importantly, I placed two more devices (from my zero cost trade-ins) in their facility and said I would dispatch a service tech automatically every Monday to assure that the 3 devices were ready to go for their next session. Was doing this profitable? Probably not. But later I found out that the owner was a board member of several large organizations throughout the community and continually recommended us everywhere. He told everyone on his board, “we’re not shopping for print devices, the relationship I have with our current vendor is unbeatable, regardless of price!” He’d tell them, “No matter what

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goes wrong, they’ll solve the issue, guaranteed!” A good relationship, that’s what people want to buy! Finally, each of your employees must be empowered and approved to execute these types of relationships with your clients. They should be jumping at the chance to solve issues like that and there can’t be a bottleneck where someone has to ask someone, who has to ask you, to get permission. Your company culture must be tuned to drive a premier customer relationship. Zig Ziglar once said; “When you focus on problems you get more problems, when you focus on possibilities, you have more opportunities!” Is it possible to raise that 89 percent retention result to 95 percent or better? Absolutely! Your client retention result must consider all types of clients, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you could win just a few more from each category, 95 percent isn’t that hard to reach at all. Remember it starts at the top with you! Most likely analyzing the relationship you have with your employees would give you some insight as to the relationship you create with your customers. You might be surprised! ♦

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Service Excellence Diamond Award Winner

Office Technology Service Excellence Award

DIAMOND LEVEL

Prosource’s “Customer Obsessed” Philosophy Leads the Company to Double-Digit Growth

I

f there is such a thing as a healthy obsession, a case could certainly be made for Cincinnati’s own Prosource, a 32-year-old dealership serving Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. Prosource has developed a relentless, single-minded customer obsession that drives its operations, particularly on the technical service side. It’s a top-down philosophy that’s been embraced throughout the organization according to Kevin Frederick, senior vice president of service operations. “Our team is intense and urgent—we get things done,” he said. “When a customer needs something, we do whatever is necessary to ensure we fulfill our commitment and get our customers where they need to be. Sometimes we go to crazy lengths to do that, but it’s what makes us different and special.” Prosource’s “do whatever it takes” mantra and commitment to quality technical service, as evidenced by its 93.3 Net Promoter Score (NPS) for the month of July, has earned the dealership this month’s BEI/ ENX Service Excellence Diamond Award. The Diamond designation is reserved for companies in the top five percent of all dealers nationwide. The company has been relentless in building an empire, acquiring four IT businesses (Infitech, Alternative Computer Technology, hITech Computer Solutions and Technology Geeks), as well as Aaron’s

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Business Solutions, an office equipment dealership—all since 2013. In 2011, Prosource obtained DocuVision, which grew its document solutions capabilities. These deals, combined with aggressive organic growth, boosted Prosource’s annual revenues north of the $50 million plateau. The growth spurt was fueled by a five-year growth and transformation initiative called the Prosource Flightplan, implemented in 2013. One of the foundations of the Flightplan, which consists of annual and quarterly goals, was the setting of three cornerstone objectives: to have the highest customer loyalty in the industry, to be the best workplace in the Midwest, and to become the fastest-growing company in the Midwest. The company now enjoys double-digit growth in its three business units—office equipment, technology solutions and document automation (ECM). Its office equipment partners are Konica Minolta, Lexmark and Toshiba, with Dell, Continuum, Cisco, Sophos, and Datto providing IT capabilities, and Hyland Software and Kofax as their core ECM solutions partners. “We’re showing solid growth in the office equipment space; we still see imaging as a growth center,” said Brad Cates, president and CEO. “We’re taking market share and expanding geographically. Our ECM business is a nice complement to both our IT and We Saw It In ENX Magazine

Kevin Frederick, senior vice president of service operations.

imaging businesses. IT has grown significantly and now accounts for 25 percent of our overall revenue.” Prosource’s journey with the BEI program predates both Cates and Frederick. Cates utilizes the tools for statistical analysis, territory and equipment model analysis and performance, along with managing inventory and technical performance. The dealership also relied on the BEI program for its compensation plan, although the plan has since changed. “It’s really a benchmark now to gauge our performance against other objective measures to make sure we’re always working toward improvement and bestin-class,” Cates said. “That’s everything from a technician’s performance on a device versus the whole universe of those devices, down to the parts we’re carrying versus what BEI says we need based on models. We continued on page 48


Prosource’s “Customer Obsessed” Philosophy Leads the Company to Double-Digit Growth OTSEA Diamond Award winners score in the top five percent of all dealers evaluated. The evaluations are based on Call Back percentage, Hold for Parts percentage, MCBV (Mean Copies Between Visits) and Technician Grading. Tech Grading encompasses Time accountability and Time management along with individual HP, CB and MCBV rates. It also includes parts expense as it relates to parts CPC compared to world stats. Members of Prosource’s service team enjoy the great outdoors during a team-building event.

are constantly using it as an evolutionary tool to improve our performance.” The BEI results are culled along with internal statistics and qualitative analysis that is crunched into a weekly scoreboard for each of the 50 technicians. Prosource uses these scoreboards as the backbone for its Technician of the Month award for being a top performer.

technicians to be more collaborative in the decisions they’re making. BEI has also been instrumental in Prosource’s aggressive territory realignment program, which is evaluated every 90 days to ensure even tech distribution with machines in field. According to Frederick, Prosource’s technical service approach goes beyond

WE’RE NOT THE CHEAPEST AND COULDN’T BE IF WE WANTED TO BE, BUT THE WAY WE DIFFERENTIATE IS BY DELIVERING AN EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND BEING REALLY INTIMATE IN THE MARKETS WE SERVE Brad Cates Participation in the BEI program has provided numerous benefits across all the measured metrics: first call effectiveness, callbacks, hold for parts calls and inventory management. “Over the last three years, it has made a significant difference in letting us be outward looking and measuring our performance not just against our tech staff, but staff across the board,” Cates said. “Our team sees that, so they know when they’re successful and when they have room for improvement. With our best performers, they always take it as a challenge. So, it helps improve our productivity by conscious distribution of information.” Prosource’s NPS has undergone an evolutionary shift. In 2012, its score sat at 85, but a 93.3 performance in July elevated Prosource’s 2017 year-to-date score to 91.2. The BEI stats have been critical in enabling the managers and 48

taking customer calls, logging requests and performing on-site repairs. How Prosource’s techs approach the job and their level of engagement with the customers is a true barometer of their performance and a differentiating factor in a competitive market. “Attaining a season-high NPS score in the heart of vacation season is a testament to their performance,” he said. What about the “above and beyond” mentality? Frederick shared a story in which a technician was on site performing service for a restaurant client. The restaurant owner showed the tech his menu, which was more than a little unattractive. The menu was brought back to Prosource, where a designer gave it a makeover, reprinted it and sent it back to the customer. Both the copier and the menu were restored to proper working order. Another “job” that wouldn’t be

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found on any work order saw a group of Prosource technicians mobilize to help a nonprofit build a homeless shelter. On another occasion, they rallied together to help build a playground. Cates noted that focusing on the customer experience is perhaps the single path that enables Prosource to break through in a price-driven market. “We’re not the cheapest and couldn’t be if we wanted to be, but the way we differentiate is by delivering an exceptional customer experience and being really intimate in the markets we serve,” he said. “We can take everything we do, every process, every comp plan and every measurement system, and put it on the internet for free. We would still be best-in-class, because it’s not the rules, but the people that make it different.” Frederick added, “Our value is just so much higher. And our customers tell us that every day.” One of the greatest challenges confronting Prosource is the ability to not only find employees with electromechanical and technology prowess, but who are also willing to embrace its obsession philosophy. The company has been fortunate to nurture talented technicians, many of whom have enjoyed a long tenure with the firm. It is a team effort that extends beyond the techs in the field, with the managers, customer service phone reps and helpdesk team all helping to maintain that sense of urgency and responsiveness that clients have come to expect. “People love working here,” Frederick said. “We have groups doing Tai Chi

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 49


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Prosource service team members participate in Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraising event for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

on Wednesday mornings and a runner/ walker club that participates in local 5Ks. We do regular team outings that might include bowling, clay shooting or going to see a local sports team play. It’s very much a relationship commitment.” One of the ingredients in Prosource’s secret sauce is its ability to keep its technical team tightly networked and informed. Frederick reviews the company’s financial statements with all 50 technicians at the beginning of the month, either in person or by phone.

