Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Illuminations on e-waste

boy on toner

The green movement is considered by some to be a fad or sales gimmick. Others know that it is in fact very important for ecological as well as financial reasons. However all other reasons aside I would like to divert your attention to the article below, written by guest blogger Amanda Brand (Go Green - N - Save Blog) from Jetscape Copier and Cartridge Warehouse in Fort Myers, Florida.

Technology is ever changing and growing. What is new today, is old hat tomorrow. Americans always want to be on the cutting edge, but what happens to the old technology? Many places have “e-waste” drop off points, and most of us assume that the computer, toner, or cell phone we drop off will be responsibly recycled.

Sadly this is not always the case. Monitors, motherboards, and toner cartridges are extremely difficult to recycle due to lead, mixed materials, and hard plastic parts. Many recyclers have a hard time turning a profit by actually recycling these components due to the extremely technical nature of the process and the equipment that much be used. It is much easier to sell the waste to “recyclers” in China illegally. This just passes the problem to people who are much less equipped to deal with the recycling process.

The town of Guiyu, China seems to be an end of the road for much of this waste. The streets are littered with piles of monitors, toners, cell phones, and other technological waste. The toxins in the land and water are so bad they need to have their water shipped in. The air is leaden with lead and other carcinogens. Those who live here attempt to reclaim the usable materials from some of this e-waste by burning the plastic away causing toxic clouds of smoke and fumes. Children play barefoot on piles of obsolete and broken technology.

How can you help? Instead of recycling, we can all cut down our waste by reusing materials. Find a responsible re-manufacturer for your computers, toner cartridges, and other out of date technology. If you don’t know who re-manufactures your materials, call someone who repairs it. If they don’t take it, they will know where to send you. For those things that cannot be reused, take the time to look at the processes of your recycling plant. Ask your local place for a walk through, or at least do some online research.

You can find a 60 Minutes video and article at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n. There is also an article with more information from recharger magazine at http://download.101com.com/rec/Cartridge_Solutions4p.pdf

Monday, December 28, 2009

Assessment Overkill?

Today, while checking Google alerts for "managed print services" my supervisor stumbled upon and forwarded this article to me. Below is a excerpt that got me thinking.

"BMI Systems conducted more than 1,200 interviews with University personnel and reviewed the existing print process thoroughly. Once complete, BMI Systems was able to develop print management programs that helped to digitize much of the process and cut costs. As a result, most of the University’s departments are now using multi-functional technologies and eCopy scan stations. By using these new systems, the higher cost printers, faxes and hard copy distribution have been eliminated."

1,200 interviews with University personnel? Really? I mean... REALLY?

Running over this scenario in my head I had to ask, is this kind of approach worth it? Sure the company did score a contract with The University of Oklahoma, but lets say some one else had beat them out. Talk about hours upon hours wasted. I wonder how many of these nephilim sized assessments have lead to failure and if such endeavors are worth the risk in the long run.

While my company believes in the true value of a precise assessment, it can also be said that from our point of view the above is simply unnecessary and at worse a waste of the customers (not to mention the mps providers) time.

Even worse is that some folks are actually paying their MPS providers ludicrous amounts of money for assessments like this which is absolutely absurd considering some of the best mps providers provide this service for FREE!

All in all I would advise those who are thinking of implementing a managed print services program for their business to take these things into consideration when shopping for the best program for their company. What may seem like a valuable component of a potential mps program may be little more than a glorified waste of time and money.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

$100 IT Professional Contest!

Requirements: Are you an IT professional in this area? Do you work for a company who is not currently a customer of ours? Are there 25 or more printers or copiers at your location? Does your company not currently have a print management program in place? If so...

Be the first IT professional (who meets the above requirements) to respond to this post by emailing us a date and time when you can meet with us to listen to a 30 minute presentation about our managed print services offering at our location. After you have listened to our presentation we will give you.

$100.00 cash.

you can respond by sending an email to nathan.dube@expertlaserservices.com

(you must include your full name, company name and contact info)

The contest ends after we receive the first response.

We will message you back to let you know if you have won.

Ready? GO!

Xerox now selling computers?

According to this article from The Associated Press Xerox has thousands upon thousands of computers (see picture above) in the field.

The Associated Press article:

Xerox argued that stand-alone devices that can print, copy, fax and scan should be considered computers and therefore exempted from property taxes under state law."

The eggnog over at xerox must really pack a punch.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Managed Print Services is a ball!

