Thursday, June 28, 2012

Can Multifunctional Copiers or Printers be Infected with Malware?

Multifunctional Copiers or Printers be Infected with a Malware?

My first thought was….. this is AWESOME! 
Finally all of those tree huggers than complain about the world’s most re-usable resource (paper) may be affected by this new malware infection.  My second thought was, how can I get a hold of this and get this malware to all those rotten people out there that have hung up on me, not called me back (ever), or went with a cheap price!  Can we all remember this one, “the thought of a cheap price is long forgotten after poor service”. 
This also reminds me of the early days of faxing; this is when all plain paper/thermal fax machines were using roll paper.  Guys in the office would send an endless fax to a business that either ticked them off.  The trick was to take and original document, place it in the feeder of the fax machine and then roll the original and the tape the end of the sheet of paper to the front.  The result is that you would have a rolled original document that would be an endless loop.  You would then dial the fax number, press the start key and the document would be set to endless scan.  The result on the receiving machine is that it would continue to print until the roll of paper ran out!  I can remember that some of the paper rolls lengths were 500 feet.  Can you im agine walking in the office in the AM and seeing 500 feet of fax paper all over the floor, or sitting at your desk and just seeing the fax keep printing for hours!
Luckily there was no caller ID then, and one of our guys in the office got caught because he forgot to clear out the sender TTI, this actually told the customer where the document was being transmitted from.  It was not the professional thing to do, however some customers did deserve payback!
With this current malware named Trojan.Milicenso, the infected PC will print out pages of garbled data to the connected printer.  The article I read also indicated that this virus was most prevalent in the US, Europe and India.
The garbled pages of data reminds me of when I first started with installing print drivers, seems when I installed the wrong the print driver and then selected a file to print, we would then get pages and pages of garbled data and the only way to stop it was to turn the printer or multifunctional copier off!
So, can multifunctional copiers become infected with a virus? After doing a Google search and scanning through the first ten pages I came up with nothing. I’m thinking it may have something to do with Operating Systems that multifunctional copiers use that would make them less susceptible to viruses.
If anyone has any additional information on this I’d love to hear about it.

-=Good Selling=-

Monday, June 25, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Why I Collect Copier & MFP Proposals

I was asked the other day by one of the new reps in the office why I always ask for a copy of my competitors proposals.  The first thing that came to mind was... this would be an awesome topic for my blog!  Amazing where the ideas come from and I'd like to give thanx to that person in my office. 

Here's my top five reasons for collecting quotes and proposal
  • Winning:  It's the feeling of accomplishment when you come back in the office with not only the order but a copy of the other(s) proposal.
  • The Need to Know who my competition is and how they presented their information, sometimes you never get to meet with Mr. or Mrs. Right until the very end. 
  • The Need to Know how my competition presented their pricing, were they just quoting leasing, did they have purchase prices, were they presenting a professional financial proposal or just winging it with a vague MS word proposal.
  • Why did I win, did I win on price, did I win with professionalisum, did I have a better solution or did they just like me better :). You always need to ask yourself WHY I won the dealer or WHY I lost the deal.
  • Knowedge is the key to winning right, if I run up against them again I may have been able to see some weaknesses in their quote/proposal or something they were vague on.
Something else I try to use is to not only get a copy of the proposal but to ask if they have a copy of the order form.  If you can get one of these always turn to the terms and conditions, you may be able to pick something out that will help you in future deals. I've said this before, basically we're all stealing business from each other. I get some of your business and you get some of mine, hopefully I'll get more of your than you get of mine.  On a recent order form that I found out that a competitor actually had a clause in their term and conditions that allowed them to charge "x" amount for scans if they determined this was appropriate for the account.  How much fuel surcharges, and additional training.  All of these can be found in either the proposals or the order forms.

Usually I keep these proposals for our Premium Members on the Print4Pay Hotel forums. However, I like to share 5 of them with anyone who wants them.  Just go here and register for the forums (it's FREE) and I'll send you a link for these five proposals.

