Over the past four weeks we’ve been presenting the highlights of the year from a wide variety of companies serving the office imaging space from hardware manufacturers, to solutions and services organizations, to the consulting and analyst communities. Taken together these highlights paint a broad and positive picture of what went down in the industry in 2013.
GreatAmerica Financial Services
The “GreatAmerica Experience” continues to prevail as the highest quality of service in the financing industry (as recently confirmed in Frank Cannata’s Annual Dealer Survey). This drives customer satisfaction as we uncover opportunities to help our dealers evolve in the market. We continue to provide flexible invoicing solutions to support their managed print initiatives as well as a bundled solution for managed IT. Our highlight of 2013 centers around the good momentum we have gained with our Managed IT Services offering. Starting and growing a Managed IT Services business takes a tremendous amount of discipline, and we’ve added a number of support and resource offerings to help dealers evolve their Managed IT businesses. Good progress was made with our Navigator Managed IT Business Planning sessions in 2013. We also enhanced our Collabrance new partner training with guidance around financial modeling, sales, marketing, implementation and onboarding. Our Collabrance partners are now consistently bringing on new profitable deals. We look forward to adding to our tools and resources to provide benchmarking and building a model for success through our Managed IT Peer Groups in 2014.
In 2013, Canon U.S.A. launched important new and updated services designed to help businesses of all sizes implement high-performance print workflow systems in the most productive, secure and cost-effective manner as possible, initiatives we expect will continue to increase our market share and overall growth in Canon’s Business Imaging Solution Group. For example, one of Canon’s latest software innovations – Therefore, an end-to-end information management solution – provides employees with the ability to retrieve, edit and process documents quickly and efficiently so entire workflows can be completely automated. Another key highlight of 2013 was the release of our MREAL mixed reality system in March, which simultaneously merges virtual objects with the real world, at full scale and in three dimensions. With the increasing demand for cloud and mobility products and services, in 2013 we continued to focus on developing advanced software and hardware solutions that speak to these needs, across all the major verticals we serve.
In 2013, HP took the office mobility revolution to the next level making mobile printing more simple and secure than ever before. The 24×7 workday makes it essential for organizations to invest in printing technologies that support mobility without sacrificing security or efficiency. This year, HP has innovated to help the mobile workforce print whenever and wherever they need using NFC touch-to-print and wireless direct technologies. In October 2013, HP launched new printers and MFPs, the HP LaserJet Enterprise M800 series, and two mobile print accessories, the 1200w Mobile Print Accessory and HP JetDirect 2800w for FutureSmart Fleet, that bring touch-to-print and wireless direct capabilities to more than 40M HP LaserJets within HP’s installed base.
In 2013 Image Star put a solid focus on growth and customer service. One of the most significant additions was a new warehouse facility in Fresno, CA. This helped reduce ship time to West Coast customers while improving our national fill rate. This along with some strategic distribution partnerships like Eastern Connection allowed us to increase the number of customers where we offer next day ground service. There is more to come in 2014.
Also we focused on product line expansion. The additions of SINDOH, Fellowes and a remanufactured printer line expanded our offering into hardware. Also, adding the Skilcraft brand of imaging supplies opened up new opportunities for our customers with the Federal government. Focusing on Xerox compatible cartridges helped fuel growth and adjust to significant distribution changes in the OEM market.
We have also added additional staff this year to help our Account Managers service our customers. The new staff has been mentored by experienced people to improve their proficiency quickly. This reduces our phone hold time. It’s been an exciting year and sets us up for fantastic 2014.
2013 - What a year it was! During 2013 we witnessed and participated in the ongoing “morphing” of the Imaging Channel which is the key driver for our collective future. Here at MWAi we enthusiastically welcomed and participated in this “morphing” which guides us to the ongoing development of our Technology United Program, forged an exciting new partnership with SAP – the number one ERP company in the world – and created the all new MWAi FORZA product specifically developed for the BTA community. We have achieved something special thus far, but we view this as just the beginning!
