Saturday, July 18, 2009

Personal TV Keeps Coming and Coming

Mobile Marketing Magazine:
Dilithium Announces iPhone Support
Dilithium has announced the availability of live video and Video on Demand (VoD) streaming support for the iPhone OS 3.0 using the Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA).
The DCA iPhone solution is an infrastructure offering that can be deployed by operators and service providers to enable their customers to access live or on-demand video content through the standard iPhone Safari browser. Dilithium says the DCA iPhone solution is unique in its ability to deliver live and on-demand video to all iPhones (OS 2 and OS 3), using the built-in Safari browser or an installed application."

Recovery, Recession or Reorganization of the Nature of Work?


From Seeking Alpha, Jobless Recovery Fasten Your Seatbelts

Here's my take.
In 1973 we were at the tail end of the value chain economy. By 2001, we were well under way to a user network economy. This time around value chain enterprise is in danger of being marginalized.

The problem may be metrics. If "jobless" means "not a full time job with a formal enterprise" does that clarify or obscure how people earn a living?

Listen to ITunes U for free or Pay $200,000+ to go to Yale.

Back in January 2006, I did a column at What They Think called, iPods and Textbooks. Today, on twitter, I found a link to a story about Yale delivering complete courses to iPods for free. Apple is calling it iTunes U.

The thing about listening to lectures is that it takes too long. Reading the highlights in print would be much faster. Instead of the "To learn more" section, it would be "learn more by clicking here."

I got lucky with the iPod stuff, I might just be right about clickable newspapers as the reinvention of textbooks. Add CodeZ QR and some kids with smart phones, and it will create most of the real time data a teacher needs.

Back then my jargon was the UPP - the Ubiquitous Print Platform. These days, I'm testing out the Printernet. They both are tyring to point to the same thing.
Standards based massive parallel production of smart print products
Maybe a better term would be Print 4.0. As in Print 1.0 was Guttenberg. Print 2.0 was steam driven presses. Print 3.0 was Postcript + digital printing. Print 4.0 = Printernet.

Complete Yale courses now on iTunes U:
"What a great opportunity to brush up on controversies in Astrophysics, Game Theory, or France since 1871. Apple and Yale University have partnered to bring complete Yale courses to iTunes U and they are free for the clicking.

Apple was already offering significant quantities of lectures and interviews from Yale, but now complete courses are being offered for free. For now, there are 13 complete courses online, one subject area is composed of about 40-50 separate podcasts. That's a lot of information and precious knowledge."
The value is the network. If you decide to pay for your children to go to Yale you are paying for connecting your child into the Yale network and the Yale certificate.

From a business point of view, the Yale cert gives access to many more opportunities. From a life long learning point of view that means four years of engaging with some of the best and brightest from all over the world.

But the value is not in sitting in a lecture hall listening to the great teachers talk. Not to say that doesn't have a great value. It's just to say that it's not worth money. If you want to spend the time, that's free.

It's the same thing for print. Read for free. Pay for Print.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More on McGraw Hill in the new environment

McGraw-Hill Education Restructures, Eliminates 340 Jobs : Book Business: "MHE's new Learning Solutions Centers—Intervention and Special Needs; College and Career Readiness; Literacy and Humanities; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—will focus on technology as a key component, according to the company.

A newly created Center for Digital Innovation within MHE is developing new digital solutions that 'will make learning more engaging for children and provide educators and parents with an effective, technology-based teaching environment. Using these programs, teachers will be able to instantly assess student proficiency levels and customize instruction accordingly,' said the company."
"Customize instruction accordingly" could mean database publishing in Print + QR.

Google Apps in Enterprise level Education. My bet is the "security" is not a sustainable defense going forward.

From Google Enterprise Blog
Last week we announced we will begin globally offering email security free to current and new eligible K-12 Google Apps Education users that opt-in by July 2010 – and starting today eligible schools can learn how to opt-in to enable Google Message Security for their domain.

Google Message Security – powered by Postini – provides the capability for administrators to limit messages based on who they are from, where they are going, or the content they contain. Message rules can be applied to groups of users, allowing customization for different user sets (like younger students, older students, and teachers).

To further celebrate our support of K12, we launched the Google Apps Education Community site for educators and students to share and learn more about Google Apps, as well as the Google Apps Education resource center with more than 20 classroom-ready lesson plans – and we're committed to providing even more educational resources in the future, as the Google Apps Education community grows.

If you know of a K-12 school or educator who might benefit from this opportunity, please share this post with them. Many thanks for your ongoing support of Google Apps in education.

Posted by Dana Nguyen, Google Apps Education team
And just another tidbit from twitter:
Share how your business made the switch to Google Apps from Lotus Notes:

David Brooks gets it right and The Real Opportunity in Education for Print+

No Size Fits All -
"Most schools have poor accountability systems and inadequately track student outcomes. They have little information about what works. They have trouble engaging students on campus. Many remedial classes (60 percent of students need them) are a joke, often because expectations are too low.

The Obama initiative is designed to go right at these deeper problems. It sets up a significant innovation fund, which, if administered properly, could set in motion a spiral of change. It has specific provisions for remedial education, outcome tracking and online education. It links public sector training with specific private sector employers.

