Friday, February 6, 2009

Digital Print News Network Anybody want to play?

It has sort of a nice ring to it. I bet a good graphic designer could do a great logo DPNN, that doesn't look like a beachball.

In a post earlier today, I argued that the big digital print vendors should stop the feuding and get together for the overall good of the Print industry. Given how busy everybody is I thought it would be helpful to do the plan as to how to do it.

1. Find three people, not more, not less, that are totally committed to making this happen. My suggestion is to talk some of the recently excessed folks at any of the companies. Since Kodak and Xerox are both in Rochester, it's the best place to find them.

The best way is to hope that team does a start up. Anybody still in the companies already have their hands full.

2. Get in touch with the smartest people you can trust. Their job is to keep the bs to minimum.

They need independent considered knowledge of the industry. But they should NOT be in the companies or working directly for the companies. Too busy and too many incentives for them not to "spin." Spin will kill the whole thing. It's not their fault, but living inside the bubble warps the language. And if your revenue stream depends on the people you are covering. Spin is inevitable. Even if spin is stopped. Building trust with readers is too hard.

Based on recent discussion over at PrintCeoBlog, I nominate Dr Joe Webb in the US, Andy Tribute and Geroge Alexander in the UK, Andy McCourt in Australia and Noel Ward in the US. But there are lots of really smart experienced people. You probably already have alot of them on the payroll as consultants.

3. Locate a totally awesome designer. Not for pretty pictures, but deeply experienced in information architecture. I'll be glad to make some recommendations, but rather not do it on this site. ( The other folks are well published on the web, so everyone can evaluate their history of analysis and fairness.)

4. Once the team is in place co-ordinate with the PR outfits you already have on the payroll. They better than anyone understand the story that wants to be told.

5. Use wordpress, basecamp or any number of other on line tools to eliminate travel, meetings and other such time wasters.

Then, the writers write, the analysers analyse, the designers design and all our printers print and distribute to their customers.

Here's a cool thing.

Each company has the names and addresses of all their shareholders. So how about you slice and dice the names. Distribute them to printers that are closest. Let the printers digitally print and deliver to them.

Given that almost every global corporation has the same problem of an ineffective business press, why wouldn't they buy in to the functionality?

To be clear, I'm not interested in managing this. First, you don't really need my talents. Once the ideas are on the table, any really good Project Manager can do it. Second, I fought deadlines for 40 years as Printer. Enough is most definitely enough, for me.

Let's stop catering to the Press

Given today's dismal performance of the WSJ, allegedly the Gold Standard of business reporting, why not stop treating them as if they control the public perception.

Kodak, Oce, Ricoh and us have writers that are as talented as any of the "journalists" who are chasing the breaking stories.

Meanwhile, because 1 busy reporter got it wrong, Kodak will most probably take a stock price hit today. More talking heads will "explain" that it's about the cause du jour. And our good people will be distracted from doing their jobs to correct that reporters error. In any case, becuase of one person, Kodak has had to release lots of very smart people from their NDAs. about if all the vendors got together. Once a week everyone puts together a PDF. Every vendor gets their own front page for their customer, but the copy inside is a realistic, professional look at what's going on.

Then we distribute and print through everybody's network. Publish close to the ground and distribute to identified investors, "analysts".

The printer wins because he has something to send to all their customers and prospects. All he has to do is take the 4 page PDF and output. Then give a copy to his salesforce as an excuse to drop by the customer.

The investor wins because he gets some real talk about the real world.

The PR people win because they can use their time and talent to get it straight, instead of cajoling and trying to keep some journalist happy by doing their job for them.

The customer wins because doing comparisons of this equipment or that equipment will be easy as could be when a Kodak shop and a Xerox shop and Ricoh shop are all printing the same thing.

Everybody wins because then we have honest competition, based on price, performance and the quality of our vendors customer responsiveness. In an open competition, the Printers will be incented to get it right. The Vendors will be incented to be able to win on product and service not on spin.

My bet is that we, at Xerox and maybe our friends at the other vendors could all get their SG&A much closer to the WalMart standard of 16+%. Plus we as industry can show people the real power of distribute and print.

The only ones that lose, in the short run, is the newspapers. But's that their problem. Not our problem.

People, enough is enough.

Besides, given the number of great people everyone has had to let go, we could probably outsource the whole thing to a start-up for less annual budget then 1 TV buy. No need to increase the head count.

And who knows, maybe other corporations will see that "the emperor has no clothes" and hire the start up to do it for them. More clicks for everyone!

Consider: Wal Mart built an WlaMart channel in the stores. Google does no TV media buys.
The problem is our old silo culture. But we tell everyone network or stagnate. Let's eat our own dog food.

Kodak looking to divest Nexpress? Nah.

read at Print CEO
"The Wall Street Journal reported today that Kodak is looking to divest its Nexpress business through a sale or partnership:

Now Kodak says it can’t afford to keep such businesses as Kodak Gallery and its high-end digital press business, NexPress. It plans to seek partners to share the costs or possibly sell the businesses. It will also limit investment in semiconductor image-sensors and seek a partner."
On the other hand, Jim Hamilton of Info Trends says,
I spoke with Kodak under non-disclosure recently about its go-to-market strategy in the United States and Canada for the Graphic Communications Group (GCG). In light of the misinformation coming out of media portrayal of the investor conference, Kodak has released InfoTrends from its non-disclosure agreement so that I can address the matter. The go-to-market strategy that Kodak shared with InfoTrends made no mention of divestiture, and in fact presented a very different picture of GCG.

You can read the rest of Jim's very interesting report at his InfoBlog
Aren't newspaper reporters terrific? Can you imagine what the next week is going to look like for the Communication folks at Kodak? Maybe if reporters could just go back to rewriting Press Releases and our PR folks wrote in the language of regular people with no spin, we would probably all be better off.

Meanwhile, we'll just keep cruising the internets to compare and contrast. And watch how this plays out. My money is on Jim, not the Wall Street Journal.

