Toner Box Labeling Improves MPS Customer Experience

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MPS providers looking to differentiate their solution know that toner box labeling improves the customer experience. SYNNEX recently expanded its labeling capabilities making it easier and more cost effective for dealers to offer this service.

I sat down with Bob Evans from SYNNEX’s PRINTsolv division to discuss why dealers label, how solutions providers should approach launching MPS, and what SYNNEX’s value proposition looks like in the managed print industry today.

Jennings Tinsley: What is toner box labeling and why do some end users value this service?

Bob Evans:  Toner routing labeling helps close the loop on getting the toner to the correct printer.  Having SYNNEX drop ship your toners directly to end-user saves time and money vs a reseller delivering themselves.  However, in the drop ship MPS model, the end-user typically does not have any specific advance knowledge of toner arriving at the receiving dock.  While SYNNEX has always included routing information on the packing slip, there are times that the packing slip is separated from the toner box.  By having the routing instructions on the toner, the end-user can easily determine which printer that specific toner is for.

JT: How does SYNNEX support dealers who need to offer their customers a labeling solution?

BE: Adding routing labels to your supplies order is simple. Whether you send PO’s manually, through XML/EDI, or automated ordering through PRINTsolv, our system collects the routing instructions and prints them on a sticker at the warehouse before shipment. Since this is a value added service, there is a small fee per label. You can check out our labeling flyer or contact your SYNNEX account manager for more information: SYNNEX Routing Label Solution July 2017

JT: Managed Print Services is expected to grow by 5% annually through 2021 (according to IDC). What does SYNNEX’s MPS value proposition look like today? 

BE: SYNNEX offers all of the software, services and expertise to get your MPS solution off the ground. SYNNEX’s PRINTSolv solution enables resellers to deliver automated toner replenishment or a full MPS solution.  Our integration with HP programs, means that dealers can leverage the best possible HP OEM pricing for each contract situation.  Our PRINTSolv Dashboard software provides an efficient platform to manage multiple contracts.  Access to the Dashboard can be given to end-users, so they can see their usage patterns, track toner shipments, and when devices are estimated to need the next toner.

JT: What advice can you give VARs and Office Product Dealers exploring MPS as a possible new offering?  

BE: Take advantage of the tools and services that SYNNEX offers to help you build an MPS or auto toner replenishment offering.  Use the 10+ years of expertise that PRINTSolv brings to the table to enable your value added services to stand out relative to your competitors.  Assign an MPS champion that should be sales focused to build your contract portfolio.  Once you are working with a customer in a contractual relationship, you can use the PRINTSolv tools to help you uncover additional revenue opportunities.  As example, you will be able to compare high operating cost printers and show your customer how they will save by replacing those machines with lower operating cost models.

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3 Reasons Why Top VARS Are Selling HP PageWide XL

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AW Headshot by Anna Wrice

Which factors are most important for a VAR to know before deciding to add a new product or solution to their portfolio? Smart VARs know that products lacking in profitability and differentiation are more trouble than they are worth.

I sat down with Eric DuPaul (HP Graphics Solutions Specialist, Partner Business Manager for the Americas) to discuss why top VARs are making serious investments into selling HP PageWide XL: 50% margins, solid recurring revenue, and entrance into markets previously unavailable to VARs.

Anna Wrice: Which VAR pain points are solved by PageWide XL? 

Eric DuPaul: Making the commitment to sell the HP PageWide 4500 XL printer and MFP allow VAR’s to sell a product that has traditionally been off limits to them for years.  How many VAR’s can honestly say that they have been able to sell high-volume, high-production large format printers in the past?  Xerox, Oce and KIP have been traditionally off limits to all but a small groups of dealers and direct.  HP has created a product to compete against these other manufacturers in a hotly contested market and have opened up the kimono to allow some VAR’s to now compete where they never could.  This is a highly profitable market with printers that cost on average between $39,000 and $43,000 with a ton ink and paper revenue.  So the pain point that is addressed is access to net new business, increasing top line and bottom line profitability, and gaining new customers that will also need other products such as PC’s, storage, networking and much more.

