Thursday, April 2, 2009

Oops! I'm seeing serious heat for Xerox on this one

It started at City Council meeting yesterday. The story was in blog yesterday at Gotham Gazette. I picked it up at the Death of Copiers blog this morning. I'm betting it will hit the newspapers tomorrow or the next day. As of 10:30 am EST, it's not yet up with a Google News search on Xerox. On the other hand, if you search blogs for Xerox, toughlove comes up on the first page as of 11:12 EST.

Here we go:
at 11:50 AM EST, Google News Search got to the NY1 news story posted 13 hours ago. Anyone want to bet how many stories Search is going to turn up by Friday morning?

The link to the full story is at the end of the post, but here's the point:
"In the most egregious overrun, a contract with Xerox Corporation to lease copy machines to schools ended up costing the taxpayers more than $67 million. It had been estimated at a cost of $1 million.
Given that this has now entered the political arena - Thompson is running for Mayor against Bloomberg - I suggest a no-power-dance meeting, today or tmw to figure out the response.

I'm seeing a lot of brand damage. Not only in NYC among the creatives. The bigger problem is that it destroys "Nobody ever got fired for buying Xerox." I'm thinking someone is going to get fired for buying Xerox. Meanwhile a gezillion independents are going to be making that case all over the country.

Free advice:
Get in touch, today, with the folks who approved this cost overrun. They are in deep trouble, no matter how this ends up. If you leave them stranded, it's going to be very ugly all over the country and in Europe. Get them to get to someone to apply for a grant from the Xerox Foundation. Announce a proof of concept project aimed at the special education kids. Then set up a meeting with the Science editor at the New York Times. Or call Mort Zuckerman. He's already deeply involved in education in NYC Schools.

Set up a meeting with a Xerox project manager, the teacher and the editor. At the meeting have the teacher layout the curriculum to the editor. Then assemble the content on PBWiki. Then when the teacher says the time is right. Print the content out on some Xerox box. Figure out the best Print format based on the production capabilites of the CRD's in place or better on the local MFPs at the school. It can designed to work on 8 1/2 by 11 in one color. Or 14 by 20 4 page full color newsletter, if they can produce that.

Then deliver it in printed form into the classroom.

And get the schools to use all the cool stuff that XIG has for scanning testscores on MFPs. And assign somebody to mentor this on the ground to make sure it works.

Maybe there will be a way to turn lemons into lemonade. But . . .maybe not.

from the Death of The Copier:
New York City Dept of ED. - Xerox Contract Starts at $36 million - ends up at more than $67 Million:
"In the most egregious overrun, a contract with Xerox Corporation to lease copy machines to schools ended up costing the taxpayers more than $67 million. It had been estimated at a cost of $1 million.

In a letter written to the board from City Comptroller and Mayoral Candidate, William Thompson, called the a “troubling pattern of mismanagement” at the department.

Thompson's claim has been disputed. Representatives say that city records show that the Xerox contract was estimated originally at $31 million, not $1 million, as Thompson reported. Meaning the overrun $36 million, not $66 million."

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