Real reform takes advantage of community colleges’ most elemental feature. These colleges educate students with wildly divergent interests, goals and abilities. They host students with radically different learning styles, many of whom have floundered in traditional classrooms.

Therefore, successful reform has to blow up the standard model
. You can’t measure progress by how many hours a student spends with her butt in a classroom chair. You have to incorporate online tutoring, as the military does. You have to experiment with programs like Digital Bridge Academy that are tailored to individual learning styles. You have to track student outcomes, as the Lumina Foundation is doing. You have to build in accountability measures for teachers and administrators.

And of course, the video.

From the website.
The DBA was designed from the outset as a sustainable and scalable program that could be easily adopted by other community colleges. The DBA team encourages partner colleges to dovetail the DBA in with existing services and academic offerings for successful adoption. Several California community colleges have adopted our program, and several more are set to bring in the DBA in the next few years.

And here's the link to the Lumina Foundation.
From their about page:

Lumina Foundation for Education, an Indianapolis-based, private, independent foundation, strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access to and success in education beyond high school.

Through grants for research, innovation, communication, and evaluation, as well as policy education and leadership development, Lumina Foundation addresses issues that affect access and educational attainment among all students, particularly underserved student groups, including adult learners. The Foundation bases its mission on the belief that postsecondary education remains one of the most beneficial investments that individuals can make in themselves and that society can make in its people.

More on WalMart + PNI . Growing from photo kiosks to SMB collateral.

From yesterday's press release:
VANCOUVER, BC – July 16th, 2009 - PNI Digital Media (TSX–V: PN; OTCBB: PNDMF), (“PNI” or the “Company”), the leading innovator in digital photography and media solutions for retailers, announces that it has teamed up with Walmart Canada to offer a range of printing services and products to fit the needs of small businesses.

From the PNI website: Kyle Hall On Twitter
Name: Kyle Hall
Location:Vancouver, BC
Followers: 69
Twitter Name: PNI_Kyle
Following: null
Friends: 65
Bio: CEO PNI Digital Media - PNI is the face behind online photo sites for CVS, Costco, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart Ca, Tesco and more. Posting about family, life and work.

From the about us at their website:
Established in 1995, PNI Digital Media Inc. (PNI) has developed a reputation as the leading innovator in online and in-store digital media solutions for major retailers who want to enable on-demand production of personalized products using consumer media. Our customers include market-leading retailers such as Walmart, Costco, SAM’s Club, CVS/pharmacy, Tesco, Kodak, ASDA, K-Mart Australia, and Hallmark UK, amongst others.

The PNI Digital Media Platform enables consumers to easily order photo prints, personalized photo gifts, business printing collateral and more, whether online from a photo center, in store from a PNI-powered kiosk, or right from your desktop using PNI-powered software.
Me: MFP + CRD + MPS + PSP = Printernet =
Orders are fulfilled by a network of on-demand fulfillment partners or directly in store, depending on the retailer’s needs.
Retailers gain a proven, scalable and robust solution that can handle the most demanding volume. The PNI Digital Media Platform currently connects more than 14,000 retail locations worldwide, with 7500 of those offering one-hour service on fulfilled orders.
PNI Digital Media is focused on enabling e-commerce for all types of digital content within the retailers’ Media Center, a one stop shop for all your digital media needs —Photos, Business Printing, Music, Video, Games, and Mobile.

Google Apps for the Health Industry. Jim Lyons says it's cool.

from jflyons on twitter:
RT @TechCrunch: Google Health Now Lets You Upload Scanned Medical Documents by @leenarao ME: Grt idea, good 4 scanning!
I usually agree with Jim and this time is no exception.

If I were an Indpendent MPS trying to sell into the Health Care industry, I would take a very close look. I don't know if they have a reseller or affiliate program, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Meanwhile, I have a question for those globals who paid gezillions for "channels."
Going forward what are the projected margins on organizing health information if the competition is free?
Google Health Now Lets You Upload Scanned Medical Documents
"Whether it be bills, insurance forms, medical records or prescriptions, patients are often inundated with vast quantities of paper. Google Health is now trying to help you organize all of this paperwork in its platform. Google Health, which finally launched last May after months of rumors, has ambitions to become a centralized and secure place to store medical records online.

The new feature lets patients upload scanned paper documents into your Google Health account. Google particularly suggests that you upload an “advance directive,” which determines your end-of-life wishes so that your family and doctor can honor them if you get sick and are unable to communicate. Google Health is actually working with a advance directive provider, Caring Connections, to provide a free, downloadable form customized for all 50 states. In order to complete the form, you need to download it, print it out, complete it, scan it, and upload it back to Google Health."

A twitter experiment re fixing high school with clickable A4's and/or newspapers

So I just posted:
ToughLoveforXAny ideas about mashing up #googletalks + @wikitude + @printyourtweets to get to #newspapers + #QR instead of #textbooks for HS #education?

If you want to know about Power Ranking of Newspapers in the States, invest 3 minutes to watch this video

Clickable A4s connecting Print to TV is the new media. Note in this one how it's type+music. No spoken words. Very Cool.

It you want to understand what Obama's election really means, invest an hour to watch this video

Video/audio is the easiest way to learn what's going on. Short form video, traditional TV is limited. Long form video - TV on the web allows the right length for the right content.

Connecting Print to TV of any length is a new communication media.