Just in at PrintCeo, from Adam Dewitz
WSJ ran a correction tonight at 11PM: “Kodak says it doesn’t plan to sell Kodak Gallery, NexPress or two other operations. Instead it plans to reposition them by finding partners to share their costs, licensing technology or other means. The article incorrectly said Kodak was considering selling the businesses.”
Don't you love it when Print Ceo gets it right and the WSJ gets it wrong, then has to fix it. I knew I was right to bet on Jim.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

C'mon People, we can do much better than this

read the full post at turning the tide upstate:
. . . my entire team was laid off, not for performance reasons, but as a short term way to satisfy Wall Street so the stock price would maybe bump up half a tick next quarter. My wife: “That company’s like a dinosaur that will only last until it finishes eating all its internal organs.”

I’m a highly educated, highly skilled person. Since the layoff, I’ve applied to many positions. One had 22 finalists, and 6 interviewees. The hiring manager said so many high-quality people applied, it was like choosing between a Ferrari and a Lamborgini. I was the guy they picked.

Then the company had a hiring freeze, and the position closed, before they could get my hiring paperwork from HR."
Given the possibilities inherent in tele- communting, this is the kind of talent that most printers in the country would kill for. Keep them off the books and help them become the entrepreneurs that everyone is talking about.

Teach them how to run blogs for every Xerox customer. Use the analytics and business intelligence for corporate to make smarter, faster decisions.

Or get them to do the business intelligence on the local level. Let them monitor the web. Or answer web inquiries with intelligence. Or support them to mentor the kids in high school who are in desperate need of successful adults who will take them seriously.

But whatever. This is throwing away a huge investment in social capital that makes absolutely no sense. It makes a joke of blablabla about reinvesting in our country.

It's not a matter of money. It's just a matter of focus. It's not hard. It's not expensive. But someone, someplace in our organization or the other folks who visit this site, should step up to the plate and fix this. In real time. Not corporate time.

Here's an offer.
I will volunteer. No charge. My offer is to manage an online conversation to get this done in a way that is win-win for everyone. If it works you don't need me to scale it. The folks who have been excessed will be available for you to hire them.

You have my word that all communication will be secure and private. No problem with signing an NDA. Anything discussed will not appear in any of my blogs or public commenting on the web. It could be Kodak, Xerox, Oce, Ricoh, HP or any other of our viewers. But it has to be focused on the folks in Rochester, Monroe County, New York State.

To get in touch, click on the "about" button at Print in the Communication Eocology. My info and email address are there.

It's EHG. Not advertising. IBM+Google. They seem to get it.

EHG = education, health and government. Advertising is, well you already pretty much know how that's doing. How's that ECM thing going? Wonder what the defense is for IBM + Google. Google does the ECM part. Ricoh (InfoPrint) prints out the print stuff. And it all runs on IBM hardware. It seems they get "the focus on your core competency" and "network to put the customer offering in place." The market is just too big and too smart for anything else to work.

Congress and Experts and Academia and Think Tanks are going to blablabla about electronic health records. Meanwhile these folks are doing it on the ground. I guess when they get a couple of million users, they'll win by default. As WalMart and Costco scale their appropriately priced meds and install low cost preventive medicine clinics at their sites, the game will pretty much be done.

read at The Technology Chronicles
IBM partners with Google Health:
People who use Google Health will now be able to automatically stream data from medical devices - such as those used to monitor glucose levels and blood pressure - into their personal health records.

In a partnership announced Thursday, Google Health users will be able to use IBM software to connect their personal medical devices to their health record. That will allow patients to exchange the data with their doctors or other authorized parties in real time."

People keep talking about newspapers

from a comment at Digital Nirvana
"Newspapers are no more immune to the vagaries of the Bush recession than any other business. As much as digital goobers would wish otherwise, newspapers will be putting ink on paper for as long as anyone reading this will continue breathing in and out. Nobody does local news better. When someone creates that model, then I’ll be concerned about the future of newspapers. Until then, I’ll continue reader multiple daily newspapers every day and the same 5 or 6 weeklies I’ve read for years."
Here's the thread at PrintCeo and some links to the discussion at Harvard.

My take is that this one is going to be Oce vs Screen and maybe Kodak when they get Stream out the door. The thing is that Kodak has such deep penetration with their Newspaper versioning workflow, maybe they should concentrate a little more on that and a little less on digital where they have a steep hill to climb. Is HP a player in this? I don't have a clue.

We can get in the game by getting our commercial customers' sales force to network with local newspaper sales force. They can first sell newspaper ads + web ads to local business. Then they could evolve to selling print collateral - brochures, etc. Then they could evolve to selling other marketing materials.

Newspapers are already used to designing ads for local customers. Designing a brochure is a simple add on. For the right customer, we can do the whole Purl thing and personalized marketing at ultra local levels for local businesses that really need it.

What is MPS exactly anway?

read at Print4Pay Hotel
"What is Print Management? How will it benefit you and your customers?

Despite the fact that print management has become a ubiquitous term there is still considerable
confusion about what exactly it is and what its benefits are. Many people confuse print management and fleet management solutions, but the two perform very different functions.

Fleet management (or device management) solutions are used to collect meter reads on imaging devices and perform service functions such as supplies management and service history tracking.

In contrast, a comprehensive print management solution allows organizations to capture and control every print job that occurs in an environment. Print management solutions also enable organizations to control who can print to where and can be used to alter user behavior by setting printing limits, restricting color usage and forcing duplexing.

As this article will explain, a print management solution can be a powerful revenue generating and
cost saving tool that can benefit any organization by performing three key functions: Workflow analysis, cost reduction and cost recovery."

If you can break through noise with a clear signal, and price it correctly this should pass the "Why wouldn't I do that test?" test.

I guess that's why so many people are entering the market.

Xerox Corporation Re-Signs As Official Transactional Sponsor Of

read at ECM connection
"EventEvolution Management Inc. is pleased to announce that Xerox Corporation has executed its first-right-of-refusal option and will once again be the Official Transactional Sponsor of DOCUMENT Strategy Forum, which will take place October 5-7th at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Chicago.
How exactly do we measure ROI, or Return on Time (ROT from Dr Joe Webb) on this investment? I can think of a couple of good measures, but I'm curious as to which ones our folks used that makes this worthwhile.

This one, on the other hand makes sense on the face. Local channels in the Middle East. Nice.
PR release posted at
Dubai, UAE; Dynagraph for Printing Industry LLC (Dynagraph) will co-locate with Xerox at Gulf Print 2009 to mark the significance of a Value Added Reseller Agreement recently signed by the two printing specialists.

The November signing of the Agreement saw Dynagraph appointed as Xerox’s Value Added Reseller and Partner for the Graphic Arts Sector, positioning the cutting edge printing technology provider to supply print providers with a portfolio of Xerox’s digital products, workflow solutions and business development support.
Is Global Imaging a VAR in the States? I'm not being snarky. I just don't know.

Ain't the web great?

from Office Equipment:
"I am an office manager, I don’t manage anyone, but I make the office run smoothly. And I work for a local Xerox agency so I wear many hats! My duties include: Filing, ordering supplies (toners, drums, etc), ordering Xerox machines (printers, faxes, etc.) Keeping inventory, answering phones, transferring calls, taking/relaying messages, typing documents (Contracts, memos, etc.), Scheduling/Rescheduling appointments, Accounts payable/recievable, Maintaining office (Taking out trash, Sweeping, Making coffee), Scheduling Service calls for customers (Sending out a service tech when customers have problems with their machines), Operating Xerox Equipment (Replacing supplies for machines we use in office i.e. un-jamming copiers, Invoicing customers and making sure they pay their bills, among other duties.

How much should I be getting paid an hour?"
Anyone who thinks they are going to control the messaging, better think again. That includes NoDramaObama, auto executives, and Rush Limbaugh.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"Venlo, The Netherlands, February 4, 2009 - Oc�, an international leader in digital document management, today published its 2008 Annual Report in English and Dutch on

This extensive document reviews a range of issues including financial and commercial performance, R&D activities, technological innovation and the role of Oc�as a responsible corporate citizen. The Annual Report will be available in printed form in English and Dutch on 19 February 2009." I don't know as much about Oce as I think I know about Xerox. After all I've been a Xerox fan since the first docutech.
But, "digital document management?" Anybody every consider how crowded that field is? And how much more trust at the C level other players get?

But Printers, wow! There are only about 4 or 5 global players. The cost of entry is huge. (I know at least four of five consultants who become digital document managers by printing business cards with VistaPrint).

People, get over internet fear.

Print has a 500 year old tradition even in the West. We are part of that tradition. Internet? It is telephone + TV + Search + a really big filing cabinet. And the best way to buy more stuff on the planet. But do people in developed countries need more stuff? Can people in less developed countries afford more stuff until they get water, electricity and security?

added at 2:15 EST
The internet is an incremental improvement in telephone. It becomes a disruptive innovation when the eaiser buying and selling eliminates the need for many sales channels. It becomes a disruptive innovation in knowledge creation because everything that is said, is stored. Once stored in can wind up in court. Search adds the capability of finding everything that is stored.

The opportunity for Print is that some, but not many, of those conversations that have been stored, can be searched, found and then printed in the form of newsLetters, Posters and Books for people who want those Print objects.

That's why the tag line on my other blog is Google it. Find it. Print it. Anywhere.

Overheard at C Span

So while I was trolling the internets I had C Span in the background. Here's what I think I heard. The whistler blower on Madoff spent 4 hours, figured out it was a scam, and tried to get the SEC's attention. He had all the stuff except for access to emails. Everything else was public information.

The following should be confirmed:
I'm pretty sure I heard him say that there are still many undiscovered feeder funds, mostly in Europe.

Signal v noise is not a trivial problem. This one is going cost someone between $50 and $70 billion dollars.

It's now 12:15 New York Time. The blablabla is starting to peak on the net. Here's the Google search on "Madoff Congressional Hearing." As of now Google says there are 537 stories, each no doubt with the "breaking news." I wonder how much money was spent to be "first with the news".

When will Our Captains of Industry and Government learn that in a google-mart economy with a NoDramaObama adminstration, Less (noise) really is More (signal) and More (noise) is really Less (signal.)

Technology and Innovation Key to Navigating Business through Challenging Times: Xerox Continues Commitment to R&D

Technology and Innovation Key to Navigating Business through Challenging Times: Xerox Continues Commitment to R&D
Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) says a steadfast commitment to research and development is one way to help survive tough economic times. Just last year, Xerox and its inventors earned 609 U.S. utility patents, exceeding a commitment to increase the company’s annual number of awarded patents by one-third.
. . .

* U.S. Patent No. 7,377,971 covers low energy solid inks and was used in the Phaser® 8860. This innovation will also help reduce energy consumption.

* U.S. Patent No. 7,413,842, which covers advanced emulsion aggregation (EA) toner technology that allowed the extension of the use of EA toners to high-end office products. EA toner yields sharper image quality, higher reliability and reduced toner usage in an energy efficient manufacturing process. Pages printed with EA toner use 40 percent to 50 percent less material than conventional toner.

* U. S. Patent No. 7,382,993, which proposes a method for controlling image quality consistency between print engines operating in parallel. The technology improves engine-to-engine toner reproduction consistency in the Xerox Nuvera® production system.

* U.S. Patent No 7,370,034, which is the basis for TrueMatch Search and Retrieval, enables users to scan a document, then locate and send the corresponding original electronic version to their e-mail account and print a fresh copy.
These four are awesome! Well done, team. But what about the other 605?

Xerox University anyone?

