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Equitrac: A new version of its Equitrac Express

EQUITRAC RELEASES UPDATED VERSION OF PRINT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION FOR THE
EDUCATION AND ENTERPRISE MARKETS

New Features and Functionality Help Organizations Reduce Document Costs,
Increase Document Security and Eliminate Waste

PLANTATION, FL – AUG 23, 2010 – Equitrac, a global provider of intelligent
print management and cost recovery software, today announced the
availability of Equitrac Express(r) and Equitrac Office(r) version 4.2. With
this update, Equitrac strengthens its solution for education providers and
commercial enterprises, such as financial services and healthcare
organizations, who are looking to reduce document costs, increase document
security, and eliminate waste through print management.

“The new version expands the tracking, security and management
functionality of Equitrac Office,” said Gaetan Spake, vice president of
product management, Equitrac Corporation. “The new features also provide
more precise tracking and reporting of print activity so that customers can
get the most out of Equitrac’s print management solutions.”

New features enhance both the end-user’s and the IT administrator’s
experiences with Equitrac products:

Printing and Print Tracking
* Print Job re-queuing protects privacy, reduces waste and saves money by
ensuring that jobs will only print while a user is signed into Equitrac.
Thus, if a user releases multiple print jobs but they do not print due to a
printer problem, the unprinted jobs are sent back to the secure queue when
the user logs out. This avoids jobs being printed once the error clears but
the user is no longer at the MFP.
* Batch print tracking streamlines workflows by enabling users to batch
print a series of jobs and only be prompted for a billing code once.
* Equitrac’s Follow-You Printing(r) now displays and releases print jobs
held by an LRS (Levi, Ray and Shoup) VPSX PersonalQ print queue. Integration
with LRS VPSX provides enterprise-wide, non-Windows print tracking,
expanding the reach of Equitrac print management solutions in markets such
as healthcare and financial services that print from UNIX-based and
mainframe applications.

User and Device Reporting
* Equitrac has extended its reporting capabilities with reports based on
user location, device location and custom device group. Users can now run
both detailed and summary reports that can be organized by user, user
location, account type, device type, device location, and/or custom group.
Administrators can group their devices by any criteria they choose and
report activity accordingly.

Integration and Management
* New features simplify and enhance account synchronization with Active
Directory and LDAP, including filtering, connection testing and flexible
account type support.
* New server components and updates can be deployed across the enterprise
without administrator intervention.
* Flexible configurations, improved tracking and costing, more efficient
workflows, and increased billing capabilities are now available for
additional embedded devices, including:
o Ricoh PCC4 Single Sign-On for EFI SendMe and IKON DocSend
o Kyocera Mita “release all” button
o Billing code fields and copy page size features for Konica Minolta and
Océ devices
o Access to color copying can now be controlled by Windows group membership
for Konica Minolta, Xerox, Kyocera Mita, Oce and Sharp devices

Pay-for-Print:
Specific to Equitrac Express, new features for education organizations
include:
* Offline campus card authentication keeps campuses working even when their
campus card server is offline for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance.
Equitrac’s campus card caching permits users to continue to charge printing
and copying to their campus card accounts up to a pre-set offline limit.
Those offline charges are updated once the campus card server is back on
line.
* Administrators can now assign user balances and color quotas by Windows
group, such as grade level or school
* Integration with ParentPay allows Equitrac to accept student campus card
balances managed by ParentPay.
* Sagio value card users can now login to devices secured by an Equitrac
end point and pay for the transaction either from the value card or an
Equitrac account.

Equitrac Office or Equitrac Express users currently under a maintenance
contract are eligible to upgrade at no cost. For more information on
Equitrac Office or Equitrac Express, email sales@equitrac.com.

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Software Tips, Solutions | Leave a comment

MPS: Customers define value

MPS consultants need to understand that MPS customers define value, the solution or sales rep doesn’t define value.  MPS customers hire you to accomplish many different jobs within their organization or to help bridge the gap between steps in order to get a job done.  Part of a MPS consultants job is to demonstrate that they are adding value to their client’s organization.  One way to do this is by having monthly or quarterly meetings to uncover other services and value add you can bring to your client.

Here are some questions MPS consultants should be asking during monthly or quarterly meetings (larger customers = monthly meetings and smaller customers = quarterly meetings) with customers:

1.  Now that you have a MPS solution in place, what are you trying to accomplish when it comes to documents and printing?

2.  What are your goal and objectives moving forward?

3.  What problems are occuring with the MPS solution in place and what goals can we prevent in the future?

4.  What other repsonsibilities do you have now that these current MPS services are being used?  How do they differ from before?

Questions like these illustrate to your customer that you are adding value to their company, and now you are truly consulting with this customer and not just selling because the CUSTOMER will DEFINE the VALUE.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MPS Marketing Website

Every so often I like to pick a MPS provider and check out their website to see what their offering.  Today, I looked at Meridian Imaging Solutions of Alexandria, VA. 

Meridian Imaging Solutions offers more than just MPS, but the reason I picked their site was that I liked the fact that not only had a great page about MPS, they had a great page of workflow assessment.  Nothing on their page is flashy or over the top, they have good key points and great information.  I really like the fact that they offer Workflow Assessments.  Done right a Workflow Assessment is  another great service that can help boost your overall Managed Service offering. 

Meridian Imaging Solutions – check them out.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MPS Training

Whether your MPS solution adds to new equipment or just retains the customer’s current equipment, training is an on-going process.  In many cases, customer don’t know how to even use all the features of their current equipment.  Besides training customers on equipment, as a MPS consulant you should demonstrate the process of supplies and service fulfillment as well as the invoice process. 