AW: How does selling this product line increase the partner’s value proposition?

ED: Since this product line is only available to select group of dealers, they will be seen as trusted HP partners and advisers to their customers.

AW: What does the revenue and profitability model look like for VARs selling the product today?

ED: HP is committed to keeping the HP PageWide XL pricing at MAP.  We are heavily policing the channel that can sell this product, and the channel is policing each other.  Traditionally customers that have purchased like devices in the past have paid upwards of $100,000 or more for a printer or MFP that did a lot less.  So the price point of the PageWide XL 4500 and 4500 MFP quite honestly surprises customers and they are willing to pay that price for the features and benefits.  VAR’s can sell these units at MAP and make a very healthy margin that runs between 18 and 22 %. 

AW: How are VARs maximizing their profitability when closing PageWide XL opportunities?  

ED: The real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the ink and paper, residual if you will.  On average the printers are being used to produce 130,000 – 300,000 sq. feet of print per year.  They will use a lot of ink and paper and the VAR should do everything they can to maintain customer control for that residual.  The margins are between 20 and 50% depending on how they structure the deal.  We have some dealers that are starting to take advantage of the aggressive lease financing at HP Financial Services.  They bundle supplies into the package that the customer is leasing and they now have a lock on that client for ink, media and the printer.  It makes it real easy during the lease to upgrade as new technology comes to market so the dealer can maintain that relationship long-term.

AW: When a partner is committed to ramping PageWide sales, how do HP and SYNNEX enable the VAR to be successful?

ED: What the dealers need to know is that both HP and SYNNEX have teams dedicated to helping them.  They are not on an island.  I encourage all of my partners to bring me into every opportunity.  Let me work with the customer along-side the dealer to discover the pain points the customer has.  Qualify the deal, make sure we are offering the correct solution and then help them through the sales process.  Explaining to the customer that this is not a typical process takes diplomacy.  They are used to just asking for a quote, placing the order and accepting the product.  This is very different.  It requires a lot of heavy lifting in the back office and this is where SYNNEX shines.  You all have done an amazing job in setting up systems to ensure that the site survey gets done in a timely fashion.  The results are fed into the team so that everyone knows what is expected on delivery day.  If special rigging and handling is needed you can help the dealer find a company to do that.  The shipping and delivery are all coordinated so that the customer is happy with the process.  I have talked to customer post installation and they are amazed at how smoothly things went with such a complex device.

 AW: Which key metrics are used by VARs and HP to determine the success of their PageWide strategy?

ED: As with any sales organization, building a funnel is key.  The dealers have to get out of the comfort zone and ask about large format printing when they may be talking to the customer about buying a PC or laptop, or storage.  You have to get as many at bats as possible, and then maximize those.  I estimate that the closure rate should be around 60% or higher if the dealer has really worked the deal from the beginning.

Another key metric is web advertising.  The dealers have to let the customers know that they carry the PageWide XL 4500’s.  If you keep it a secret, well, it will stay that way.  I look at websites several times a days and I am shocked at how many dealers do not have the PageWide XL 4500 on their web site.  We all know people research using the internet.  If the product is not easily found on your web site, they will find it elsewhere.

The obvious big metric is sell through.  As HP moves into our new fiscal year on November 1, one of the biggest topics of conversation among senior leadership is accelerating PageWide technology adoption.  This includes PageWide for the office, PageWide XL, Web Presses, and 3D.  We need the selected dealers to put the pedal to the metal and start finding the opportunities, use the HP and SYNNEX resources to help and of course close the deals. I can count on one hand the times in my career at HP where we have literally opened up a new market for dealers.  The digital sender is the only one that comes to mind.  The PageWide XL 4500 is what the production market has been asking for.  As I mentioned before, that market has been 100% dominated by other vendors and a select group of dealers.  No longer.  We have provided the solution for dealers to gain net new business that is very profitable.