Here's a snippet from a recent discussion over at Print Ceo Blog,"
Quality of the patents are much more important than the quantity.

Maybe if the investment community gets the idea that a company is wasting money on useless patents as a form of marketing, they may not look on the high numbers of patents so positively.
If you interested in the full conversation, which is actually pretty interesting, you can get to it here. The topic on the table is "Investing in Heideberg". There are lots of things to consider with a simple search and replace as in "Investing in Xerox, Canon, Oce, HP, Kodak, etc." It's always the same story. Just the cast of characters are different. Elvis Themed Xerox Campaign Elvis Themed Xerox Campaign:
"Xerox has recently launched their iGen4 “Everyone’s an Expert” Campaign and used an Elvis tribute artist to help communicate their message. The campaign was developed to increase awareness & consideration for the new Xerox iGen4™ Press and each component of the cross-media campaign was designed to reinforce the idea that everyone can achieve expert results & greater profit with the incredible image quality, productivity, & automation of the iGen4.

Developed by Martino Flynn of Rochester, NY, the creative team were no strangers to the captivating ways of Elvis. Creative Supervisor of the iGen4 account, Duane Bombard, has been fascinated with Elvis ever since he can remember - and was thrilled to acheive his life long dream of working with the king.

With all due respect, it will be worth watching if this works. My own take is that Elvis has cred with Baby Boomers - that includes me - but Generation Google? I've been very wrong about this kind of stuff in the past, but. . . Google, Apple, Adobe, Costco, Global Warming, Elvis? I'm sorry but I don't see it yet.

Oops. It seems you can't buy customers. You have to earn them.

read at Print4Pay Hotel:

"Canon falls 81% in profit from the last quarter!

My thoughts, at least for here in the US is that the last quarter was the straw that broke the camels back. I'm thinking it took one quarter for Ikon to sell of the remaining Canon stock of hardware, so the demise really took hold in the 4th quarter with no orders from Ikon for hardware. I'm also sure all of the reps are trying to get everyone out of the Canon units as soon as possible and thus there would be a drop in revenue for parts and supplies."
Or is just that business is slow? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I heard on MSNBC that rise in unemployment is less than expected. The thing I can't figure out is why we expect to trust the expectations of "analysts" who have a track record of getting it so wrong at the beginning of this whole thing.

People Talk about Ricoh, Sharp, Konica Minolta, Kyocera and Cannon

from Print4Pay Hotel: Competitive Copier Proposals
"Just wanted to give you all a heads up. I've uploaded two more Xerox quotes, along with Savin & Okidata. Special kudos to those Print4Pay Hotel members that sent them to me for uploading.

If you're selling MFP's, or still calling them copiers the Print4Pay Hotel currently has 6 active message boards for Ricoh Family Group, Sharp, KonicaMinolta, Kyocera and Canon. We will be relaunching our Xerox board in early 2009, along with new boards for Toshiba and OCE.

The Print4Pay Hotel averages 60,000 page views a month, with over 200,000 hits, and over 55,000 threads, we are the Global Resource on the Web for Copier Sales Professionals."
Ya think some of our people should get involved? Or do we want to be left out of the conversation while we are in meetings, or preparing the next PR release or more marketing material?

Public access TV is going to want to Print stuff

read at turning the tide upstate:
". . . Apparently we aren’t the only ones having trouble with Public Access Cable TV. In Los Angeles, the city government wants to control the channel, and free speech advocates are protesting.

About halfway through, be sure to catch the footage of Illinois State Senator Obama on a local public access cable TV show. Public access may not be grand and glorious, but it’s an independent medium worth preserving, a place where everybody can have their say, whether they are in power in not."
Maybe it would be a good idea to get involved? There are a gezillion public access channels in the US. Probably alot in India. So how cool would it be for them to be able to do ultra niche short runs of stuff printed on the Igen to get into the hands of decision makers.

We could probably print them at the Hatch Center and use them for samples of what our output network, could output in their local regions. Maybe even hire a couple of our recent fires to mentor the thing.

Plus we might be able to get money, or at least cred with the Obama administration. Now that's PR I can believe in!

People talk on the internet

read at Autodesk: Discussion Groups
"Could you please compare the KIP7000 against the Xerox 721I believe the Oce TDS800 is to slow for us.
Thanks for your help"

The Sixth Sigma: Achieve Breakthrough Performance Using Six Sigma
: "... 'Thursday, Jan 29 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET, Xerox’s Sue Moore, vice president, Business Alignment & Results in Xerox Lean Six Sigma, will share success factors on how a company’s Finance department can embrace Lean Six Sigma methodologies ... ' ..."
Can we use Lean Six Sigma to get our SG&A to the WalMart standard of 16+%

Now that Russia has imploded, GO India

read at ciol.como
"NEW DELHI, INDIA: Xerox India Ltd., today announced a significant landmark in the digital printing industry with the installation of the 110th unit of Xerox DocuColor 5000 and over 250 units of the Xerox Digital Colour Production Presses in the country. The company further announced the launch of the DC5000 AP for Indian market, a mid-production digital press with enhanced features from the DC 5000 and offers more advanced printing features."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Google, NASA Launch Singularity University 02/03/2009

@ MediaPost Publications . . . 02/03/2009:
"Google and NASA have partnered to back a new school for futurists dubbed 'Singularity University.' Ray Kurzweil, 'whose predictions about the exponential pace of technological change have made him a controversial figure in technology circles,' will run the school, writes David Gelles. The school will sit at the Ames Research Center near Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and offer courses on biotechnology, nano-technology and artificial intelligence.
. . .
Despite its title, the school will not be an accredited university. Instead, it will be modelled on the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, the interdisciplinary, multi-cultural school that Mr Diamandis helped establish in 1987.
So if Pixar can start a University that is acredited and Google can start a University that isn't, don't you think we could start a University at PARC to be the center of innovation for design, print and all the other good stuff those folks are doing anyway.

Plus we can charge tuition and get the smartest kids from all over the world to pay us for training them.