CIT Vendor Finance
In 2013, CIT Vendor Finance used our expertise and insight to solve a problem for our vendor and dealer customers through the launch of a new product. In September, FlexAbility (www.cit.com/flexability) went live. This industry-first suite of products allows companies virtually unlimited options in structuring what they sell, how they charge for it and who they partner with. CIT’s clients say FlexAbility provides capabilities that they’ve never seen and are working with CIT to use it to grow revenues and margins.
Managed Print Services Association (MPSA)
Our awards; it was the first time we standardized the whole process. We now have a solid process written in stone that will be used for years and years. That’s big for us. Also, in the last three months MPSA Europe has really taken off and we have a solid presence that’s building. Our membership is also growing and we have new corporate members joining, including Xerox for the first time.
2013 was a banner year for the Business Technology Association. The association ended its 2012-13 fiscal year on June 30 with the highest membership retention rate it has achieved in at least 15 years. Clearly, more office technology dealers are taking a second look at BTA and seeing the value of its many member benefits.
This past November, during its Dealer Meeting, Sharp introduced Cloud Portal Office, a first-of-its-kind software solution designed for an increasingly mobile workforce where companies need to share information while maintaining control and security over critical documents. What differentiates Cloud Portal Office from other cloud solutions currently on the market is the unique combination of capabilities it brings together. CPO provides secure anywhere, anytime access to business content, facilitates both remote and in person collaboration, and creates a single repository for both electronic and hard copy documents accessible from a wide range of business platforms including tablets, smartphones, traditional PCs, as well as Sharp’s AQUOS BOARDTM Interactive Display Systems and Sharp OSA enabled MFPs. CPO will be available in the first quarter of 2014.
West Point Products
West Point Products continues to focus on innovating and adding value by investing in products and services to maximize profit margins for dealers and resellers. This includes the release of the ColorLogic Technology series and the printXL extended yield cartridge line. ColorLogic Technology sets a new standard in color quality and performance by utilizing next generation technology, high quality chemical toners and components, and proprietary robotics and automation – offering a true alternative to the OEM. The printXL extended yield cartridge line is equally impressive. Designed, engineered, and manufactured in state-of-the-art, ISO 9001:2008-certified facilities, printXL cartridges offer superior performance while surpassing even the highest OEM page yields without sacrificing print density or quality. In addition, West Point Products enhanced the Axess MPS program with the launch of comprehensive sales training and a fully turn-key contract services program to provide dealers a partner for MPS delivery. These new MPS program tools complement the existing program infrastructure that includes remote monitoring software, TCO calculator and proposal generator, and national service support and dispatch. In recognition of the quality of its services and adherence to best practices, the Axess MPS program was awarded the CompTIA MPS Trustmark.
Ervin Leasing highlights for 2013 include closing the transaction with the Bank of Ann Arbor ( BOAA just named a top twenty best banks in the country), funding our 87,000th transaction, reengaging in the office technology space to help independent resellers, and hiring top sales executives to support our growth.
Toshiba America Business Solutions
The year 2013 has been an incredibly positive time for us at Toshiba. Our e-STUDIO2550C/2551C color series secured an array of honors including the American Business Awards “Best New B2B Product” as well as Better Buys for Business “Innovative Product of the Year” and “Editor’s Choice Award.” To help organizations enhance their environmental leadership, in June we unveiled the world’s first multifunction product using erasable toner – the e-STUDIO306LP/RD30 – which allows users to reuse the same sheet of paper up to five times. We are further excited about our new Toshiba Managed Business Services organization, which completed its first full year of operations in the black while scoring some impressive wins along the way. Rounding out the year, we launched our digital signage brand, called Ellumina, which includes everything from interactive touch displays to large networked digital signage solutions.
Square 9 Softworks, developers of the SmartSearch document management suite of solutions, has taken content management to the next level with new functionality within the advanced GlobalSearch mobile access Web platform. To further enhance customer experience, GlobalSearch leverages breakthroughs in Web technology, including a fully eSign compliant Web-based signature solution as well as drag and drop capture capabilities and a new touch optimized interface. Through advanced viewing technology, GlobalSearch is the proven solution to increase document interaction while having anywhere, anytime access to create, review or approve workflow activities.