 


 

SYNNEX  is committed to helping you evangelize and sell the HP PageWide XL 4500 printers and MFPs. As Eric DuPaul stated in our interview, using the resources available to you is key in closing your opportunities. We’re here for you – whether you need help with a quote, finding marketing collateral on the HP Partner Portal or finding the correct HP contact. This product will no doubt move the needle for your business, so let’s get started.

Onward!

Anna Wrice

 

SYNNEX Corporation is HP’s top distributor in the US. To learn more about the PageWide XL product line, please contact SYNNEX’s HP Business Development team: CLICK HERE

 

Printer Security: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

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Network security is top of mind for IT decision makers today. While 90% of organizations report having suffered at least one data loss through unsecured printing, most enterprises have overlooked printing devices in their security strategy.

I sat down with Steve Daniels (HP Commercial Business Development Manager) to discuss the most common printer security vulnerabilities and what top channel partners are doing to keep their customer’s networks safe.

Jennings Tinsley: “Security is a top priority for CIOs, but printers are often left out of the security conversation. Why is printer security overlooked?”

Steve Daniels: “Printers tend to be thought of as ancillary or peripheral to “intelligent devices”. In particular medium to small organizations will view printers as “just a box”. But the truth is that printers today have the same characteristics as other devices on the network. Printers have an operating system, a hard drive, software, and an internet connection so they operate much like a PC. Think of printers as devices that traffic in confidential information and are open to the same security risks as PCs. Organizations who are taking security seriously are treating networked printers as equal citizens on the corporate network.”

JT: “What is the most common type of printer security breach? What is a quick change organizations can make to improve printer security today?”

SD: “The most common security threat is surprisingly simple. People picking up documents from the output tray that were intended for somebody else. We have all been there. You walk up to the printer and find a stack of pages somebody else printed but forgot to pick up. The documents people print are current and important. When you have a sensitive environment like healthcare, financial services or government agencies, those documents getting in the wrong hands could mean regulatory or legal trouble. The quickest way to protect information en route to a printer is to implement what’s called pull printing (also known as PIN printing). Pull printing will require the user to type in a code or scan a badge to verify their identity before the print job is released.”

JT: “The Target security breach ultimately resulted in hundreds of millions in damages and the resignation of its CEO. Can you give examples of how unsecured printers have impacted organizations?”

SD: “We have seen printer security breaches come in many forms. What is becoming more prevalent now is unauthorized access from remote devices or ‘sniffers’ attached to network cables. People who really want a way into the network will find a way through an unsecured printer or the HVAC system in Target’s case. While we can’t reference anything as high profile as Sony or Target, we can link several instances of regulatory violations (HIPPA and SEC) to unprotected printers connected to corporate networks.”

(after posting I was made aware of a recent large scale printer hack at several universities)

JT: “What is the best way to begin the conversation with a customer about secure print?”

SD: “I start with “Tell me about your organization’s printer security policy?” You are likely to get blank stares. In a recent study, nearly 90% of enterprises say they have suffered at least one data loss through unsecured printing. Pointing out this statistic will get your customer thinking seriously about which vulnerabilities may be lurking among their printing devices. When the customer recognizes that printers are equal citizens on the network, they will want to take steps to introduce security protocols on every device.”

JT: “HP talks about being 3 to 5 years ahead of its competitors when it comes to printer security. Can you talk about HP’s secure print differentiators?”

SD: “In the past few months HP brought to market 3 key features that give us a solid competitive advantage when it comes to printer security. All three of these features come standard on every new enterprise class device. The security features include HP Sure Start, Whitelisting and Run-time Intrusion Detection. Sure Start is a BIOS protection that validates the BIOS at every boot cycle. Whitelisting validates the firmware to ensure only known-good HP code is present. Run-Time intrusion detection looks for anomalies during complex firmware and memory operations. If an attack occurs, it shuts down the device and reboots.