Xerox workcentre 7125_Xerox workcentre 7535_ ColorQube 9301
2 bizhub950's & 1 bizhub 552
pricing on the street for Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE 4051
Xerox school proposal for 36 units
"Pricing on the Street" for Ricoh mpc5502A

-=Good Selling=-

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Top 7 Solutions @ Transform 2012 DOCassess @ #5

I've been a little backed up lately with providing the last three "cool" solutions from the Global Transform Photizo show in Orlando last month. But, I'm back on track and the #5 slot goes to DOCassess. Now, while I'm not an expert with MPS, however I've been doing MFP fleet assessments for years many years.  One nice tip when doing assessments is try to visit every printer if you can and find out who uses that printer, and then interview them about the media requirements that they have. This information is very handy if you are upgrading the fleet, and also opens the door for additional print work flow opportunities such as print stream management.

This blogs a little different from the rest,  I actually asked Mike Lamoth to list some bullet points for his solution and I loved the fact that last bullet point addresses work flow so that you may be able to uncover work flow opportunities!

As Managed Print Services gains more momentum globally the need to have reps articulate whats involved with MPS, how it differs from the past "over promos under deliver" and actually perform a professional assessment so they can actually speak more intelligently about the customers environment has become a necessity. Not to mention, the Dealer or OEM is now on the hook because they are telling the customer I will manage your print environment for $$. So they require reliable resources to help them understand the TRUE picture and not pie in the sky.

What was once a nice to have has become a must have and that’s an assessment tool.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from dealer principles is that many of the tools in the market require an analyst to use and the dealer can't afford an analyst for every rep. So we developed a sales aid and an assessment tool for all sales reps to use.

How does DOCassess differ:

  • Ease of use
  • We have incorporated a Print Environment Balanced Score Card as a sales aid – this allows the rep to meet with the customer and discuss their print environment by asking 22 related questions. At the end the customers score will fall into one of three categories giving them some industry stats and suggesting they move forward with an assessment.
  • Two types of assessments – Surface Level for SMB (small to medium business) and Advanced which goes so far as to offer individual device TCO's, a sophisticated carbon calculator, and much more.
  • Interview section to asked end users questions that will uncover process and workflow improvements
One of the strongest financial sections in the market providing detailed current vs proposed options, blended service, financial comparison down to a CPC (cost per copy) etc.
-=Good Selling=-

Meet Sharp’s New President Doug Albregts

Meet  Sharp’s New President Doug Albregts

By Scott Cullen

(Editor’s note: The following interview appears in this week’s edition of The Week in Imaging.)
It’s been six months since Doug Albregts took over the reins at Sharp as the new president, replacing Ed McLaughlin. Somewhat of a surprise choice to many industry observers, Albregts’ background is mostly from outside the industry, but if one drills deeper down below the surface, his background is well suited to an industry that’s undergoing a tremendous amount of change. Throughout the course of his career Albregts has spent time in the IT space and had short stints in consumer package goods and financial services as well as managing MFP and IT products at Samsung. 
What do you think of the industry after six months, do you feel settled?
Albregts: I do feel settled. I think the industry is going through a definite shift not only from a manufacturer perspective but from a dealer perspective. You see a lot of companies acquiring other dealers and from a manufacturer perspective you see companies acquiring IT VARs. And the dealer community is looking to expand their business into IT services as well.
We’re at an interesting point where we’re seeing a land grab between IT and the traditional copier space. In terms specific to printing a lot of companies are looking at ways to save money whether it’s MPS or in-sourcing printing services, being able to print on demand, and those types of things. Plus having the ability to capture that demand internally is another big trend which is paving the way for production products and higher end products, which is ultimately good for us.
It seems to be mighty quiet on the Sharp front although I'm sure it's not. What have you been focused on for the past six months?
Albregts: One of the things I’ve done is examine where our business is today in light of where our business was and where the market is heading. I spent a lot of time trying to understand our model and what that model should be. First and foremost I’ll talk about product. We feel for the most part, from the product side, that we are about to enter into every category we need to be extremely competitive, not just in features, advantages, and benefits, but at all ends of the spectrum.
The most challenging part is what role we want to play in this industry. When you look at that, competitively speaking, a lot of manufacturers have taken an aggressive stance in not only competing with their dealers from a direct operation but in IT. Part of that is because they think the grass is greener, but they also think this is a revenue and profit opportunity. As a result, what has been lost in the whole equation from a manufacturer perspective is a focus on the partner.
When you go to our dealer meeting in July part of our theme and our intellectual property, if you will, is becoming an ‘irresistible partner.’ We think there’s an opportunity in that. It sounds a little clich├ęd, but becoming a good partner goes beyond better communication with dealers. It’s looking at things like how can we help improve their working capital for instance. At the end of halves and quarters manufacturers have become very aggressive in trying to incent dealers to load up on inventory and make bad business decisions. We’re looking at the entire equation and how we improve our delivery times and how we improve our dealers’ working capital that transform the business that’s not only good for the dealer but even better for the manufacturer as margins start to erode. We’re going to detail a lot of those things at our meeting in July. It’s that whole idea around ‘irresistible partner’ and how we change the way we do business. That’s the challenge we see today.
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-=Good Selling

