Friday, October 30, 2009

This Morning's Press Releases and a thought provoking post by Dr Joe Webb

One of my favorite things is Following are the interesting(2me) PR releases I found. I hope some of them are interesting(4U).
Net earnings up at Valassis. | "FSI Q3 $92.6 million, up 1.3% |
FSI's are a perfect print product.
They have evolved over along time to facilitate exchange. I'm pretty sure that if the FSI format was repurposed in the service of learning, it could be a killer app. The excess capacity and low cost/per information delivered makes FSI's and newspapers in general a perfectly evolved tool with a close to real time delivery logisitics to give textbooks in K 12 a real run for their money.

Vistaprint reports 27% increase in revenue <> Print is back
Vista results show that W2P and the SMB space probably has a long way to run.
"open Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities of both XMPie and Twitter tools" | Go Xerox !
Putting together Twitter and Xmpie to create QR codes and Rurls? (It's their word. I assume it's Relational URL or a typo) is a great step. This is the first one to get on my radar.

Grafica Editora Pallotti buys a Goss M-600 press for new facility, Sao Leopoldo, Southern Brazil
I think the tweet speaks for itself.
Interesting graph @WhatTheyThink by @wttrec <>
As usual Dr Joe Webb raises issues beyond the Print industry. In this one he highlights the dangers in using "data" to make predications about what's next.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Technology is nice, but new business models change the world. This week is step one for print. Go Oce! Go Esquire!

Technology takes a long time to get just right. The internet started in the 1960's. When Mosaic was released it was a huge step. When Google went public, the history took a step sideways.

Digital print started when Xerox introduced the Docutech in the early 1990's. QR was invented in the 90's in Japan. This week the signs are getting clearer that the world of print may be taking a step sideways this year.

First this story at
The paper, called Niiu, is all about consumer choice: it gives readers the freedom to choose the types of articles they want to read, culled from a wide range of German and international news sources. After registering on Niiu's website,, readers can access other newspapers online and select the pages or sections they find interesting, designing their own specialized paper. But instead of reading it online, Niiu is printed overnight and delivered to the subscriber's door the next morning, just like any other newspaper.
Then this story at

It’s time to get excited about magazines again. The National Magazine company is championing augmented reality with its December edition of Esquire.Link

Readers will be able to hold the US edition in front of a webcam and an on-screen image of the magazine will, spring to life with letters flying off the cover.

As the magazine is shifted and tilted, the animation on the screen will move accordingly while cover star Robert Downey Jr. emerges out of the on-screen page in 3-D.

The animation is triggered by a box located just below Downey's cover image which resembles a crossword puzzle and hits news stands on November 16.

For the last 10 or so years, the world of print has tried to evangelize the power of digital print. Inside the trade, it seems so obvious. But tipping point changes don't happen inside a trade.

The enormous efforts at "educating the customer, the PSP, the CMO" have not been successful at scale. It's not because the industry has done a bad job. It's because "real" means new business models.

Now that all the pieces have fallen into place, the era of "education" will probably be replaced by the era of execution.

Print is back.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

PrintFleet + De Lage Landen for Print Management in the Cloud for resellers and OEMs.

With this solution, all that is required to manage fleets of office document equipment is a web browser."
from imageSource Magazine
Under this partnership, PrintFleet’s managed print services infrastructure and data collection software are combined with De Lage Landen’s financing, billing & collection in one solution.

This is a solution, hosted by De Lage Landen, for suppliers of document output devices and related services, which helps to reduce total cost of ownership of office equipment while at the same time optimizing back-office operational processes of the suppliers.

It provides resellers and OEMs the unique combination of brand-independent secure print management, total fleet intelligence, billing, collection and reporting, without the need to invest in a costly infrastructure associated with self-hosted systems. With this solution, all that is required to manage fleets of office document equipment is a web browser."

Score for Xerox! MPS and Marketing with Universal Orlanda Resort

From Press Release
Xerox worked with Universal to study the organization's work processes, and the costs associated with printing, sharing and updating scripts, proposals and promotional material. Using its Lean Six Sigma-based assessment, Xerox designed an office environment that aligns to Universal's print budget targets, security policies and environmental sustainability objectives. The company provided on-site training and change management tips to help Universal's team members adapt to the new technology and work processes."
The following is the really interesting part. It's a lovely example of bringing together the MPS piece with the marketing piece. Very nice.
Universal also collaborated with Xerox to test a cross-media, one-to-one marketing campaign leveraging industry-leading XMPie® PersonalEffect® software. For Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 19 (, the two companies co-developed and launched an e-mail marketing campaign using the customization capabilities of PersonalEffect. A personalized video and poster were created in which the recipient's name and other relevant information is featured in both print and sound.

