by Patricia Ames
I started writing this blog thinking I would highlight the top news stories of 2015 and talk about the HP split, the financial woes of some of the major OEMs, the big mergers and acquisitions of the year and maybe mention a few of the big lawsuits. I then decided to change direction, thinking a year in review was not very original. So I decided to concentrate instead on some of the big themes in 2015 — security, the renewed focus on the SMB, new technologies revolutionizing the industry, our challenges incorporating millennials in the workforce and maybe touch on some of the hype surrounding 3D printing.
Then I realized the biggest story of 2015 for the MPSA was really about the astounding amount of talent the association has gathered and the unique voices of its members. When I look at some of the most widely read industry articles and blogs of 2015, a large percentage involved the MPSA community in some way. I don’t want to steal any of MPSA vice president Doug Bies’ thunder, as Doug will be covering specific MPSA contributions and achievements in his blog in early 2016, so I will focus on the broader industry contributions.
Here is a recap of some of the notables:
GreatAmerica Financial Services was active all year, sponsoring events, exhibiting at trade shows and OEM dealer events, continuing major integrations with top vendors in the industry, winning awards and holding workshops to help educate their dealers, including the stellar managed IT workshops led by Paul Dippel. Somehow amidst all of that activity, they also managed to contribute to the community by writing articles and blogs. Jennie Fisher wrote an excellent piece discussing dealership transformation, and gamification was the topic of this blog by Lynette Bossler. Kim Louden is a current board member and co-chair of the Standards and Best Practices committee and Josie Heskje is co-chair of the Marketing Communications committee.
Muratec was also a dynamic presence in 2015. They formed a significant partnership with Intellinetics, released a number of new devices and Lou Stricklin, treasurer of the MPSA, weighed in on selling to the SMB.
Canon had an active year and was a top contributor of subject matter expertise to the community in 2015. Canon amazed the industry with their innovations at the Canon Expo in 2015, which occurs only every five years. Dennis Amorosano walked us through taming the dragons, and on the lighter side, Canon was the sponsor of the now infamous copier drop. Active Canon MPSA members include Vice President Doug Bies and Marketing Communications committee co-chair Ann Priede.
Powerhouse supplier Clover Imaging Group had a major rebranding in 2015. Parent company to MSE, West Point Products, Depot International, OPRA and more, they made a big splash in the news by announcing major partnerships with Konica Minolta and most recently, Sharp. One of the most active Clover executives in the MPSA is longtime member and current Secretary Sarah Henderson. She is also one of the most consistent educational content contributors to the industry, writing about Six Sigma as it can apply to MPS and giving tips on successful supply management. In addition to Sarah, Team Clover has Aldo Spensieri as chair of the Education committee.
Supplies Network/Distribution Management is a longtime member of the MPSA. Their Gear eXperience program takes resellers beyond traditional MPS to a portfolio of holistic solutions. Ron Alphin serves on the board of the MPSA and is the sponsor of the Standards and Best Practices committee.
One of the best parts of this amazing industry is the willingness of the companies and individuals to give back to the community. MPSA corporate members Muratec, Clover and YSoft are teaming up with MWAi to support the Jillian Fund, following MWAi’s 2015 charity motorcycle ride across the country to honor one of the industry’s most beloved dealers, Bobby Shields and raise funds for cancer research.
Corporate members were not the only contributors however. Individual members also got their voice out in the community and made an impact.
Former president of the MPSA and current board member, Greg Walters, is a prolific writer with a book already published and reams of articles and blogs designed to spark provocative discussions on just about every theme germane to the industry. His blog on the HP split was one of the most read of 2015.
And last but not least, let’s not forget Doug Johnson, founding member and former Treasurer of the MPSA. A long-time contributor to the MPS community, Doug has been weighing in recently on channel strategy, invoking Yogi Berra. It can’t get better than that.
There are many, many more generous contributors from the MPSA that have not been mentioned in this blog and I apologize if you were not included. The fact that there are too many to mention is perhaps the greatest gift of all, and the reason 2016 will be a spectacular year for the MPSA — the industry can only benefit from that. Happy New Year everyone and thank you all!
Patricia Ames is an analyst at BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community. Follow her on Twitter at @OTGPublisher or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.