Blackboard buys cell phone GUI designer. Google Apps builds links to Blackboard,

Whether it's outside in or inside out, Google Apps keeps connecting and connecting. Why not Independent MPS selling Google Apps into education systems? It will drive the IT people nuts.

Official Google Enterprise Blog:
Building blocks:
Connecting Google Apps for Education with Blackboard:
"Because we care so much about integration, we were excited to discover that Northwestern University has been working to integrate Google Apps Education Edition with Blackboard, one of the predominant providers of educational technology. Northwestern was one of the first schools to deploy Google Apps in 2007; it joined our Higher Education Customer Advisory Board as a founding member later that year.

This week at the BB World conference, Northwestern is unveiling a Blackboard Building Block called 'Bboogle' that they have built and are releasing to the community as open source. Building Block includes single sign-on, automated account provisioning, and automated sharing of Google Documents and Calendars through Blackboard course sites.
. . .
According to Jonathan Smith, Software Architect at Northwestern, "I initiated our Google integration project because we were approached by a faculty member in anthropology who had been using Google Apps in his classes. In the past we had used wikis in history classes to allow students to work directly with primary source materials, and it occurred to me that Google Apps could support a much higher level of student and faculty collaboration. By integrating the applications into Blackboard we could make that kind of collaborative learning experience available to more of our students than ever before."

Print on Demand is the Third Wave

from Read Write Blog:
Bits Of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business: Part 1:

The Three Big Waves Hitting the Industry

One massive wave crashing down is confusing enough. But when three crash at the same time, even seeing what's going on (let alone predicting how things will play out) becomes really difficult. These three big new waves are:

  1. The digitization of print books by Google Book Search.
  2. Increasing consumer acceptance of e-books, mostly because of the Kindle.
  3. Print on demand.. . .

Wave #3: Print on Demand

Not everybody wants to pay $359 for a Kindle, particularly when e-books for it are not significantly cheaper than print versions. Also, most books are not yet available on the Kindle, and many (for example, ones with a lot of high-quality images) are not suitable for the device (at least not the current version).

This is where the third wave, print on demand (POD), comes in.

While printing single copies of books using traditional technology such as letterpress and offset printing was simply never economical, digital printing technology now makes it possible.

POD caters to the new long tail: new books that are not best-sellers. Authors go through one of the POD intermediaries: Lulu and Blurb.

In simple terms, the intermediaries allow you, the author, to sell books one at a time. (You could give your book away for free, but you would still have to pay Lulu or Blurb for printing costs.) The model requires no up-front cost from you and no minimum purchase from the reader. Your print-ready content goes to Lulu or Blurb's printing partners, which print and send the books to readers. The printers are willing to work with these intermediaries because they aggregate demand.

You, the reader, see no difference. You order online, pay by credit card or PayPal, and get the book delivered to your home or office.

This initially caught on in the self-publishing and vanity publishing industry, where books often had no market beyond the author's immediate circle of friends, family, and associates. For a good breakdown of the types of publishers in this industry and what to look out for, see this article.

A lot of publishers specialize in this area, including Epigraph, Xlibris, I-Universe, AuthorHouse,, and BookSurge. But they typically require a minimum order, albeit a small one. Blurb and Lulu have used the Web to take this idea to its extreme: no up-front costs, and books printed one order at a time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Walmart is in the Printing Game. Now it could get serious. WalMart v Staples.

The thing about WalMart is that they test. finetune, then massively scale. Maybe WalMart will be the backbone of the printernet?

PNI and Walmart to Offer Printing Services in Canada
from WhatTheyThink:
"VANCOUVER, BC -- PNI Digital Media, ('PNI' or the 'Company'), the leading innovator in digital photography and media solutions for retailers, announces that it has teamed up with Walmart Canada to offer a range of printing services and products to fit the needs of small businesses.

Part of the Walmart PhotoCentre located at, Business Printing enables small business owners and consumers to easily order marketing and business materials using designs provided by PNI Digital Media. Products include business cards, notepads, letterhead, envelopes, fliers and posters."

McGraw-Hill Cuts 550 Jobs as it restrutures it's education dvision

McGraw is a very good company judging by their record of dividends. No doubt they see the handwriting on the wall for K-12 Textbooks. It's just about right sizing. It's still an open question if they can turn the ship all the way around before other first movers eat their lunch. It will be interesting to watch.
McGraw-Hill Cuts 550 Jobs as Part of Restructuring (Update1) - "By Greg Bensinger

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- McGraw-Hill Cos. is cutting 550 jobs, or about 2.5 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring of its education division.

The New York-based company said in a statement today it will record a $24.3 million pretax charge in its second-quarter results, mostly because of severance costs.

“The majority of this has been completed already and the remaining affected employees will be notified in the coming months,” said Steven Weiss, a McGraw-Hill spokesman, in an interview."

Mimeo (HP + Goldman Sachs) keeps coming and coming. A new production facility in the UK is next.

Investors in Mimeo include Goldman Sachs and HP.
If Mimeo gets a facility in Asia or Australia, then grows from there, maybe they will have the best of all printernets for business communication. It's what happens when Fedex, UPS and USPS are just too slow and expensive.