A disco ball to be exact. By the bosses request, a disco ball, in our new IT/PrintDOME control room. Of course he was probably joking, however... there it is! Come on what did you expect? When it comes to Managed Print Services we wrote the song!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Environmental inkjet evils

From recycler.com:

"Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis has recently visited MBA Group Printers in London and learned that paper that has been used in an inkjet printer cannot be properly recycled. Following her visit, she raised the issue in the European Parliament and called for EU support to help fund economically viable and more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Speaking to the President of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mrs Yannakoudakis said, “We all know the importance of recycling and it’s a given fact that we would expect paper to be recycled once used. I recently visited a printing company, MBA, in my constituency of London, where I found out more about inkjet printing."

Of course aside from the fact that inkjet cartridges are worse for the environment than toner cartridges in regards to the recycling process of the paper said substances are printed on, inkjet printing is generaly far more expensive than laser toner printing from a CPP standpoint. Read more here.

ZINK! Zero Ink Printing Tech

From recycler.com

"ZINK Imaging, Inc. and Pandigital Inc. have publicly announced their alliance to develop and market a new family of printing products that leverages ZINK Imaging’s award winning ZINK® Zero Ink® Printing Technology.

The first product from this alliance is the Pandigital Portable Photo Printer – the world’s first Zero Ink 4x6 inch printer. It will be available in limited release in Q4 2009 with US distribution planned for Q1 2010."

I find this technology rather interesting and wonder if ZINK will ever hit the desktop printing market with said technology...

I suppose only time will tell.

also visit Treehugger for more info about ZINK

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What is your CPS? (cost per sandwich)

Certainly to be one of the most talked about printers on the market this year will be the "Printer Toaster" by Othmar Mühlebach. See the full article from ubergizmo here

This new revolutionary device raises some serious questions from an industry standpoint.

Such questions may include:

What is your cost per sandwich?

How often can we expect printer jams... or for that matter jellys?

Where do you get certified for this model?

How Green is this printer? (Since you can eat the prints, it must be very earth friendly)

Can I scan to my countertop?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Government MPS attempt = Epic FAIL

So it appears some folks at the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing decided to try their hands at creating their own managed print program. I must say I am not surprised what and epic failure it was.

from NBCs website:

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is scrapping its puzzling cost-saving plan to pay employees to turn in their individual computers, according to a press release from Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms.

The BEP wanted to cut printing costs by confiscating the personal printers of a privileged 500-plus government employees, forcing those employees to use the same network printers their lesser colleagues queue to.

Their plan? Offer $75 gift cards to those employees who turn over their printers.

This upset Issa and some government employees. One of those employees complained to the Washington Post that the $75 in shared savings was a waste of money and an unfair bonus to the employees who have had the luxury of printing to their own offices.

See the whole article here.

Glad they looked at their plan and and realized, wow this idea is the product of morons, maybe we should not do this. How would you have felt about buying $75.00 Gift certificates for governement employees with your tax dollars?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Managed Print Services, Beware the Hype!

Here is an excerpt from a spot-on article about the "industry noise" that is coming from the large printer/copier companies in regards to managed print services (from MSPmentor)

A rather interesting trend has emerged in the printer industry: Traditional sales have been weak, so printer makers have been working overtime to say they lead the next-generation managed print services market. No doubt, MSPmentor thinks managed print services offer lucrative opportunities to many MSPs. But the industry noise is becoming overwhelming — and perhaps a bit misleading. Here’s an example of what I mean.

According to Hewlett-Packard:

“In just three years after entering the managed print services (MPS) market, HP has surpassed its competitors according to recent industry analyst studies including Gartner and Photizo Group, and has now been named worldwide leader in number of MPS contracts by IDC.”

At the same time, Xerox, Oki Data and other printer providers have been evangelizing new or expanded managed print services initiatives.

In reality, Xerox was just about the only printer maker talking about managed print services for VARs when we launched MSPmentor roughly two years ago. A prime example: Do IT Smarter and Xerox in early 2008 hosted a road show for PagePack managed print services long before many rivals were out talking about the topic.

See the whole article here.

This article is loooong overdue. I am glad another source for solid MPS information is exposing the charades of these large companies who are "leaders" in managed print services. Honestly HP, Xerox, Oki Data Leaders?? Total Bull...