This transparency fosters a shared commitment to ensuring customer retention. “It isn’t about being perfect and never having any problems,” Frederick remarked. “But we need to make sure that when we solve a problem, we solve it for the customer and make sure we don’t keep doing the same thing wrong over and over again.” What few complaints the company receives are dealt with by Prosource’s escalation team. Any employee who feels that the dealer’s relationship with a customer is at risk can send an email to the team, which is also copied to Prosource’s 28 managers. Upon alert, one member of the escalation team has 15 minutes to take responsibility of the issue and contact the customer. The team then provides updates in Prosource’s management huddles (which are held every other day) until the complaint is resolved. As Prosource continues to work on its trio of goals while looking to improve first-call effectiveness and response time, it will endure pricing pressures

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

in a market that is seeing its share of consolidation at the manufacturer and dealer levels. Cates believes the eventual winners will be those who appreciate the value of capturing the hearts of customers, as opposed to just selling them hardware. “If we’re doing the right things for the customer, we will continue to lead the markets we serve,” Frederick said. ♦

About the Dealership: • President/CEO: Brad Cates • Service Operation: Kevin Frederick, Sr. Vice President • Number of Techs: 50 • Number of Devices Serviced: 22,416 Why They’re a Diamond Award Winner • First-Call Effectiveness: 67% • Call Back Rate: 22% • Hold for Parts Rate: 11% • Ranking: 7th overall of the 195 dealers

September 2017 | www.enxmag.com

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Ray Stasieczko

Leadership News Briefing

Stop Managing the Past and Start Building the Future: Why Leadership is More Important than Ever We have all heard the saying “time is running out,” yet many people fool themselves into believing they still have time. Why is this? It’s a case of procrastination or delusion.

A

bout ten years ago, I began talking with dealers regarding my vision of managed IT services. In those days, most dealers were trying to get their heads around managed print. Many were living in a world I defined as a “stubbornness to modify” though they knew change was needed, and in particular that their deliverables needed more value. But these thoughts simply did not translate into action. They had various excuses. Some said they weren’t getting buy-in from sales teams or from the service department. Some even claimed customers did not want this new deliverable. Well, at least not from them. Who is going to buy a deliverable when the passion or the skillset of the seller is nonexistent? Some dealers understood the benefits of managed print, but remember it started more than 15 years ago and today some dealers know the benefits of managed IT services and IT security services. Many dealers still haven’t even started a print management program, which seems incredible. Today, we live in different times, and the time for transitioning the office technology dealer channel, unfortunately, has expired. Over the next few years, we will see new companies and new deliverables challenging the customers’ loyalty to those who remain stuck in the past, as I continue to scream “The best time to reinvent yourself is before you have to!” After all, it makes more sense to use the resources from the old deliverable to create the new one. And many in the office technology channel do understand the need to migrate to a broader, more comprehensive deliverable. So why don’t they? It’s not that they can’t learn IT services, have no skills, 50

or can’t learn the skills necessary to sell IT services. And it’s not that they have no experts to call on for help. What’s missing is simple: leadership. Sorry to offend some of my friends, but the truth is apparent. Many in the office technology channel have allowed themselves to slip into what I call keepit-going management. We are doing well enough, but what we need is a shift in attitude. The leaders in the industry must take charge and stop allowing their current good fortunes to highjack their long-term common sense. Unlike managed print, which has evolved over 20 years, the dealers (and for that matter, the manufacturers) will not have the time to transition from printcentric to services-centric. Managed services are changing at the speed of the technology itself. In the last year alone, we have seen large corporations enter the theater. Amazon is going to disrupt the SMB technology reseller’s marketplace, as they have with OP resellers, our sister industry. The managed IT services deliverable that dealers learned about just a year ago is different today. Managed services today are broader than helpdesk, and much more important to the ability of a business to survive and thrive. Most of the complexities which lived in the

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server room are now residing in the cloud. To lead an IT services company requires fast thinking and strong leadership. In other words, while you can manage a print/copy business, you have to lead an IT business. The office technology dealer channel’s immaturity in the managed IT services realm is going to begin causing pain. The channel must stop congratulating itself on past successes. No current or future customers will care if your organization was dealer of the year. As you’re discussing possible cyber threats, these customers won’t care that you provided all their copier needs. The channel must stop believing copiers will automatically bring them to the IT sales channel. Too many still preach that managed print is the door to managed IT services. I disagree—at best, it’s a peephole in the door. So what does a dealer do? Simple: put on your leadership hat. You can’t manage the start of a new deliverable—it must be led. Think about our friends at Sears: they fell into a disaster because they could not reinvent themselves. Sears allowed rank-and-file managers who were born in the world of bricksand-mortar retail to “save” them from a digital apocalypse. What if Sears bought a software company, with the leaders of the future, instead of Kmart, with its managers stuck in the past? Every day more and more copier companies are buying their Kmarts. Why would any large dealer who has the cash invest in the past? Shouldn’t they be buying software developers, security companies (both cyber and physical), technology education companies, e-commerce organizations, telephony organizations, or artificial intelligence resellers? continued on page 52