Distribute and print will be better, faster, cheaper. W2P connects it to the Cloud. Zero cost file sending and tracking.
Mimeo brings its on-demand print services for corporates into Europe with UK website
"US digital print firm Mimeo has taken its first steps in a bid to expand into Europe with the establishment of a UK web�site and plans to open a Eu��ropean manufacturing centre.

The web-based company has launched, offering UK pricing and paper formats. It is also in the process of recruiting a 20-strong sales force to target the UK market.

Mimeo chief executive Adam Slutsky said: '5% of our business is outside of the US without us even marketing it as an option.'

Initially, the firm will print work for the UK at its New Jersey factory on the east coast of the US and then ship it into the UK.

However, it plans to have a European manufacturing centre in operation by the end of 2010. By then, it also plans to have rolled out the service to Germany and France.'We estimate that the western European market is 70% of the size of the US,' said Slutsky."

GO OCE! Next stop is versioned newspapers instead of textbooks in K -12 education.

From reading the press release (see snippet ) it sounds like all the pieces have been tested in the field.

All you have to do is to replace "consumer" with "teacher" and "micro-zoned" with "classroom."

If you can get a newspaper publisher to see the opportunity in editing to standards for learning, instead of editing for the news cycle, refreshable content is done. But, if you can't get their attention, we'll find some awesome freelance creatives to do the content and design of the paper part.

Then we'll get some hospitals and public health organizations to put in ads to pay for the whole thing and supply Free Versioned Newspapers instead of textbooks to every ed system in the States.

Then add CodeZ QR codes to get the data.
Since the only thing any manager wants is the data in the form of actionable intelligence my bet is that they will love if.

Oce Helps Make Personalized Washington Times
- Printing Industry News from WhatTheyThink:
"Trumbull, CT – Oce, an international leader in digital document management and delivery, today announced a successful proof of concept of a personalized The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. Details of the program were presented at the recent INC3 Individuated Newspaper Conference. Oce was one of several sponsors for the INC3 event.

Micro-zoned and personalized newspapers have gained attention as ways to reinvigorate the struggling newspaper publishing industry. Digital color printing plays an essential role in providing totally variable, consumer-selected media."

Amazon? Apple? RIM? HP? Nope. Assustek of Taiwan

Euromerica has a blind spot for South East Asia. It's difficult, but not that hard to focus on Japan, but the history of South East Asia is either as a market or a workshop. As the economic engines in a global economy keep moving, that's a big mistake. Most globals are still looking at South East Asia as an opportunity to sell more stuff.

They should be looking at it as the real competition for market share in the States and Europe. Sooner or later both offset and digital presses designed and produced in Asia will be the problem for globals in the States. It's going to be better faster cheaper for the user, but with lower and lower margins for the globals. Not a pretty picture.
From today's Financial Times.
Little laptops snap at the oligopoly
What is the most influential piece of personal technology of the past two years? Amazon’s Kindle? Apple’s iPhone? Research in Motion’s BlackBerry? All of these North American devices are worthy but my prize goes to the Asus Eee PC made by Asustek of Taiwan.
. . .
Few analysts grasped the significance of the Eee because they did not think that people in the developed world would buy a not-very-powerful device with a tiny screen and a small keyboard. Meanwhile, US companies from Dell to Microsoft and Apple gazed studiously elsewhere.

Yet, nearly two years on, evidence of the Eee’s influence is everywhere, from the weak outlook reported by Dell this week to Google’s announcement that it will build a rival to Windows in its Chrome OS operating system, and Microsoft’s move to offer a free web version of its Office software suite.

The Asus Eee, and rival netbooks made by Acer, another Taiwan company, have converted consumers and caused havoc in the personal computer industry, reducing revenues and margins at both software and hardware companies. Everyone except Apple has ended up following Asustek.

Blackboard buys Terriblyclever Design

Terriblyclever Design is a developer of iPhone and mobile Internet applications for education.
The common wisdom in the print industry is that education has no money. But the fact is that there are piles of money in both college and even K-12 education. Blackboard understands it. Textbook publishers understand it.

Sooner or later Printers will see the potential market for Print + QR + cell phones to reinvent education.
Silicon Valley Wire:
Blackboard Acquires San Francisco-Based Terriblyclever Design:

San Francisco -- Blackboard, a Washington, DC-based provider of software and services to educational institutions, said that it has acquired San Francisco-based Terriblyclever Design, a developer of iPhone and mobile Internet applications for education."

As it is with asphalt so it is with paper. Nike gets the value of the physical. They would probably love clickable postcards.

"The way that people treat things changes alot once things are physical.."
Think signs and posters.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Democratic Leadership Council says the Federal Government should spend $15 billion on Kindles or other ereaders. Textbooks? Not so much.

To be clear, this is only a proposal. But the DLC are serious people. On a tweet earlier today I said the education is the defense industry of the 21st century.

Defense has always been a high margin, critical path industry.
A plan to put an Amazon Kindle in every backpack |
"Could the Amazon Kindle help save the nation’s struggling school systems? Yes, according to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

On Tuesday, the DLC, a think tank in Washington, D.C., made a proposal asking the government to provide each of the nation’s 56 million K-12 students with a Kindle, or electronic reading device.

The group’s proposal, “A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools,” which was published on their website Tuesday, requests that the government fund a pilot program that would equip some 400,000 students with Kindles, or other electronic reading devices, for an entire year.