The CEO of our company who has been developing our PrintDOME managed print services program for 15 years is going a little crazy from receiving phone calls from sales guys who are calling him asking him if hes interested in buying MPS. When one such salesman asked him this he replied, MPS? What is that? and the salesman replied I am not really sure but I am going to a conference for a couple days and when I get back we will be selling it...

I can't write the "R rated" comments that my CEO has for people like this on this blog.

I can't say it enough, the "Big Boys" (Xerox, HP, Oki Data, etc.) are NOT experts in managed print services. Granted they are giants with more money than God, excellent marketing departments and the ability to manage global accounts however the real experts are smaller companies composed of folks like our CEO who have been doing this before the term managed print services even existed.

If you or your boss is looking to get an MPS program for your company please do your homework and look for the real experts. You may very well have a smaller local MPS provider in your area who can give you the best possible MPS program.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Xerox develops chemical armour

Xerox develops chemical armour to extend the lifespan of printer components

From Recycler Magazine's website:

Xerox scientists have developed a new chemical armour that protects photoreceptors. A photoreceptor coated with the new "armour" can survive more than one million revolutions - nearly doubling its usable life. "The long life of the photoreceptor reduces the need for replacement cartridges" say Xerox.

New "super coating" hints at how smart materials, nanotechnology will influence future design of office and production products

Tasked with developing ways to extend the lifespan of printer components - and reduce their impact on the environment - a group of scientists at Xerox Corporation have developed a new chemical armour that protects photoreceptors, the light-sensitive elements in xerographic machines.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Managed Print Services Group on Facebook

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Managed Print Services group on facebook. The group is intended to be a place on the facebook social network for people who work within the MPS Industry to connect with each other as well as customers or those who are simply looking for information about Managed Print Services. Our hope is that experts within the industry will contribute content to the wall stream as well as the discussion page so that together we can aggregate a wealth of information pertaining to managed print services. It should be noted this group is an educational endeavor and not a place to push your products or services and all content will be moderated as such.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Toner Cartridge Wind Chimes

On the heels of my last post about inkjet cartridge lamps, I came into work today and was shown a picture of a creation from our resident handy man Ritchie Vallee. Ritch is usually doing some kind of construction work around our Facility in Southbridge, MA or helping out with toner cartridge remanufacturing.

Known to to be able to make just about anything it was no surprise he had found a way to turn a spent toner cartridge into a functional peice of artwork.

The Toner Cartridge Wind Chime is made from a single toner cartridge which from it hangs burnt out drums and Magsleves. While not the prettiest thing to look at, it sounds like a traditional wind chime.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Inkjet Cartridge Lamps

Don't know what to do with those old and empty Epson inkjet cartridges? Well how about making them into a lamp?

For more information about where to get one or for instructions on how to turn your inkjets into lighting fixtures click here.

One billion dollar Apocalypse

A ZD net blogs post from March 16, 2009 states the following: (read the whole article here)

Managed print services (MPS) will make headway in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan region over the next three years, according to a new report from Springboard Research.

Released Monday, the report noted that the regional MPS market will grow to US $1 billion by 2012

Just in time for what some folks believe will be the end of the world!

The 2012 phenomenon is a range of beliefs and proposals positing that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur in the year 2012.[1][2] The forecast is based primarily on what is claimed to be the end-date of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which is presented as lasting 5,125 years and as terminating on December 21 or 23, 2012. Arguments supporting this dating are drawn from a mixture of amateur archaeoastronomy, alternative interpretations of mythology, numerological constructions, and alleged prophecies from extraterrestrial beings.

A New Age interpretation of this transition posits that, during this time, the planet and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.[3] Conversely, some believe that the 2012 date marks the beginning of an apocalypse. Both ideas have been disseminated in numerous books and TV documentaries, and have spread around the world through websites and discussion groups. The idea of a global event occurring in 2012 based on any interpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is rejected as pseudoscience by the scientific community, and as misrepresentative of Maya history by Mayanist scholars.

Xerox expands MPS offering

From Recycler Magazines website

Xerox today announced Enterprise Print Services (EPS), which it says is the first offering to help companies better manage documents across their global print infrastructure - from the office to the in-house print centre to the virtual workplace. With this move Xerox says it is aiming to solidifying its lead in managed print services (MPS).

Xerox EPS reduces the cost of printing, sharing and updating everything from a home worker's 50-page proposal to full-colour brochures in a marketing department. Extending Xerox's MPS offering to give companies a complete view of worldwide print operations, EPS ensures all document output meets budget targets, security policies, and environmental sustainability objectives.

