By Andy Slawetsky – Last week I attended the ecoprintQ technical conference in Miami Beach FL. The meetings were held at The Edition Miami Beach, a beautiful facility right on the beach. About 70 people attended, many from major dealers like Dex, Ray Morgan, TGI, Marco and others, including a couple of Xerox Global Imaging dealers. Some big names in that room!
ecoprintQ had several partners sponsoring the event, but the conference was primarily focused on PaperCut. Two tracks were conducted during both afternoons, where attendees would sit through either sales or technical sessions. I attended the sales meetings and presentations hosted by several PaperCut people like Joe Rubino and Jennifer O’Leary, who walked us through some basic company background.
PaperCut now has over 50,000 customers according to Joe and they’ve quietly become the second largest print management company in North America and #5 globally. Their growth over the last few years has been exceptional (since Joe joined them, he reminded us). Joe mentioned that IDC says the rate of growth for print management is 7%. PaperCut’s is over 40% YoY. Revenue is up 38% over the same period. I also learned the PaperCut version numbers are based on the year; random interesting fact of the day.
A great deal of time was spent discussing the PaperCut and ecoprintQ support teams and how to get involved with them. I was impressed that the people at the conference all seemed to know the ecoprintQ people very well. These are pretty tight relationships and dealers in attendance clearly work closely with both ecoprintQ and PaperCut support staff. More importantly, these people felt valued and appreciated.
I liked the sales content the ecoprintQ team showed. Led by Dominick Bracero, one of the even’t hosts, they offered helpful collateral, especially, “How to get the conversation going with 5 key questions.” It’s content like that, which helps even the newest copier sales rep feel more at ease in starting a print management conversation. At least start the ball rolling and bring in an expert once you identify an opportunity. Questions like these are great for that. There were some excellent vertical market presentations as well, showing dealers how to approach specific markets differently, customizing the PaperCut around things that are critical and specific to those markets.
The technical aspect of this conference was impressive. I’ve been to a few of these over the years, but I have to say, I don’t remember a technical event where the host treated the techs so well. The hotel was beautiful, the hand-outs (gifts) were really nice – a beach bag and nice backpack with PaperCut (or Square 9) and ecoprintQ logos, etc. They really treated these guys great!
And the technicians do seem to love ecoprintQ. During the open discussion at the end of one session, one dealer told everyone “ecoprintQ is without a doubt, the best software support in the industry.” I heard similar things from a couple of other guys when I chatted with them offline. The people at this conference love working with ecoprintQ because of their support.
This is part of ecoprintQ president Alfredo Milanes’ master plan to build loyalty with the techs and the people who install and maintain the PaperCut solution. “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you,” he said on a few occasions. Indeed, his concept of building relationships and loyalty through the techs in the field appears to be a great move as ecoprintQ has grown considerably over the last few years, recently moving into a new HQ to accommodate their expansion.
Besides distributing PaperCut in the US, ecoprintQ has a solid footprint in Latin America, Mexico and throughout South America and they held a similar meeting the previous week with attendees coming from that part of the world. While ecoprintQ is known for PaperCut in the US, they have just launched Square 9 programs to the South American market. I would guess that it wouldn’t be too long before ecoprintQ offers the same to their US customers. We’ll see!
This was a great event for both PaperCut and ecoprintQ. I didn’t realize the amount of customization that gets done to the PaperCut solution, a great deal of it by ecoprintQ. This customization helps build additional levels of functionality into the product while at the same time, it locks the customer in a little tighter. After all that customization, it becomes harder to leave your supplier down the road.
I appreciate the opportunity to attend this event and it was nice to see the PaperCut and ecoprintQ gang for a few days.