Here is the latest issue of Managed.IT magazine to read online or download simply click here: MIT51
In my last comment I highlighted the diversity of subject matter covered by the magazine, which that month included smart glasses, VPN technology, the cloud, robotic process automation, multi-channel communications and content management. There was quite a lot on offie printing, too. Even so, Print IT was a somewhat misleading title, focusing on just a small part of what interests us, our readers and our advertisers and giving no indication of the breadth of content within our pages. Clearly we needed a new title. The one we have chosen, Managed IT, more accurately reflcts the magazine’s subject matter and has the added virtue of fiting neatly within the existing design parameters. I wonder how many of you even noticed the name change when you picked up this month’s copy. Given our new identity, it is interesting to note that the two biggest articles in this issue relate to the well known copier companies Toshiba TEC and KYOCERA. How ironic, you might say. In fact, their inclusion could not be more appropriate, as both these companies are diversifying their product and services offerings into new areas including, you guessed it, managed IT.
Making the transition from being a supplier of MFPs and solutions to a provider of managed services is not easy: you need new expertise, new infrastructure, new relationships with suppliers and customers, new remuneration models for sales people and, to a certain extent, a new corporate culture. A popular way to do this is to acquire an organisation that has the skills and relationships you lack. This is what KYOCERA did when it bought Annodata, a provider of print and IT and communications services, and what HP did when, for different reasons (to gain an A3 copier channel), it recently acquired Apogee. Expect more acquisitions in the future.
For a manufacturer, like KYOCERA, that has traditionally sold through resellers and dealers, the acquisition of a channel organisation can also foster a more end user-focused mindset. This is helpful when selling managed services, but is not always easy to achieve. When we spoke to John Gifford, founder of Fiducia Strategic Consultancy (see page 12), about his experiences working for channel organisations and manufacturers, he said: “It took me a while to transform from the channel mindset to the OEM mindset: it was a bigger change than I expected.” Rod Barthet, CEO of KDUK and Annodata, would no doubt agree. In our interview on page 22, he said: “Annodata has injected a degree of velocity into KDUK that I don’t think exists in the manufacturing channel.”
James Goulding, Editor