This year, Xerox expanded its offerings to address the impact the “always-on” workplace has on productivity, and to better support customers’ entire IT environments from end-to-end. As enterprises looked to better manage an influx of documents and data, we responded with new solutions to simplify how work gets done: ConnectKey – a software system and set of solutions that supports mobile access, BYOD and cloud apps – and the next generation of managed print services (MPS). We introduced ConnectKey to make it easier and more secure for businesses to tackle document management needs right from their multifunction device, while our new three-stage approach to MPS – assess and optimize; secure and integrate; automate and simplify – is a roadmap to help bridge the paper and digital worlds.
It’s been another great year for Notable Solutions with the launch of NSi Output Manager, significant enhancements to NSi Mobile, and integration of NSi AutoStore with SAP in Europe. Additionally, our solutions successfully met stringent DoD certifications, EHR interoperability mandates, and financial banking security requirements. And for the second consecutive year, Deloitte recognized Notable Solutions on its Technology Fast 500 list of high growth companies in America. We have seen exceptional growth and new business opportunities in the government, financial and healthcare sectors and are now supporting more than 20,000 customers worldwide.
Industry Analysts, Inc.’s highlight of the year was the success of our newsletter, The What’s Happenin’s Report, and taking over as the number one copier/printer group on LinkedIn, both in terms of members and activity. The What’s Happenin’ Report is now read over 40,000 times each month (up 64 percent from this time last year) by more than 15,000 print industry professionals and has become one of the most popular places to find breaking stories, industry trends and all kinds of relevant news about our industry from all manufacturers.
2013 has been a banner year for Katun. We celebrated two significant milestones: 25 billion color pages and one trillion combined monochrome and color pages produced using Katun toners. We’ve introduced more than 150 significant new products, and rolled out several online catalog tools to benefit our customers, including a mobile version of our site and a new dashboard feature that enables customers to quickly and easily access important account information and cost saving opportunities.
For DocuWare, the highlight of this past year was the acquisition of Westbrook with its Fortis and Fortis Blue product line. Having the opportunity to merge with one of the great pioneers of document management and now work with its very loyal partner and customer base towards a great future as part of the DocuWare family, has truly been a thrilling and rewarding experience in 2013!
2013 has been one of the most transformational years in Parts Now’s 25-year history. We have made significant investments in warehouse logistics, business integration, ecommerce solutions, and product line expansion, in order to better support our customers today and ready their businesses for future growth. With changes of this magnitude there are bound to be transitional challenges, and we have greatly appreciated the patience and commitment we have experienced from our valued customers during this past year. We are coming out of 2013 having re-established ourselves in this industry in a new, exciting way and look forward to what 2014 and beyond holds for Parts Now.
We continue to help industry leading players grow revenues and profits—nothing is more rewarding than that! In 2013 we launched our advanced enterprise selling skills (AESS) training program to rave reviews; every dealership that sent people to a class sent additional sales professionals in the future. AESS truly helps sales professionals understand how to sell from a consultative perspective. We updated our MPS sales and advanced sales programs and had great attendance at these courses as well; we’re now the only company offering MPS training, which is exactly where we were eight years ago. Our sales management training had record attendance as more companies become aware of just how important the front line manager is to the success of a sales organization. And finally, we added some great new clients to our consulting portfolio.
Everbank Commercial Finance
In the last 12 months, client demand has driven incredible growth for both EverBank Commercial Finance’s sales team and our product offerings. In our office products division, we have been aggressively recruiting the best in the business to support our partners’ needs, adding two new sales directors and increasing our field sales team by 25 percent. We expanded our offerings in these areas in response to what we were hearing from our partners, and we’ve really gotten a lot of positive feedback, which I’d attribute in no small way to the tireless, hands-on approach our team has taken to help our partners really get the greatest value for all of their financing needs.
