Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who's driving MarketSplash? Is it HP or Staples?

In a facilitated user network commercial model, the links are catalysts for creating better customer experience at lower prices with easier transactions. Better customer experiences at lower price with easier transactions is the operational definition of creating value.

So, maybe a better way to look at HP/MarketSplash might be as HP/Staples/MarketSplash. i have a feeling that the best way to look at it is Staples/HP/MarketSplash. Staples bought Corporate Express a while ago. Now it's called, E-Procurement & Outsourcing Staples Print Solutions.

E-Procurement & Outsourcing Print (sort of =) BPO (sort of =) MPS (sort of =) Print Service Distributors (sort of =) Print Broker. All different names for the same network functionality. Aggregate customers link them to manufacturers and manage the logistics.

Trade printer (sort of=) CRD (sort of=) PSP (sort of =) Print Output Node in printernet jargon.
NowDocs expands its SaaS Print Solutions Set -
from Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink: "'Cross-Wind enables us to easily distribute, via the Web, specifications for an order, allowing numerous suppliers to respond electronically with a pricing quote and delivery date. Our buyers can then instantly compare prices and select a supplier, ensuring a cost-effective and quick response to our valued customers.' Maggie Witt, Director, E-Procurement & Outsourcing Staples Print Solutions (formerly Corporate Express)"

The Mac GUI, Adobe Postscript and Erasable Paper

Back in the 1990's I scrapped together some money from my print brokerage. Since the only thing I really knew about was printing, I bought three stocks for the IRA with a buy and hold strategy, I was too busy earning money to get involved in the casino.

The three stocks were Adobe, Apple and Xerox. It seemed so natural at the time. Sooner or later, I figured someone would figure out how to fix the silly accounting of Xerox. I was not disappointed when Anne started running the store. I was sure that once that was out of the way, it would turn out that I was really smart.

Two out of three are not bad. I'm doing ok with Adobe and Apple. On Xerox I've seen 66% of my investment disappear. The irony of course is that the GUI and Postscript were invented at Xerox Parc.

I still feel ok about Xerox over the long haul. But while erasable paper is lost somewhere in the Xerox pipeline, I did a google search on Ricoh + Erasable paper. Try it yourself and see what you get.

I'm still betting that erasable paper will scale in MPS through innovation done by some team of engineers and product designers in India or New Zealand, maybe living at Fuji Xerox , or maybe cut loose from PARC.

What a shame for my home team.

Go Mets!

Does InfoPrint have PSPs?

This is not a rhetorical question. I haven't seen any stories about how XYY company did the clicks for either the first or second transpromo experiments. I might have missed them. But in case I haven't, does the following make sense?

added 10:23 EST
It turns out that I got this wrong. The answer is yes, Infoprint does have PSPs. But I have to say with all those innovations centers doing the experimental work, it sounds like they may get into a HP/MarketSplash kerfuffle. If the proven innovations are then spun out to InfoPrint 5000 installations, it could work together nicely. If not . . .

In an facilitated user network commercial model, the PSP is the Vendor's partner, not the vendor's customer. Customers are the people that bring new money to the table. Selling boxes is not a profit center. It's an investment in infrastructure - like laying the tracks or fiber optic cables. When the trains start running or the TV gets turned on, the investment can start to pay off.

Printers print. For Ricoh/IBM, my take is that Ricoh makes money with toner. IBM makes money by selling Cloud computing.

Free advice to Oce
Keep a very close eye on this.

Free advice to HP
Tell Wall Street your strategy for defending the computer business from Cloud computing?

Free advice to everyone else
Money invested in evangelizing transpromo is building a market you are not going to own. Lots of players lots of competition.

What has been done, will be done. There is nothing new under the sun.

Has the Monetization Really Started? -
@ Seeking Alpha:
"We are starting to see the Fed get serious about monetizing the debt. The talking is over and the direct impact on the market is now under way. At $12 billion in purchases every week, this means that for the next 25 weeks or so, the Fed will be entering the Treasury market acquiring more securities. And, this doesn’t include the provision to purchase mortgage-backed securities in large dollar amounts."
Since the time that the UK invented public debt, it's been the same story. Either the real economy will revive to absorb the monetization or it won't. If it doesn't the value of the dollar will go down. If it does and global economic development stalls the value of the dollar will go up. If global economic development grows, the value of the dollar will be relatively stable. But it's not going back to the old days.

The long cycle is that the center of the world economy is moving back to Asia, after a 400 year interlude in the West. The monopoly of energy-as-oil is starting to fragment. The Euro Centric vision supported by European currencies is starting to evolve into whatever is going to be next.

It's just common sense, systematically applied.

The wisdom of independent MPS and Printernet Publishing

There are no new ideas. Just different implementations of common sense.

From Phillips Supply House, est. 1893. The largest dedicated supplier of Digital Equipment in North Central Pennsylvania.
I am working with an outside print organization right now to move one of my customers to the model of 1 to 10 desktop/workgroup printer, 10 to 100 workgroup printer, 100 to 500 CRD printer, and over 500 to web press.
And the next day,
This seems to be the direction the "print for pay" world is going. Most of my customers are small enough that they do not have requirements of the magnitude this article addresses, and the ones that are, are sending out their bigger jobs to in-house press plants, or over the web to print shops already. The "design on the fly" and ability to change things on the web, then submit to print, is pretty cool!

Imagine if this becomes the common model for Independent MFD or MFP and MPS business people. It will be interesting to see if this model gets some discussion at their upcoming conference.

The rest of this post is just my evolving thought model to try to clarify how PSPs and Vendors can act in a changing environment.

'Printernet publishing'
The sustainable advantage is that while publishing on the web is cheap and easy, publishing in print requires printers. A printer can be a machine or a machine + intelligence. The particular kind of intelligence depends on the length of the run and the print product being produced. (see the quote above).