Read the whole article here

Of special note:

"Earlier this year, Xerox also made its MPS offerings available to small and mid-sized businesses through its global network of channel partners. Xerox currently monitors approximately 1.5 million devices from multiple vendors worldwide."

In response I would say click here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

HP LaserJet II Party Tricks

Recently while managing the videos for my company's youtube channel I came across a list of six videos called "Laser Jet Tricks" The youtube member "Bowerso" has complied a nice series of videos of someone successfully running things like sand paper, and soda cans through and HP LaserJet II. Simply Hilarious. The videos have been posted in sequence below for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A solution to Crowley's "waste lands"

While reading an article about managed print services at www.graphicartsonline.com I came across a quote from Ed Crowely of the Photizo group saying:

"Many companies have uncontrolled buying of printer supplies, says Crowley, resulting in "waste lands" of obsolete toner supplies crowding corporate closets."

"The ideal environment would have users having as much printing and copying capacity as they need with supplies being delivered only when needed," Crowley said. He noted that outsourcing an imaging fleet to a third-party managed print services provider, such as HP or Xerox, ends up "optimizing the imaging environment and optimizing document workflows."

With the concept of Crowley's "waste lands" in mind please check out the above video for the perfect solution to the "waste lands" problem.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Karma in the Managed Print Services Association

Upon registering my ELSBlogger profile on the new MPSA website I noticed an interesting profile dynamic:

37 minutes ago
33 minutes ago

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Eastern Philosophical concept, wikipedia says:

Karma (Sanskrit: कर्म Karma.ogg kárma , kárman- "act, action, performance"[1]; Pali: kamma) in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect (i.e., the cycle called saṃsāra) originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist philosophies.[2]. 'Karma' is an Eastern religious concept in contradistinction to 'faith' espoused by Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), which view all human dramas as the will of God as opposed to present - and past - life actions. In Eastern beliefs, the karmic effects of all deeds are viewed as actively shaping past, present, and future experiences. The results or 'fruits' of actions are called karma-phala.

A concept of karma (along with reincarnation, samsara, and moksha) may originate in the shramana tradition of which Buddhism and Jainism are continuations. This tradition influenced the Brahmanic religion in the early Vedantic (Upanishadic) movement of the 1st millennium BC. Reincarnation was adopted from this religious culture by Brahmin orthodoxy, and Brahmins wrote the earliest recorded scriptures containing these ideas in the early Upanishads.

I am intrigued to know how the MPSA will dish out "Karma points"

Hopefully by walking the correct path within the temples of MPS I wont suffer reincarnation as a laser printer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dark Side Of The Bizhub

While pondering the possibilities of the content of my next blog post I found myself tapping a rhythm on my desk as I often do while brainstorming. With music always floating around in my head I had the novel Idea of trying to produce a drum track made entirely from the sounds of a copier. So with that in mind I launched my recording software and with mic in hand proceeded to record numerous sounds from the Konica Minolta Bizhub 451 in our showroom.

I captured some great clicks and clacks, doors opening and closing and sounds from parts of the ADF in addition to beats made from my coffee cup, stapler, canned air and also a tone from my phone.

What transpired next was the arrangement of said sounds into a song which reminded me of Pink Floyd's money in some ways. So I finished out the song by adding a dark synthesizer and some ominous speech outlining the insanity and frustration of a malfunctioning office copier.

So here is my latest office imaging industry related work of music.

"Information Technology" Enjoy!

Please click HERE to listen to the song.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Would you let a baby sell you an MPS Contract?

Here is a paragraph from the latest from Managed Print Services (MPS) by the Photizo Group

"I believe that HP has seen the light and over two years ago started its major move into services – particularly managed print services. With the acquisition of EDS, HP has been able to offer customers a simpler way of managing their IT infrastructure and their printers. The recent announcement of their new MPS division again shows their services orientation."

(emphasis mine)

-- by Mike Huster, Sr. Consultant and Partner, Photizo Group

This is from Greg Walters Death of the Copier Blog

"HP has established a strong leadership position in the growing MPS marketplace, so to have the support of a company of this caliber brings a great deal of credibility to the MPS Conference and validates its importance to the MPS marketplace," said Ed Crowley, CEO and Senior Partner of the Photizo Group, which is hosting the MPS 2009 European Conference."

