Xerox Pushes the Reset Button

Jeff Hayes
Jan 29, 2016

Making a big transformative acquisition is kind of like going to war – it’s expensive and risky and doesn’t always work out like the planners envisioned. CEO Ursula Burns announced that Xerox is retreating from its strategy to transform into a single growth-oriented, business process outsourcing (BPO) and technology company. Xerox LogoXerox intends to create two separate public companies – one focused on BPO and the other focused on Document Technology and Outsourcing – effectively undoing its $6.4B acquisition in 2010 of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS).

Much of Xerox’s vaunted technology never really gave ACS a big cost or innovation advantage over other BPO companies, and ACS never seemed to get much lift from accessing the Xerox customer base, especially outside the US.

Meanwhile the Document Technology business always seemed to get the short end of the stick. R&D budgets were cut, the growing managed print services business was moved over to the Services side of the house (at least for financial reporting purposes), and much of its cash flow was used to fund share repurchases, debt payment, and add-on acquisitions for the Services business. Xerox R&D Spending Read more »

Kodak Alaris Partners with Google to Build an IoT Strategy

Allison Correia

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the millions of smart devices that are connecting with each other, and we see it impacting and infiltrating the document solutions industry.  Last year, Google launched Brillo and Weave, the key parts of their new IoT platform, to enable easier device setup, phone-to-device-to-cloud communication, and user interaction from mobile devices and the web. Google is presenting Weave as “a solution for everyone:” OEMs, app developers, and end-users. With Weave, OEMs can build interoperable communications into their devices, build on Brillo, or add the Weave capability library to their existing OS.  App developers can use Weave to extend the reach of their iOS and Android apps by building one app to control multiple devices at home or work, and leveraging Google services such as voice actions. Read more »

How Life Unfolds

Jim Hamilton
Jan 26, 2016

You may have seen the television ad where a boy is throwing paper airplanes over a fence to communicate with his dad, who is away on active duty. Each paper airplane contains a note from the boy to his father. A kindly neighbor on the other side of the fence notices the airplanes, puts them in a box, and sends them to the father. Sometime later, the neighbor receives a box in the mail full of paper airplanes with notes from the dad to his son. The neighbor takes the airplanes and throws them one by one over the fence, where they are discovered by the boy. The story is heartwarming and it’s a Hallmark moment for sure, but this is not a greeting card commercial. What is this ad promoting? The answer might surprise you—it’s paper and packaging.

Letters to Dad

This is one of three television advertisements created by the Paper & Packaging Board as part of a campaign called “Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds.” This multi-million-dollar promotional campaign began in the middle of 2015 and includes not only television exposure, but also print and online ads. The target audience is Read more »

Building a Business Case for Attending ITEX 2016

David Ramos
Jan 19, 2016

Okay, so up front, let me address the elephant in the room…I know there has been some less than flattering feedback about the direction of the show the past few years.  I know this because you’ve been kind of enough and trusted me enough to tell me directly to my face or on the phone.  You know me, I appreciate honesty and I love people who are direct.  I’m simply asking you to do me a favor, the favor is this, read this piece and allow me lay out a few points as to why I believe you should attend this year’s event.  Fair enough? Itex Register

First, our industry needs this show to be successful.  We need an event, and as “We” I include everyone who is dedicated to the industry, that is independent, unbiased and most of all an event that provides value to and for independent office technology companies.   ITEX National Conference and Expo’s team has been working diligently for the past year to dig deep and renew the position of this show as the go-to resource for the independent channel.

Second, we have Read more »

Pitney Bowes: “The Craftsmen of Commerce”

Matt Swain

For the first time in more than 20 years, Pitney Bowes has launched a large-scale $20 million integrated advertising initiative.