When adding new technology and solutions, here are some good questions to ask yourself:

1.  Who will get trained?  – Base this upon employee rolls within the company.

2.  When do they get trained?  – Want to make it a time when you have people’s attention.

3.  Who is the best person to the initial training, the follow-up training, and ongoing training?

4.  What type of end-users are you dealing with?  – Base this on user surveys and observe them perform daily tasks.

5.  How much will training cost?

August 11, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips | Leave a comment

MPS Tip of the Day

Managed Print Services is about productivity improvements whether a company is looking to downsize or expand and it is important for MPS rep to have business cases developed to demonstrate productivity savings.  Some MPS reps are have spoken to say they are uncomfortable with illustrating productivity savings, but C-level executives love they type of data.  Remember productivity improvements are identified by work that can be eliminated. 

Here is a quick example of how to show productivity gains:

  If the MPS consultant finds that a company can increase productivity by 25%, this DOESN”T MEAN that 25% of the staff at that company is not needed.  It means the company’s staff will be able to do 25% more USEFUL work.  But remember productivity is only one small part of a staff member’s work.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

Components of MPS Customer Service

In many of my posts, I have spoken about the sales and discovery process for MPS, but today I want to talk about the customer service side of MPS.  A successful customer service plan is a BIG key to a successful MPS solution and keeping customers for life.  I believe there are four key components that need to be interwoven to have a successful MPS customer service program.

Here are the four key components:

1.  People:  Whether it is a service engineer, level one help desk, or customer service manager, good people are key to customer service.  Your MPS customer service people are the first to interact with your customer, so they must make a good impression.  You can have the best business processes and technology, but if you don’t have a good customer service team, your MPS program will suffer.

 

2.  Processes:  Once you have the right people, you need the right business processes.  Having common processes for each issue is very important.  If a customer can predict the outcome of an issue because you have quality common processes, it will create value for the customer. 

3.  Data:  In order to have good processes, your MPS customer service team must provide good data for and about your customers and you should use it as a way to measure your work.  You can have great people and great processes, but if you don’t have quality  information about your customer and their issues, than the customer will not see value.

4.  Technology:  In order to have great data, a MPS customer service team must be using great technology.  Your remote monitoring software must be up to par, your CRM must integrate with your sales and service team.  For MPS issues, you should have a “knowledge database.”  If you want to demonstrate that your customer service team is elite in the MPS space, technology is area to start.

Cheers.

August 3, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

Tips for a MPS REP

Selling MPS is different than selling a piece of hardware because as MPS consultant you need to focus on the process and services, not the product.  Explaining features will come during training, not during the sales process, when selling MPS.  

Below are some tips to keep a MPS consultant from crossing into a hardware sell:

 1.  When selling MPS, your main goal is to create “Value adds” for your customer and their business.  “Value adds” are not done thru features; it is done thru service and process.

2.  Before you can demonstrate a solution, you must understand their pain points, or needs.  Trying to fit your solution to a customer without understanding their pain points demonstrates a typical copier sales rep.  DON’T begin recommendations or building solutions until pain points are clearly defined.  Pain points you want to understand are  about the process of dealing with multiple vendors, service techs, bills, etc.

3.  Companies want facts, data, and proof.  You need to illustrate a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) before you can create value.  Customers are the ones that will define value, but in order to them to define value, you need to create a baseline for them.

August 2, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | 1 Comment

MPS Tip of the Day: Assessment Paralysis

Assessment paralysis is defined as over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.  Too many times, MPS deals never make it out of the assessment stage because MPS consultants don’t understand their audience and get caught up in details.   MPS consultants must understand who their audience is and know that an assessment is essential to the MPS process, but a drawn out assessment can paralyze the MPS process.  When selling solution or technology, details can slow the process and during the assessment details can cause assessment paralysis. 

1.  Speak the right language and don’t get into technology jargon.

2.  Don’t allow yourself to get too detailed.

3.  Know your audience and who has the true pain points.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

C-Level Executive: How will my company benefit from MPS?

Many C-Level Executives are asking:  “how will my company benefit from your MPS solution?”

Here are some answers:

1.  It will improve workflow and productivity.

2.  It will eliminate investing MONEY in stocking materials.

3.  It will increase availability and uptime of all devices.

4.  It will eliminate IT from spending time on printer-related issues, allowing them to work on issues that require their true expertise.

5.  It will reduce help desk calls and down time with remote monitoring.

6.  It will allow for techs to have to right parts on demand for devices keeping productivity up.

7.  It will be designed around your core business and strategic goals.

Dear C-Level Executive:

Before you go out to purchase another printer or multi-functional device, make sure know what you currently have in your office and what it is costing to you operate.  Better information about your environment will allow you to make better decisions!

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

The MPS ANALOGY

Many people ask me how do explain to customers, what MPS consultant is….. 

I always tell customers that a MPS consultant operates much like a General Contractor.  To follow this analogy, a General Contractor assumes the overall responsibility for the building or remodeling of a home or building, yet they will retain the services of different sub-contractors, like a carpenter, an electrician, and a plumber to perform the installation of these particular parts of expertise.  The MPS consultant employs various vendors (sub-contractors), as well as different resources and practices to deliver a MPS solution that meet the customer’s corporate goals and strategies.

When people are building a home or doing a large remodel, the homeowner’s goal is to get the most return on their investment or the most bang for their buck.  The same goes for a company who looking for a MPS solution because companies are looking to cut overhead expenses without harming productivity.  The MPS consultant has the task like the General Contractor of meeting those two goals of boosting productivity without requiring a capital investment and containing costs without harming productivity. 

Remember not all General Contractors are the same, the same goes for MPS consultants!

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment