Selling Green-Document Management From Data Center to Desktop4 Jan, 2011 By: Greg Buschman, VerdeDocs imageSource
Selling Green-Document Management From Data Center to Desktop
What comes to mind when you hear green-document management? Many principles and sales managers think long sales cycles, fewer clicks, low margins, and expensive application specialists. Others think account penetration, professional and managed services, and competitive advantage. Why are the responses different?
When exploring various markets, we need to look at the influence of information from research analyst firms. The Gartner Group traditionally takes a general business and information technology (IT) viewpoint. This approach however, may mean somewhat limited green-document management strategies vs. selling scanning and archival software and services.
InfoTrends and organizations such as the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) and Printing Industries of America (PIA) typically look at markets from a printing and imaging viewpoint. Their view of green-document management spans document processes across the entire enterprise from the data center to the end user’s desktop. Adopting this viewpoint allows dealers to mix green-document strategies with core competencies.
What is Green-Document Management?
Whether dealing with a business or government entity, green-document management is the process of using environment-friendly products to reduce the costs and waste associated with the document life cycle. Green-document management strategies include imaging and printing equipment as well as electronic document and content management (EDM/ECM) applications, data center solutions, central reproduction/copy-print center workflow, and desktop management.
Approaching Green-Document Management from the Data Center
A CAP Ventures study found that 70% of digital printing jobs are produced by host-based systems. Host-based systems are the back office systems that feed millions of documents to CRD/copy-print centers and data center printers. These systems typically have poor imaging and printing controls and are ripe for capitalizing on current green IT and marketing trends.
In the past, Xerox and a handful of other big iron resellers have been vendors of choice in these environments. However, today’s light/medium production equipment, coupled with green-document management and workflow products from companies like Rochester Software Associates (RSA), Prism Software, Objectif Lune, and Electronics for Imaging (EFI) have enabled sales strategies to knockout or co-exist with these incumbents.
7 of these opportunities are:
- Reducing the footprint, energy consumption, and emissions of print production equipment while increasing inline finishing capabilities.
- Offering middleware solutions that capture, convert, and manage document output and print streams that knockout or co-exist with legacy production equipment.
- Reducing paper consumption and postal costs by creating PDF and TIFF files from mainframe applications for electronic distribution, distributed print, and archiving.
- Providing managed network services and software as a service (SaaS) for out-tasking functions such as cloud-based content management, disaster recovery, data archiving, e-Discovery, and database marketing.
- Replacing Hewlett Packard and other laser printer clusters with cost-efficient, feature-rich, light/medium production hardware.
- Reducing labor and job completion time with print production digital front ends, automated printing and document workflow.
- Implement e-Business and Web2Print solutions such as WebCRD and Digital Store Front to create electronic job tickets, simplify order placement, and reduce outsourcing.
Approaching Green-Document Management from the Desktop
Incorporating imaging and communication features of office equipment into general business office processes is necessary for successful green-document management programs. ECM/EDM applications add little value unless they are easy to use and documents can be entered and accessed easily.
The following are several suggestions to embed your equipment into general business processes:
- Preparing documents for entry into document management applications is time consuming. Most EDM/ECM applications have substandard OCR and hard to use document-editing software. Demonstrate how your system provides easy to use OCR and desktop document-editing products such as PaperPort Pro and Omni-Page Pro.
- Connect your equipment into pre-existing document management applications using connectors, touch-screen applets, and products such as eCopy, SendMe, & DocSend. This leverages the investment your client has made while embedding your solutions into their workflow.
- Use Microsoft SharePoint, which is a free application, to increase the value of MFP scanning capabilities. Make sure your application specialist can provide professional services for implementing SharePoint.
- Add automated print and document routing software to managed print services contracts.
WAYS TO Avoid Pitfalls WHEN LAUNCHING Green-Document Management SALES PROGRAM:
- Many tenured sales representatives shy away from solution, data center, and CRD opportunities because they feel uneducated and uncomfortable. Contract a sales training expert who can empower your people to hunt, propose, and close deals.
- Create a sales engagement process that allows general line sales reps to prospect and share revenue when deals close. With more feet on the street you’re more likely to uncover an opportunity.
- Don’t rely on software vendors to train your sales people. Most software training is too technical and simply talks about the products. Your people need to know how to sell the products.
- There is a huge difference between a systems engineer and an application sales specialist. Hire an application sales specialist with a track record for closing sales. Expecting a system engineer to sell is a death sentence.
- Print production specialists should have a broad knowledge of digital workflow solutions and how they relate to green initiatives, especially those that eliminate waste, cut costs, and enable co-existing and knockout strategies.
- Don’t rely solely on in-house application sales specialists and system engineers. Use vendor supplied pre-sales, professional services, and post-sale support. Most software vendors provide expert sales, support, and follow through.
- There is a huge difference between a systems engineer and an application sales specialist.
Greg Buschman, SVP, Verde Document Solutions, has 10 years experience in leading edge digital document solutions. A CompTIA Subject Matter Expert & adjunct instructor at St. Petersburg College, FL he has developed color, print production, professional services, and solutions programs at IKON, Danka, and Konica Minolta. At www.verdedocs.com /email@example.com