A "printernet" would create a new medium. This new medium would allow global print manufacture and distribution of almost any quantity of Print product, in a couple of days. Consider the daily capacity of PSPs and multiply by the number of PSPs. Consider also the low carbon footprint required.

'Printernet publishing' would enable message makers in government, corporate, education, health to communicate with everyone fast enough to make a difference.

This is not a new idea. It's just applying common sense at a global scale. It's always been, and will always be, about the right information in the right form at the right time for the right person.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yikes! They're talking about Oce at Harvard!

To be clear, I do not claim any ownership of the phrase printernet. They are using it in Australia, and a recent commenter pointed out that it is listed in the Urban Dicitonary as of 2006. Just more evidence that there are no new ideas, just new mashups and better implementation of the old ideas.

Meanwhile, perhaps the notion is going to mainstream, a little sooner rather than later. The Nieman Journalism Lab is hosted at Harvard. The title of the post is A giant digital copier: individuated news, Océ-style. The dateline is March 26.

Ok, Oce's equipment is not exactly a copier. I would probably call it a newspaper Print Output Node. But that's inside Print language. But when the folks at Harvard get printers on their radar something is going on.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week in my column at PBS/mediashift, I said,
Imagine networked desktop publishing where the desktops and printers are spread throughout the whole world. Publishing means newspapers, newsletters, books and posters in mass market quantities, but versioned and personalized for specific communities and individual users.

From the point of view of a writer, it would be easier than ever to see your story in print. If you're a publisher, it means an efficient way to move from the web to print products that can attract advertising. If you are an advertiser, it means one more mass media with a low carbon footprint, unparalleled reach and a clear way to know if it's working. For the citizen, it means the world as bookstore.

In the jargon of networks, this so-called "printernet" can have the same benefits as the Internet -- massive parallel manufacturing with standards-based interfaces, real time production information and easy access for everyone. Each printer -- the combination of the machinery and the intelligence that manages the machinery -- is a print output node.

To find out where America's culture is going, read the Time Magazine cover story

Just saw Kurt Anderson on MSNBC. He said something about the American Character, by which he really means the culture, is divided between the "Ben Franklin strand" and some other strand that I missed. As a printer, I've always been a Ben Franklin wanna be. Mostly it was a goal rather than an accurate description.

Here's the link to the Time Magazine Cover Story. The End of Excess: Is This Good for America?

Wouldn't it be cool if someone could talk to someone at Time, Inc. to get the rights to re publish this story on someone's printernet.

Xerox? Oce? HP? The Ace Group? Consolidated? A Xerox Premier Partner? AlphaGraphics? Fedex Kinko? Staples? . . . or will it be a three person start up in Australia, New Zealand, Mumbai, or Bejing.

It would be a nice thing for the PSPs to send to their suspects, prospects, customers and clients to get more work in the door. Much better than throwing away more money on "educating the customer or educating the PSP about how to make money from VDP or about programs that if they had the focus to implement, they've already implemented them.

More on MSM being hosed and the opportunity for the Printernet

Recent conversations at the top of the various pyramids are usually complicated because no one wants to face the fact that their power is disappearing.

Here's how it plays out for publishers.

From William F. Aicher:
. . . I want to discuss a bit the bigger point the publishing industry doesn’t seem to be getting - they no longer hold the keys to the kingdom.

For hundreds of years now, the barrier to entry to create a written work that can easily be duplicated and made available to the masses has relied upon a very closed system, with a very high cost of entry. During those times logistical issues greatly limited the amount of content that could be created (how many printing presses exist, for example) or how many books could really be sold (how many bookstores could exist, and how much shelf space was available). So it was extraordinarily important for any publisher to make very discriminate decisions as to what books they would publish and ultimately attempt to get onto a store’s shelf. During this time they were the tastemakers and ultimately responsible for the continued desire for people to want to consume the written word."

The printernet opportunity
Publishing on the web is now easy. Publishing in the real world is still hard. The Printernet can make it easy. Every company that can build links to the printernet will be in a nice sustainable low margin/ huge margin business.

HP got the clicks on Printernet Publishing for Magazines . . . and some free advice for Xerox

Now if HP would only spin off it's Indigo and toner business, I could add that new organization to my 401K.

Until they do that, there is no way I want to figure out how they are going to make that Compaq purchase work. Given that Cisco is going into the server business, that whole thing looks like a loser to me. Add to that Google, IBM and Amazon in the Cloud business, I can't see how HP is going to get any margins in that line of work.


You can find out what the Ace Group has to say about printernet publishing for magazines at OnDemand. They still describe it as VDP blablabla. Did you ever meet anyone aside from a vendor who is excited by VDP? It's database publishing. It has always been database publishing. It will continue to be database publishing.

And just a little snarky note: "the secret to completing the VDP puzzle" is to find the customers who want to buy it. Everything else is just technology. PSP's have always been awesome at installing technology when a customer is willing to pay for the product. It's why I love PSPs.

Time, date and location – 12:00-12:50, Tuesday, March 31, Room 201B of the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Session title – "Completing the VDP Puzzle: Your Guide to Successfully Implementing VDP Capabilities"

Speaker – Val DiGiacinto, vice president of sales and partner, The Ace Group, New York City

Anyone else seeing a pattern?
Indigo sales have been going pretty well + Consolidated bought 36 Indigos and I assume have them up and running at their multiple locations + the Ace Group is producing "mine" on it's Indigo presses + MarketSplash has gone live.

Makes one wonder where the presses are located that will fulfill orders from MarketSplash. Consolidated? The Ace Group? Indigo PSP's around the country? I'm pretty sure it's not going to be the super efficient gang run offset they do over at VistaPrint.