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What is an MFP Copier Solution Worth?

I've been busy for the past week visiting my son at Fort Benning, Ga.  He's graduated boot camp and will be there for another month for advanced training.  I'm proud of his accomplishment and can't wait to see him for his final graduation in July.

Anyway one of the Print4Pay Hotel sponsor is a Stethos, if you're not familiar with Stethos they are a software company that offers different solutions to enhance and modify the printer data stream without interfering with existing processes. The pricing for these solutions is off the the charts, believe me you can sell a solution and make an excellent profit!

So last week I made a phone call to a Net New Account, this was my third call to this Health Care account and I was able to get through to the IT manager. I have to admit I had a little bit of help, meaning my wife had to make a few visits to this Health Care Group (she's fine). Like most medical plans we had to pay something, about three weeks ago we received billing from them and the billing was at 3 pages that were printed from some sort of laser device, however they were not stapled. Thus I assumed (and I was right), that someone had to fold each piece of paper that was printed and then stuffed in the envelope.  The folding part is mundane and is a real loss of time when it comes to productivity. 

The plan was to speak about the billing I received and then to ask questions:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Can Ricoh be Everything to Everyone?

Can Ricoh be Everything to Everyone?  Well. it's the topic of choice for our Print4 Pay Hotel members.  We posted our thoughts and are waiting for responses from other Print4Pay Hotel Members. Ricoh is entering a bold new ambition with MDS, are they on the right track or traveling down the track to become the next Kodak?  This is members only content, please feel free to become a member of the Print4Pay Hotel, it's FREE.  Click Become a Member and Click for Can Ricoh be Everything to Everyone.

-=Good Selling=-

Is my Copier covered under the maintenance plan?

There's always one in every crowd, and usually it's me!  However one of the guys from my office (he's still a newbie in my eyes) sent me this with the caption "Is my Copier covered under the maintenance plan"?

Gosh, this about the worst one I ever seen, a real toner bomb so to speak, if anyone has photo's like this one, email them to me so I can post them on the p4photel forums.

Actually, this newbie is getting to be pretty good at sales and is actually does his homework about the industry.  BTW, he is working with one of the best :).  Kudos to him!

-=Good Selling=-

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Top 7 Solutions @ Transform 2012 Print Audit Premier @ #4

Remember the Photizo Global transform Conference in Orlando?  Many vendors had excellent solutions for MPS and MFP vendors or as I like to say "We help companies put information on paper". 
Print Audit especially their Print Audit Premier Program is far an away the best SaaS solution that I've come across for MPS and MFP vendors!  Print Audit had the vision to package licenses of  Print Audit Facilities Manager, Print Audit 6, Print Audit Assessor, Print Audit Secure, Print Audit Embedded, Print Audit Rapid Assessment Key for one low monthly fee!  If you'd like to know more about the program please click Print Audit Premier .

So, where's the value?  The value to me (I used to own a dealership) is that I can sell the software for a monthly fee per device or I can built the software in to my current maintenance agreement billing. The model that I like best is the cost per page, you've gotta do the math, however adding .005 or .01 for every page printed or copied can generate a lot of revenue in a short amount of time.  Not only does this provide an ongoing revenue stream but your dealership will remain sticky in the account, meaning when the lease of the copiers or printers comes up for renewal, do you really think that the customer will go to another vendor if they lose the licenses to anyone of the Print Audit programs that we offered? 

As MSP amd MFP vendors manage the prints on the device, why can't we manage the software charge to the customer for a low monthly per device fee or the cost per page billing?  There's zero up front cost to the customer!  As vendors we could bill the maintenance, installation and professional fees for a monthly fee, charge the customer a one time fee or build it into the cost per page billing.  On another thought, let's say you're in on a new account, they have no need for MPS, hardware or services, but you've got a hit with let's say Print Audit 6.  They need 50 licenses, what would be easier to get approved a purchase order for $10,000 (guesstimate) or $4 per month per license for 60 months?  My quess and what I'd like to present is the $4 per month per license.

What I've seen over the years especially with lean times still among us (did you know that Obama stated the other day that "the private sector is doing fine", let him work my job for a month or so and then tell me how the private sector is) companies would like to have the benefits of the software solutions but are holding back because of the upfront cost.   Print Audit Premier gives us a unique way to have a creative financial software solution that will benefit the customer and the dealer.

BTW, yes Print Audit is a sponsor of the Print4Pay Hotel and I'm proud that the Print4Pay Hotel is partnered with one of the best Managed Print Corporations in the world!

-=Good Selling=-

Ricoh MP 301SPF Review

Whoa! Ricoh may have finally almost gotten it right with the new MP 301SPF system!

Kudos for bring this A4 31 page per minute system to market; with an MSRP of only $2,960  (or $2.00 a day for a lease) you get a lot of bang for the buck!  Network Color Scan, Network Print, Network Fax, Walk up Fax, and Copy all in a neat footprint that covers a space of 19.0 x17.7x18.1 (WXDXH). 

However the REALLY BIG NEWS is that the new MP 301SPF which will scan color, print, copy and fax in black follows the A3 (systems that print 11x17) cost per page model for toner!!!  Get this; the cost per page for black toner based on MSRP is only .0041! Nice, very nice indeed!!

It’s my understanding that the MP 301SPF will be the replacement for the MP201SPF. I hate to see the MP 201SPF go, however I believe the MP301SPF is an excellent replacement choice.
Basically, there’s a lot that I like about this system and I’m exciting to have this in our product line.  There’s so much that I like I just can’t fit them all in this blog.  The likes far outweigh the dislikes!
What I Don’t Like:
Retraction, it just came to my attention that the system will be capable of scanning mixed sized originals, even I make mistakes, the 52 page manual only has one small line stating that the system will accept mixed sizes for letter and legal. The document feeder in the brochure seems to be the same that was used for the MPC 305 which did not have the ability to scan mixed sized document, special thanx to Grandma T for pointing this out to me! BTW, I also went through the 207 page operator manual and there was no mention of mized size scanning or copying.
User Interface Screen:  What’s with the 4.3” inch color LCD?  Color LCD screens are cheap!  Why skimp on something that is used every day,  when it comes to LCD screens BIGGER is always better
Wireless Card (option):  Ricoh, have you all gone mad?  The MSRP for the wireless card is $593?? Why even offer one for that type of price?  Best bet is to pick up a wireless router with an Ethernet port and direct connect to the MP 301SPF and it will cost you $80 or so.
What I like:

Batch Scan: Nice feature for a value system, batch scanning allows you to scan the more than 50 originals into a single file.  You’ll select the batch scan feature before you scan and when the document feeder empties you just add the additional pages.
ARDF (automatic reversing document feeder), enables users to automatically scan two sided originals, nice and it was much needed with the A4’s.
Scan Speed:  For the price, 31 pages per minute black @ 300dpi and 21 pages per minute @ 300DPI for full color.  Nice that Ricoh is now quoting scan speeds at 300 dpi and not 200 dpi.
Document Server:  The Document Server is a feature I’ve been talking up for years, the MP 301SPF can store up to 3,000 pages and can really reduce costs if used properly in the office.  I instruct users to put their most popular forms, or information on the document server.  This eliminates the time to find the file and print to the local printer and also reduces cost because you would print to the MPC305 instead of the higher cost local printer.  Plus, if people are constantly asking you to re-print documents (which decrease your productivity), you can point them to Document Server and have them print the documents themselves.
Scheduled Print:  Set the time to print and away you go, excellent feature for workgroups!
Auto Job Promotion:  It’s about time!!  I love this feature; too many times in the office I’ll send a document that is a mismatch meaning the paper orientation maybe the wrong way or I selected the wrong paper size and or the wrong media. If I did not go to the system to clear the print job, no one else could print.  The Auto Job Promotion allows the print job error to be parked and allows others to print!  Nice.
Scan2PDF/A: Is a file format and ISO Standard for long-term archiving of documents.
Access2Cloud:  The browser card is an option and is needed to connect to cloud solutions, it’s only $170 but well worth the cost especially for scanning to MS 365 with UDOCX!
Scan2folder, scan2email, scan2cloud, scan2documentserver plus you can also set up scan2dropbox (you can do this on your own and is not a Ricoh solution)
What Should Have Been Added:
·    Document Feeder that can sense mixed sizes of originals, thus you could put letter and legal documents in the feeder, scan them to a folder and when you open the document you have both letter and legal size scanned pages.

·      Larger Color LCD Screen

·     Wireless Card as a Standard feature,  go figure I can buy a wireless printer from staples or Office Max for $200$300 or so and they have standard wireless print, why oh why does the wireless card for the MP 301SPF cost almost $600!!

·     Browser Card as a Standard feature.
·        You’ll need to add the HDD (hard disk drive) in order to have Internet fax, LAN Fax, IP fax and Forwarding to email.
-=Good Selling=-

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ricoh Convergence 2012 Update!

When Ricoh Americas holds a dealer event like Convergence, it's usually something special.  The Convergence theme was born a few years ago in an attempt to merge the Savin, Ricoh, Gestetner and Lanier Dealers all into one dealer meeting.  Before the Convergence dealer meeting each brand has it's own dealer meetings.  I can see why Ricoh made the move to one dealer meeting for all dealers, savings.... and one unified message.  

Before the Ricoh Convergence Dealers meetings the Ricoh Dealers meetings were called Vision.  I can remember many excellent Vision & Convergence Meetings. Tops on my list was San Diego and one Vision Meeting that was held in Orlando at the Disney's Contemporary Resort.  Since 1998 I've been with Century Office Products and most years as long as I hit my quotas I was off to the meetings with the owners of the company. 

When hard times struck in 08 and 09 I was not there. 2009 saw Century under new ownership and since then I've only attended one meeting last year in 2011 (I paid my way to go). More importantly, I do want to stress that these dealer meetings are awesome and a lot can be learned from the seminars, workshops, exhibitors and networking with other MFP dealers and sales people.  I'm also concerned that more salespeople aren't asked to attend the meetings by the dealer owners. Taking a break from the day to day drudgery of sales and attending an event such as Convergence can enlighten, and invigorate sales people so that when they are back in the field they are excited, knowledgeable, and feel that the dealership is committed to their success. Hell, I'd jump at the chance again even if I had to foot the bill.

This years Converegence may not go as well as planned, numerous changes with the top execuvtives in the last year are giving many dealers an. uneasy feeling. Rumors are flying that after the Ricoh Convergence Dealer meeting there will be another round of layoffs for Ricoh. Ricoh also seems to be struggling with an identity crisis when it comes to Managed Document Services.  Just maybe there's some good news, the Ikon brand has disappeared, there's now one unified culture and Ricoh has started the transition to a business services model.