Our highlights include:
- Expansion of our solutions business development team, providing dealers with sales and technical expertise to drive workflow-led opportunities
- Fast adoption of new dealer-unique model line-up
- Double-digit growth in the dealer channel
- 2013 Lexmark Bridge Beyond Dealer Meeting
GE Capital Office Imaging
“The expansion of IT services across the office imaging industry is picking up steam. Dealers are starting their own operations, acquiring IT services companies and taking advantage of OEM-supported programs to expand revenue with these services. GE Capital is developing revised products to facilitate the flow of information and payments to support this effort.”
The highlight for Nuance in 2013 was the release of Equitrac Office and Equitrac Express version 5. This pioneering version of our flagship print management solution introduced to the market strongly integrated print and capture technology that helps companies address all areas of print-related costs, making it the first true holistic MPS software solution. Unique features such as I-Queue and Hybrid Print Control provide customers and MPS providers with the versatility to maximize print savings while minimizing network print infrastructure costs such as operating print servers and managing cumbersome print drivers – offering levels of cost savings and flexibility previously unattainable in MPS engagements.
While we made a number of new product announcements in 2013, an underlying theme was our continued expansion of the EnvisionIT vertical portfolio of hardware, software, services and support. This included expanding into new verticals such as Government, Finance and Manufacturing; adding new software solutions such as enterprise content management, automation, workflow and mobile; as well as offering cloud computing solutions. Our dealer community has embraced the EnvisionIT portfolio and now offers vertical customers comprehensive, tailored solutions that address their unique document, workflow and IT needs. This provides our dealers with a competitive market advantage and has allowed us to significantly grow our solutions and services revenue.
Compass Sales Solutions
Compass Sales Solutions has enjoyed an incredible year in 2013 and grown their base of dealer partners by over 14 percent from 2012. In addition the company will have expanded their user base by more than 12 percent and added several new employees to help fuel and continue this rapid growth. 2013 also saw Compass cement several new industry partnerships including e-automate, Supplies Network, EverBank, and several others.
In 2013, Ricoh continued to see significant growth in its dealer business. On the technology and services front, Ricoh completely refreshed and expanded its MFP product line with a new architecture that lets users communicate with the cloud and print remotely. Ricoh also expanded its production print line up, both in color and black and white. Additionally, we partnered with Applied Imaging, Metro Sales and Ray Morgan with agreements to acquire select Ricoh commercial accounts and support these customers with sales, service, and supplies. These partnerships demonstrate Ricoh’s commitment to growing the business and further strengthening our dealer community, however it is not our only strategy for building dealer relationships, we are committed to helping our dealers grow organically.
MaxxVault LLC had a busy year developing our third generation MaxxCloud Web platform. It was a big undertaking to redo everything we had designed over the last three years but it was well worth it. It has allowed MaxxCloud to become a key player in the Enterprise Hosted and Private Cloud markets. MaxxVault was also busy expanding the partner channel with several strategic new relationships. We had a great year all around and are looking forward to continued success and growth in 2014.
Copier Careers highlight for this year has been a reflection of the evolution of the copier channel. During the past year as the channel has rapidly embraced multiple solution offerings, our database of candidates has also grown in new directions. The addition of new skill sets keep our clients staffed as they realize and maximize these new opportunities. The rapid expansion of the traditional copier channel is a very exciting time and we’re happy to be a part of this evolutionary change.
The unveiling of our Advanced Document Services forecast and revised Customer Adoption Model. Photizo Group announced the release of Advanced Document Services (ADS) as an evolution in its expanded Customer Adoption Model reflecting further changes in the current ecosystem. The MPS continuum, originally developed years ago, now expresses Stages 3 and 4 more discretely as Advanced Document Services (ADS). Advanced document services captures the transformational nature and dramatic impact that refining and redefining business processes can have upon information exchange within the customers’ own ecosystems, and offers customers the opportunity to have a broader discussion around how partners can co-author the transformation of its business to be more agile, more responsive, and more effective in its own value-delivery.