I'm thinking Consolidated sales people are out there now looking for magazines to printernet publish. Meanwhile, the Ace Group already has the track record with Time, Inc and American Express. Plus they're in New York where all the big publishers are still located.

So... what might it look like?
I'm still seeing the same thing:

HP is trying to grab the whole enchilada. Consumers/mSB with MarketSplash. Magazines with printernet publishing on widely distributed Indigos. Enterprises with HP printers which most IT people love. If they connect the enterprise to commercial print, MPS morphs into BPO.
BPO is one of the backbones of the printernet.

What about everyone else?
Ricoh/IBM will fight it out with HP. Ricoh/IBM have the lead with massive scale Transpromo at the CMO level. As far as I can tell they're not interested in SMB.

Oce will continue their domination of books. If they can make a deal with Kodak, they could dominate the newspaper market as it moves to mass customization and hyper local newspapers. Kodak meanwhile could increase their lead in heat set web offset, moving from newspapers to lights out manufacturing for short run magazines.

Cannon? KM? Kyocera? I don't have a clue, except to think they are still trying to figure out what's their next moves.

And that leaves my home team, Xerox.

Free advice for Xerox
Education, education, education, government.
Education is the Global Defense Industry for the next era. Education means global security. Global security is job one for everyone. Plus instead of firing people you could be helping them make a transition into education. It's cheaper for us stock holders and a better way to reduce those pension liabilities. If GM can offer their people a buy out, you should be able to do the same.

1. Forget about pushing color.
Everybody has color. Color is a commodity. Everyone expects color. After a gezillion dollars invested, everyone gets it. WikiBooks (the emerging replacement for textbooks) are printed in Black only. The cheapest, fastest way to get information is in Black only. Black only is much more sustainable. The Nuvera's, by all accounts, are awesome machines.

Sure, the "growth in color" produces some nice numbers for Wall Street, but those folks are getting more irrelevant every day. Once the betting stops, the new game is sustainable revenue and dividends. The market will probably hover at around 7,500 to 8,500 for a couple of years now that the funny money has disappeared. No funny money, no big increases in stock price.

2. Focus on the perfect binding piece.
Find the PSP's in your network that have perfect binding functionality. Work out a really good deal, from the POV of the PSP's, to integrate perfect binding into their Print Output Nodes. While Oce's machines are good for central location distribution of books, Nuvera's + perfect binding could win for Distribute and Print in many locations. Every school district should be printing their own WikiBooks. Every University in-house should be doing the same.

3. Get in touch with the Wikipedia Foundation and
Do a good deal so they have easy access to the Xerox printernet. The software is open source. Everybody loves Wikipedia. They need the revenue. Xerox has the distributed print output nodes in place. Indigos can't compete in this market. Besides they don't have a Black only machine, as far as I know.

4. Stop thinking you have to own this business.
Nobody is going to own this business, just like nobody owns the internet. Not HP. Not IBM. Not Google. Not Amazon. Not anyone. Meanwhile, advertising is in much too much chaos to see a clear path. Direct mail is being completely redefined. No one can yet tell where it's going to land. My personal bet is that mass mailings go away in a couple of years.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

To our viewers from Google.. get in touch with MPS people

Free advice to Google:
Get in touch with the folks who are hosting the first ever convention of MPS independent dealers. You can find out all about it by following the links from Jim Lyon's Observations. The MPS folks need to know about Google Apps. MPS (managed print services) is the printernet within a formal organization. And the independents have no choice but to get this right.

If you could join with those folks, you have an easy entry into Enterprise Level Sales for Google Apps. Plus you give them a path to dealing with overly protective IT people, who are scared stiff of the Cloud.

Besides, now that Wordpress can be created with an XML schema, and has already got an open source code for wikis in black only paperbacks, and is already doing ECM for, they say, 100,000 collaborations and they have a huge number of users in the education space the timing might be just right.

Consider being the infrastructure to replace textbooks with WikiBooks and WikiNewspapers.

It might be just the way to take another run at AdSense in Print. I'm not surprised that it didn't work with newspapers. Right now they have that deer in the headlights thing going on. Plus they live on local advertising and were not about to let you get in the middle of that.

Why the media is hosed and the opportunity for Printernet Publishing

Why is the media is hosed?
Check out President Obama's Global Town Hall. The tag line for Rachel Madow's show tonight is something like "Is President Obama going around the media?" The short answer is yes. If you look around you'll see evidence of the disintermediation of the media all around you.

The opportunity for Printernet Publishing.
People want the stories that are interesting to them. They don't want to spend the time to find those stories themselves. They want publishers to find, craft those stories and make accessible in a form that works. Given the low cost of publishing any one can be a publisher on the web. But they need a printernet to publish in the real world.

if President Obama had the ability to do versioned newspapers or print product that could speak to different communities in their natural language focused on the issues that concern their communities.

if Corporate Communications departments could produce Print product to talk to their institutional investors directly, without the need to negotiate and manage the busyness press.

if politicians on the ground could communicate directly with their constituents.

Then imagine
if PSP's on the ground were Print Output Nodes that printed and delivered Printernet product in the service of keeping their companies top of mind for suspects, prospects, customers and clients.

The mantra is that new value is created by the network. But this is more than any empty business phrase. It is literally true. No one vendor, no one PSP can create the information experience that was never before available in the history of the world. But the silos, both in corporations and between corporations have to be bridged.

Can't we all just get along?

So this sounds cool from HP...

I still believe that the coolest thing would be if newspaper ad sales got together with commercial print ad sales to be able to invent and deliver multi channel marketing to micro/small business.

Anyway, here's the release.