By providing each student with a Kindle, the DLC hopes to not only reduce the amount of money schools spent on textbooks, but to give teachers the tools they need to develop an interactive, digital curriculum. The proposal explains some of the advantages of having a Kindle in the classroom including the ability to instantly download updated versions of textbooks as well as literally lightening the heavy load of books students carry to class on a daily basis.

The initial cost of the program would exceed the $6 billion spent on paper textbooks each year by $9 billion. But the authors of the proposal, Thomas Z. Freedman, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, and Blair Levin, previously a member of the Obama-Biden transition team, estimate that the project would result in over $700 million in annual savings within five years as the demand for electronic reading devices increases and eTextbook costs begin to drop. If the year-long pilot program succeeds, the group eventually plans to expand the program to outfit every student in the nation with a Kindle, or electronic reading device, within four years.

InfoPrint v HP v Oce v Stream in full color continuous feed. InfoPrint in the lead around the first turn!

I'm pretty sure Oce has them beat on black and white books. As for newspapers my take is Oce then HP then Screen in the States. Don't yet know enough about about the rest of the world.

At any rate, 50 InfoPrint installations around the globe could turn into a pretty resilient printernet. Add some QR codes and Tinyurls to the transpromo stuff and maybe IBM + Ricoh will help make high school kids smarter.

Assuming of course IBM could get focused. Until then, I'm betting on Google + everybody else.

InfoPrint Solutions Company Establishes Leadership in Digital Color Production Printing
: "BOULDER, CO--(Marketwire - July 15, 2009) - InfoPrint Solutions Company, a joint venture between IBM and Ricoh, today announced its leadership in the digital color production space with more than 50 global installations of its full-color, continuous forms inkjet drop-on-demand printing system, the InfoPrint 5000. Many of these systems have been implemented to enable TransPromo applications, as well as to produce Print-On-Demand (POD) books."

OkiData moves into MPS. OkiData v XRX v HP v Ricoh v etc.etc

Oki Launches Program For MPS-Shy Resellers
"Oki Data Wednesday launched Total Managed Print, a new three-tiered managed print services program aimed at resellers, particularly those uneasy about entering the MPS arena.

In addition to offering an array of services, the Mount Laurel, N.J.-based company is including color and mono printers as part of its MPS program.

The entry-level program, PageStart, is aimed at resellers that are new to MPS or hesitant to get their feet wet. It provides a simple, turnkey channel program that opens the door for partners to sell, service and support cost-per-page and small MPS accounts.
. . .
Oki is facing some stiff competition in the MPS arena, particularly with Xerox (NYSE:XRX). However, the company said that there are some major options that its program offers that Xerox doesn't, including hardware training and proactive service alerts. . . .

Oki plans to launch the next two levels of its MPS program in the third quarter. Resellers that are already familiar with MPS may want to look at Oki's FleetAssist MPS program. In this case, Oki provides infrastructure to support partners on a one-off or single-basis MPS contract.

FleetAssist is aimed at channel partners that don't have an existing MPS business model but have opportunities they need help in closing. In this case, opportunities have to be prequalified for revenue opportunity at significant enterprise levels. If accepted, Oki's infrastructure is used to fulfill whatever necessary services are required to deliver the MPS agreement on behalf of the channel partner.

The services are priced to the channel partner on a cost-per-page and fixed monthly fee basis. These services include competitive financing through a three- to five-year leasing agreement; national on-site and advanced exchange service; fleet blueprinting; life-cycle asset management; remote monitoring of service and consumables; and training and other change management consulting and materials.

The third level of the program is MPS FullAccess, which provides channel partners with complete access to Oki's full MPS infrastructure and well as methodologies and resources that minimize cost, risk and time to market.

MPS FullAccess starts with a complete MPS planning session to access a partner's current capabilities, long-term objectives and a step-by-step plan to reach their goals.

The program requires a contract that allows Oki Printing Solutions to place its hardware where it deems necessary. In other words, Oki gets first rights to place its own printers when they sign an agreement.

Greg Walters v Printing News v HP Press Release. I'll go with Greg.

This morning I found this @ twitter:
@ToughLoveforX HP guarantee is just a credit
Greg usually gets it just right. I don't know enough to know but assuming he's right, c'mon HP give me a break! Yesterday I tweeted:
Wow! HP puts some skin in the MPS game.#Ricioh, #Xerox ,Ind #Managed Print Ur move: "HP Payback for MPS Customers
The tinyurl took me to an article at Printing News, where I found
If qualified enterprise customers do not reach their projected savings goals within 12 months of implementation of HP Managed Print Services (MPS), HP will make up the difference.
So then I did a Google search and found this at Information Week:
HP would pay customers back by crediting the difference against future invoices. It's not clear how disputes would be settled between HP and customers that did not agree with the findings of the reassessment.
So then I went to the HP Press Release and found this:
# HP Printing Payback Guarantee – If qualified enterprise customers do not reach their projected savings goals within 12 months of implementation of HP Managed Print Services (MPS), HP will make up the difference.(3)
So then I went to the footnote and found this:
3) HP will credit the difference between projected and actual cost savings against future invoices.
So then I went to Greg's Blog and got the straight story:
Here's the deal with this guarantee:

First, there is a low probability that HP will ever need to credit any client. There is practically now way that any company will not be able to save money after implementing MPS, anybody's MPS, because most have no idea and no control of printing costs.

