Archive for June, 2010

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Before you buy a Xerox ColorQube…read this!

June 30, 2010

I recently received a document from Konica Minolta that reviewed the Xerox ColorQube and I was alarmed by some of what I read. Now I am sure that you would not expect KM to say nice things about the Xerox ColorQube (or is it ColorCube)? But what impressed me is they simply quoted two independent reports. These 2 separate reports were compiled, the one by BLI and the other by SpencerLab. It was reported that Xerox actually paid for the report by SpencerLab.

You should consider the following shortcomings (listed in these two reports) before you sign the Delivery & Acceptance:

The amount of stair stepping in diagonal lines was greater than competitive models in copy mode.

Black Text in Standard Mode was rated at a lower quality and density when compared to like models.

Black Lines were fuzzy and broken in Standard mode and Fast color mode, these lines appeared broken resulting in a loss of detail.

Solid black tints in standard and fast color mode exhibited streaking.

Images printed in standard or fast color mode exhibited graininess.

(the above statements add up to poor image quality for your companies documents)

The Xerox ColorQube slows down considerably when it detects an image quality problem.

Users have to empty the ink that is collected in the Waste tray

This report even said that the Xerox ColorQube 9203 fails to offer PC Faxing (can this be right????).

The good news is Xerox offers 3 different warm up modes…

…the bad news is they are slow, slower, and slowest.

  1. Sleep Mode = 3 minutes & 30 Seconds
  2. Standby Mode = 4 minutes & 5 Seconds
  3. Power Off Mode = 18 Minutes & 16 Seconds (in most offices this would cause an armed revolt)

So it is unlikely your office will be powering this down, so much for the companies green initiatives.

Additional Short comings that the report revealed about the Xerox Color Qube that may drive your end users or your IT staff crazy:

Users are not able to send to multiple types of destinations when they scan a document (This is a major step backwards, to not be able to in one scan send the document to an email, fax, and shared network folder).

Only One LDAP Server can be set up to access destinations.

End users can not save an LDAP search to the address book. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they could easily add an address, but according to this report an Admin has to create a .csv file and import that file into the ColorQube to update the address book (say it ain’t so).

The print driver does not offer an easy way of selecting a paper draw. (seriously?)

The Color Qube 9203 can only achieve its fastest speed in Fast Color Mode (which has poor quality) and only with the Postscript driver, which according to this report outputs an error when it is used for Booklet mode (sounds like it is not ready for prime time).

On top of all of this the report said that the Xerox ColorQube is priced higher than the average models that are comparably equipped!!! Wow…what’s not to love ;-\

Seriously folks this solid Ink technology which Xerox is presenting as advanced, was first introduced in 1986 by Tektronix which Xerox acquired when they bought Tektronix. Don’t be blinded by all the Xerox Hype, ask for an in house demo (They will NOT want to give you one), test it with your own company documents, and in your own environment.

Look closely at the quality of your companies documents (text, images and line art).

Feel the documents (waxy), try to write on them with a ball point pen, fold them, leave them in a pile on your cars dashboard on a hot summer day and see if they stick together. Feed them back through your MFDs document feeder and see how they fair on the 2nd, 3rd, or 10th time. Will they hold up over time?

Then ask your end users for their honest feed back after they have copied, printed, and scanned, & faxed and see what they say before you spend more to get less.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@yahoo.com

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What does Matt Espe know that would make him leave Ricoh so quickly?

June 27, 2010

I am sure that by tomorrow both Ricoh & Ikon will spin this 10 different ways, all to try and minimize the damage, but as one wise old man said “You can’t put a shine on a turd!” I mean WTF? Mr Espe had the top spot, he was the top dog at Ricoh Americas. All the industry pundents were saying that this is a “sign” that Ricoh is going to have the Ikon top brass run Ricoh Americas. Now what? There is no way that any thinking person could say that this is good for Ricoh. The shear brevity of Mr Espe’s reign is sure to suck the air out of the room for at least the short term. And IMHO demands an answer to the question that is screaming in all our ears… What does Matt Espe know that would cause him to flee from Ricoh\Ikon after being given the reigns?