The O'Neil Database' Moves to HP Inkjet Web Press Printing in Pioneering O'Neil Data Systems Installation

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 25, 2009 – HP today announced that the successful first installation of the HP Inkjet Web Press at beta user O'Neil Data Systems has helped the Los Angeles-based financial and transactional print service provider enhance its business with a range of color print services.

"The O'Neil Database, Volumes I and II," a reference title that is printed each week after the close of the stock market and then hand-couriered to portfolio managers the following morning, is among the publications the company will print on the HP Inkjet Web Press. The publication identifies 2,500 of the more actively traded stocks from the prior week and serves as a single-source reference to view the stock market, by sector or industry.

Published by William O'Neil + Co., Inc., a sister company to O'Neil Data Systems, "The O'Neil Database" – previously produced almost exclusively in black-and white on toner-based digital presses – is being transitioned to a full-color periodical produced largely on the HP Inkjet Web Press. This transition to color is expected to be completed by April 10.

O'Neil Data Systems has already begun printing several smaller William O'Neil + Co. publications on the HP Inkjet Web Press.

The Cloud is global, Print Output Nodes are local

Ricoh/IBM (Infoprint) are big time global corporations. That's the good news for the printernet. But it's bad news for American economic sustainability. The reality is that anything that is digital can draw from the best workers around the world. Nobody's fault. It's just the way it is.

On the other hand, Print Output Nodes, are physical facilities that serve local communities. As they succeed, local economies grow.

Free Advice to Ricoh/IBM
Before you get swept in the populist move that is sweeping the globe, get involved in jump starting local economic development. The good news is that you're in just right place to do it.

IBM to Cut U.S. Jobs, Expand in India - "International Business Machines Corp. plans to lay off about 5,000 U.S. employees, with many of the jobs being transferred to India, according to people familiar with the situation.

The technology giant has been steadily building its work force in India and other locations while reducing the number of workers based in the U.S. Foreign workers accounted for 71% of Big Blue's nearly 400,000 employees at the start of the year, up from about 65% in 2006."

"HP is Back stabbing to 1000's of HP indigo owners..." Not necessarily

As the printernet evolves, older ways of doing business have to change to more appropriate ways of doing business. A recent post about MarketSplash, Vista Print, SMB and mSB, got this response from anon:
HP is Back stabbing to 1000's of HP indigo owners, by offering online printing. HP is selling equipment to small print shop and the same time selling to end users,
Then I said,
Sorry, I don't see it that way. In the context of the printernet, the networks create the value. The problem for HP indigo owners for these kinds of projects is Staples, Fedex not HP.

For HP/MarketSplash the competition is not their PSP, it's Vista Print.

Meanwhile, if I read the MarketSplash website correctly there is a big spread between "deliver through the mail" and "pick up. That makes alot of sense to me. It means MarketSplash is charging a premium for time and security. It also means there is room to comp PSP's the same way as they are comping Staples and Tesco.

If they put that comp for PSP's in place, it only means headache jobs go away, expensive front end blabla with non professionals is taken away.

Meanwhile, the PSP gets some money for printing an easy job with predictable results, and the contact with a potential new customer.

If HP does not see that they have the opportunity to build a strong network, instead of getting work, they'll blow it. IMHO.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Newspapers, newspapers, newspapers

From Newspapers & Technology
HP is not the only vendor targeting newspapers as likely customers for digital press technology. In addition to HP, Océ, Kodak, Agfa and Screen (USA) are among vendors pitching digital machines as an alternative to conventional web offset.
. . .
Assuming that the price and performance benefits of digital continue on their current trajectory, digital holds the potential to transform the newspaper industry."
. . .
"O'Neil Data Systems LLC said it currently has no plans to print Investor's Business Daily on the Hewlett Packard Inkjet Web Press it installed in December. Instead, IBD sister company O'Neil is currently using the press — capable of printing broadsheet newspapers — to produce personalized marketing and financial statements.
. . .
"Digital printing technology has been used so far by the newspaper industry in very niche applications because of the limitations in format size, productivity, print quality and economics," Maruggi told N&T in September. "The HP Inkjet Web Press represents a breakthrough that we believe has the potential to start a ‘virtuous cycle' in this industry.

It would be cool to do a print version

Maybe somebody should give Mindfire a call? It's the mulit channel thing that usually gets the job done.

MindFireInc Adds Private-Label eNewsletter - Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Irvine, California -- MindFireInc, the leading developer and distributor of online marketing intelligence and sales automation software, announced today the latest addition to its comprehensive Business Development program, a monthly eNewsletter that clients can private-label to market themselves and generate new sales leads. Debuting this month, ROEye is an originally produced monthly eNewsletter that provides proprietary industry information about the trends and issues that are impacting the direct marketing community."

Adobe's Take on Ground > Cloud > Print

added 3:10 EST
Now if someone like Xerox could nurture PSP's into becoming Print Output Nodes for Adobe's organization of the Cloud for security minded enterprise, that would be cool.

Just collaborate with Adobe to do a joint sales presentation with your MPS people. Adobe gets access to Xerox's rich network of MSP services. Xerox gets access to customers that are considering Adobe Scene7. They can do some split on the income.

Adobe and Xerox can take resources out of marketing and put them into selling. The PSP's get a revenue stream. The customer gets a seamless experience that has an great ROT.

Or Adobe can make a deal with HP. But I'm thinking the cultures don't fit as well. Besides HP has a huge investment in IT, same thing with IBM. That's why Xerox is the natural fit.

Then we might have
Ricoh+IBM to do the data mining and enterprise level transpromo/info.
Xerox + Adobe + Wikipedia to do the mass market of readers. (That's Amazons book base)
HP + Staples/Tesco to do the mass market of mSB marketing
Kodak + Oce to do the newspaper and book and high transaction part.

Wherever they overlap they'll compete on Lifetime Production Cost, Speed of Installation and Business Development. Meanwhile the printernet can keep growing and everyone can focus resources on their strong suit and spin off the rest.