Now that's economic stimulus!

Couldn't Xerox help with this?

"Last week I started a conversational snowball fight between proponents and opponents of RenSquare. We got into the weeds a little regarding the details and the funding, but it was a good discussion.

All that aside, my original question is forward-looking, and unanswered:

The fact that it’s the best we have to offer shows a fundamental lack of leadership and vision in county leadership. But with the power structures that are in place in Monroe County, how do we create an alternate vision that can gain traction?

Meaning, where’s our sustainable regional plan? A plan that addresses Monroe County as a whole, instead of pitting town against town, suburbs against city? From an article I wrote back in 2006:". . . .

Couldn't Xerox help with this?

"Last week I started a conversational snowball fight between proponents and opponents of RenSquare. We got into the weeds a little regarding the details and the funding, but it was a good discussion.

All that aside, my original question is forward-looking, and unanswered:

The fact that it’s the best we have to offer shows a fundamental lack of leadership and vision in county leadership. But with the power structures that are in place in Monroe County, how do we create an alternate vision that can gain traction?

Meaning, where’s our sustainable regional plan? A plan that addresses Monroe County as a whole, instead of pitting town against town, suburbs against city? From an article I wrote back in 2006:". . . .

More from the land of Oz

read @ ProPrint:
"Short-to-medium run book printer Ligare has opened its new Digital Print Facility at a ceremony this morning at the company’s headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Riverwood.

The new facility was opened by the federal member for Banks, Daryl Melham MP who said he was “staggered by the size of the facility”.

The new facility features an Oce VarioPrint 6250 sheet printer capable of producing 250 A4 double-sided sheets per minute. Ligare chief executive Cliff Brigstocke saying that there may be plans to introduce another 6250 soon.

On the web-fed side, there is also an Oce VarioStream 7450, capable of producing the equivalent of 880 pages per minute. An Oce 2110 is now on site for smaller runs of products such as invoices and financial statements, as well as an Oce 620 colour printer. This Oce kit joins the Oce CS9000 colour printer that was already on site."
I guess he hasn't heard that the sky is falling and Print is dead. Here's the punch line:
Big businesses are the biggest whingers in the world, but the growth always comes from medium and small businesses,” Melham said.

Hey Analysts! What do you think of this?

read at Ryan C. Fuhrmann - Investopedia Advisor:
By Ryan C. Fuhrmann
"At first glance, recent financial results from document publishing giant Xerox (NYSE:XRX) appeared as putrid as those of other companies that have struggled to navigate challenging global economic conditions. Digging beneath the surface, however, reveals that Xerox's underlying potential to generate cash flow has been masked by its dismal profitability reports.
. . .
However, Xerox is holding up much better than its income statement indicates. Full year 2008 operating cash flow totaled $1.7 billion (when funds used to settle the one-time litigation and other charges are added back). Operating cash flow for 2007 totaled $1.9 billion. Subtract CAPEX, and last year's free cash flow (FCF) totaled approximately $1.55 per share and returns on invested capital remained firmly in the double digits.
. . .
Bottom Line
There is little question that Xerox's outlook remains uncertain, given that it depends on a recovery in business spending. Further deterioration in demand could lead to more restructuring charges, while a fairly significant debt load could become overly cumbersome should the company have trouble refinancing debt coming due. Management allayed liquidity concerns during the quarterly results conference call, boasting that the company has "no requirement to go to capital markets unless we want to and we can pay down if we choose to the whole $1.6 billion of debt due this year." And, at under five times trailing FCF, plenty of downside protection appears to be built into the shares already. (Knowing what a company's financial statements mean will help you to analyze your investments. Learn more in Breaking Down The Balance Sheet.)

Now I'm just a printer, no Wall Street Genius, but this sounds about right to me. Plus I think I heard today that new housing starts were up 6.8% instead of the 0% predicted by the geniuses on Wall Street. Besides, I really like "document publishing giant" instead of "office copy business machines blablablablabla...

Here's an outfit that sounds like a great output node for Northern California

Metro Print and Mail Solutions, Sacramento, is a case study of success, reports an article in the current issue of GAM.

What started as a five-employee, 4,000-sq.ft. mailing operation has grown into an 80-employee printing Metro Print and Mail Solutions, printing, Xerox iGen3, Muller Martini Alprintaand mailing firm. The company is housed in a 115,000-sq.ft. facility and has positioned itself as a leading direct mail provider in Northern California. Metro Print and Mail Solutions provides comprehensive data processing, printing, fulfillment and direct mail services. Following a tack that a number of print providers have used, it recently launched an online print on-demand service, developing a new web identity with offerings powered by output from a recently purchased a Xerox iGEN3 as well as . . .
a whole bunch of other stuff, including a web offset press. I guess they haven't heard the Print is Dead, or dying , or about to be eaten by the Internet or blablablablabla....

Google it. Find it. Print it. Anywhere. - That Ship has Sailed.

Back on Jan 19, I put the words "Google it. Find it. Xerox it. Anywhere." on the table and I've been nagging about it ever since. Internet time is different from corporate time. "Since Jan 19" is an eternity.

Maybe it's not a great idea. Or maybe it's not right for Xerox.

At any rate, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. So I've changed the description of my other blog, Print in the Communication Ecology.

As of about 5 minutes ago it reads:
Printers have always printed books, newsLetters and posters.

In the Old Economy it was Print and Distribute
In the Google-Mart Economy it is Distribute and Print.

Google it. Find it. Print it. Anywhere.

People are Talking about kip and hp wide format service and oce, xerox, kip comparison and alot of other things . . .

read at Autodesk: Discussion Groups
We are KIP Dealers in the . . . area. I am currently in an account who is considering the KIP 3000 and the Xerox 6204. Do you have any comparisons that will help me?
I will get something sent to you or I will post it tomorrow. Have a great day!
In a Google-Mart economy, the customer talks, gets what they need to know, and decides what to buy. What is the power of marketing in this kind of environment? If you don't have fans, you don't got nothing.
Print is power. View at YouTube. Sponsored by Xerox.?
The idea is to gather fans. We'll leave selling boxes to our great salespeople, with less meetings and more selling stuff that people have already decided they need.

