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ITEX 2010 Value, Reliability, Opportunity

1 Apr, 2010 By: Sand Sinclair imageSource

ITEX 2010 Value, Reliability, Opportunity

While the global economy struggles to rebound after hitting every industry
hard, the early indicators for the office channel are showing some positive
signs, which is the case for the recent 2010 ITEX event. An annual channel event
that spotlights new office technology and the latest business solutions, ITEX
hit its mark with a solid turnout for its tenth event at the Las Vegas
Convention Center.  

Overcoming a challenging economy, dealers and solution providers appeared
optimistic and eager to find new methods to improve their business, with nearly
2,600 C-level decision makers: Dealers, VARs, ISVs, manufacturers, consultants,
business owners and more attending the show to network with exhibitors and
participate in the peer-led, albeit crowded, education sessions. Channel
providers indicated they were seriously seeking credible strategies, platforms
and product to address their current business needs for the better. As
technology expands so are the next wave of solutions - which had dealers
flocking to education tracks to learn of the significant improvements to make
and new methods to consider, and naturally, where the best opportunities lay
today, including in managed print.

Marc Spring, co-founder of ITEX and Imaging Network confirmed that, “ITEX hit
a bulls-eye for 2010. Our education tracks are a driving force for dealers who
want to find the latest trends or have been struggling in today’s market so look
to reassess their business model. Dealers by nature are resilient and ITEX
brings them actionable information to act upon. From launching Managed Print
Service programs to understanding key benchmarks, ITEX educates the dealer
community in credible go-to-market strategies while spotlighting cutting edge
advancements for what to expect next.”

Hybrid Dealer Education

The theme for the 2010 event, “Be the Hybrid Dealer,” was implemented throughout
the show including the strong education program where topics engaged dealers in
new or enhanced opportunities to expand their core business offerings to
experience better revenue. Notably, ITEX delivered 25 Power Hour education
sessions “full force” within five key tracks: Hybrid Dealer A & B on a myriad of
topics; Document Solutions; Sales & Marketing, and Service. The classes
addressed topics such as Toolkit of What Makes a Dealer a Hybrid, Why You Need
to Be in MPS, Office & Technology Supplies, Trends & Opportunities, along with
sessions on key topics such as Service Benchmarks, How to Address the Vertical
Markets, Common Pitfalls in ECM Implementation, Creative Compensation for Sales
Reps in a World of Declining Margins and Network Services: Building a World
Class Help. These were among many classes that kept dealers in their seats, or
standing room only at the show.

 MPS Dealer Business Forums

Two well-constructed dealer business forums for Managed Print Services, held
over three days to address all aspects of MPS, were led by key vendors and
sponsors that included BEI Pros, Print Management Solutions Group, ECi,
PrintFleet, FMAudit, Compass Sales Solutions, GreatAmerica Leasing, Parts Now!,
LMI, DocuWare, Supplies Network, EFI, and Printer Essentials.

A “MPS Service & Profitability” all day forum had experts sharing the
necessary components for a program that ensures higher company & service
margins, including those in aftermarket. “We were very pleased with such a large
audience and with the diversity of the participants that attended this year’s
dealer development (Service) workshop,” stated Jerry Newberry, principal of
Print Management Solutions Group & BEI Pros. “The feedback was exceptional and
having participants from Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America added to the
success of this full day session.”

A “MPS Strategy” forum of dedicated classes scheduled throughout the show
dates was process driven to provide the key steps toward identifying and
implementing the best program for a dealership and for those already engaged in
MPS but want to leverage their investment for higher profits. Laryssa Alexander,
the president of OMD and La Crosse of ECi Solutions remarked, “ITEX 2010 was a
great success for ECi Software Solutions; this year’s Diamond Sponsor. Through
the many educational offerings available through the Power Hours and MPS Forums,
as well as special events such as having industry experts speaking in our booth,
there was something for everyone.  This was a great opportunity to meet with
existing and prospective customers and talk about goals we have accomplished,
innovative solutions we are working on, and partnerships we will be launching
soon; all necessary tools for a successful Hybrid Dealer. We look forward to
seeing everyone in Washington D.C. in 2011.”

With so much interest in MPS, Randy Dazo, Director of Network Document
Solution Services for InfoTrends stated, “ITEX has become the premier channel
event for the Managed Print Services industry, which is easy to see because MPS
touches all aspects of it; hardware, supplies, solutions and services. As
InfoTrends is the leading analyst firm that focuses on all aspects of the
imaging and print industry that includes production, office and consumer
segments, many organizations asked us this year what we see beyond managed
print.  We see a transformation and convergence happening in the market; Managed
Print Services, Managed Services and Outsourcing are coming together from
various industry specific areas and beginning to unite into an all encompassing
service and provider. For instance, we are seeing organizations from the IT
Managed Service side moving into the Managed Print Services space. At the same
time we see Managed Print providers moving into Managed IT Services.” Dazo
added, “We also see some Managed Print vendors offering services in the print
production space as well as providing solutions around document workflow and
outsourcing.  Interestingly, not only are we seeing providers expanding into
these adjacent business areas because it helps to further increase their
footprint, but we are also seeing that customers are asking their providers for
additional services because of their trust, efficiencies and technical
expertise.”  The annual ITEX event, supported by the company’s monthly magazine
publication imageSource, is in the business of educating dealers and business
professionals in the channel with strategic next level education that will
advance the provider forward. The buzz continues with a major push in MPS

Transcending MPS to MSSP

“When people ask me, “What is beyond Managed Print?” says Dazo, “the real
question should be, what is not beyond Managed Print? As it turns out, it may be
an all encompassing service. With this transformation and convergence of
industries we obviously see similarities and differences that make ‘moving
beyond…' interesting yet challenging. Furthermore, defining this new provider of
services can also be another challenge; i.e. creating some interesting acronym
that captures and encompasses the essence of all of these services can be
tough.” Dazo suggests that, “What makes Managed Print Services unique today is
that it provides continuous improvements (the “Managed” in MPS) around a
customer’s print environment. At the same time, these services solve pain points
by providing service solutions around an organization’s output environment.”  