The Google translation version of

(March 24, 2009 - ds) Adobe today announced the launch of Adobe Scene7 template publication announced. The new service is an add-on module for the Adobe Scene7 platform, a hosted software environment for the production and publication of individual pressure and cross-media marketing materials offers.

The service is particularly suited for global companies in the retail, e-commerce and multi-channel marketing to ensure a uniform market presence and to ensure compliance with corporate design guidelines.

Companies can use the template solution for publishing companies of Adobe Scene7 layouts and templates to upload and decentralized or regional marketing teams the opportunity to individual communications and marketing materials to produce, inter alia, selective e-mail campaigns, office materials, stationery, business cards, banners, logos, calendars, data sheets, signs and cards.

The original in German below:
Der neue Dienst ist ein Add-on-Modul für die Adobe Scene7-Plattform, die eine gehostete Software-Umgebung für die Produktion und Veröffentlichung von individuellen Druck- und medienübergreifenden Marketing-Materialien bietet.

Der Service eignet sich insbesondere für global agierende Unternehmen aus den Bereichen Einzelhandel, E-Commerce und Multi-Channel-Marketing zur Sicherstellung eines einheitlichen Marktauftritts und zur Einhaltung von Corporate-Design Richtlinien.

Unternehmen können mit der Lösung für Vorlagenveröffentlichung von Adobe Scene7 Firmenlayouts und -vorlagen hochladen und dezentralisierten oder regionalen Marketing-Teams die Möglichkeit geben, individuelles Kommunikations- und Marketing-Material zu produzieren, ua selektive E-Mail-Kampagnen, Büromaterialien, Briefpapier, Visitenkarten, Banner, Logos, Kalender, Datenblätter, Beschilderung und Grußkarten.

This is cool: Fuji Xerox’s Recycling Site in China Simultaneously Obtains ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 Certifications

Fuji Xerox’s Recycling Site in China Simultaneously Obtains ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 Certifications: "TOKYO, Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.Note 1, a recycling site in China wholly owned by Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd., on February 26, 2009 obtained ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001Note 2 certifications at the same time. This marks the first time that an affiliate of Fuji Xerox has simultaneously obtained three certifications.

Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing (Suzhou) constructed an integrated recycling system in China and commenced operation in January 2008 with the aim of achieving “zero landfill,” “no pollution” and “no illegal disposal.” In April 2008, the recycling site launched activities to simultaneously obtain ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 certifications under the company policy to establish multi-faceted functions encompassing quality, environment and occupational safety in an integrated manner."

Are we at the bottom?

By Reuters at
"'There is an increasing sense among institutional investors that the rapid freefall of the real economy is approaching its end, both because much adjustment has occurred and because of the gathering power and breadth of the U.S. Fed and Treasury response,' said Harvard University Professor Ken Froot, a co-developer of the index.

'Institutions seem to appreciate this and are moving to a less defensive risk stance.'

Xerox: Tell me the story that institutional investors might want to hear.

I came across this at Articles Island. Given it's the internet and the article is unsigned, I have no idea if it's correct. But this paragraph sounds about right as the story that's out there. Unfortunately for my 401K, it's not the best way to tell the Xerox story.

from A Brief History of the Xerox Corportation:
"Xerox has a strategic focus on three primary corporate and consumer markets. First is the high-end production environment, including commercial printing. Next is networking solutions, in offices small and large. Finally, there is the large, growing category of its “value-added” services. There are two overarching, unifying themes that cross all Xerox product and service categories, relying on the company’s demonstrated, core strengths and its position as “the document company.” These themes are (1) color and (2) practical solutions that customize the various Xerox devices and methodologies to solve their customers’ problems."
I'm only an amateur writer, so I'm sure any number of people at the PR firm or the Agency could put the following into compelling language. But it's the story I want to hear. I'm going to use Dr Joe's convention of changing the names to keep the confusion to a minimum.

Xorex has a strategic focus on finding practical solutions for education, health, governance and vibrant commercial activity on a global scale. They have a deep portfolio of products that range from high end production machines through midrange work group solutions and desk top color printers. They also have a DNA that keeps them focused on social responsibility and sustainability.

At their centers of invention, Xerox scientists have done the basic research for a revolutionary way to filter water. They have also invented erasable paper which will have a huge impact on the carbon footprint of large organizations.

While leading the movement to color in Print, they have continued improving their product innovation of black only printing. Their consulting services are focused on managing, not advising. They have re engineered and operated managed print services for Fortune 50 companies and School Districts in the United States and Government agencies in UK and ????.

This is only a start, but I think you can get my drift. In a facilitated user network, you don't organize around the people who buy your stuff. You organize around solving BIG, Complicated problems that have to be solved. Nobody, except for Printers, care about printers. Nobody cares about Color as color. And nobody cares about "customer's problems" unless they are the customer.

Everybody cares about education, health, governance and vibrant global commercial activity. The Xerox foundation has been focused on this stuff for years.

Institutional investors are a subcategory of everybody.

RE: Printernet: The part the PBS/mediashift editor took out

At PBS.mediashift, the topic at hand is the future of media. The audience is mostly writers, internet evangelists and journalists. The managing editor correctly edited out the following paragraphs. I think it was cut because of his sensitivity to his audience and the understanding that people over there don't really care what my plans are going forward.

Fair enough.

On the other hand, I thought it might be interesting to visitors here.
There are signs of printernet embryos everywhere, if you know where to look. My plan is to continue sharing instances of the printernet as I see them, including InfoPrint, DNN, MPS, Xerox Premier Partners, MarketSplash, AlphaGraphics,
PediaPress, PBwiki and whatever else I stumble upon.