We can find out where they live with a good RSS feed and someone paying close attention. We can talk to them by joining and respecting their conversations and no sales blablablaba. If we don't have the right stuff for at that moment, point them to who does.

Meanwhile keep hunting for people who need what we make. Much easier, faster and more productive than trying to "educate" or "convince" or "sell." Besides timing is everything. Educating, convincing and selling does not work any way. It only looked like it works because you came in with the right stuff at the right time. All the rest is blablablablabla.

Building relationships so that your signal gets through the noise makes sense. First the signal has to get through. Then they have to trust that you have their interests at heart. Only then will they give you money in exchange for stuff they need.

So . . .instead of firing people, why not come up with an incentive program to get our experienced people with new found time on their hands to talk to the Internet. I'm betting that changing the decision about health care and benefits would go a long way to getting this independent knowledgeable good people network in place, much sooner rather than later.

It's like crowd sourcing business intelligence and new prospects.

BTW, here's another interesting conversation.

What's on the table is "Xerox Gets Into the Global Sourcing Services Game"

Here are the first two comments:
1. "Wow, this came at an odd time. Contrarian to say the least. Maybe this was a services idea that came out of PARC in the 70s that someone decided to make a facsimile of today."

2. "When one thinks of Xerox, one thinks of copiers. When one thinks of AT Kearney, one thinks of sourcing consulting. It will be a real challenge, I think, to get CEO's/CFO's/CPO's to take Xerox seriously and take a chance.

I agree with your prediction that this offering will quietly go away just like other attempts at this profit-center procurement model have. It's just not the core competency of the organization and non-core competency activities are often cut during recessionary times. I recall one pharmaceutical company that tried something similar and it wasn't long before the company wouldn't even let the consulting team fulfill its paid engagements before disbanding them!

I'm not saying that this will happen with Xerox, but I don't think they are going to find a "build it and they will come" reaction in the market.
And here's one from the Oce Blog in Australia.
How does a company like Vista Print manage to grow by almost 80% in the last year and increase profit by 65%?

On Feb 25, we will show you in a business seminar “Growing Your Business in Difficult Times”, the answers to these and other questions and how you can transform your business into a “super efficient” print business.

Oce is a world leader in digital print production technologies, our expertise extends beyond manufacturing industry leading production printers into workflow and document managementsystems.

Our seminar will look at a number of organisations around the World and in Australia that have been able to grow their business both in revenue and more importantly in profit.
Have you ever wondered why the coolest stuff in English seems to happen in the UK and Australia? I think it's because they live with a lot less noise, so it's much easier for them to get a clear signal from the ground.

At any rate, turns out that People Talk at MediaPost
According to a new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, with Satmetrix, 58% of the 480 executives surveyed said their companies do not compensate any employees or executives based on customer loyalty, satisfaction improvements or analytics

It ain't just us.

read at Technology, Media & Telecommunications |Reuters:
"AMSTERDAM, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Dutch photocopier and printer maker Oce NV (OCEN.AS) said it will not pay a final dividend as its clients kept postponing orders in the fourth quarter, pushing its shares near their all-time low.

Oce said its fourth-quarter net income nearly evaporated to 700,000 euros ($942,200) from 35.8 million euros a year ago, as the impact of the global financial crisis expanded within its portfolio.

'Since October we not only feel the crisis in our financial and construction portfolio, but it has also expanded to our industrial and advertising markets,' Chief Executive Rokus van Iperen told Reuters. But it does sounds like Reuters got it right at least for SMB.
The company, which competes against Canon (7751.T), Ricoh (7752.T) and Xerox (XRX.N), said it would not pay a final dividend, following the payment of an interim dividend of 0.15 euros per share in October.

Oops. Wash. Times evaluating tailored pub

read at Newspapers & Technology:
"The Washington Times last month began developing a workflow that will allow the publisher to produce personalized versions of its national newsweekly edition this spring.

The Times, in collaboration with Oce, Printcasting, MediaNews Group and Germany-based software developer Syntops, met at Oce's Boca Raton, Fla., headquarters in January to develop a workflow for creating an individuated version of its national newsweekly, according to Duncan Newton, manager of business development for Oce North America. Newton said the publisher will test the concept among readers this spring."

Sounds good: Documents: A Critical Business Function

read at ECM connection
"By John M. Kelly, president, Xerox Global Services, North America
As a chaotic 2008 comes to a close and businesses resolve to survive in 2009, document management outsourcing is one way companies can maximize short-term cost savings, while adding value that will prime them for growth in the future."
Since I'm a Print evangelist, I don't know much about document management outsourcing. But, I do understand that we have really cool scanning operations.

Do we have a strategy for dealing with the inroads that Google is making at the SMB level. Consider that Google Aps is reported to have over 1,000,000 users. And they recently announced a reseller program. Maybe it would be a good idea to get Global Imaging to sell Google Aps.

It would make some version of "Google it. Find it. Xerox it. Anywhere" a pretty cool sell. The thing is that if we don't do it sooner rather than later, I can see Kodak or Oce or Ricoh or Google doing a pretty simple modification.

Google it. Find it. Print it. Anywhere.

We do have the great advantage that the following won't work:

Google it. Find it. Kodak it. Anywhere.
Google it. Find it. Oce it. Anywhere.
Google it. Find it. Canon it. Anywhere.
Google it. Find it. HP it. Anywhere.
Google it. Find it. Ricoh it. Anywhere.

On the other hand, if they figure out a way to incent their SMB network to supply leads to their production hubs, faster than we do. Oops.