Two years huh? Must be nice to have a strong leadership position within the MPS marketplace with only two years experience. I suppose a giant brand name and a well known blue logo must cause some people to forget that they are essentially letting a toddler of the mps industry provide their company with a program that did not even exist a few years back.

Would you let a two year old drive your car? Do your taxes? Manage your company?

Then why would you trust one to provide your company with a managed print services program? Regardless of whether its HP, Canon, Ikon, Konica Minolta or one of the other "Big Boys" the fact remains that all of them have less than a decade experience in the MPS industry.

Sure becuase of their size and brand they may have a global presence with accounts all over the world and may very well seem like experts, but are they really? Some of these large companies are going to start going after smaller accounts and SMBs. If your the CEO of such a company again I would like to ask you:

Would you let a two year old drive your car? Do your taxes? Manage your company?

The answer is of course no.

So when your company is ready for an MPS program do your self a favor and think twice before choosing a provider with a big name and a well known logo and instead, do your homework. Chances are you will find (an albeit smaller) company that has far more years of experience in the field than these imaging industry giants who are really babies in regards to managed print services.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

HP fumbles toner cartridge recycling

When it comes to toner cartridge recycling HP is a funny animal. The moans and groans that come from said beast over the remanufacturing industry is laughable. Here is a snippet from a recent article from Recycler Magazines website entitled

"California’s ink cartridge recycling programme criticized"

Scott Canonico, Environmental Program Manager for HP said that used cartridges are worse for the environment because they are poorer quality and waste more paper.
"With that waste … any benefits of remanufacturing can easily be offset," he said. "That's why HP has stuck with a single use and recycling model – to deliver on our promise of quality and reliability."
This is funny when you read the rest of the article outlining the epic failure that is HPs ink cartridge recycling program, the article states:
The recycling program was designed to cut down on the amount of plastic and metals being sent to landfill. HP and state officials in California had agreed to ship used HP printer cartridges from state offices to Virginia (on opposite coast of the US) to be recycled.
According to The Sacramento Bee, only about 10 cartridges a year are recycled now using the program. More than 600 were shipped by California’s Department of General Services back to Virginia for recycling, but the newspaper says that none have left the agency's loading dock since March. Jim Butler, DGS' chief procurement officer told the paper that DGS is working on a more environmentally responsible purchasing contract requiring that all new state printers be compatible with remanufactured cartridges.
I find it funny that HP criticizes remanufactured toners as worse for the environment because they are poorer quality and waste more paper.
Here at ELS we have been remanufacturing toner cartridges for almost 20 years, and over 90% of our MPS customers opt for our remanufactured toners over OEMs for their machines. Our largest customers, companies, colleges or organizations that have 150-300 or more printers under contract can testify to the quality of our remanufactured toners.
you can see more about our green and earth friendly remanufactured toner cartridges here.
You wont find greenpeace spray painting hate mail on our roof. Can't say the same for HP.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Once upon a time...

Click HERE to find out.

Copiers, Printers and Feng shui.

Feng Shui The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects. Definition from answers.com

Ok, set aside the mystical aspect of this concept and your left with a principle that is most useful in managed print services. How so? Well one of the most important aspects of managing an offices printers and or copiers is the location of a centralized printer as well as the location of smaller desktop laser printers or MFPs. If Chuck from accounting is printing on a machine that has a higher CPC and is doing a thousand prints a month while Susie from sales is using a machine with a lower CPC and does one hundred prints a month then you can see where the principle of said ancient Taoist art comes into play. Such a situation needs some business grade Feng Shui.

Arranging, adding or removing your printers and copiers in a way that is going to maximize productivity and keep your document output costs down is a huge part of MPS and regardless of how much better your positive "qi" energy is flowing when your MPS provider makes said arrangements, additions or removals you will be saving money. One could argue that by making your CEO happy you may very well bring about such positive energy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Destroy a Printer Video Game.

Yes you read right, there is a FREE online game called "Destroy a Printer" who's creators obviously have some pent up aggression against their office equipment. So while you come up with an idea for our 2010 "Destroy Your Printer Video Contest" have at a virtual alternative with weapons like a baseball bat, crow bar and more! you can play the game HERE.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The bigger they are the harder they fall

So according to the channel insider blog and their "Xerox Fires Back on Managed Print Services" article, Xerox seems to be having a fit over all the fuss that HP is making about now being present in the managed print services industry. David Bates, vice president for Xerox's office group is quick to point out that HP is but a startup within the MPS industry despite the fact of their longevity in the technology industry in general. Dave goes on to say "They may have a relationship with the customer, but do they have the experience to know how to optimize these products? Do they have the workflow knowledge?"

