Spock It Up: The new reality of big data & predictive analytics
You can’t read any technology news without running across a bunch of articles on “big data” and predictive analytics. From IBM’s Watson to Google’s open sourced TensorFlow, machine learning and data analytics is everywhere.
But did you know that big data can also be mined in the humble office to help with improving managed print offerings? Print Audit pioneered dashboarding of user, device, and document level data with an eye on doing a better job of managing a customer's document workflow. Helping a customer improve workflow en masse is now easy because of things offerings like Print Audit’s Insight.
Tribble Trouble: The little things we can’t ignore
Like the tribbles in a famous episode of Star Trek; The Trouble With Tribbles; little things can come together to make one very big problem. Managed print is like that. As user print volumes decline by 3% to 5% a year, many office equipment dealers aren’t worried. But they should be: Over 5 years, there is the potential for a dealer to lose up to 25% of their current business if trends continue.
This doesn’t have to be a problem. New billing models for managed print, like Seat Based Billing, can turn the problem of declining volumes into a huge opportunity for growth. You can learn more about Seat Based Billing at www.SBBCertified.com.
Bag of Bones: Modernizing quarterly reviews and ongoing assessments
Leonard McCoy; better known as “Bones” in the Star Trek series, was famous for his gruff presentation and continuous questioning of the Spock’s unfeeling ways. But like any good surgeon or doctor, Bones had a knack for assessing situations and helping his crewmates to make better decisions as they adventured in the vast new frontiers of space. It’s an ongoing assessment that never ends.
Many good managed print providers follow Bones’ example. By providing good quarterly reviews, the assessment never ends. New information and discussions around the success of the program and SLAs leads to new conversations about additional opportunities. By using user, device, and document level information in quarterly reviews, progressive dealers will open more opportunities than ever before. The “Spock” portion of the ongoing assessment, which is data driven and logical, combined with the more emotionally and qualitatively driven “Bones” portion of the Assessment, allows for a much more comprehensive understanding of the customer’s needs. Smells like money to me.
Warp Drive: The accelerated speed of business
Whether we like it or not, the rate of change in the world isn’t slowing down. The speed of change, especially technological, is now exponential. Just like the introduction of warp drive in Star Trek, exploring new technologies and workflow in the office equipment channel are going to be paramount for continued growth.
As my 14 year old son is fond of telling me: “paper is too slow”. More and more customers are adopting document management practices that enable some documents to live their entire lives in a digital state. That is why Print Audit purchased NeoStream Technologies: to make sure that our Premier members can profit from ALL documents, whether they are printed or not. The office equipment dealer of the future is going to have to learn how to manage digital workflows so they can remain relevant in a business world changing at warp speed.
Engage: What every good Captain knows about boldly going…
Every good captain knows that they are only as good as the strength of their team. In the office equipment world, the right partners can make all the difference in being able to monetize the office of the future. Print Audit has done a great deal to bring methodologies and tools to the table in order to help office equipment dealers to evolve.
We have also worked with a host of progressive partners who are concerned with the future of the office equipment channel and are doing the same. We worked with Clover Imaging Group to introduce the world’s first SBB Wholesale option for managed print. We worked with Great America Financial to introduce the world’s first Finance contract for SBB. We have also done work with Tigerpaw Software to introduce the first multi-meter billing integration for Managed IT providers. Office equipment dealers who hope to profit from the future will need to leverage progressive partnerships. Their very survival and success will depend on it.
Now it’s your turn! As an office equipment dealer or sales professional, what changes are you making to drive the business model of the future? What changes have you seen that inspire you to evolve and improve your selling process? The office of the future has arrived and your input is important!