The next installment of our looks at trends and predictions for the office technology sector in 2018 encompasses a number of different talking points that have garnered top-of-mind attention. In charting potential growth areas, seeking out adjacent product and service offerings that not only make good business sense for the dealer but also solve customer needs is a popular rally cry for the New Year.
Frank Grasso, the CEO of TGI Office Automation, wrapped up a number of bullet points that we have discussed here and in the magazine that are of utmost importance to the Brooklyn, NY-based dealership: cloud services, security solutions, document management and business automation. Grasso has ensured that all of his sales reps are well-versed in these areas. The company invests a good deal of time into training on the latest solutions offerings, and it boasts a strong team of technical professionals that specialize in professional services.
Focusing on Client Needs
With the continued decline in hardware pricing, more competitive service pricing and decreased profit margins throughout the industry, Grasso and TGI have found that focusing on solving their customers’ business problems has been the best way to meet those challenges.
“We are always interested in expanding our solutions offerings where it makes good business sense and complements our existing business endeavors,” Grasso noted. “We will continue to broaden our offerings to include new solutions that integrate with the equipment we offer as well as additional IT services. These additional services have provided many new opportunities and we hope much more to come. We know that we need to consistently provide emerging technology in order to stay relevant to our customers and reach new prospects.”
One of the growth areas to watch in 2018 is production color, according to Darren Cassidy, president, U.S. Channels Unit for Xerox. Cassidy points out that color page volumes continue to grow as offset page migration to digital accelerates, particularly for short runs. Specialized media applications can add true differentiation and deliver high margins.
Taking Care of Basics
In turning to adjacent disciplines that can expand upon their own businesses, dealers can help their own cause in providing more relevant solutions to their end-user base, Cassidy added.
“With careful planning to get business basics right, coupled with growth opportunities into such print adjacencies as MPS, dealers can reap the rewards of added profit and, in turn, fund further business expansion,” he said. “Partners who make the effort to become more relevant to their customers and more market-specific, and who leverage MPS and make their online presence a priority, will be well positioned to prosper and grow in 2018, and for many years to come.”
As many office technology unveilings in 2017 brought to light, futuristic technologies loom within today’s offerings. Eric Crump, director of Strategic Alliance for U.K.-based FollowMe by Ringdale, feels it is imperative that dealers avail themselves of the opportunities they offer for output management.
“Technology continues to move at an extremely fast pace, where we are seeing artificial intelligence and robotics starting to influence the output management space,” he said. “However, less well-known technologies such as quantum computing are quickly becoming hot topics where innovation is fast paced, although it is unlikely that quantum computing will be featured in any products or solutions within output management anytime soon.”