Innovation Impact How Technology Will Transform Your Business4 Feb, 2011 By: Mike Stramaglio, CEO, MWA Intelligence imageSource
Innovation Impact How Technology Will Transform Your Business
It’s a new year, 2011…welcome to the year of “The Innovators.” 2010 was an
incredible year for innovation and change for the office products channel and
the partners who supported it. Last year was a year with many milestones and
“firsts,” yet as such it is nearly impossible to discuss 2011 without a better
understanding of what 2010 represented for so many of us in the industry.
A few years ago we could feel comfortable in calling this channel “office
products” or “imaging space,” or maybe “the copier channel” and/or possibly “the
MFP market.” But as we progress forward, what should we now consider calling
the office products channel? Let's take it a step further and compound the
issue. What do we call the folks who actually distribute the various types of
solutions, such as the “Copier/BTA dealers” or “Imaging Dealers,” and/or
“Printer Resellers”? Or let’s go a little wild and consider, “Document
Pretty soon it all gets a little confusing. The most important thing we can
generally agree upon is, that distribution has taken on a new face, and as such,
has embraced the notion of acceptable terms. The first term being “Managed
Print Services” (MPS), as a broader representation of the vertical market, once
known as the copier market.
The second, and also generally embraced terminology for the
“Dealer/Resellers,” would have to be the “Hybrid Dealer/Reseller” community. A
Hybrid Dealer by definition would be a Dealer/Reseller who is actively engaged
in managing fleets of assets of any brand and for any print, copier, document
management, assessment, procurement, and/or professional services, and/or post
sale service requirements.
So what does all of this really mean? From my perspective it means a whole
bunch of things for all of us to consider with one very important, and possibly
THE most important point being, that the "End User Client" is now significantly
more knowledgeable than most of the distribution that serves them.
These End User Clients are well informed, highly ambitious in their pursuit
of solutions with a legitimate ROI, and are quite aggressive when it comes to
learning and applying new technology in a marketplace that has been extremely
slow to adapt to new business methods, processes, and/or the dramatic
advancements in critical path areas for network security, technology
requirements, and/or effective data reporting and asset “control” for everything
from the hardware to the document.
The “supply chain” we have been living with has been dysfunctional for a very
long time, and with the migration from the conventional business model to what
we commonly refer to as the Managed Print Service model, it is high time we
begin to apply our greatest technology in the most cost-effective,
time-sensitive way. The channel must catch up to the more demanding
requirements of the end user client! This translates into the greatest
opportunity for all who join the party! Easy? No! Imperative? Yes!
Key Technology Influencers
I am optimistic that the key influencers in the worldwide marketplace will
somehow come together in a new collaborative effort that will allow us to
establish a new de facto standard for the baseline enterprise technology. I can
predict that the OEMs, in combination with a number of technology and
distribution leaders, will develop the best possible vehicle for service
management, call avoidance, print assessment, document management, contracts
applications, embedded software inside the “box,” greater relationships between
the financial arms of our business, as well as the extremely important
“procurement automation.” Managed Print Services must include compatible
supplies, service, machine intelligence, and of course, financing.
We’re entering 2011 where the speed of communication is faster than a blink
of an eye and documents can be moved to virtually anywhere in the world faster
than I can type this sentence. It is nothing short of remarkable that we have
come this far in what amounts to be a few short years.
We all understand that the “conventional” copier business “cash flow” has
altered and impacted every dealer and reseller today. Yet we are enjoying great
new opportunities in MPS. However, only a small percentage of “brand-agnostic"
MPS hybrid dealers are taking advantage of this growth potential. Not
surprising, this is usually a reflection of the old style business model many
continue to wrestle with - and must resolve - and quickly!
Allow me to share with you some of the developments and compelling things
that MWAi has been up to last year, and moving forward into 2011. I am pleased
to report that we have achieved a number of unprecedented technological
One such example of our ability to move to the next tier of capability has
been our ongoing partnership with Intel. When you consider Intel, you cannot
ignore the fact that they are one of the greatest technological innovators in
the world, notably having invented everything from the “little ole’ USB key” to
serious and major works of "technological art.” And that there’s Intel inside
nearly any asset that requires a “chip” for managing products securely and
MWAi is a technology company focused on managing Service Personnel, Remote
Service requirements, and Dispatchers, and as a natural extension of this
strategy, we have been providing additional software for intelligently managing
the hardware, documents, and data they provide. We define this combination as
Intelligent Service and Intelligent Device Management. All of this strategic
thinking emanates from our years of experience in the Machine 2 Machine (M2M)
and Machine 2 People (M2P) investments, and are the catch phrases for creating
leading-edge technology for the greatest intelligence shared between every
machine and with every service department.
Our commitment is resolute in that we provide the technology inside the
machines that will allow the machines to be repaired remotely, automatically,
and in many cases actually enter a service call for itself without human
intervention. We view this as “call avoidance” for obvious reasons, but rest
assured that this will grow into newer categories as our solutions unfold in the
months and years ahead.
Our partnership with Intel is exceptional in that it provides us with
significant resources to work in tandem between Intel’s hardware expertise and
the years of software experience of MWAi. For example, one new feature you will
be able to see at ITEX 2011 will be our ability to manage the hardware when
completely turned off! We can capture the meter, turn the equipment on or off,
provide firmware upgrades, and reboot remotely. Imagine the many benefits we can
Intel’s Brendan Peters, Print Imaging Segment Manager, states, “Intel has
teamed up with MWAi to address the most forward thinking solution in remote
manageability, combining Intel hardware featuring Out of Band Management with
MWAi’s software, whereby you can manage any printer or MFP device remotely from
anywhere in the world. Intel’s commitment to the Print Imaging segment doesn’t
stop there; we are creating other solutions that use forward thinking
technologies to solve real world printing problems, such as peer-to-peer
printing without the need for drivers, virtualization for a host of benefits
such as security, software upgrades, not to mention running multiple software
solutions like MWAi’s at no additional power or performance tax. All of these
features and benefits are just the tip of the iceberg in what you get when an
OEM selects Intel Embedded inside their printer or MFP.”
I can say with full confidence that MWAi, in conjunction with some vital new
partners and our own internal investments, will be delivering exceptional
products to help lead this industry. I have great respect for the challenges
that lie ahead and I might add that we cannot do this without your (the
channel’s) support, and with the support of the OEMs. I have recently been to
Japan and Korea and am honored to work with so many great manufacturers
worldwide. I am looking forward to working with our OEM partners, dealers,
resellers and our many development partners this year. Of which, my special
thanks to Intel, RIM, Apple, ECi, Digital Gateway - and of course to all of you
who drive the channel forward.
Many partners will be joining me at ITEX 2011 in March, where I look forward
to visiting with colleagues, peers and friends both on the show floor, in
planned special events, and at my opening keynote address with Intel on
“Innovation Impact – How Technology Will Transform Your Business.” We’ll
deliver compelling reasons that will impact the way you develop your business
model, and processes that can move your organization forward! Join me for
another great expo experience...and let’s look forward to raising the level of
expectation in our industry to prepare our organizations’ for the future –
starting with 2011!
We’re entering 2011 where the speed of communication is faster than a blink
of an eye.
Mike Stramaglio is CEO of MWA Intelligence. MWAi provides cutting-edge M2M
(machine-to-machine) and M2P (machine-to-people) solutions and tools that
support the exchange of real-time information. Includes technology innovations,
MPS initiatives, remote / intelligent assets and services and more. Visit
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