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Stop Managing the Past and Start Building the Future: Why Leadership is More Important than Ever There are many facets to print’s continuing decline. Some see it as an opportunity to grow a bigger, temporary revenue business by acquiring more of the same. Others will choose to build their future with their current assets before they have no more assets to use. Some will stay as they are until it’s too late. Others will grab the bull by the horns and reinvent themselves, thus becoming unrecognizable to their peers. Here’s my bottom line. The state of managed IT services is still where it was 10 years ago. Very little has changed in the state of mind of those who are supposed to be leading the charge. There are plenty of consultants that industry leaders can talk to, but until they’re ready to feel the pain of improvement and have the ambition to lead their organization to something new, they will dabble and fail. In today’s climate of change, those who are tired of entrepreneurship or cannot revive its spirit should probably sell their business to a new leader. The future ahead will be exciting, but only to those who seek it and are willing to lead a way forward—instead of continuing to manage the past. ♦ 52

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J. Mark DeNicola

Leasing News Briefing

The New Leasing Standards: What You and Your Company Need to Know I recently returned from a week of the dreaded 40 hours of annual continuing education required to keep my certifications valid (at least the classes were in beautiful Coronado, California). Since the Accounting Godfathers have finally agreed to new leasing standards and drop-dead dates for implementation, I included a course to review them.

I

walked out of the class seriously questioning the sanity of the institutions that developed the standards. But at the same time, I thought a layman’s overview of the new standards and what their implementation means for our industry, and our dealerships, might be of value. So here I go! I guess one of the first questions to answer is WHY the changes? There are several reasons, including: Globalization – The new lease standards are more in line with international standards. Most of the world uses the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which are a single set of accounting standards developed and maintained by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The goal is to be able to compare financial statements, no matter the country of origin, and ascertain that company’s financial performance on a like-for-like basis. The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), have committed to developing accounting standards that converge over time. The lunacy of the leasing standards change is that there are still differences between FASB and IFRS! Economic reality – The economic reality of most leases is that they are longterm arrangements (over 12 months) that typically transfer most of the risks and rewards of ownership to the lessee during the lease term, even though the lessee does not own the leased property. Financial Statement Recognition – Since leasing is a form of financing, the new standards will provide greater transparency of a company’s leverage. Operating leases are giving way to a capital lease type of treatment for financial statements. Thus, the appropriate assets

54

and liabilities will be included (recognized) on the balance sheet. Currently, lease reporting is focused on disclosure rather than recognition. Now, when leases qualify as operating (and most are recorded that way), neither the leased asset nor the liability is recognized on the lessee’s balance sheet but is disclosed in the foot notes.

Leasing Classifications

For at least the past 25 years, there have been two classifications of leases: capital and operating. As stated before, in our industry almost all equipment leases are considered operating leases except when there is a bargain purchase option. Under the current standards, the recording of the operating lease on the financial statement is easy—the lease payment is simply recorded to a rental or lease expense category. It will not be that easy in the future. The new standards are as follows: • Virtually all leases for equipment must be recorded on the balance sheet as a “Right-of-use” asset (I have not been able to find any circumstance where a current FMV lease would NOT be recorded on the balance sheet). The new standard will apply to all major equipment (office equipment, phone systems, etc.) purchases for any contract over 12 months in length. • The new standards will go into effect for public companies for years beginning on or after December 15, 2018 and private companies for years beginning on or after December 15, 2019. • A retrospective requirement will force companies to spend time restating financial statements for leases in effect before 2018. The retrospective is to enable financial statement comparisons starting in 2018.