My thought model includes ESS game strategy, systems thinking within a framework I've been calling Communication Ecology.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Printernet Gets Some Media

Ok, it's not really media as much as my most recent column.

The title is 'Printernet' Vision Brings Custom Print Publications to Masses. You can read the full thing at /MediaShift. If you get a chance, stop by at PBS and leave some comments.

The first four paragraphs are pasted below:

Imagine networked desktop publishing where the desktops and printers are spread throughout the whole world. Publishing means newspapers, newsletters, books and posters in mass market quantities, but versioned and personalized for specific communities and individual users.

From the point of view of a writer, it would be easier than ever to see your story in print. If you're a publisher, it means an efficient way to move from the web to print products that can attract advertising. If you are an advertiser, it means one more mass media with a low carbon footprint, unparalleled reach and a clear way to know if it's working. For the citizen, it means the world as bookstore.

In the jargon of networks, this so-called "printernet" can have the same benefits as the Internet -- massive parallel manufacturing with standards-based interfaces, real time production information and easy access for everyone. Each printer -- the combination of the machinery and the intelligence that manages the machinery -- is a print output node.

Each node is both part of the network and self-sufficient. When the nodes are working together mass customization of print product becomes commonplace at previously impossible speeds and quantities. Some recent developments illustrate the potential for printernet technology to enter the mix of communication media.
The subheads and first sentences are:
The Printernet for Newspapers
Some good examples of printernet technology in action come from Oce, a digital press manufacturer based in the Netherlands.

The Printernet for Magazines
Recently, luxury automaker Lexus joined forces with American Express Publishing to put together a printernet experiment called Mine magazine.

The Printernet for Wikis
Separate from the commercial world, some information on the web wants to be available in print form for off-line consideration and mass distribution.
and the last paragraph..
Print product manufactured in just a couple traditional printing plants is too limited. The energy costs and carbon footprint of long range delivery make them unsustainable. Global access, which Wikipedia has achieved on the web, needs a well developed, reliable, global print output network. That's the potential tipping point path for the printernet.

MFPs are on the On Ramp to Cloud

My question is only do you need DocuShare in the Cloud?
Xerox Helps Accelerate Insurance Claims Process
from WhatTheyThink
"PALO ALTO, Calif. -- By turning hard-copy forms into easy-to-manage online digital files, insurance administrators such as OwnerGUARD, Inc., are able to process claims faster with Xerox Corporation's DocuShare enterprise content management (ECM) solution. The San Diego-based company has digitized its claims management process – achieving 40 percent faster turnaround times and saving more than $5,000 per month on print-related spend.

Using Xerox's multifunction devices, OwnerGUARD scans claim forms into a digital format, sending them seamlessly into a customized DocuShare Insurance Claims Workflow Solution. Files are placed into a secured queue allowing claims analysts to search and access files within seconds."

Xeikon, HP: Labels, labels, labels

Xeikon Launches Digital Label Printing Campaign -
3/24/2009 8:19:00 AM - Graphic Arts Online:
Lier, Belgium, March 24 March 2009 - Xeikon, a division of Punch Graphix, today announces that it will officially launch its “Do the Benchmark – campaign” at this year’s Digital Label summit, in Barcelona, Spain."

Product Label Possibilities with HP Indigo WS6000
@ Digital 360.c0m
The new HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press’s combination of speed, size format and streamlined digital workflow offers distinct advantages over conventional analog printing of labels, shrink sleeves and other packaging materials.

from PR release at

Designed for high-volume production approaching the level of printing done on flexographic presses, the HP Indigo WS6000's larger 38.58-inch (980 mm) repeat length permits greater productivity and lower costs per label.(2) New HP Indigo Print Care offerings on the WS6000 model help users gain remarkable uptime through advanced diagnostics, troubleshooting and remote communication tools.

ROI is the metric for value chains. ROT is the metric for networks.

ROT is the return on time. It was first coined by Dr Joe Webb in a different context. If and only if their accounting actually reflects something about reality some public corporations do ok measured by ROI.

The printernet is a facilitated user network. Micro and small business naturally work on ROT. That's where tipping points are born. They don't have the time for "strategy meetings" or "marketing strategies."

Large corporations are organized for ROI. When measured by ROT, they keep coming up short. What is the length of time from invention to innovation to money coming in the front door?

It's the tragedy of success in a communication ecology that is quickly disappearing.

to be continued

How come the Economist is doing so well?

According to what I heard on MSNBC this morning, the Economist is at the top of the list for ad sales in the last year. hmmmmmm... I thought magazines are dying. Or is it just a survival of the fittest situation.

Wiki Books and Wiki Newspapers are going to replace Texbooks

To see what I mean check out Curriki and
They are at the core of the printernet for education.

If the sky is NOT falling, what does that do for "projected" earnings? . . . and more about the printernet

The Printernet is a facilitated user network that lives in real time
Search for it, find it, assemble it, print it. Anywhere in any form at any time.
The public business discourse seems to be taking a turn for the better. It seems that "Wall Street" is "happier." Blablabla. The real story is that everyone is getting a little more realistic. Meanwhile, Black Rock says they are eager to buy "toxic assets" at the right combination of risk and price.

Ever since the big investment banks figured out they were deeply screwed, it's been never ending blablabla about the end of days. It shouldn't be a surprise since the public discourse has been trapped in an "end of days" narrative for the last eight years. Plus "end of days" stories are the easiest stories to tell for talking heads, pundits and politicians.

Most of the folks at the tops of the various pyramids are still trapped in yesterday's story. What they are missing is that the grown-ups are back in charge. What will work is what always has worked. Get the best people you can find, put them in a team where the boss has a clear reality based vision. Make sure they understand what they have to do. Get them the resources they need. Don't pay too much attention to the blablabla.

