Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still another Print story picked up by the media . . . and Xerox, HP, Oce, InfoPrint "collaborate"

Ok, not so much "collaborate" as "partner" . . . with Press-Sense.

According to the PR release, Xerox Web Services 7.0 is powered by Press-Sense. A quick Google Search goes to the Press Sense homepage, then clicking to the Partners page, I found this:

Then I went to the Independent Distributors page, and found this.
Press-sense products are sold through an extensive network of distributors and resellers in all major markets around the globe. Our distribution partners, who are all familiar with today’s print on demand business environment and are experts in web-to-print solutions, are chosen for their high level of skill and efficiency. By working with the best professionals, we ensure our customers enjoy the same high quality from the sales, installation and on-going technical support experience as they enjoy from the products themselves.
An "extensive network of distributors and resellers in all major markets around the globe." Press Sense was founded in 2001. They are based in Israel.

Globals now have to deal with the exactly same problems that grow out of the "channel v network" contradiction that has bubbled up among Indigo users concerned about MarketSplash.

Global Corporations v Cloud Based Start-Ups.
Advantage goes to Start-Ups.

In a world of SaaS, global corporations have to compete with start ups. The start ups have no legacy customers to serve, very low fixed overhead, and passion driven teams. Plus they don't have to worry about stock price or pension plans. The game changer is the lower barriers to enter the game. It's just the same old invention > innovation > monetization problem. It's not about better or smarter managers. It's about a facilitated user network commercial model.
was a start up. They are now organizing busyness for 40,000 busynesses.
On their website it says,
Remember, if you're using our basic service, or you have three or fewer business users, PBwiki is free.

In the classroom or across your campus, PBwiki's Academic plans let you bring collaboration to your classroom in an affordable way. Premium Academic Plans start at $100/classroom/year.

Whether you're a sole proprietor or a Fortune 100 corporation, PBwiki's Professional Edition provides top-of-the-line functionality, including unlimited storage space and single sign-on integration. Try it for free; when you're ready to pay, Professional Edition starts at $8/user/month.

The sales plan is the oldest and the newest "Try it, you'll like it." or "Free money back guarantee, we pay the shipping." No expensive sales staff. No announcements about something that is going to be released next year. It's about getting to good enough, testing alpha, releasing beta, refining beta. If the market starts to gather, refine beta to get it better and better. Consider how long Gmail was in "beta."

If you are stuck in a value chain mindset instead of a user network mindset, you think that selling software is a profit center. While it can be for the startup with no legacy overhead and a network commercial model. It's mostly a loser for a global corporation that has to sell at prices determined by the market.

To compete a global has to be able to make money at $8/per user/month for or $50/per user/month for Google Apps for Enterprise or the Basecamp offer of $149/month for " * Unlimited projects * 50 GB storage * Unlimited users * Time tracking* Enhanced security. If any global can compete at those prices with a similar customer experience, great for them. But if they can't make money at these prices, stay away from that business. Any resources going into the "organizing information" piece is not going into the toner and supply business. Salespeople spend their time pushing proprietary"web solutions", instead of pointing them to the least expensive solutions that get the job done.

Consider that sooner or later, the independent MPS and PSD organizations are going to join GoogleApps reseller programs or they are going to point their prospects, customers and clients to Basecamp, PBwiki or Press Sense or the many other solutions out coming on line every day.

Toner and supplies is a very good business in a network commercial model.
It's the steel for railroads. It's fiber optics manufacturing for the web. It's the infrastructure business or perhaps more precisely, it's the "infostructure," coined by Vannevar Bush, in 1945. Every institutional investor is going to be looking at pure plays in the infrastructure business. If there is a growth story, with organic growing revenue, stable dividends, and the price is right, why wouldn't you risk your clients money by investing in it.

It seems that some teams at Ricoh/IBM and HP get it. They are doing the work that individual PSPs cannot do - organize effective demand. Infoprint is investing in gathering the hard data that gets transpromo to "the why wouldn't I do that" level. HP is going retail with MarketSplash. Once the physical presence of retail and distributed manufacturing is added to the VistaPrint marketing model, that should work. If Kodak and Oce figure out a way to "collaborate" to bring versioned newspapers to market that should also work.

Everybody else will just have to keep on keeping on. Meanwhile, everybody will keep scanning the horizon for the next start up based in the Cloud.

Erasable paper? Go, Mets!

A snippet of the Xerox Press Release picked off the Business Wire by Fox Business News
Xerox's New Web-to-Print Service Helps Print Providers Take on More Jobs; Stay Connected with Customers - "ROCHESTER, N.Y., Mar 27, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) ----Online printing is now more automated, customized and easier to deliver thanks to Xerox Corporation's (NYSE: XRX: 5.1, -0.2095, -3.95%) new Web Services 7.0, powered by Press-sense(TM: 65.48, -1.55, -2.31%).

Part of Xerox's FreeFlow(R: 28.26, -1.5492, -5.2%) Digital Workflow Collection, Web Services 7.0 is a complete online print solution that lets print providers process job orders, manage production and stay connected with their customers. For print buyers, version 7.0 offers personalization capabilities and 24-hour access to quotes, PDF proofs and job status reports."

Free advice
No one wants "complete solutions". That's value chain language. Everybody wants tools they can use now. That's facilitated user network language.

1 comment:

  1. No one wants "complete solutions". That's value chain language. Everybody wants tools they can use now. That's facilitated user network language.

    Very well put. You just helped me clarify something for my final report as I begin a w2p startup. I won't be doing it with Xerox and their "Freeflow Diigital Work Collection" which seems to fall under the "Press-sense" name and is comprised of no less then 12 individual components.

    I think it would take 6 months just to figure out what I need out of this convoluted mess.