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What does this mean for your company internally? Expect your administrative and accounting staffs to require more hours devoted to the disclosure, reporting, and tracking of all leases in which the company is engaged. There are specific guidelines to calculate the amount to book as “Right-of-use” assets and the corresponding debt. Then there is the calculation to record the amortization of the asset and the interest expense (this varies based on the terms and schedule of payments). Just hope that there are no quirky terms involved or it gets even more complicated! The value of stand-alone assets (if identifiable) in “cost per print,” “bundled” contracts or any service contract in which the asset value is more than just incidental will be required to be separated from the service components of the contract. They will be recorded as “Right-of-use” assets with the corresponding debt. If the identification of the assets is not possible, the company can elect to record the whole contract as if it is the “Right-of-use” asset. Also, remember that all existing leases in mid-term on the effective dates will have to be booked as “Right-of-use” assets. A company’s CPA should be able to help with the criteria to use for the calculations.

Impact on Covenants

Your bank covenants could be affected. Some typical covenants include thresholds for debt-to-equity ratio, net worth requirements, and other covenants that include liabilities as part of the calculation. Under current standards, the operating lease payment is an expense item. The payments do not affect these covenants. Even though the payment for the lease will not increase under the new

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 56


The New Leasing Standards: What You and Your Company Need to Know standards, the recording of the “Right-to-use” assets for existing and new leases will result in new debt to appear on the financial statements. Any covenant that includes liabilities as part of the calculation will be affected adversely. Also, your access to capital may be reduced if the bank limits capital expenditures to a certain amount and a “Right-to-use” asset is recorded. Our discussion in class revolved around the need to review your banking documents sooner than later, approach the bank to make them aware of what changes are coming, and amend the covenants as required.

Level Playing Field

Should a company lease or buy? The new standards put purchasing versus leasing on a level playing field. In the past, decisions might have been motivated by the availability of capital, accounting/ tax treatment, and so on. By the time the standards are enacted, leases will be included on the company’s balance sheet as assets and debt, just like purchased items. What does all this mean to my dealership, given 90 percent of equipment revenue is generated through leases? It might not mean anything. Several of the large leasing company executives I polled do not seem to be concerned with the implementation of the new standards. They believe that a high percentage of SMB clients (those not required to provide audited or reviewed financial statements) will continue to book leases as they always have. That may be so. My thoughts. I believe the percentage of leases booked to total business will decrease due to the following reasons. Given a level playing field on a lease versus buy decision and adequate funding from the bank, a percentage of companies might opt to purchase equipment rather than lease. The reasons why a 56

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We Saw It In ENX Magazine

company might do this are as follows: • A purchase would not entail the additional workload required for disclosure, tracking, and reporting leases • The recording of leases on the financial statements will be comparably more complicated • The ease of the transaction and favorable tax depreciation expense (bonus depreciation) • Operationally in many companies, it used to be easier for management to engage in a lease transaction rather than go through the cumbersome process of capital expenditure requests. In the future, I would expect the same cumbersome process to be required for leases, and it will demand the coordination of several departments. Everything being equal, a capital expenditure may be easier. • “Cost per print” and “bundled” leases could become a thing of the past as the “one monthly invoice” attraction of the contract could be outweighed by the extra burden of the accounting and reporting of the lease. We may have to say goodbye to the higher margins associated with these types of contracts!

Internal Compliance

In summary, while the new leasing standards may change the number of equipment lease transactions and how we engage with clients, I have more concern about our companies complying internally with the new standards than them hurting our top line business. Hopefully, this article piqued your curiosity enough that you will engage with your accountants/CPAs to chart the proper course to prepare your business for the changes. You will also want plenty of time to prepare your sales teams for the ever evolving financial landscape. ♦


Ken Edmonds

Service Management News Briefing

Protect the Power to Protect Your Bottom Line

M

any dealers still do not automatically protect the power of the devices they sell and of all the poor decisions that dealers make, this may be the worst. There seems to be a variety of excuses. The client does not want it. The sales person does not want it included in the deal. It is too expensive. You do not really need it the power is ok. But all of those are lame excuses. Build it into the deal just as you would build in the cost of setup and delivery. And don’t show it as a separate item on the invoice: that way neither the sales person nor the customer can try to negotiate it out of the deal.