It's starting to get really crowded

read at Ricoh Website
"At Ricoh, we know documents are essential for business. For your business to succeed, and to keep up, you need to deliver cost effective, high quality, secure document services. You must evolve as business needs and technologies change, while effectively reaching out to clients with new services and workflows-and rarely can you do this alone.

Ricoh's Production Printing Business Group (PPBG) is a trusted partner that listens and understands your unique needs in order to provide creative insights, deliver effective answers, and integrate new systems within your infrastructure."
Notice "creative insights, deliver effective answers, and integrate new systems within your infrastructure." Consider that Ricoh bought Ikon. Then consider that Info Print is Ricoh + IBM. Then consider that they are advertising at

I'm betting that they don't have a real presence in education/health/government enterprise solutions, but the IBM thing should be a cause for concern. I assume that folks on our team are talking about this.

Erasable Paper? Global Output Network?

Monday, February 2, 2009

MCCA Elects New Board Chairman, Board Members

read at the Metorpolitan Corporate Counsel
"The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) announced the election of a new chairman and three new members to its Board of Directors. Don H. Liu of Xerox Corporation has been named chairman, and Richard S. Amador of Sanchez & Amador, Clarissa Cerda of LifeLock, Inc. and Robin H. Sangston of Cox Communications, Inc. will serve as board members."
2/2/2009 8:42 AM ET
(RTTNews) - Monday, NCR Corp. (NCR: News ) said it appointed Quincy Allen to its Board of directors.

Currently, Allen serves as president of Xerox Corp. (XRX)'s Global Business and Strategic Marketing Group. He also serves as vice president of the corporation.

In addition, Allen serves as board member of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. and the Electronic Document Systems Foundation.
All good. As long as they can maintain their focus at home, this is great. If not, then not so much.

The competition in ECM and CMS is Google

read a@
"DocuShare from Xerox is an ECM software product that is attractive to SMBs and larger companies alike because of its moderate cost and ease of use.

'DocuShare stores and categorizes electronic content into different collections, essentially replacing the paper-based file cabinet,' says Melinda Stoker, director of marketing communications for the DocuShare division at Xerox. 'It has robust functionality, ranks high in usability, scales well and enables organizations to automate business processes so paper is no longer required.'"
I would tread into these waters very, very carefully. It's not going to be other ECM's. Once Gdrive scales and someone figures out how to deal with security issues, this is on path for Google to grow past the advertising business into the next stage of "organizing the world's information." Docushare is in the "organizing the enterprise information" business. The enterprise is a subset of the "world." And enterprise walls keep disintegrating.

I just made up a future press release. I'm waiting for the event to happen so it can be released.
'Google Aps with Gdrive stores and categorizes electronic content into different collections, essentially replacing the paper-based file cabinet,' says 'It has the most robust functionality,the easiest of use and the largest network of server farms on the planet. It enables organizations to automate business processes so paper is used when needed, but not when not.' It costs between $25 to $100 per seat as a monthly service fee, with no installation costs and google servers replacing your IT overhead.
If you think this is never-never land, consider that the municipal government of Washington DC is moving to Google Aps. As I understand it the charge is $50/user/year.

If you can't beat 'em. Join 'em. That's the real reason for
Google it. Find it. Xerox it. Anywhere.
We have the most resilient, responsive global output engine on the planet. We make most of our money by supplying that network. We've invested a significant amount of money in Premier Partners and now have the social capital in place. As clicks increase our installed base will grow organically. Not because our boxes are better. But because joining the network means incoming clicks.

It might be a good opportunity before Google approaches Kodak or Heidelberg or vice versa and the slogan is:
Google it. Find it. Print it. Anywhere.

Kodak and Heidelberg own the offset print space, the way we own the formal enterprise space. Once Google figures out a strategy to replace adsense for Newspapers, they will figure out a way to deliver their ads in Print for niche markets.

Meanwhile in the digital printing space, it doesn't matter if cheaper boxes come to market. The boxes are going to get cheaper no matter what anyone decides. But, it's going to take the competition a couple of years to build our network. If they try to go into the enterprise space with department level printing, we should beat them pretty easily. The potential problem there is HP, Cannon, or Ricoh + IBM. Besides on I think we are doing very well with MFP, which are really the on ramp to the Cloud.

As for quality, the tech is good enough today. With the Igen4 and no heat fusing that's done on the output side. With great MFP's we have a nice place to start on the input side. Further incremental improvements are going to be a very, very tough sell at a price that makes anyone any money.

I just can't figure out why this doesn't pass the "why wouldn't we do it" test. The only thing I can imagine is that the signal from the many folks at Xerox who get this can't get through the noise at the C level.

Maybe someone should call someone. Or have coffee together. Or have a short conversation as they're going from this conference call and before the next conference call. Or forward a link with an email. Or . . . It shouldn't be all that hard for the company that organizes other company's knowledge bases.

The Xerox Opportunity when textbooks are reinvented

NW Missouri State University Replaces Textbooks with E-books - Epaper Central:
"The pilot program, which used only the Sony e-reader preloaded with all the textbooks, was tested out with about 200 students in total. This spring they plan on expanding this program to include about 4,000 of the 6,500 students. They won’t supply e-readers anymore, but will give the student a package that pre-loads the textbooks onto their laptops.
. . .
This program is expected to save the campus over $400,000 a year, once they completely get rid of all physical textbooks. Most students spend over 1,000$ a year on text books, a price that is rising tuitions and making it more and more difficult for students to pay back their expensive loans after they graduate.
Princeton, Yale, Oxford and UC Berkeley are already targeting the Kindle for the electronic versions of their textbooks.
A while ago I did a post called on my other blog, Print in the Communication Ecology, called Watch Out Textbooks. Back in January 2006, I did a column at What They called Ipods and Textbooks. At the time I said,

With the emerging ubiquitous digital print platforms, textbooks and professional books may be the next to go. Printers and publishers can hide their heads in the sand, or they can keep a watchful eye on this development, and prepare for the change.

