Archive for January, 2011

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Canon ImageRUNNER-Advance and Google Docs

January 29, 2011

Canon has developed a new MEAP application for Google Docs. It allows Users to Scan directly to Google Docs, and Print directly from Google Docs. When I say directly I mean directly with no PC needed. They also have developed a MEAP app to allow the same for MS SharePoint Online.

Check out these Web links:

mfgdigest

prlog.org

Wow! Pretty cool apps! It hasn’t been released yet in the US market, but it is not unusual for Canon to test things first in Japan or Europe.

Why is this cool? Because Google Docs & Google Mail are making major inroads into business, not just SMB (Small, Medium Business) but larger organizations are outsourcing their email to Google. When you have a Google Mail account you automatically get a Google Docs account with a free Gigabyte of storage space. Additional storage space is very reasonably priced, for instance you can get a Terabyte for $256.00/year.

Not only could a small business use this for storage space, but this would work well for any size business that needs to deliver current versions of business critical documents to their remote offices or stores without the need of a PC.

The delivery of current documents via Google Docs to a Canon ImageRunner-Advance wouldn’t probably need more than the standard (free) 1 Gig of storage space. As long as it was used to simply deliver the most recent, updated documents and not to store older versions.

The other thing that I think Canon did well is they didn’t try to setup their own proprietary system (like Ricoh’s Document Mall) but instead they integrated the Canon iR-Adv with two established cloud apps; Google Docs & Microsoft SharePoint Online. This allows each entity to do what they do best, and leverage each others strengths! Good Job Canon!

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

 

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Data Collection is NOT Managed Print Services (MPS)

January 28, 2011

It has been said that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. Which is true, but it doesn’t mean that simply collecting data (measuring) is the same thing as managing. Managing means analyzing the data and making informed decisions that put in place best practices.

Define – Measure – Analyze – Improve – Control is a cycle of improvement used for process improvement. When we attempt to apply this to MPS by traditional Copier dealers it usually starts out fine with define & measure.

Define – The traditional copier dealer wants to move into Managed Print Services (MPS), and offer this service to their customers.

Measure – The dealer acquires a Data Collection tool or process, such as… Printfeet, or FM Audit, or even uses the old fashion “Print Wise” study. In a Print Wise study an MPS specialist does two walk throughs (separated by 30 days) of a clients office and prints out config pages for each printer, manually gathering a months worth of print data. Each of these tools or method gather the desired data needed to move to the next step of MPS.

Analyze – The Dealer can either hire an experienced MPS specialist or try and train their Sales force to sell MPS (Not an easy task).

Here is where it gets more challenging for the traditional Copier Dealership and it falls between the transition from Analyze -> Improve. Once you have a client’s printer data it needs to be analyzed and a proposal needs to be developed to show how you can “improve” the client’s printing environment.

And finally “Control” – a system needs to be left in place that continues to monitor these improvement and ensure that the effort expended to bring about the improvement was not wasted on a short lived improvement. Things left to themselves often return to their previous level.

These last two areas “Improve & control” are the most challenging and require either an investment in staff & technology or a partnership with a company that specializes in MPS that has already made the investment that you can leverage (for a price).

I believe that too many dealerships try to wing it on Analyze & Control trying to “make do” with the infrastructure that they have. This is a mistake, and will retard the dealers ability to be successful in the MPS arena.

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

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How to write a great RFP!

January 27, 2011

What is a great RFP? It depends upon who you ask. A traditional Purchasing Agent will say a great RFP is one that makes all the vendors propose the exact same thing, to make each a commodity, and by doing so force all the vendors to compete on price alone. This type of RFP will often result in the cheapest price.

But is that what you want the “cheapest product”? Really? Let me ask you this; Do you drive the cheapest car you can find? Do you wear the cheapest suit or buy the cheapest TV that you can find? I think not! I think that you shop for the best value. You want a car, a suit, a TV that has value, so why not your copier?

I received a GREAT RFP about a month ago. What, you ask made it great? The verbiage of the RFP was written to allow each vendor to tell the client what made them different, or unique, or special. It asked us to answer the question “Why should we pick you?”

Here is a sample of some of the questions in this RFP:

Describe your company’s core capabilities and business approach.

Please describe the key elements of your proposal. Highlight any major features,
functionality, or areas of support that differentiate your specific service offerings from your
competitors.

We value creativity and originality. Please note that we are not looking for a generic approach or boilerplate, rather for a description of how you would approach the scope of work specifically for (Customer’s Name)

Define how you will ensure a secure printing network.

Describe how your proposal will improve cost-effectiveness. Please be as specific as
possible.

These kind of question allow each of the Vendors responding to the RFP by showing why you should do business with them, rather than their competition. And that is WHAT MAKES IT A GREAT RFP!

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

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2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 18 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 72 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb.

The busiest day of the year was March 8th with 287 views. The most popular post that day was Is Your Universal Print driver REALLY UNIVERSAL???.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mfpsolutions.blogspot.com, google.com, ifreestores.com, matternoffact.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for xerox color cube, rpcs driver, xerox cube, weight conversion chart, and ricoh ikon merger.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Is Your Universal Print driver REALLY UNIVERSAL??? March 2010
5 comments

2

Xerox Color Cube fails the scratch test! October 2009
11 comments

3

Ricoh abadon’s its RPCS print driver June 2009
15 comments

4

Are Ricoh’s employees paying for the Ikon aquistion? March 2009
26 comments

5

The problem with the Xerox ColorCube pricing model November 2009
6 comments