HP offers a free security assessment for customer who want to know if their printer fleet has vulnerabilities. The Quick Assess takes about 1 hour and covers up to 20 HP printers or MFPs. At the end of the assessment the customer gets a risk report showing what percentage of devices are vulnerable and recommendations for how to address.”

To view a replay of SYNNEX/HP’s print security webinar CLICK HERE

To schedule an HP Quick Assess, contact the SYNNEX HP Business Development team: hpipg@synnex.com

Why your Customers Pay too Much to Print (and how to be the Hero)

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Research shows 80% of organizations do not know how much they spend on printing each month. Eric Wederbrand (VP of Print Product Management at SYNNEX Corporation) knows why printing costs are so mysterious and what solutions providers can do to help.

I sat down with Eric to discuss what resellers should look out for to identify opportunities in their customer base. For partners considering whether or not to develop a Managed Print Services (MPS) offering, Eric emphasizes market-leading resources available from SYNNEX:

JT: What causes print spending to go overlooked for so many organizations?

EW: If you ask any business owner how much they want to spend they will say “I don’t want to spend anything on printing”. Print is viewed as a nuisance. Combine this with the fact that most companies are highly decentralized in how they pay for print and you’ve got an environment where printing costs are a mystery. Large enterprise customers are being fought over by the manufacturers and well established dealers. The medium end of SMB is big enough to pay attention to print cost, but is still largely overlooked by the big players. This is where PRINTSolv and our HP Page+ Powered by PRINTSolv offerings have found a sweet spot. Business owners at the small end of SMB don’t want the hassle of another contract.

JT: When IT directors discover they are spending too much, what are the most common culprits?

EW: The culprits have been the same for 20 years: too many devices and too little governance. There is no rhyme or reason to why a device is placed and who is printing what. If there is not a compelling reason for “Why is this printer here?” it’s probably wasting money.

JT: What is the quickest, easiest way to get a snapshot of how much an organization is spending?

EW: Engage PRINTSolv. Our team can help you set up a DCA (data collection agent). The DCA software sits on the network and monitors who is printing what. This will give you a snapshot of how much is being spent and where adjustments can be made to save money.  (ON DCA RELUCTANCE) This is really an older argument that comes down to the selling motion. Are you worried about data leaving the firewall or are you just not interested? I have found that most objections fall into the second category, so it’s important to qualify upfront. When we look at public sector, it depends. The fed space is locked down, state and local is hit or miss, and education is thriving.

JT: For companies who determine they are spending too much, are there any small changes they can make to reduce cost right away?

EW: Local device consolidation is first and most important. This means removing the unnecessary personal desktop devices and redirecting to more efficient departmental devices. People will complain about having to walk a few feet to pick up their prints, but there are ways to convince decision makers that behavior can change. Put a box of donuts on top of the departmental printer. Take a picture of the empty box at the end of the day. Now you’ve got photographic evidence for the CFO that people will in fact walk to the copier! The second area is moving to just-in-time supplies. It’s silly for the customer to pay good money to have toner sitting in a supply closet.PRINTsolv (printsolv-overview) has a support staff of 20 people who manage fleets all day long. They are there to ensure the toner gets to the customer when it’s needed. Customers can take that money sitting in the supply closet and re-deploy towards something more profitable. Same goes for man hours spent managing printer fleets. Let PRINTSolv take away that burden.

JT: Where have you seen channel partners delivering the biggest impact in managing print cost?

EW: There are three areas: automation, analytics and solutions that drive improvements in behavior. Solutions providers who are focused on leading with that message are winning deals and delivering results for their customers. We (PRINTSolv) have the people and the platform to make our partners competitive. We challenge ourselves to be the most efficient MPS offering in the industry.

To learn more information on how SYNNEX can help you succeed with Managed Print Services (MPS), contact PRINTSolvFieldSales@synnex.com