If people don't know what to do, they revert to doing what they know. But if the incentives and the definitions are clear and aligned, people will do their jobs. If everyone just does their job, things usually work out fine. If you are in government, the job is to protect the population and nurture sustainable growth. If you are running a business, the job is to earn money. If you are running a school, the job is to educate everyone.

Meanwhile, everyone on the planet has the job of living a good life. That means earning a living that keeps you, your family and your community safe and hopeful about the future.

The power of stories
Children make up stories. They take great pleasure in retelling the same stories again and again. It's how they learn to make sense of the world. Grown ups make up their own stories. Its also how they make sense of the world. Scientists make up their stories, but then focus on figuring out what parts of the story is wrong. And how does their story fit into the others already out there. It's a proven method to get to a story that better predicts the future. "Projected earnings?"

In that spirit, here's my story.

"Profit projections" like "market size" are about predicting the future. As Yogi Berra reportedly said, "It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future." But public corporations are supposed to predict the future every quarter. If they guess right, "Wall Street" is "happy". If they guess wrong, "Wall Street" is "unhappy." What's lost in the blablabla is that "Wall Street" is just a sound bite. In a world of global capital moving through the wire, "Wall Street" is not a place. It is a window on money that opens at 9:30 and closes at 4:30 EST. "Wall Street" "feeling" hopeful, worried or anything else is just a blablabla story that is easy to tell.

Google does not make predictions or "give guidance." They just keep on keeping on. Google-as-business has a single minded focus on making it better, faster and cheaper for more and more people to sell and see advertising. Google-as-place to work is optimized to be an innovation machine. Apple-as-business sells hardware. Apple-as-place to work is also an innovation machine. They have organized themselves to ride the wave of what Clay Christensen calls the facilitated user network commercial model.

The next stage of the printing, imaging, information business is moving to the same model. Some organizations will make the transition. Others will be the Lehman Brothers of the Print Industry. Business organizations come and go. The real economy just keeps on keeping on.

Time is a deep fundamental
Most profit projections have an unspoken assumption. "Assuming that our business is organized the way it has been organized in the recent past". If you are trapped in the bubble at the top of the pyramid, you live in corporate time. Now that the information advantage of large corporations is disappearing, you have to make the transition to real time.

Real time is not measured quarter to quarter. Real time is measured by a continuous flow of events that either quickly follow one another or, most often, happen simultaneously. The time in a value chain commercial model is different from the time in a facilitated user network commercial model.

Independent business and sales people live in real time. That is their competitive advantage. It's why a small team in Germany invented Wiki to PDF and is already monetizing it by selling books. it's why the independent businesses that are having a conference on MPS are winning contracts today. It's why the real innovations in Print are happening in the print shops on the ground.

Meanwhile erasable paper is announced but still lost somewhere in the pipeline, and Screen will be in the market "soon."

Google and WalMart typically don't make announcements about what they are going to do. They run experiments to see what works and what sucks. Then the improve what works and fix what sucks. Then they keep doing it until it's ready to scale. Meanwhile their radar screen is always searching for those simultaneous events that will give them a clue as to what to do next.

Facilitated user networks is a commercial model for Print didn't announce what they were going to do. They just kept on keeping on. After 10 years, they are up to $1 billion in revenue. Craig's List has a full time staff of about 17. They generated $100,000,000 in revenue. Google Apps is continuing it's penetration to the middle of the pyramid. Alphagraphics doesn't announce what they are going to do, but a copy shop was chosen as the site to produce newspapers on Demand on Screen machines for a UK based newspaper.

to be continued . . . .

Monday, March 23, 2009

Instead of giving money to X,Y or Z, consider supporting Saturday Art Classes for High School Students in NYC

I got this in an email from Steven Kennedy. I worked with Steve when I was at Parsons. He's an awesome teacher who gets amazing stuff from his students.

Here's the deal:

The Scholars Program is a scholarship program designed to allow talented New York City high school students to take classes at Parson's School of Design Pre-College Academy's Saturday Art Program. The cost is $3000 for three years which covers costs of tuition, art supplies, metro cards and lunches.

We currently are committed to providing this for four students over the next three years. I am making a personal commitment to raise enough money to add two more students to this program. Every dollar we raise goes directly to the students -- there are no overhead costs or fees.

Please consider donating between $10-$20 to this worthy cause by going to:

Why Print should get out of software for blabla and busyness

The thing is that the startups from the ground are going to be faster and cheaper and Google et all are going to come down from the Cloud. Only the very, very strong are going to survive the pincer movement.

Skype Targets Businesses to Ring Up New Revenue -
"EBay Inc.'s Skype Internet phone unit, on the hunt for new sources of revenue, is making a push into the corporate market.

On Monday, Skype plans to announce a version of its Internet calling software that connects to corporate phone systems. The new software is expected to allow employees to make domestic and international calls using regular office telephones, instead of a headset plugged into a personal computer. Initially, the company will charge about 2.1 cents per minute for calls to cellphones and fixed lines, but calls from computers to phone systems using the Skype software will be free, similar to what it now charges for its consumer service"

HP/MarketSplash: Nice!

If read the marketsplash website correctly, you're giving the customer the option to pick up the completed job either at Staples or the local printer. The price for pick up is significantly more than getting the job delivered through UPS or USPS.

It's really nice for two reasons.
1. People will willingly pay for time, if they don't have the time.
2. It should leave enough money on the table to comp the local Indigo user at your PSP.

Free advice
Don't get greedy. Whatever you're giving to Staples, give at least the same to your PSP. They will love you for it, plus it will get the whole thing to scale much, much faster. Maybe even sell some Indigos and get some of those folks in Israel back to work.

Anyone know what "impairment testing" means?