Textbooks and professional books - anytime, anyplace, in any format

Print will always be the best medium for "compare and contrast". Compare and contrast is the operational definition of logical thinking. Education will increasingly be about teaching people to think, logically. In any case, it is much cheaper and easier to use a highlighter and a printed page than software and a screen. The opportunity is teacher selected content delivered in the form of a book or other paper to the classroom at an acceptable price.

The use case:
A library of school board approved content in the cloud. Probably organized as a managed wiki. Next week the teacher is discussing the beginning of the Civil War. She goes to a GUI, clicks on the most appropriate chapters for her class AT THAT TIME, and within three days 30 64 page paperback books are delivered to her classroom. The content is limited to the beginning of the Civil War. The book contains a series of assessment quizzes she will give her class.

The quiz is printed out on ePaper (that's erasable Paper) and scanned by our MFP. The results are transferred to the students electronic records and are accessible in real time by the teacher. The day after the quiz, the teacher gets some feedback on how the day's lesson went. She adjusts the next lesson appropriately.

Then repeat as necessary.

As near as I can figure out we have all the tech and relationships to do this. From here on the ground, it looks like the only thing missing is the focus.

New Hub for E-Paper launched

read at what they
"Monday, February 02, 2009
San Francisco, CA,– Today, announced it is now available to the public. is a hub for news, analysis, information and discussion on all things relating to electronic paper. The site is also dedicated exclusively to delivering the newest, most up-to-date information about electronic paper’s nearly endless applications ranging from next generation newspapers, textbooks, signage and mobile devices, to more obscure applications such as windshield navigational displays"
Epaper = electronic paper. ePaper = erasable paper? I think ePaper looks much cooler.

Maybe we can call it iPaper ? Information paper. Get your information on paper. Again and again? I know it's pretty lame, but remember I don't do this as my day job.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wal Mart: A model in motivation

Wal Mart: A model in motivation:
"This situation as recalled by Fortune reporter John Huey, typifies the management style of Sam Walton, founder of and inspiration behind Wal-Mart. For many years, such situations were commonplace as Walton and his tape recorder visited stores around the country. Until the organization became too big, he visited every Wal-Mart store at least once a year.

Right now there are probably about 30 stores I’ve never been to and a launch of others I haven’t seen in more than a little while, said Walton in the fall of 1991. I’ve got to get to ‘em soon”. From one store in 1962, he developed his organization into a $40 billion enterprise by the time of his death 30 years later. Walton never lost the personal touch. He was adored by his employees and took every step necessary including buying airplanes for the Wal-Mart air force claimed were responsible for his company’s success."
I keep a focus on Wal Mart and Google on one of my other blogs. Both of them seem to be able to thrive in every environment all over the world. Is the secret as simple as top management walking into every shop and observing carefully. These days it's called data mining and metrics. But it is pretty much getting granular information to the folks who have the power to do something about it. Faster rather than not faster.

Kodak is still strong as it prepares for recovery

read at Democrat and Chronicle
"About two-thirds of our $9.4 billion in 2008 revenue came from a stable of cash-generating annuity businesses. Another $1 billion in revenue came from core investments in businesses with large, sustainable growth potential in very large markets. The remaining $2 billion in revenue reflects businesses that we will transform to improve margins and maximize cash, alone or with partners."
That sounds pretty good.
"Commercial printers are excited by our new Stream continuous inkjet technology, which offers the long-awaited promise of offset-class quality with the full benefits of variable-data digital output. Our accelerated introduction of this technology is on track, with the Stream printhead coming to market late this year and the Stream printing press on the market in early 2010."
Given that Screen already has the TrueJet 520 printing in the market, will this be fast enough? We'll have to wait and see. If it were me, I would leverage their domination of the offset space to set up a distribute and print network. But that's their problem. Not ours.

What business are we in?

At the most abstract level there are only a limited number of businesses.

The Rag Trade

The best business for the long term is infrastructure. You collect rent.
The best business for the short term is Rock 'n Roll. Big risks, big rewards.
The best business for fast growth is the drug business.
The lowest cost of entry is the sex business.
Most people are in the rag trade.

Selling boxes is the rag trade. The right stuff for the right price at the right time. While we are now in the rag trade, we need to quickly build out infrastructure business (toner and supplies).
Google it. Find it. Xerox it. Anywhere.

Note:"Anywhere" is short for "Distribute and Print on the Xerox Print Output Network, (XPON?) anywhere." The Xerox Print Output Network is infrastructure.
To get from the rag trade to infrastructure you have to go through the drug business and the rock n roll business. The drug business is based on "try it, you'll like it. Then make it really, really hard not to keep using it. The rock n roll business is based on being the coolest kid on the block.
The Power of Print on YouTube, brought to you by Xerox.
If you're interested in the non Xerox version of this story, I posted it this morning at one of my other blogs.

Selling to the Government?

GovLoop - Social Network for Government
"GovLoop is the premier social network connecting the government community.

Join today if you are:
* gov't employee (fed/state/local/retired)
* public policy student/professor
* good gov't organization
* gov't contractor with good intentions"

They don't know who we are. And don't want to listen So . . .

read @ Norwalk News - The Hour:
Posted on 01/31/2009
Xerox Corporation earned more than 230 industry awards in 2008, an an increase of more than 20 percent over the previous year, the Norwalk-based copy and printer announced recently."
"Norwalk-based copy and printer" makes this kind of story worse than no story at all.

the Press Release is at the Xerox site;
NORWALK, Conn., Jan. 26, 2009 -- Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) closed 2008 earning more than 230 industry awards, an increase of more than 20 percent over the previous year. Leading industry publications and independent testing and research firms around the world recognized Xerox office products and services for a range of attributes including image quality, performance and technical innovation.
Face the fact that most newspaper people don't know who we are. So how about the lede of the press release said something like,
Xerox, the world's largest manufacturer of digital print devices, closed 2008 earning blablablablablablbalbla.