The company secured prime advertising time this past weekend for a special airing of their 60-second commercial ahead of the AFC Divisional Playoff game, where the New England Patriots hosted the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 60-second commercial (entitled “The Story of Commerce”) leads out with dramatic imagery flashing by and a voiceover stating: Read more »

A Review of 2015 Corporate Greeting Cards

Jim Hamilton

This is the sixth year that I have done a video blog review of all the corporate greeting cards I received during the holiday season. This year’s collection was a particularly good one, and at the end of the video I highlight five examples that I think are outstanding.

If you have an interesting greeting card you’d like to send me, my address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA

If you would like to see the previous videos, here are the links:

 

Patent Trolls Harass Print Service Providers

James Hanlon
Jan 12, 2016

Starting in the fall of 2015, Dr. Harvey R. Levenson, Cal Poly Professor Emeritus, presented multiple conference sessions or webinars dedicated to the issue of patent lawsuits targeted at print service providers. These patent licensing operations, colloquially known as “patent trolls” or NPEs (non-practicing entities), are individuals or business entities that persistently purchase or file for patents, with the sole purpose of charging licensing and royalty fees. This blog builds on some of the key concepts in one of Dr. Levenson’s webinars and also summarizes some recent developments related to patent trolls.

Patent trolls are an increasing international issue, and continue to be active in almost every industry. According to UnifiedPatents in their Q3 Patent Dispute Report, over 67% of all patent litigation in the United States are filed by NPEs seeking monetary gain.

paterntrolls

Read more »

Nikon D500 is the DSLR many have been waiting for

David Haueter
Jan 8, 2016

It’s been almost seven years since Nikon introduced the D300s DX-format DLSR, and for the last several years many Nikon shooters have been waiting for a true replacement to that model. There was speculation that a successor would be announced at nearly every significant trade show over the last few years. That day finally arrived with the launch of the D500 at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.

Read more »

Why Aren’t You a Member of the Business Technology Association? BTA Celebrates 90 Years of Dealers Helping Dealers!!!

David Ramos
Jan 6, 2016

We shall start where all of the great journeys throughout history start, at the very beginning.  It was August of 1926 and a group of independent typewriter dealers…What is a typewriter? Google it Millennials, I don’t have time to draw you a picture. Where was I?  Oh yes…

90Yearslogo

It was August of 1926 and a group of independent typewriter dealers gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to form an association that would one day become the Business Technology Association.  By 1933, the Association had grown so much that it was decided a name change was needed. The National Association of Typewriter Dealers became the National Typewriter and Office Machine Dealers Association (NTOMDA), a decade later in 1943; it became the National Office Machine Dealers Association (NOMDA).  Fun fact, new products announced in the September issue of the NOMDA NEWS in 1948 included such items as:

  • The Tape Recorder — a compact, magnetic tape recording and playback machine designed for non-professional use.
  • The Wire Recorder — a new, portable, low-priced model. The combination phonograph/wire recorder reproducer claimed to have 12 essential features of sound reproduction.
  • The Photo Copy Duplicator — designed to produce letter- and legal-sized exact facsimiles of anything written, typed, printed, drawn or photographed in a matter of minutes. Claimed to produce more than 30 finished copies an hour at about five cents per copy. Portable. Had a self-contained darkroom.

Fast forward to present day, the Business Technology Association (BTA), led by Executive Director Brent Hoskins and a Board of Directors made up of independent dealers/entrepreneurs, serves office technology dealerships, resellers, manufacturers, distributors and service companies. Its core members — office technology companies — consult, provide services such as managed print services, managed IT services and sell hardware, software and supplies with the primary goal of helping businesses optimize business information workflow. Through the association’s various educational programs, information, research, legal services, publications and guidance, BTA member dealerships are positioned to be the premier source of the office technology used by businesses throughout the United States every day.  Bottom line, this association is about dealers helping dealers.

National Typewriter and Office Machine Dealers Association August 20, 1928, Cleveland, Ohio

National Typewriter and Office Machine Dealers Association August 20, 1928, Cleveland, Ohio

So, if you’re reading this and you’re not a member, my question is: Why Not?!  This is seriously what they call a “no-brainer” because for a measly $430 a year…hold on, let me start this part again.