Consolidated Revises 4Q 2009 guidance
@Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
"HOUSTON -- Consolidated Graphics, Inc. today announced revised guidance for its fourth quarter ending March 31, 2009.

Based on current market conditions, the Company now expects fiscal fourth quarter revenues of between $240 - $250 million and diluted earnings per share for the quarter of between $0.05 - $0.15, before any impairment of goodwill or other long-lived assets that may result from the Company's year-end impairment testing."

Dr Joe Webb rewrites the Quincy Allen Vertis Press Release

Free advice to Dr Joe
Get into the PR writing business. I think you've really got a knack for it.

Free advice to Sitrev and Alan Quince
Consider replacing TextBooks with WikiNewspapers, (jump to the bottom of the post to see what I mean) while the newspapers are figuring out what to do next.

Read the original Vertis PR and the full post at

Below is Dr Joe's version.
We were impressed with Alan Quince from the first time we met him,” said Marge Bolan, a member of Sitrev’s board of directors. “Our company's financial challenges are well known. It became obvious that they were dominating our thinking in a way that prevented us from seeing beyond our problems of today. Something was lacking in our company. We realized that we needed an outside perspective, especially grounded in experiences that included new technologies like digital printing and new media, and an emphasis on why clients use them. Alan was at Zorex when they had their brush with bankruptcy and was part of the turnaround. We realized that our executives and staff could benefit from his experiences there, and to bring that knowledge, and new ideas, to our company.”

I was pleased to be selected by Sitrev,” said Quince. “This company has made it through difficult times including this bankruptcy. I would not be joining the company unless I felt that the effort to build a turnaround was possible, and would have significant rewards for everyone involved. We are in a recession where our clients are cutting back spending, and allocating more dollars to digital media. Debt obligations have limited Vertis' options in addressing these market needs, but we have done well where we can. It's easy to keep hunkering down and cutting costs, but that does not give us a financial future worth striving for, and it won't give our clients good reasons to work with us. We need to look forward to the what our clients will need three and four years from now and start building a company today that fills those needs in compelling ways that our competitors won't and that our clients have yet to consider. I'm looking forward to the challenge.”

They haven't heard that Print is Dead in China

The fun will really start when they are ready to do versioning and personalized newspapers, print on demand books and WikiBooks instead of Textbooks.
Zhengzhou Daily Orders New Goss Universal press
from- Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Zhengzhou Daily, a major newspaper publisher in central China, has ordered a new 75,000-copies-per-hour Goss Universal press to improve its color capacity.

Located in Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province, Zhengzhou Daily has been one of the most prestigious newspaper media companies in the region. Besides its flagship title Zhengzhou Daily, the company also publishes Zhengzhou Evening News, Evening News Readers Digest and its online media"

Google doesn't give profit guidance. Why should anyone else?

"Guidance", read best guesses, just makes it easier for "analysts" to do their job. Then Wall Street has an easy to understand "No Child Left Behind - metric." Did you beat expectations or not beat expectations? Warren Buffet is reported to have said that step one is to ignore the business press. It's been working pretty well for me, so far. But then I'm not a betting man.
Xerox Slashes First-Quarter Profit Forecast - Companies * US * News * Story -
"Xerox, the world's top supplier of digital printer and document management services, warned first-quarter earnings will fall far short of its earlier forecast as a slowdown in technology spending undercuts revenue."
If you have to cut costs why not spin off businesses that don't make money. Then maniacally focus on those businesses that do. And get out of the software for busyness business. Release the API's, resell the Cloud, and help the installed base produce more clicks. When it hits the fan, no time or focus to waste.

Xerox: The printernet for education and erasable paper for MPS

My column, that will be posted later this week at PBS MediaShift , is about the printernet. The subheads in the story are the Printernet for Newspapers (Oce). The printernet for magazines (mine magazine). The printernet for wikis (

But what I really wanted to write about is the printernet for education. Maybe I'll find it before the next column in two weeks.

Remember my personal goal is to reinvent high school education. From what I see my favorite team, Xerox, is in just right position to do it faster than anyone else. But, keep in mind, I also root for the New York Mets and really like the Chicago Cubs.

Free advice mostly to Xerox, but for whoever else is visiting
Get in touch with the folks who run the Wikipedia Foundation and/or the team at Figure out the fastest way to replace Textbooks with WikiBooks. If Oce and/or Kodak is visiting, you can replace Textbooks with WikiNewspapers. Imploding newspaper companies might love the idea.

To get the background for the call, follow the links starting from here. You can download the source code to turn wikis into printable PDFs, ODF or DocBooks(XML), here.

Step two is to figure out either an affiliate deal or a reseller program so the ground force can sell wiki2 print and Google Apps. And get out of the software busyness as gracefully as possible.

In case, you missed the press release in 2007, here's an excerpt.
DECEMBER 13, 2007 - ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA: The Wikimedia Foundation today announced a partnership that will make it possible to obtain high quality print and word processor copies of articles from Wikipedia and other wiki educational resources. The development of the underlying open source software is supported by the Open Society Institute ( and the Commonwealth of Learning (, and led by, a start-up company based in Germany.
. . .
This technology is of key strategic importance to the cause of free education world-wide," said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. "It will make it possible to use and remix wiki content for a variety of purposes, both in the developing and the developed world, in areas with connectivity and without.

Erasable Paper?
Why is it always a start up team that gets it done?

I'm betting there are at least 3 start up teams in India, 6 in Germany and a couple of others around the world, that have either already read the patents or figured out another way to do the same thing.

Or perhaps two brilliant engineers in either Palo Alto or France will do another Adobe. They'll figure out a way to partner with a foundation. Do some modifications to make sure they don't violate non competes and do it themselves for governments, health and education around the world to make some money and save lots of energy.

That worked out pretty well in 1982 for John Warnock and Charles Geschke. Not so well for the home team.