Also, HP will perform an in depth, detailed FEE BASED, assessment before offering the guarantee - they will know where all the skeletons are buried and exactly how much they can save their client. Ratchet that number back 10% and savings can be guaranteed.

Third, this is a great marketing technique(opposed to a marketing scheme) for a the client to be offered the guarantee, a three year hardware/supplies/service agreement must be initiated - delicious.

Fourth, after the first year HP performs another assessment, not sure if this one is fee based, to determine the delta between projected and actual savings.

If the projected is less then the actual, HP issues a credit - not a check. You tell me, if HP knows they need to find $100,000 of savings, they will find $101,000 - genius. One can only wonder what happens if the proposed savings ends up being more then actual - will the client issue HP a credit?

I am sure this move will be dissected ad nauseam.

This is a Enterprise Account issue - and for most of the channel, this announcement won't effect day to day activity.

I'm hoping Greg will send out his headlines on Twitter, so I don't have to go back to my RSS feed. Twitter is easier. I always do easier.

TouchSmart joined by Lexmark. Only cheaper. Is your MFP Google ready?

Better, faster, cheaper is the trifecta. Usually cheaper + faster + good enough is good enough.
Lexmark Debuts Web-Connected Printer:
"Printer maker Lexmark International announced its full 2009 inkjet all-in-one (AIO) product line to be officially released on September 1, 2009, which includes eight AIO inkjets aimed at small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). The new line includes three Web-connected touch screen AIOs with Lexmark's myTouch capacitive 4.3-inch touch screen technology. The touch screen AIOs will be available at price points ranging from $199 to $399."
. . . Examples of these widget-like solutions include shortcuts and workflows ike customizable productivity features such as group faxing, scan to email templates and others, ID card copy, which allows businesses to scan an ID card and print both sides of the ID on a single sheet of paper, and RSS feeds, be it business, weather, sports news, a company intranet or whatever else the user needs to access via RSS is available directly on the touch screen and can also be e-mailed directly from the AIO.

Print is valuable when it is the "Voice of God"

I found a very good piece on twitter this morning, so I tweeted.
ToughLoveforXBrilliant explanation of the difference btwn Print v Online. Batch v real time. There is a right time for each .
The blog is by Cody Brown:

Cody Brown lives in Brooklyn. Goes to school at NYU. He is the founder of the daily campus news blog NYU Local, the publisher of The Tisch Film Review, on the board of CoPress, and currently interning at

Follow him on Twitter. Facebook Friend Him. Smack him with a LinkedIn. Email him. Or just reach into his left pocket and vibrate. All messages go to the same place.

Here are some snippets from the post in question.
print works best in batch and online works best in real time.
. . .
How should a great paper develop its brand?
As the voice of god. Most of the biggest city newspapers took The Times’s lead in the 1890’s and have since spent a century developing their brand as public trusts that get it right the first time, all the time. When two city newspapers are in competition with one another, it is a war of access and infallibility
. . .
How should a print newspaper publish information about a developing story?
Cautiously. It should triple check it’s information and call every source involved in the story to give them an opportunity to comment. The consequences are great when Newspapers publish something wrong, it doesn’t take more than a few careless edits for a newspaper brand to fall to pieces.
. . .
How should it output its work?
Into tight neatly written comprehensive articles that it can then sell as part of a wire service. Articles meant to exist as a ‘first draft of history.’

Who should edit and produce a print newspaper?
Professionals. It’s expensive. A finite number of pages means a constant question: what is newsworthy to the most number of people?

"Serious" Print implies credibility.
That doesn't mean that everything is print is true. But it should mean that someone purports that it is as true as it can be. That's what Cody is pointing to when he says that a Print Newspaper is meant to speak with the "Voice of God."

When a high school student "writes" on the web or with SMS on a phone that's just coding a conversation into letterforms. Same thing on twitter. That's why it's easy and fun.

Once those words are captured in Print they can be shared with parents and communities of interest. When words are captured in Print they imply more than a conversation between people. They represent as the product of reflection. Words-in-print are not necessarily true, but the very media implies focus and consideration. Focus and consideration is how a kid practices thinking and integrates new learnings.

A blog lives somewhere in between.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Google Chrome OS means a new value for Print. If and only if the Print is clickable.

Perfect storms don't happen that often. The mobile web was first articulated back in 1996, by Larry Ellison. Since timing is everything, it didn't work then. But that was then, this is now.

The two mobile media are smart phones and Print. Put a QR code and a TinyUrl on the print piece and it's easy to go from one to the other. Add Cloud enabled MFPs for the enterprise. Then add Chrome OS, and you have the under $99 web appliance for everybody else.

Everybody else is the mass market. Mass markets mean Print is back in the game.

Google Chrome OS Could Be Pivotal in Cloud Revolution - -
"Google Chrome OS is arriving just in time to take advantage of the perfect storm of cloud services, cheap hardware, and a new generation of platform-agnostic users. Unlike other Linux-based OSs, Chrome has brand recognition that even the biggest neophyte could get comfortable with.Larry Ellison of Oracle was touting the benefits of the network computer back in 1996. He was ahead of his time. People weren't ready for the network computer, and the network certainly wasn't ready for the people.Fast forward to 2009, when many people view computers as mere tools to connect to the Net."

