Friday, May 10, 2013

The Future of Imaging a Round Table Discussion

I had the opportunity to sit in on round table discussion at this weeks Photizo Transform 2013 Event in Scottsdale.

I thought we had a great slice of people from the industry, a couple of MPS players from South Africa and Canada (Go Leafs!), another MPS provider from LA, a representative from Dell, marketing person from a Document Management Software provider, two additional providers that I did not get the chance to meet and then myself . 

The open discussion or statement from the MPS provider in LA was that he was not sure that Managed Network Services was the Holy Grail for his company. However he did admit that he had lost a tremendous volume of pages to a company that decided to move the information from being printed on pages to email.  One day it was there and the next it was not (this was identical to a graph that Ed Crowley had displayed at one of his workshops), all of a sudden the bottom could drop out!

Members from the group made strong arguments that you need to do something to garner additional revenue in order to prepare for the eventual loss of pages.  Our member South Africa stated that you have the account and thus you're in prime position to help them with their work flow even if it was to lose the printed pages you would still be able to gain Professional Services to consult, and enable new work flows that could help the customer reduce their costs.

Another question brought up was "where do you see your customers business in 5 years", there was much talk about paper based work flows now moving to the cloud and that what we're seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg.  I for one believe that the drop in pages may not be as drastic as all of the soothsayers are stating, I do believe that traditional manufacturers will bring vertical market MFP's, printers etc to market to stave off the decline, however it was agreed by all (including me) that this would only be a short term solution.

There seems to be growth opportunities for wide format systems, and we also mentioned the potential explosive growth for 3D printers.  I made mention when Obama made mention of his 3D printers in his State of the Union speech that the articles, blogs and press stories had to have increased 10 fold.  For the traditional MPS, and MFP dealers 3D printing brings awesome opportunities for growth, service margins and a captured consumable market (at least for now), and if you are going to get in GET IN NOW!  3D printers will allow members of your industry to "back door" into accounts that they may never have had the opportunity with their traditional offerings.

Our Dell roundtable member made mention that he's seeing huge changes in his hardware offerings, and this is being mandated by C level execs to do more with less.  One company that was not named was stated that 50% of their employees was involved in IT.  The whip came down from above and this account is now looking at alternative solutions so that they can reduce their IT significantly!

I really didn't take many notes and most of this comes from memory, however the round table that we had was the highlight of the event for me. It was interesting to hear from others that were not just MFP players, but solution providers, MPS providers, MNS providers and one thing we all agreed on is that our industry will continue to evolve and change and it's up to us to evolve and change to meet our customers needs and wants.

I remember a statement that OLD Glory made on the P4P Hotel forums "Every organization must prepare for the total abandonment of everything it does". Peter Drucker... this thread was posted in 2007!!!!

BTW would love to hear from the Leafs fan that I spoke to in Toronto, I was not able to get a card from his partner at the show. EMAIL me!

-=Good Selling=-

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