The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.


Partnership: The Keystone to Key Account Management of Print Fleets

“How can I create - or run - a game plan if I can’t even reach my account manager?” — Lauren R., Office Administrator

In the study of ancient civilizations, the keystone represents more than just architectural eye candy.

The keystone, the wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch, is often noteworthy for its structural beauty and artistic significance (SEE: the Temple of Hadrian inside the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, above). But the ornately crafted stone atop arches also represent the final piece placed during construction and, more importantly, the piece that locks all the stones into position.

The keystone is regarded as the stone that holds all others together.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering Key Acccounts

The 3 'I's of Proactive Service: Ensuring Dominion Over the Domino Effect

Before you begin asking “When can I expect a technician” and “When will my issue be resolved,” a few key questions will shine a light on just how prompt and ultimately effective your copier service might be moving forward.

There’s an old Bizarro comic strip showing an older man leaning up against the Patient Registration desk at a doctor’s office. “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes!” he scolds the receptionist.

“Down the hall. You want ‘impatient registration’” the woman replies.

Comedy aside, customers today are tired of waiting.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering Print Management Productivity Tips and Tools PrintView

Avoid Facing the Great Divide Between Service Level Expectations and Reality

As the landscape changes, so do business needs. It’s a technology partner’s obligation to maintain an open dialogue, to listen intently, and provide complete transparency on documented expectations and business-building strategies. 

In my time as a Solutions Sales Specialist, I played a lot of  “20 Questions.”

My steady stream of inquiries to clients had a strategic intent. The client's answers provided key nuggets of information for:

  • digging into client current (and future) needs 
  • discovering operational challenges 
  • planting new seeds of opportunity 
  • ensuring expectations were being met at all times

If there was a gap between my client's perception and reality, it was my job to stand in it.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering Print Management Technology Support Creating Raving Fans Productivity Tips and Tools Legal Tips and Tools PrintView Net Promoter Score

4C Educators Should Seek a 4C Business Technology Partner

While the 4Cs in education help empower students to be think-tanks of tomorrow, the 4Cs of business technology should and can liberate your on-campus technology team to apply these classroom initiatives.

As educators further pursue the ideal 21st century learning environment, one won’t dig far without uncovering the 4Cs.

The 4Cs – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication - have been adopted and implemented into the curriculum of school districts and professional development programs for years. Established by the National Education Association and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, these four components are a guide post for choosing specific tools, software and curriculum for the modern day, technologically advanced environment of today’s youth.

Your business technology partner should play a key role in helping bring those 4Cs to light. 

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering IT Consulting Production Print Technology Pain Business Continuity Technology Training Managed Services Provider Education Tips and Tools

Go Vertical, Grow Vertical: 3 Rungs in the Vertical Market Ladder

Vertical Marketing comes down to truly understanding and anticipating your clients’ every move. By going vertical, your clients can grow vertical and positively impact their bottom line.

Author Anthony T. Hinks is quoted as saying “it’s when you’re going vertical that you leave the other players standing.” The game of basketball, an athlete mid-dunk, may immediately come to mind. But these words very much apply to business.

Topics: Partnering Creating Raving Fans Productivity Tips and Tools Datamax Culture Net Promoter Score

Why Qualified IT Support Is Becoming Harder (and More Expensive) to Find

As companies of every size rely on IT to operate, it’s becoming more difficult to find and hire the IT expertise you need. Is there an alternative?

When it comes to IT, many small and medium businesses struggle to find the right balance of reliability, responsiveness, and cost – not to mention technical expertise. In most cases, IT support is usually one of four ways:

  • Your niece, nephew, or first born, who is “really technical” and oversees the details for you
  • A company a business friend of yours uses that you call when your computers start freezing
  • A dedicated, in-house IT department that you keep on your payroll and “does it all”
  • A proactively, managed provider who provides a blend of remote monitoring, preventative maintenance, and help desk support when you need it

Understanding the difference between these types of support is critical to protecting your business. Hackers are everywhere, they want your information, and they are just waiting to take advantage of your small business’s network vulnerabilities.

Topics: Network Management Partnering Managed Services IT Consulting Technology Support Technology Pain Network Security

How NOT To Get Trapped in a Bad Copier Lease: 18 Things to Know

Keeping your lease with the partner who delivered your IT solution or designed the structure and layout of your office print fleet is an excellent way to ensure you get the best service possible throughout the length of your contract.

You have multiple choices when it comes to leasing your copiers and other office equipment.

You already know many of the advantages of leasing (more on that below) – predictable budgeting and the ability to rapidly roll-out advanced technology at a fraction of what it would cost to buy that same technology.

While leasing is a great way to take advantage of technology, the wrong leasing partner can turn business nirvana into a nightmare of poor service, unexpected fees, and trapped into using technology that no longer meets your needs because of inflexible lease terms.

We believe that being a trusted partner is good for us and, more importantly, good for our customers.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering Managed Services Creating Raving Fans Technology Pain Productivity Tips and Tools Net Promoter Score

Canon Copier Service – We're in a Class (and Classroom) by Ourselves

How do you know when your copier service partner is REALLY capable of servicing your Canon copiers?

Do you have an “ego wall?”

Go into a doctor's office, lawyer, or some other highly-educated profession and in many offices you'll see proof of their expertise in the form of diplomas and certifications hanging on the wall. I lightheartedly think of those as “ego walls.”

In reality, professionals show off their qualification for a few reasons, including:

  • Pride in the effort to achieve their educational and professional goals
  • Proof that they know what the heck they're doing

My tongue-in-cheek way of thinking about these is as “ego walls” because there are some people who will put up any scrap of evidence to show expertise.

Regardless, all of those certifications and diplomas reflect work and effort to master skills. That's why we're extremely proud of our Canon ATSP recognition:

  • We're proud of the achievement and work we put in for it
  • It's proof that we know how to service Canon copiers (in fact, I think we're the best option to service, repair, and maintain Canon copiers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area)
Topics: Partnering Managed Services Technology Support Creating Raving Fans Canon Net Promoter Score

Great Digital Copier Service – Do You Know What Questions to Ask?

Asking your potential copier partner the right questions is a key to a happy relationship – here are 20 essential ones.

There are questions every company should ask their potential (or even current) service partner.

On the surface, buying or leasing a copier is simple. Call up a company because you can't tell the difference between a Canon from a Lexmark from a Konica Minolta digital copier (so it doesn't matter, right?), tell them your best guess about how much your print and copy, get the price and sign on the dotted line.

Don't do that.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering

There Is a Copier Service Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Finding a service company that combines excellent copier service support and expertise at a reasonable price feels like looking for a pot of gold.

Leprechauns are lucky.

Four-leaf clovers are lucky.

Companies looking for top-notch maintenance and service for their digital copiers and other office equipment often feel like they're looking for a four-leaf clover in the middle of a cornfield.

They can't find one.

Unlucky.

Especially if you bring someone in who claims expertise on the copier you need serviced, but really doesn't.

Topics: Partnering Managed Services Creating Raving Fans Net Promoter Score