The launch of the MFX-3510, MFX-3530 and MFX-3590 was the highlight of 2013 for Muratec. This new A4 line-up has been well received by our dealer partners for their profitability, reliability, usability, versatility and performance.
OKI Data Americas
Earlier this year, OKI Data Americas introduced a new category of digital printing technology with its Multimedia Production Platform, a series of production-quality A3 color devices for the office and commercial printing industries. Within the Multimedia Production Platform is the innovative new C900 Series. These devices go far beyond the capabilities of traditional digital color printers, including transparent media, magnets, banners and heavyweight cardstock. By defining this new space within the market, OKI further establishes itself as a leader in LED digital printing innovation.”
Innovolt experienced exponential growth in 2013 due to a double-digit increase in technology deployments, expansion of our market presence and employee base. We were regularly recognized throughout the year for our growth within the technology industry:
- Ranked 31 overall on the 2013 Inc 500 list of fastest growing private companies
- Named 2013 Red Herring 100 Global Award finalist
- Ranked 29th fastest growing company in North America on Deloitte’s 2013 Technology Fast 500
- Named 29th in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Pacesetter Awards
- Recognized by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) as a Top 40 Innovative Technology Company in Georgia
Working at BEI Services, the days, weeks, months and years seem to pass by so fast, and 2013 has to be one of the quickest years yet. 2013 was another very good year for BEI Services, Inc. and the events below describe our year.
- Ken Staubitz joined BEI Services as the National Sales Manager allowing us to focus on sales and gain market share.
- The creation of our free Advanced Inventory Management (AIM) software provides a great tool to better manage parts inventory to avoid obsolescents.
- We formed a new partnership between BEI Services, Inc. and RecycledParts.us creating a new company called www.overstockpartsnetwork.com (OPN) that allows companies to sell their obsolete inventory, and purchase other inventory at significant discounts. This product fully integrates with our AIM solution, allowing dealers a single point of access for obsolete inventory purchase offers, and provides suggested inventory to purchase based on the dealers current usage that the OPN has in stock in order to provide significant part savings.
- Partnering with Global Printer Services in creating their new MP+ program making MPS dealers much more profitable.
- Extends their standard 12 month parts warranty to 36 months
- Monitor printers installed on MPP program for 36 months
- Ensure program printers operate at or below 110% of world National Average (monitored by BEI)
- Recommend refreshing any non-program models that underperform vs. National Average
- We signed a technology agreement with ECI that will allow direct access to e-Automate, OMD and LaCrosse ERP systems for quicker data analytics and better inventory control.
- Dave Ballard joined BEI Services as a new system programmer. With experience working for another large-scale data analytics company, where he created dashboards and other Web applications in an open-source environment. Dave majored in Applied Physics/Computer Science at BYU and minored in Mathematics and Japanese.
BEI also signed up 24 new dealers this year. We are pleased to welcome South Shore Office Products, Marimon Business Systems, Frontier Business Products, Netwise Resources, Yost Business Systems, Atlanta Office Machines Inc., ImageQuest, Nexus Office Systems, Northern Business Machines, Cell Business Equipment, Corporate Business Systems (WI), Hendrix Business Systems, Knight Office Solutions, Meritech, Upper Canada Office Systems, Smart Image Systems, Bennett Office Technologies, Repeat Business Systems, United Business Machines, Business World, Zeno Office Systems, Samsung Electronics, California Business Machines, Solutions YES.
Hytec Dealer Services
With two main initiatives in place, 2013 has been a really positive year for Hytec Dealer Services. First, we were on the road this year a lot. This enabled us to get face-to-face with many of our customers and have a presence at most of the industry trade shows. We’ve also re-invested into our facilities, including our business offices, technical and distribution areas. The feedback we’ve received along with the investments we’ve made this year will allow us to continue to provide high quality and low cost products to our valued customer base.
Dealer Marketing Systems
The biggest challenge in sales is that buyers are 67 percent of the way through the buying process before they contact a sales rep. We spent 2013 helping our clients turn their Web presence into a strategic part of their sales process. A huge part of this was our new social media and online lead generation programs.