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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ITEX 2012: Is your dealership ready for the next big thing?

Our first blog in the series of blogs coming from ITEX 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, begins with a guest blog from Brad Roderick, Executive Vice President. Brad attended the "Moving Beyond MPS" pre-conference presentations and this is his first blog of two on the event.

Brad can be reached at InkCycle, Inc. using the company contact information or directly by email at broderick (at) inkcycle (dot) com.
Randy Dazo, Sr. Director at InfoTrends shared some timely information about the OE market in his presentation at ITEX 2012: Moving Beyond MPS. His presentation, entitled "Changes and Challenges Affecting the OE Industry," was a look into the market and the challenges that we can expect in the future.

Randy pointed out that technology is transforming at a rapid pace. The increasing speed of change and ever shortening life cycles makes it a business necessity that companies accept change and embrace today's technology.  A company can not rely on today's technology to ensure tomorrow's success. 

Randy used the term "MEGA Disruptive Forces" to describe the reasons why things are changing for quickly, and why your company needs to remain nimble and responsive.

1. Economy demographics. 
Using the employment rate as a metric, David showed the growth and contraction of the office equipment industry. The economic downturn helped drive demand for MPS as companies looked to right size their equipment and spending in the tougher economy. US Population Trends also play a large role in what technologies are going to catch on. An aging population, workforce and generational differences create new challenges as each group tends to use technology differently.

2. Evolution of Technology.
In today's marketplace, there is an acceleration of growth and adoption of technology.  What used to take years to spread through the country and the world, can now be spread in a matter of hours.  Increased bandwidth available causes mobile devices to fly, compared to just a few months ago.  There is quick access to information, and it's quick to spread more information as well.  And the increased access of people to storage and media increases what and how people keep things.  Back in 1998, it was $228 PER GIG to purchase memory.  In 2007, it's a mere 88 cents per gig. 

Another important revolution to include is the wide-spread acceptable of digitally produced documents.   Invoices, statements, and marketing materials have been growth areas but now it's moving downstream.  Office printing is becoming a reduced printing zone.  Fewer people are printing their emails and invoices.

A final subset of technology evolution is the shift in the way IT operates.  What used to be a central mainframe network is now decentralized.  The cloud has entered the picture and it drops the cost of maintaining your information.  It's an "outsource" system and the print environment will soon follow, as the information companies want to store could now be stored in the cloud.

3. The "Me" Generation.
We now select how we wish to communicate. Communication technology is greatly changing the office equipment industry. Instant messaging, Kindles, social media, and mobile devices are changing the way we create, share and consume communication.

Randy closed his session by discussing the shift from printer management to process management.  The notion of paper slows down processes and reduces efficiencies.  The feeling of shifting to process management and offering mobile tools to recover information migrates towards better solutions than simple device management.

Do you think Randy is correct in his assessment of the mega disruptive forces? Do you have any to add to this list?

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