What is funny about Xerox throwing stones is the fact that they do indeed live in a glass house. Compared to some smaller companies like us here at Expert Laser Services they too are but toddlers in the realm of managed print services. They are lagging behind or at best only recently catching up to a program like ours that is over 15 years in the making. With that being said it can't be denied that Xerox is a behemoth not unlike HP and I am sure some would say "who cares if your company has been in MPS longer you guys are a small company, a blip on the radar." These oafs of the industry fail to realize that what starts as a small blip may end as the beast who sinks your ship.

Indeed I scoff at these oafs who claim to be managed print services experts. They are but monsters with big budgets and clever marketing teams. Folks who aggregate industry jargon that means nothing to the people who need the product. If you want something done right you go to the experts who have years of experience, of which all the big boys pizazz will never be equal too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Laser Printer Sales, Service and Repair. Plus Managed Print Services!

We sell, service and repair laser printers and copiers. We also offer an excellent Managed Print Services program called PrintDOME which has been developed over the past 15 years and has thousands of printers and copiers under contract. Visit our homepage HERE. We are located in Southbridge, MA.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Canned Food Drive, Please Donate!

I decided to put out a box for a canned food drive in our lobby and donate the food to a local Worcester, MA charity called Rachael's Table. After a week I got two more businesses to allow me to put out donation boxes. Now I am working with a local supermarket to set up a third drop spot. It seems the drive is growing and I thought hey, why not hit the net? So if you or anyone you know would be so inclined please send your canned food or boxed food donations (NO GLASS) to

Expert Laser Services
1 North Street
Southbridge, MA 01550

even if 50 people sent one can it could make a huge difference. The Drive will go until the week before thanksgiving at which point the food will be delivered to Rachael's Table. Here is the info about the food pantry

Rachael's Table Distributes donations to over 40 Charity's in the city of Worcester, MA!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Social MPS

Although you see some examples today, social media still has a long way to go in the B2B realm. I am pleased to say that within the context of our company (a B2B and MPS provider) Social Media has proved to be a valuable addition to our marketing plan. For us, social media has spawned local and international media attention, several prospects and a new customer all in the short few months time that we have had a social media program. As the creative marketing professional who suggested, organized and launched Expert Laser Services social media program I am happy to say that I think B2B social media really has a place within the Managed Print Services Industry.

There was a time when the prospect of working in an office seemed like a creative and or mental death sentence for me. A fate where I would be stifled artistically yet able to pay my mortgage and have health benefits. How ever after several years of being tossed around my company in various odd jobs landing a web/graphic design, SEM/SEO and Social Media Marketing roll I realized this industry could indeed be creative and fun at least from a marketing perspective.

Through musical MPS experiments, printer destruction contests and other oddities I have made connections with a lot great people within the MPS industry and was surprised to find individuals with as much if not more creative flare for the MPS industry as me. Greg Walters "Death of the Copier" blog has provided some inspiration for my Adventures in Office Imaging blog. Granted our sense of humour is a bit different, My focus is a creative perspective on industry relevant topics mixed with humor and knowledge of said focus while "DOTC" has a slightly sarcastic, rather entertaining but very professional and very readable twist on its content which is very much focused on "as they happen" industry developments and industry wisdom as well as great technology tidbits.

Now with the MPSA in place we see people all over this industry starting to garner a focus and determination to move MPS forward (even if the buzz is the low hum of intense activity).

The MPS community is just that, a group of people from large and small companies alike exploring this brave new world of the imaging industry and I am happy to say that social media and creative minds have a place in said brave new world. Which for me is wonderful because being "trapped" in an office has the potential to be a rewarding, creative and humours realm of an industry that has uber potential for incredible financial growth.

To the future MPS and social media I say HAZA!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Destroy Your Printer Contest" Goes annual!

Due to the amazing response we have received for our "Destroy Your Printer Contest" the contest will now be an annual event. With that being said you will all have plenty of time to figure out how to take out your frustrations on your most hated printer or copier. Plus as always there will be a great prize for the winner. Looking forward to July 2010!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Inkjet Anarchy

What kind of inkjet printer would Abbie Hoffman use? An Epson Stylus 760 apparently... Think inkjets are too pricy? Are you a "DIY" kind of person? Well then read the whole article HERE

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our "Destroy Your Printer Contest" Goes International

The destroy your printer contest from Recycler on Vimeo.