ITEX and its related properties and InfoTrends conclude that as MPS continues
to evolve that it may need a broader description.  According to Dazo, “We
believe the attributes of Managed Print Services will transcend into these other
services that will enhance and bring differentiation to Managed Print Service
providers. Therefore, we would like to term this new vendor as a “Managed
Service Solutions Provider” or MSSP that will provide Service Solutions in a
continuous Managed approach.” ITEX and InfoTrends are subsidiaries of Questex
Media Group LLC, creators of AIIM/Info360 and On Demand shows, and ITEX will
rotate its show to the East Coast in 2011 to create a unique synergy between the
company’s existing events. The strong alliance will create a fresh and exciting
venue based on a compatible industry focus, with ITEX focusing distinctly on
“meeting dealers needs.” Dazo sums it up with, “We are excited about ITEX
collocating with the joint AIIM/On Demand show, providing an event that will
bring all of these channels together as they once did since Comdex; the Office
Equipment Dealer, IT Reseller, and Print Provider.” 

“Coincidentally or strategically bringing these channels together,” adds Dazo,
“will further facilitate the growth of this new MSSP industry, bringing a new
level of education, networking and show experience. At InfoTrends we are very
excited to participate as the thought leader, helping to develop this next-level
educational series that will unite and advance these channels into the new
Managed Services Solutions Provider.”

Revenue Resource Pavilions

Featured at the 2010 show was an open-access Resource Pavilion and Hybrid Dealer
Pavilion, with collective services and product offerings to showcase wide
format, mailing systems, office supplies and more and included vendors Paradigm
Imaging, Mutoh, Seacap, Hytec, Formax among others. Dealers are looking at
additional opportunities to increase revenue and these areas are some of the
best untapped markets to consider. Margie Davis, VP of Business Development from
BERTL (Business Equipment Research & Test Laboratories) said, “BERTL once again
felt the annual ITEX dealer event was an extremely important event to attend and
participate in. The educational seminars were well-attended and the foot traffic
on the show floor and pavilions was steady. Overall we heard happy and positive
feedback from the attendees. If you missed this year’s event, be sure to make
plans to attend ITEX 2011.” 

Concurrent Events, Awards & Kudos

Along with multiple manufacturers and associations that held concurrent meetings
while at the show including ASI, ECi/La Crosse/OMD Roundtables, IBPI’s Annual
Dealer Meeting, and the National Printer Repair Network’s members meeting, a
casual break-out event was held at the Las Vegas Hilton where Marc Spring and
the Business Technology Association welcomed attendees to a “Meet & Greet
Reception” where many socially networked while the BTA presented their Channel
Choice Awards along with a BTA Volunteer of the Year award.  “The Business
Technology Association representatives attending the 2010 ITEX Show — members of
the association’s national Board of Directors and staff — found this year’s show
to be very worthwhile,” said BTA Executive Director, Brent Hoskins. “We saw
great traffic on the trade show floor and packed education sessions. Plus, our
BTA Meet & Greet Reception was well attended so was a huge success for us. We
extend our congratulations to the show organizers on a job well done this year.”

Many vendors stated that they were pleased with the attendee turnout saying
“solid, quality dealerships and qualified companies” were seriously seeking new
partnerships, as well as learning new strategies. Strategy Development
consultant, exhibitor and ITEX class presenter David Ramos stated, “The
education sessions were spectacular this year. Many dealers were asking for
copies of PowerPoint presentations and hoping for follow up webinars in the near
future.” The president of Tangerine Office Systems in Las Vegas, Ms. Edy Seaver,
remarked that, “ITEX was powerful this year. Connecting with old and new vendors
is integral to the success of my business.  Each year that I have attended ITEX,
I have come away with new ideas that help take Tangerine Office to the next
level. I congratulate the coordinators for putting such a well oiled machine in

I will look forward to attending next year’s show in Washington, DC.” Ed
Daman, Director of Operations for JD Young, Tulsa, OK commented that “ITEX
education this year was great. The integration of strategies is excellent; we
don’t have to re-invent the wheel. At ITEX we can listen to these experts’
successes and learn from what we hear; get what we need. And regardless
everything appears to being going “digital” there are still areas that can’t be
replaced. There are opportunities all around.”

Moving Forward

The ITEX 2010 show made good on its promise to deliver the needed tools to “Be
the Hybrid Dealer.” As the lights dimmed at the Las Vegas Convention Center for
2010, and the show coordinators prepare to rotate ITEX to the nation’s capitol
for 2011, the show’s Business Development Director, Christian Swartz, Imaging
Network, summed it up succinctly. “This 2011 move is a part of our corporate
strategy, whereby office-related Questex properties are housed under one
umbrella to create the ideal synergistic experience for both attendees and
exhibitors,” says Swartz. “ITEX will remain a dealer focused show. The move to
the East Coast will provide added value, especially  for the Hybrid Dealer
attendees. Now they will have a chance to continue doing “business as usual” at
ITEX 2011 yet have the unique ability, if they so choose, to see more suppliers
as well as network with thousands of the largest buyers of office technology.”

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