IBM + Ricoh Can Fix High School Ed and make some $$ in the process

According to a story coming out of Mobile Alabama, IBM+ is in the education analytics business. But without the Print piece, nothing scales in public education. Print + QR not only fixes attendance, it allows clickable newspapers instead of textbooks. That makes for smarter kids, not just smarter school systems.
IBM helps build smarter school system
: "MOBILE, Ala. - IBM announced today that Mobile County Public Schools has selected IBM analytics technology to more effectively measure student performance, immediately identify students 'at risk,' and adjust academic programs in real-time in order to best deliver smarter education services that prepare students with 21st century skills.
. . .
"Through invaluable information insights delivered by IBM technology, we move closer to fulfilling our mission of graduating citizens who are prepared with the skills they need for the 21st century."

IBM analytics and business intelligence is also expected to help MCPSS comply with ARRA transparency and reporting mandates. Despite intense fiscal pressures around the world, economic stimulus programs offer the opportunity to foster real innovation in the way education is delivered.

Here's the $$$$ part:
$1.7 billion has been earmarked to the State of Alabama, of which $26 million will go directly to MCPSS under Title I, which constitutes funds to help educators improve education for academically at-risk students and close the achievement gap among schools while stimulating the economy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

MPS, MFP, Google Apps. A twitter exchange.

Interesting-to-me exchange over at Twitter this morning.
infotrends_mps@ToughLoveforX Not sure that I see the #mps cxn... for MFP-connected doc mgmt and collaboration, definitely!
The issue-to-me under discussion is the idea that indpendent MPS should become Google App resellers. The exchange is about the connection of MPS to Google Apps. The argument for independent MPS is that it can level the playing field when the globals come in with the IT piece. Usually that just makes it harder to get any respect from the IT people in the Enterprise.

Earlier this morning I did at post about Google Apps + Indpendent MPS.

Since it's hard to have a nuanced exchange 140 characters at a time, here's how I see it.

The greatest value is created by solving the hardest problem. The hardest problem in every enterprise is information overload. All the globals have systems to solve the information overload problem. For my money, I would take Google Apps over any of them for lots of reasons. Mostly because I already know how to use Google. Secondly because Google has no choice but to continue with seamless up grades.

If I were still in the game, the $50/seat selling price would be a pretty easy sell. Add to that Google has an online program to learn how to integrate their software, and it seems to get to a "why wouldn't I do that" plateau. Always the right place to be to make a risk/benefit decision.

Late last week I learned that Sharp boxes have open access to the Cloud. I assume, but don't know that all the serious MFP's have access to the Cloud. Ricoh speaks to IBM and SAP in the enterprise. I assume each box manufacturer and VAR will speak to parts of the Cloud.

Probably there are some patches that still have to be refined. It's probably already done, but haven't gotten on my radar.

The way I see the value of MPS is that it enables content and collaboration happen in the Cloud AND enables that content to be output in Print anywhere, anytime. As soon as you cut through the Print is Dead blabla and focus on the fact that Print is the most mobile push media, it seems clear to me, that MFPs acheive their breakthrough value when they are seen as on and off ramps to the Cloud. for MPS in US. GAE for finishing equipment in UK. I love accountants.

Once the data is available and the funny money runs out, everyone has to get smarter. That means less economists and more accountants.

Accountants are engineers for business processes. No interest in blablabla. Just show me the money. ROI is a great thing to sell, if you really have the numbers. Otherwise, it's just blablabla.

The money sentence in the snippet:
GAE has partnered with business auditing company CGS to identify the savings and improvements."
The snippet:
GAE offers efficiency reviews for printers
"West London-based GAE will arrange audits that will formally observe production processes, recording details of time, power, waste and lost revenues. The audits will also assess quality standards, environmental impact and the carbon footprint size.

Visits to companies will be followed up by a report of the findings, as well as recommendations for improvements.

As part of the inititiave, GAE has partnered with business auditing company CGS to identify the savings and improvements."

Google Tech Talks + YouTube + Clickable Newspaper + Tests = Graduate Education

Here's the link to Google Tech Talks Channel on You Tube. Check it out to see what I mean about the content of graduate education. The YouTube part makes if free and personal TV. View on the mobile, in the living room or on the computer. The Clickable Newspapers are reinvented textbooks.

Tests are to be able to sell certificates. Selling certs is the high margin business.

The Clickable Newspaper (reinvented textbook) piece:

One possible version of the words
This year, a new transportation bill will be working its way through Congress, and now is the time to talk about bold new ideas for a 21st century transportation system. The Transportation for America Campaign, a national coalition to drastically reform the transportation bill, is bringing people together across the country to hear about the projects and visions for change that people have. How we will move people and goods more cheaply and protect our environment? What do we need in a national transportation system to compete in the global market? What do we need to get from our homes to our jobs or to school? How do we build a transportation system that helps us reach our climate change goals?

Join the Google Town Hall Meeting on Transportation to learn about the Transportation for America Campaign, talk about critical transportation needs for the region, and discuss how we can get there. Congress is talking about $500 billion for transportation - what do you want to spend it on?

+ A Human Readable URL + QR code

QR code generator

The Video

The Conversation
"Why are they going around now after the bill is passed. To think that they just appropriated that amount of cash without prior planning of what was needed and where it should be spent just makes me want to drop a bomb on congress."

