Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ricoh, XRX,HP, etc.etc. Are you Google compatible? Sharp is. and Touchsmart schmouchsmart.

So the big deal about TouchSmart is that it allows the user to get to the web at the box. No doubt it's nice. But a little late to game. Sharp has Open Source smart boxes in the field today. I assume, but don't know for sure, that most everyone has a smart box MFP. I assume, but don't know that at least some of them are Open Source.

If the value is the network, then Independent MPS should sell the network. The problem is that the money exchanged for that network access is $50 per seat. But it's not enough margin to make a living but itself. Once you add in placing boxes and supplying paper and toner, you can make a living.

The easiest network to sell is Google Apps. If independents become Google Apps resellers, they get a bit of compensation going in. And Google does all the support!!

Plus you can expect that there will be constant seamless upgrades @ $50/seat going in and $0 going forward expense, how hard could it be to sell.

Re the trusted brand part.
Who do you trust more to run your Cloud? Google or Xerox or Ricoh or Sharp or Kodak or Oce or HP or IBM or Amazon?
My answer would probably be Google or Amazon. But Amazon doesn't have Amazon Apps.

Plus figuring out the benefits of Google Apps should be easy. They already have a couple of million non enterprise people using it everyday. GMail is way cool and easy. The Google Wave is a big deal. Chrome is going straight up against MSFT for the netbook OS. to be released for real in 2010.

Plus every IT geek thinks Google is the Holy of Holy. That means it's going to be really hard for them to treat the "copy person" with the normal disdain. Especially when the end of the road is to get the Enterprise out of the IT business, which will make every C level person on the planet smile and smile and smile.

Meanwhile it means that the printers can focus all their energy on nice margins in innovating printers and get out of the organizing busyness business. The margins are just too low with massive scale. It's not pretty, but there it is.
Open Systems Architecture | Sharp OSA | Sharp:
"It is designed to let network applications control the MFP through bi-directional communication. This allows users to interact with business applications directly from the front panel of the MFP.

Best Development Platform
By bringing the point of customization closer to the customer, the Sharp OSA Platform enables Sharp, its channel and program members to quickly bring solutions to market that tightly integrate Sharp MFPs with software applications. More importantly, it offers a degree of customization that allows Sharp MFPs to better address unique customer needs. This seamless integration promotes more streamlined customer workflows and business processes."


  1. Great post. I couldnt agree more. Sharp is at the leading edge of office equipment integration for sure.

  2. Since I come from the commercial print world, Sharp is not a household name for me. If you get a chance or come back . . .is Sharp in the MPS game? Does it sell through it's closed or open channels? Can independents easily sell Sharp?

    I have lots more questions as new players keep disrupting my world view.