This is seriously what they call a “no-brainer” for only $1.18 A DAY you have access to the following (imagine I am saying this with the voice of Don Pardo):

  • Legal Services – Led by the esteemed Bob Goldberg (he doesn’t even make me refer to him as esteemed, I do it out of the respect I have for his contributions to the BTA and our industry)
  • Free Publications & Online Resources – Like Office Technology Magazine
  • Channel Trends & Statistics – Including our very own InfoTrends Dealer Vertical Market Opportunity Analysis (yes, it’s a shameless plug, sue me after you become a member and have access to Bob Goldberg’s legal services)
  • Business Support Services – Including our very own InfoTrends Ask the Analyst service (alright, alright, that will be my last shameless plug)
  • Discount Programs
  • Insurance Programs
  • Education
  • BTA Scholarships – These scholarships are awarded to children of dealers & the children of their full-time employees.
  • BTA Navigator Program
  • Volume Purchasing Agreements

In addition to all of these fabulous benefits, the BTA holds five District Events per year (I know I said no more shameless plugs but this one isn’t about me, thus it doesn’t qualify as shameless), in the West, East, Southeast (traditionally one in first quarter and the annual Fall Colors event in North Carolina) and the Mid-America event. This year the Mid-America event will be held in BTA’s home city of Kansas City, Missouri, on June 8th thru June 10th to celebrate the association’s 90th Anniversary. These events feature industry leaders, networking opportunities, educational sessions and opportunities for exhibitors to meet one-on-one with attendees.

So, let’s go back to the beginning.  Founded in 1926…let that soak in for a moment people…founded in 1926!!!  Another fun fact, did you know that of the Fortune 500 firms in 1955 vs. 2014; 88% are gone?  Gone people, gone!  My Peeps at BTA have been diligently serving the independent dealer community since 1926!!!  And…AND…they all still look great!  Valerie, Teresa, Mary and Elizabeth, they don’t look a day over 30!  Brent and Brian…well, let’s just say they look great for 90 and we’ll leave it at that. :)

If you are already a member of the BTA you know first-hand all of the great work this group of individuals on the staff do for you on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and the contribution made by the association to our industry throughout its proud history.  If you are not a member, pick up the phone or email this man, Brian K. Smith, listed below and join today!  I promise you, if you invest the time to maximize even a fraction of the benefits I listed, it’s worth every penny.  And again, the pennies, work out to be like $1.18 a day!

Brian K. Smith – Membership Specialist

Business Technology Association

12411 Wornall Road, Ste. 200

Kansas City, Missouri 64145

800-505-2821

brian@bta.org

Congratulations to the entire staff at BTA and the countless volunteers, who are too many to name in this blog, for your many hours of hard work making the association successful.  A special shout out to Brent Hoskins for his dedication to and stewardship of the association.  Last fun fact, Brent also doubles as editor of Office Technology magazine.  So when he retires, the Board will have to hire two people to back-fill him; good luck with that. Brent is someone I both personally and professionally have a tremendous amount of respect for and is also someone I believe could be the nicest person on the planet. Much continued success to the Business Technology Association in 2016 and here’s to the next 90 years of dealers helping dealers!

 

 

Can Apple’s iPhone Camera Investment Help Drive Camera Sales?

Alan Bullock
Dec 24, 2015

Apple iPhone Camera Module - 60 Minutes Screen CapThe two-part story about Apple on CBS News’ 60 Minutes last Sunday (December 20, 2015) covered a lot of ground, including CEO Tim Cook filling the shoes of the late Steve Jobs, the company’s legendary commitment to secrecy, the product design process, retail stores, and government access to encrypted personal information. Buried in part one was a 90-second section devoted to the iPhone camera, which revealed a few interesting statistics: Read more »

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