I think the most interesting moments at any end-user event come when the attendees talk about their success stories. At the Xerox Premier Partner Forum in Madrid (October 20-21) three success stories stood out:
Collaboration across the Atlantic – Two CEOs found each other through Premier Partners in an effort to better serve a U.S. client. Mike Peterson of Gabriel Group in St. Louis, Missouri was looking for a European partner who could provide output and other services to an existing client. He started his search by reaching out to European Premier Partners. Jeroen van Druenen of Jubels in the Netherlands responded to Mike’s request and showed that his company had the capabilities that Gabriel needed, and so they formed a partnership that has turned out to be essential in serving this $1 million account.
There was an awkward moment in one of the conference sessions at Konica Minolta’s recent dealer meeting. Polly LaBarre, co-author of Mavericks at Work, was summing up her presentation and she asked listeners if they would promise to ‘walk into the office stupider, and ask more questions.’ Promoting stupidity seems like a losing proposition but the ‘asking questions’ part is right on the mark, and I think it is a good reflection of the way that Konica Minolta conducted its ‘Shape the Future’ event, which took place November 17-19 at the Venetian/Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas.
Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine, knows a lot about innovative companies and how they operate. Here are a few of my favorite Bill Taylor lines:
The only sustainable form of business leadership is thought leadership
It’s not good enough to be pretty good at everything. The middle of the road is the road to nowhere.
Originality is the acid test of your strategy
Bill’s one-liners fit the definition of an aphorism rather nicely. (An aphorism is ‘a brief statement of a principle.’) And though I like a good aphorism, I like Bill’s view on innovative companies even more. Like the dialysis provider, DaVita, that let its employees vote on the new company name. (DaVita used to be called Total Renal Care.) Or Lexus, which built a brand new luxury brand to compete with the Cadillacs and BMWs of the world. Or Cirque du Soleil, which reinvented what a circus could be (without animals or big name acts).
Today Xerox announced the DocuColor 8080, an addition to the DocuColor family that will replace the DocuColor 7002 and 8002. The DocuColor 8080 is an 80-ppm production color printer with a stated duty cycle of 1.2 million A4/letter impressions per month. It has a maximum sheet size of 12.6” x 19.2” and a front-to-back registration tolerance of +/- 0.5 millimeters. It supports stocks from 60 to 300 gsm (16 lb. bond to 110 lb. cover). Three color server options are offered: Xerox’s FreeFlow Print Server, an EFI Fiery-based EX Print Server, and a Creo-based CX Print Server. Finishing options by GBC, Standard, and Xerox are also available. Installations of the DocuColor 8080 will begin in August at a list price of $260,000 (including the color server). The DocuColor 8080 will get its first public showing at Graph Expo in September.
Today Ricoh announced three new light production digital color products, including two multi-function devices (the Pro C651EX and Pro C751EX) and a printer (the Pro C751). The Ricoh Pro C751 has a top speed of 75-ppm and a maximum monthly volume of 180,000 A4/letter color impressions per month. It is available in printer and multi-function versions (these are designated EX). The Pro C651EX has a top speed of 65 ppm. It is available only as an MFP. The products will begin shipping late this summer. Pricing has not yet been finalized.
Ricoh stressed that the new products are ‘clean-sheet’ designs and are not slowed-down C901s. They do, however, build on some characteristics of the C901 such as the use of chemical toner and Adobe PDF Print Engine.Â
I was reminded recently of a good example of innovative design. I had seen GBC’s eBinder at ON DEMAND 2009 in the Xerox booth where it was shown in-line with a Xerox Nuvera, but the full impact of the design took a while to sink in. As is often the case, a picture can tell the story better than a wordy description. The eBinder uses a single flat plastic consumable (see below) to form an elliptical lay-flat, wrap-around Â binding that can support document page counts ranging from 2 to 100 sheets.
eBinder Ellipse consumable (top) and GBC ProClick consumable (bottom)