"The way she talks about jobs is so typical of a government employee. "We need to create as many jobs as possible". No you don't! You need to ensure efficient and cost effective transportation. Part of that is only creating as many jobs as necessary. . . . I guess if you have $500 Billion to throw around you could just give everybody a shovels to maintain the roads and get full employment in a jiffy."

"Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on the board of directors of "New America Foundation". They talk alot about the "new" NAU rail system coming. People have no clue."

"I am a threat to the industry. I am a threat to workers in white-collar. I am a threat to the old. I make history. I Make Industry. I make Innovation"
Publish in a Clickable Newspaper for High School Kids. Compare and Contrast. Repeat as needed.

Congrats to Jim Rise and Jeff Blank. Color Cube (Qube) came from Oregon.

I should have guessed it came from Oregon's Silicon Forest. I was pretty sure it didn't come from Stamford Connecticut. I was hoping it came from Rochester. I assumed it came from Japan.

Although I'm from Brooklyn, I love engineers no matter where they live. The fact that it's American based ingenuity is just something that adds to the fun.
Reviewing the week in Oregon tech news -
Silicon Forest:
"• Jim Rise (right), Xerox's top executive in Oregon, is leaving his role as head of the company's solid ink group and becoming a vice president for a North American sales group. He remains the senior executive at Xerox's Wilsonville campus.

• Jeff Blank (below) takes over as vice president of solid ink products. Bank was previously head of solid ink product development and oversaw development of Xerox's new ColorQube printers"

Google Apps + MFP = Independent MPS

Which IT person is going to look down their nose at a "copier" sales person who is partnered with Google? Consider the brand power of "Family Owned Copy Shop, A Google Partner." All it needs is a logo.

Last week the battle was joined when Google announced Chrome OS. I got the point to the Baltimore Sun article from twitter.
myunblinkingeye Clash of the Internet titans
The article is about Google v Microsoft, but it's the start of a global struggle for control of the mobile web.
Clash of the Internet titans -

. . . .whom do you root for in Microsoft vs. Google? Perhaps, at this point, we should simply cheer that there's any competition at all."
I would frame it as facilitated user network enterprises v value chain enterprises. It's Google, Amazon, Apple v Microsoft, IBM, HP. Underlying that titanic war is another that might even be bigger: telecoms and handset makers fighting for control of the infrastructure.

Microsoft owns the network. IBM and HP "own" enterprise computing. Google, Amazon and Apple don't own anything, they facilitate exchange through the Cloud. Google mostly facilitates information exchange. Amazon mostly facilitates stuff exchange. Apple mostly facilitates media exchange. But all three continue to grow. The power and value of networks increase with the square of the number of users.

Consider Google
Google has translated its search engine success into a growing number of Web-based services, including Google News; Gmail; Google Video; Google Maps; the controversial Google Books Library Project, in which universities from around the world have opened their libraries for Google to scan and compile; and a mobile phone operating system, Android.
The writer left out Google Apps. That's where Google meets MPS. Google Apps is moving into enterprise intranets. Clip on the MPFs and a Print button on that's MPS.

Google Apps + MFP = Independent MPS
I assume, but don't know, that the serious players in MFP are Google enabled. All I'm trying to say is that they can seamlessly clip into the Cloud. HP's TouchSmart is a touchscreen on a printer. Nice. It's a game advancer, but it's not a game changer. I know that Sharp is designed for seamless integration with the Cloud.

Meanwhile Google Apps continues to make headway in government and education enterprises. They have a reseller program. They do all the support and customer service. It should be an easy sell for independent MPS.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

If you don't know what you are measuring, metrics are much, much worse than useless

"Metrics!" says the CEO.
"Metrics!" says the CFO.
"Metrics!" says the CMO.
"Metrics!" says the Sales Manager.

But as it is in education, so it is in marketing, so it is thinking about the economy. Numbers are powerful. Good numbers help make good decisions. Bad numbers help cover awful decisions.

If you can't say precisely what a number is pointing to, it's a bad number.
Dangerous Fallacy in GDP Measures --
Seeking Alpha
: "One of the themes of this blog has been trying to view the current state of the world economy as it might be observed in the circumstances of today, rather than through any particular perspective derived from academic economists. As part of that process, one of the problems with economic theories that I have identified is the obsession with GDP figures as a measure of the health of an economy. I might even go as far as to say that the subject has become something like an obsession of my own. As such, I hope that I will be forgiven a post devoted to the subject, and which pulls together some earlier points that I have made."

. . .Whichever approach is taken, the key point is that the measure is made of activity, and therein lies the problem. A whole host of factors might determine activity, but they offer no indication of the health of an economy.

. . . It seems to be a perfectly rational and clever idea, that an economy's output might be measured through the activity in the economy. However, if an economy is being financed in part by debt, the meaningfulness of the measure completely disappears.

. . . The problem that then arises is how to determine the actual health of an economy. The answer is actually surprisingly simple. The actual health of an economy overall is determined by whether the economy can be sustained without any borrowing. If borrowing is necessary in aggregate, whether the source of the borrowing is private or public, the economy is unhealthy. In other words, an economy's sustainability is determined by the ability for the economy to have aggregate output which matches the aggregate consumption.
read the full post by clicking the title.