Recycler Magazine has done an internet television special about our "Destroy Your Printer Contest" on their RecyclerTV page on their website. You can see the video above.

Click HERE to see the video at Recycler Magazines website.

HP and Gartners "Magic Quadrant" for Managed Print Services

Where will Harry Potter work When He graduates Hogwarts?

Gartners "Magic Quadrant" of course. No doubt the "documentus Printus" charm will be most useful. All kidding aside it seems Gartner has placed HP in the Leaders Quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services (MPS).

From tecsa.com: HP believes this placement, coupled with the latest multifunction printer (MFP) market share standings and customer adoption, demonstrates its ability to provide customers with a robust MPS offering that delivers continued cost savings and increased productivity in the office.

See the whole article by clicking HERE

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is HP ready to Battle?

With not only Xerox but Ricoh readying the troops for a battle against the old giant HP one has to wonder does HP have what it takes to hold its ground? At the same time one might consider how long Xerox or Ricoh would last should they dethrone the behemoth that is HP. With hardware sales projected to be down by as much as 30% by years end these "big boys" of the printing industry know that what will make or break them is the strength of their MPS programs which of course are newbies compared to some smaller companies that have provided solid MPS programs for a decade or more.

Of course the sheer power of the "big boys" will for now provide a shield against any real competition from these smaller groups but all the "jocks" of the industry still have to worry about each other and HP with a 25 year head start in the industry should be pretty embarrassed if they get knocked off their high horse after such a head start.

When one looks at Xerox and
Ricohs various strategic alliances with computer manufacturers and some of the acquisitions they have made, it would be wise for HP to get a reality check if they wish to defend their position within the industry. I suppose in the end only time will tell but for now, lets sit back and enjoy the carnage. The "big boys" screw ups which will inevitably happen as time goes on will make good commentary for the little guys while they chuckle and rest upon their years of experience.

In the words of Mills Lane........ "Let's Get It On!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fried chicken should be sold in a box, not an MPS Program

I would say that in the next few years we are going to be seeing the puppets of the MPS industry crashing and burning in one respect or another. When a company like Office Max offers a "MPS program" which is little more than supplying toner in a way that vaguely resembles that one aspect of a real MPS program these poor folk who hoped that by jumping on the band wagon of the next big thing and cashing in are going to get a call for printer repair, a new machine or some other element of the industry that only the "big boys" offer as part of their program and then they are going to call one of them for help.

Like the child who's mother told them not to play with matches, indeed they will be calling for burn
relief from the experts when their "MPS program" shows its true colors. If you need to outsource many facets of your MPS program, you are not offering a solid MPS program.

Indeed The hotwheels version of a corvette will not win the race against the car of which it is modeled after. So if you are going to buy something in a box, stick with fried chicken and be sure to get your MPS program from a professional company who truly provides what they claim to offer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Concept Printers

Below you will find an aggregate of concept printer blog posts with links back to their respective blogs.

RITI Green Printer uses coffee dregs for Ink

From gizmag.com: The paperless office is a great notion, but in reality there are still many scenarios where the printer needs to be switched on and fed with environmentally unfriendly consumables - paper and ink. Recycling and re-using paper for print jobs has become well entrenched, but the expensive and often frustrating process of replenishing the ink remains an issue for many of us. Which brings us to one of the cleverest recycling ideas to emerge from this year's Greener Gadgets competition - the RITI printer. This design concept by Jeon Hwan Ju takes your coffee or tea dregs, plus a little elbow grease, and turns them into an eco-friendly alternative to conventional ink. Read the whole article here

Wall Mountable Wireless Printer

From engadget.com: A concept printer shown at the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, and designed by Ransmeier & Floyd takes a rather different approach to the concept of a printer. Rather than the usual practice of placing your printer as far out of sight as possible, you'd probably want to place this concept model in clear sight. Presumably battery powered (who would want a cable hanging off the wall?) the printer would communicate wirelessly with the printing device, and then feed the printout into a clear region at the bottom. Read the whole article here

Slim MFP Concept Printer

From idsa.org: The SLIMFP concept is a combination printer/scanner (Multi Functional Peripheral or MFP), which, unlike previous designs, uses the same paper path to both scan and print, without the need to manually change the print head to a scan head, and vice versa. It is extremely compact and can be wall mounted, saving valuable workspace. Read the whole article here