The value of Print + 2d codes in Education is to create actionable intelligence.

An under appreciated fact about K -12 education is the amount of time wasted in non value producing activities. The inconvenient truth is that at the bottom of the pyramid, the time on task is minimized because of a combination of business processes and a student population that has not internalized middle class norms.

The usual reponse has been to spend significant resources to inculcate "middle class" values. Based on results, the benefits earned have been minimal given the results attained.

Another approach that seems to be working is to focus on early warning signals and then appropriately intervene to keep a small problem from becoming a large problem. The research says that failing a course as a freshman, attendance issues and homework non compliance are good early warning signs that a student is at risk of becoming a high school dropout.

The real problem is getting real time data that can be turned into actionable information to respond to the first signs of failure.

This morning, I stumbled across a blog post by Andy Ramsden at QR codes at Bath .

1. student accesses their profile on institutional website and visits their assignment area. This displays what assignments are due to be handed in, and when. They print of the assignment cover sheet. This automatically includes lots of details, including a QR Code. The QR Code contains the unique ID (student number), unit and assignment number.

2. when they hand in the assignment they include the coversheet (as they have to anyway)

3. the assignment is scanned using something like
Step 4 is the pay off.
4. the details are logged. This enables staff to run various reports, and cross reference with extensions etc., they can also identify who hasn’t submitted and contact them if required.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Riso keeps on keeping on. It's about evolution.

I found this in my OutputLinks morning email.

A Mid-Volume Statement Service Provider Shifts from Over Printing Static Offset Forms with Monochrome Data to Single-Pass Full Variable Color Production in Its Evolution toward TransPromo.

The money paragraphs follow:
RISO ComColor printers employ industrial-strength Piezo inkjet print head technology to print at speeds up to 150 ppm or 9,000 full color pages per hour for a full color printing cost of less than 3 cents, and a monochrome printing cost of one-half cent or less per page.

. . . duty cycles of 500,000 while eliminating any special power requirements or the need for additional cooling.
"in Its Evolution toward TransPromo"
Transpromo is not an end state. The value proposition is crystal clear on the face. The real issue is that it's a constantly evolving practice. Buying any box is merely one more step in a natural evolution whose pace is determined by needs of present customers.

The trick is not where to go, but how to get from here to there.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How a Print global can get market share in the United States High School education industry.

The short story is to invent new ways to use Print to help Knowledge Works to fruther their mission and develop new business models.
KnowledgeWorks: developing and implementing innovative & effective approaches to high school education in the States.

The longer story
If you follow my tweets, you will see the data points. Consistent with my academic training so many years ago, I learned to find the footnotes first. Maybe someday it will evolve into a book.

With all the buzz about emerging markets in BRIC countries, an under appreciated "emerging market" in the United States is our education delivery system at the bottom of the pyramid.

Clearly it's broken and much too expensive for the new normal. I don't think it's necessary to make the argument, but suffice it to say that
ToughLoveforX Chicago has some 50,000 #HSdropouts between the ages of 16 and 21.
ToughLoveforX "four schools “that give us 51 percent of our #hsdropouts," Seattle. | The right lens is epidemiology
And most importantly:
ToughLoveforX "On any given day, nearly 23 percent of all young Black men ages 16 to 24 who are #HSdropouts are in jail, ..." St Louis
As usual, new business processes are not implemented until the old ones are broken. Given the financial stress in the States and the new sheriffs in Washington, it's clear that a system that was designed to filter and time train agricultural workers is no longer sustainable. Now that America is forced to compete for resources with the rest of the world, wasteful systems are running out of money. Like other businesses, when the money stops coming, new business models emerge.

The disruptive innovation is online learning.
The overhead of much of the education business is becoming unnecessary. Once overhead costs are changed into variable costs, learning can scale to the bottom of the pyramid.
ToughLoveforX "expected to grow, because virtual learning programs are popping up all over." | Gr8 for #hsdropouts & ed budgets.
ToughLoveforX "The state of Missouri runs a virtual school", | Gr8 for #hsdropouts & ed budgets.
ToughLoveforX "districts now can get state funding for virtual. . The law was changed this summer". | Gr8 for #hsdropouts & ed budgets.
ToughLoveforX "students in college , working on high school degree . Similar program in South Texas .. great success." #hsdropouts
Print will fit in different places in different ways. That's the hard part. Seeing where the whol thing is headed is the easy part.
RT @ManiBodhi Map of Future Forces Affecting Education | Brilliant. One fav: "Agile, smart schools"
From the National Association of Scholars at Princeton comes the clearest most sensible story about what formal education might look like in 10 and 20 years out.
"In 2024, the movement to close state colleges and universities crested." National Association of Scholars at Princeton