At best this is a no confidence vote on the part of Mr Espe. He voted with his feet! But the question hangs in the air like the proverbial “elephant in the room”, and will continue to until we either get a reasonable answer or they find the next savior for Ricoh to hire. It has to shake the confidence of those faithful Ricoh folks who were thinking that he would be the future of Ricoh\Ikon! Hey guys get those resumes polished up if the top rat just jumped ship it may be time to start looking for a soft place for you to land.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@necs.biz
WWW.NECS.BIZ

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Will removing the hard drives from old MFDs adversly affect the resale of used equipment?

June 25, 2010

Recently We have pulled a number of hard rives out of our customers old equipment. We refer to this as our hard drive surrender program. Some customers just don’t care what security options you can provide, they want to keep their hard rives. I get it, because it is the most secure option, and gives the customer the greatest comfort level, but also gives them the greatest responsibility (to properly dispose of the hard rives they keep).

Speaking to my operations manager removing a hard drive from an MFD renders these MFDs all but worthless for the secondary wholesale market. Of course we can only do this (without replacing the hard drive) on equipment that our customers own outright (in other words, NOT LEASED).Otherwise the Leasing Company, who actually owns the equipment will WHACK your customer with an outrageous charge to restore there MFD to working condition.

How will this affect the resale of used equipment, whether wholesale, or refurb’d equipment. How will it effect the sale of new equipment? This will definitely diminish the amount of used equipment on the market in three to five years. It will take that long to get through a lease cycle before the impact will be fully felt by the market place, but it will be felt.

Not sure how many MFDs are having their hard drives pulled before they are being decommissioned but it IS happening on a number of them, maybe 20%, maybe 30%, maybe only 10%. While the impact is yet to be felt it will be felt.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@necs.biz
WWW.NECS.BIZ

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If you can’t earn the business maybe you can buy it?

June 18, 2010

There have been a number of recent events where one of the Direct _BS Branches have tried to purchase business that they could not earn. I thought I would share a couple of them with you.

One prestigious Ivy League University dismissed a _BS bid because it was “too low”. You heard me correctly, they came in too low on their bid. The Purchasing Committee felt that they could not possibly provide the type of quality service that they were looking for at the ridiculously low price that they bid. They were right, and I respect them for having the balls to call _BS out.

In another deal, a college in Boston accepted  a large donation from “the Vendor” to get the Service contract. Now they would not publicly make the connection between the two, but off the record we were told that this was the key factor. In fact it was suggested that we should make a similar “contribution” as well. We chose not to bid. I know integrity is old fashion but it helps me sleep at night.

The final recent example came from a woman from a mid west company that emailed me after reading this blog. She said that she was on the MFD Purchasing Committee that was looking at Ricoh or Pitney Bowes to provide all the MFDs (and FM) for all of their locations. We ended up speaking on the phone and she told me that Ricoh was offering them a substantial check, and a very low bid price. She said that the Ricoh Rep was even bragging that “they were not making any money on this deal”. She couldn’t understand how any buisness could stay in business operating this way. She said isn’t that illegal dumping? I responded that it sounds like it to me.

As we spoke I asked her if Ricoh was currently serving any of her companies equipment. She said yes, a few, but she said that the service had been very poor. To which I replied THAT is why they are trying to buy your business, because they haven’t earned the right (by giving you good service) to ask you for a fair price at a reasonable margin. She also said that Pitney Bowes had a good reputation for servicing their account. I said that is why their proposal costs more than Ricoh’s, because good service costs more than poor service.

So if you can’t (or haven’t) earned the business, maybe you can buy it? Or better yet maybe you can find another line of work, and let those of us who can do this job and make a reasonable profit do our job.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@necs.biz
WWW.NECS.BIZ