This year I'll be sitting out, I was not invited and felt that I shouldn't have to ask if I can go. No big deal!  However, as the Print4Pay Hotel continues to grow our membership we will have Print4Pay Hotel members at Convergence 2012.  These guys and gals will be giving our Print4Pay Hotel members updates through the Print4Pay Hotel forums. 
Unlike last year when I wrote many blogs about Ricoh products after Convergence, the Convergence of 2012 will only have media coverage from people who never sold a copier, never went through the sales process, never had to prospect, never had rejection, never lost to competition and never had to rely on commissions to pay the bills.  So, I ask you how can they communicate the value proposition of a piece of hardware, software or solution?  We all know the answer right?  I'll be attending the Info 360 and Print On Demand Show in NYC (member of the press) continue to sell Ricoh hardware, software and solutions until the bitter end.

-Good Selling=-

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 7 Solutions @ Transform 2012 ESP @ #3

I really feel that we're hitting the sweet spot with some of the recent solutions we've blogged about.  I'm a BIG fan of new products, services, and technologies that can get the final result.... a sale.  Every customer is different and you never knows what can turn them on.  Even a back door solution could get you in the "in" that you need and could lead to tremendous opportunities down the road.

White at the Photizo's Global Transform MPS Conference in Orlando I came across and exciting product and solution from ESP (Electronic Systems Protection).  Basically what ESP has combines power protect with and energy management solution that will allow salespeople to improve their sales strategies, reduce end users costs and sell sustainable solutions to their customers.

I'll give you all a short story from many years ago, when I had my own dealership we were a Copystar copier dealer, Mitsubishi fax dealer and a Brother dealer for faxes, typewriters and word processors.  I can't tell you how many times I back doored into an account with a word processor or typewriter and ended up getting the copier business.  The same thing....

Top 5 WTF Issues with Copier & MFP Salespeople

This topic has been on my mind for awhile and I wanted to share with others the time that it takes each week to complete sales activities.   Salespeople  have many metrics that we need to meet on a weekly basis, but I wanted to focus more on the time that it take to complete the basic set of metrics. Here I'll focus on my metrics cause I'm not sure of those who emailed me.

  • Minimum of 120 phone calls a week:  Over the years it seems if I want to make quality calls, I average about 15 calls per hour, keep in mind that making the call is only part of the equation I still have to enter every call, close every call, post a follow up call and then enter the notes into our sales CRM program.  This takes 8 hours
  • Minimum of 30 emails each week (new net business):  Whew!  This can take some time to set up the campaign, schedule the email, create the email,  send the email, log in to the CRM program, schedule the client for a return call, and research the email address if you don't have it.   I can spend up to 2 hours here per week.
  • Sales Paper Work for the month:  For some reason we are not automated with our support paperwork for each sale, thus when I finally get the lease doc, sales order and maintenance agreement I could have another 10 or so forms to process.  On the average this can take 45 minutes for each sale.  I average about 7 sales per month.  This process alone takes about 1.3 hours each week.
  • Appointments by the Week:  Schedule 8-10 appointments per week an usually schedule these for Thursday and Friday, easier for me and easier for the customer.  I will spend both days in the field for a total of 16 hours.
  • In house Weekly Meetings: Usually around 4 of these per week and done with our call days. Takes 15 minutes each and 1 hour per week.
  • Email Follow Up:  These can consist of customer follow up emails and internal emails and I'm guessing here with about 2 hours per week.
  • Helping others with Product & Sales Questions:  I guess since I've been there the longest when I'm in the office I can get many questions about products, services, support of follow up sales. I'm going to give this 2 hours per week.
  • Proposals: 7 sales per month would equal 7 proposals, we present quality proposals, from start to finish I'll give these 45 minutes each or another 1.3 hours per week.
  • Mailers:  I try to send at least ten mailers a week, letters of introduction, brochures etc. 2 hours per week
  • Enter Sales Appointments in CRM:  Enter notes, close appointments, schedule follow up, about 30 minutes.
  • Research: Includes looking up specs for hardware, software, talking with our support people and going to any resource I have to find additional information so I can move the dealer or solutions forward. I'm putting 4 hours on this per week.
  • Follow up Reports:  Especially commission reports, deliveries, installations, and can include getting additional paper work from the customer.  1 hour per week.
  • Close Sales: If I did not close the sale during the week this would be all of those follow up phone calls and work to either close of get a fix on where we are in the ordering process.  5 Hours per week.