Circular Concept Printer

From boingboing.net: This circular concept printer ("uses rotational, instead of linear, movement to reduce its size") was one of 130 winners of the 2004 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Read the whole article here

Mini-Giant Printer

From tuvie.com: Mini Giant is a robotic printer concept that self-drives itself over a ZINK Paper sheet of any size in order to create a print. The main benefit of the ZINK technology is, it doesn’t require ribbons and ink cartridges. The designer has replaced the ink cartridges and ribbons with a heating system that can radically change its shape. Instead of using large scale paper into the printer, this concept brings this special type of paper laid on any smooth and hard surface. Mini giant is placed on the up left corner of a selected image and it will automatically move slowly on the paper surface. The back side heating place heats the portion it comes over and thus activates the ZINK paper’s crystals. With this small gadget, you can have a large format poster printer right in the palm of your hand. Read the whole article here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Winner of the Destroy Your Printer Contest!

PremaTech Advanced Ceramics in Worcester, MA was the winner, however they declined the free toners! So the runner up - The Cottage Revolution of Wales, MA. is the new Winner!

The Cottage Revolution is a family business run by Marcus Piazzo of Wales, MA. Marcus makes 100% hand made, earth friendly scented soybean candles, jewelry and small seashell and gemstone sculptures. The goal of The Cottage Revolution is to offer healthy and earth friendly products that are made from natural and renewable resources that come from the earth.

In a true act of charity Marcus decided to donate the toner cartridges to The Catholic Charities Mercy Centre of Worcester, MA. A Charity organization where his father works.

The Philosophy of The Mercy Centre:

The Mercy Centre program of Catholic Charities recognizes the rights of all people, including those with special needs. Our goal is to help develop the full potential of each person whom we serve morally, physically, cognitively, emotionally, educationally, socially and vocationally.

We believe that by providing comprehensive educational and employment training opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, mental retardation, sensory impairments, and/or physical challenges combined with attentional, communication, motor, medical, and/or behavioral involvement, we are empowering them to reach this goal.

Here is the Mercy Centre's Website.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Destroy Your Printer Contest Videos

all the submissions will be displayed here. Enjoy!

Please allow a few moments for videos to load upon playing.

Entry for PremaTech Advanced Ceramics Worcester, MA.

Entry for The Mill Street Brews Southbridge, MA.
click here to watch on youtube

Entry for The Alba Rosa Florist Sturbridge, MA.
click here to watch on youtube

Entry for The Cottage Revolution Wales, MA.
click here to watch on youtube.

Entry for My Secret Garden Florist Worcester, MA.
click here to watch on youtube

Monday, June 29, 2009

Destroy Your Printer Video Contest!

Ever want to smash you printer with a bat?

So there has been times in the lives of everyone who has worked in an office when you try to make a print or a copy and the printer or copier simply does not comply. After fifty or so attempts all ending in failure, one may feel the need to take a sledge hammer to that copier or printer.

Well now you can do just that...

I am pleased to announce the New England "Destroy Your Printer Video Contest"

It's rather simple and could be great fun! We ask that you make a creative, fun and humorous video of you and your cohorts destroying one of the following: Inkjet Printer, Laser Printer, Copier or Fax/MFP. Then upload the video to youtube and post the url on the comments section of this blog post. After a months time we will choose a winner and the winner will get his or her video posted here on the "Adventures in Office Imaging blog" and they will receive two FREE toner cartridges for their office copier, laser printer, or fax/mfp. see below for full contest details, rules and regulations!

Rules and Regulations.

1. Contest is open only to New England Businesses, large or small.
Contestants may destroy Inkjet Printers, Fax/MFPs, Laser Printers or Copiers.

* We are looking for humorous and creative videos of you destroying your selected piece of office equipment from the above list of types of machines.

* Have fun but be careful, Expert Laser Services will not be held responsible for any injuries resulting from the making of your videos.

2. To enter the contest, create a video, upload it to youtube or a similar video service and post the url as a comment to this blog article.

3. Videos will be reviewed by myself, our CEO and several other ELS representatives.

4. The contest ends July 29, 2009.

5. The winning video will be posted here at the Adventures in Office Imaging blog July 30, 2009.

6. The winner will receive two free toner cartridges via personal delivery or shipment for your offices copier, laser printer or fax/mfp.

7. All video urls will be screened before being posted in the comments section.