My Experiences

When I owned my dealership, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the ways that power protection saves equipment and therefore money. One of my clients had an electrical event that caused catastrophic failure to devices in one area of the building. Devices that were not even powered on were destroyed, including calculators, monitors, and PCs. In that same area, I had a 40 CPM machine that was powered up. It was connected through a power protection device. The power protection device was destroyed, the ground prong was burned off, and there was large black hole in the side of the protection machine. But when I moved the copier to an unaffected area and plugged it in, it worked without issue. The vendor replaced the power protection device for free. Much later, when I was a DSM working for Sharp, one of my dealers was having an issue: one machine’s PM counter was 58

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continuously counting much faster than the machine was actually making copies. The dealer had replaced most of the boards in the machine and still had not resolved the issue. He contacted me, and I reviewed the repair history. Any component in the machine that could possibly have caused the issue had already been replaced. Now, I happened to have a sample of a power protection device provided by a vendor. When I sent the sample to the dealer it immediately resolved their issue. Think about the expense that not protecting the power caused! In another case, I was called in to address an issue with a machine that was locking up any time the network cable was plugged in. The machine had already blown 2 MFP boards prior to my arrival. I noticed that the network cable was not protected, so we routed the network connection through the power protection device. The protection device self-destructed. We put a new one in and it self-destructed as well. Investigation later revealed that lightning had struck nearby. We changed ports on the switch, installed another power protector, and then installed a new MFP board. Issue resolved, and another instance of the importance of power protection.

Empirical Data

One of the power protection companies commissioned a study by BEI Services to document the differences in performance between protected and unprotected machines. They monitored more than 125,000 machines over a period of one year. These devices were serviced by 20 different dealerships across the United States. We Saw It In ENX Magazine

The results of this survey were then analyzed by a research university to validate the data and results. What they found was this: protecting devices saved an average of more than $200 per year, per machine. The machines made more copies between visits, required less labor, and fewer parts.

Conduct Your Own Test

For dealers that are still not convinced, I recommend running your own test. Find a client that has a reasonable equipment base and put half of the machines on power protection. See for yourself how much difference power protection makes. Another option would be to acquire some samples and install them on problem machines to see if they make any difference. At almost every trade function where vendors can exhibit, you will see the major players in power protection. If you stop and visit with them, you will have the opportunity to get information that is much more detailed on their products and the results real clients achieve using their products.

Benefit From Protecting the Power

I am confident that when you examine the evidence the decision will be easy. Letting a machine go out the door without power protection is probably going to hurt the profitability of the service department and the company as whole. Imagine having just another $100 per machine in the bank. And that is the low end of the potential profits to your company. Ignore the lame excuses. Make power protection mandatory in every deal. Protecting the power protects your bottom line. ♦


Printer Tech Tip

HP FutureSmart Firmware – Partial

clean function now available through EWS Administrators can remotely perform a Partial Clean firmware reset from within the EWS. This feature is critical for solution providers managing a remote printer. The remote Partial Clean allows a service provider to remove a solution for a printer without requiring a technician to be at the printer to enter the Pre-boot menu. Partial Clean: This item reinitializes the disk (removing all data except the firmware repository where the master firmware bundle is downloaded and saved Selecting the Partial Clean item removes all data except the firmware repository. A delete confirmation prompt is provided. This allows an administrator to reformat the disk by removing the firmware image from the active directory without having to download new firmware code (product remains bootable).

NOTE: This feature is only available to administrators. An administrator password must be set in the Security tab of the EWS. To reset HP FutureSmart from the EWS: 1. Open a Web-browser window and enter the printer IP address or network name in the address field to open theEWS. 2. Click the Sign In link in the upper-right of the EWS window and sign in with the administrator password. 3. Click the General or Troubleshootingtab 4. Select Restore Factory Settings from the left-handcolumn. 5. Click the Reset button in the Reset Firmwarearea. 6. The printer will reboot and perform the Partial Clean process duringstartup. ♦

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You print one. We’ll plant one. Every time your printer reaches 8,333 pages, you’ve printed a tree’s worth of paper. Over time that’s a lot of trees, but we’re committed to eco innovation every step of the way. PrintReleaf Exchange is the world’s first technology platform offering cloud-based paper tracking and reforestation. It measures your paper consumption and every time you reach a tree’s worth of printed paper, a new tree will be planted on your behalf, keeping you at a paper-neutral footprint. Most importantly, it’s done automatically for you. Well, for all of us really. To learn more about how you can become PrintReleaf Certified, contact your Toshiba Sales Representative.

©Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc. Electronic Imaging Division. All rights reserved.

ENX Magazine September 2017 issue  

Connecting People, Ideas and Products in the Office Technology and Document Imaging Industry since 1994

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