Get your instant photography back on with the Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera

Carrie Sylvester
 Jan 17, 2018

Remember the days of using an instant camera to take pictures of your family or friends and excitedly waiting for the picture to “develop” in front of your eyes? It was cool, right? Well there are some companies out there trying to make instant photography cool again. Enter Eastman Kodak and its licensee C+A Global, who introduced the Printomatic, a point and shoot camera with built-in printer, in September 2017. Read more »

How is Your Firm Getting Into the Solution?

Sheryne Glicksman
 Jan 12, 2018

In Q4 of 2017, we surveyed 179 IT decision-makers within the indirect channels for office equipment deployed across the United States. Respondents included office equipment dealers (OED) and IT resellers. For this survey, we used revenue ranges to define the size of establishment. Those with annual revenue of less than $10 million were grouped as small OED and IT Resellers while large OED and IT resellers have revenues of at least $10 million.

It’s Time to Get Inside the Solution
Software is on average only 11% of total revenues. As you can see from the chart below, software is a higher percentage of sales among the large IT resellers (17% of total revenue). What can you do to increase your software revenues? Based on our last two dealer surveys, we know that solutions selling has been a growth priority for dealers in our channel for the past two years. So why is this number not increasing faster, and what are you doing differently this year to change your strategy? What’s working well for you, and what can you improve on? The software solutions that you market to your customers are the tools needed to effect change within an organization. It’s not about the name of the software solution. It’s all about how the software solution tool can help improve something that is challenging to your customer. What stories have you told to help your customers realize you understand their pain? How educated are your sales reps on how these tools help customers in specific ways?

Figure 1. What is the percentage of revenue for the following areas of your business?

Revenue Growth Areas

Workflow & business process solutions, managed IT services, security service and mobility were noted as the top four areas for revenue growth. Workflow and business process solutions are intended to help companies be more efficient and eliminate manual processes. Are you speaking to your customers about their frustrations around manual processes? The software tools available to eliminate these frustrations are the catalyst for change. Are you developing your own managed IT division or partnering with an expert in managed IT? When it comes to security, are you having discussions around security infrastructure, ransomware, and security around print behaviors? These discussions will certainly lead you down the path of making recommendations to alleviate your customers security challenges. Our forecasts show that mobile print is expected to grow to a $118 million-dollar business by 2020. How are you planning to capture some of this revenue?

Figure 2. What areas do you see the greatest opportunity for revenue growth in next 3 years?

Leverage Your Partners

How do you message your expertise to potential customers? What vertical markets have brought you success? If these are areas of growth for your establishment, how will you align sales and marketing efforts to reflect these new focus areas? What areas are part of your strategic initiatives this year? Technical sales support, more education and training, sales enablement and data analytic tools all ranked at some level of importance for our survey respondents. When it comes to sales enablement tools and data analytics, this got me thinking about all the tools each of you have access to in our channel ecosystem. Are you leveraging all the information in these tools? Bringing data to life is real. I believe we all want immediate insights into data that help drive business decisions. We want the data up to the minute, in real time, in motion. We also want it simple to understand so we can act on it. We can help you improve your software revenues. Contact me today for a complimentary executive briefing to discuss how #icanhelpbringyourdatatolife

Workflow in 2018: What’s Included in the Package?

Pat McGrew
 Jan 10, 2018

In 2017 we walked the workflow, followed an audit trail, and ended with the admonition that your workflow is not proprietary. That last post might have seemed odd, but the reason for the post evolved out of countless conversations with printers who see their workflow as their Intellectual Property. It is understandable to want to protect processes that make a business unique and provide a competitive advantage, but when broken down the optimized workflow process has four components: Creating the content, getting the print job on-boarded, manipulating and managing the job files through to the RIP, and the RIP and Digital Front End (DFE).

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A Snapshot of the Photo Card Market from a Door

David Haueter
 

Most of us get photo cards around the Holiday’s but not many of us save them. My girlfriend is an exception, as she has the interesting practice of keeping all the cards she receives over the Holidays on the door to her garage for the rest of the year. It’s a nice tradition; because it spruces up an otherwise dull door and lets you see pictures and memories from your friends and family all year long. To me, it also provides a touchstone for how the photo card market is doing. Although one person is not a solid benchmark, my girlfriend’s door serves as a good reflection on what I believe is happening in the overall market for photo cards.

Of the 32 total cards on her door, 16 included a personal photo and 16 were off-the-shelf greeting cards (mostly Hallmark). All 16 of the photo cards were flat, with not a single folded card to be found in the bunch. There was only one 4” x 8” photo card out of the 16, as her friends have moved predominantly to larger format cards, and several of those larger format cards were printed on heavier stock paper. The majority of the photo cards she received were ordered from Shutterfly.

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ECi Software Solutions Acquires PrintFleet

Steve Pearl
 Jan 5, 2018

Consolidation in the document imaging space continues, with ECi Software Solutions adding PrintFleet to its portfolio of business-management tools for office equipment dealers. That makes ECi the purveyor of two of the leading fleet-management platforms that underpin MPS (managed print services) practices. The company acquired FMAudit in 2011 to expand its dealer-focused software portfolio. According to ECi, this latest acquisition represents its commitment to the field service industry by expanding its service offerings and providing a global reach in print and service management. The President of PrintFleet, Chris McFarlane, will continue in his position—as part of ECi’s Field Service Division. Ron Books will maintain his role as ECi’s CEO.

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