A look at the trends, companies, and people we are monitoring in the coming year.
Each year at this time, we present the trends, companies, and people we will be tracking in the coming year. While comprehensive and far-reaching, we have never intended this list to be all-inclusive. If that were the goal, then our WatchList would fill volumes because—in all honesty—we watch everything and everybody.
Looking back over the past years, we aimed to be more attentive to the trends we watched while striking a balance between obvious companies and higher-profile executives across the industry with some less obvious selections to keep things fresh and interesting. Just because a company is not included on our WatchList doesn’t mean we don’t care. We absolutely do.
Every year, we remark on the six degrees of separation at play in our list. This year, the links between trends and businesses are particularly evident, as many are related to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, without further fanfare, let’s get on with our 2021 WatchList.
At the time of this writing, the pandemic is worsening and shows no sign of abating. With everyone’s 2020 revenues down, or at best flat, we’ll be watching to see if a vaccine emerges and business returns to pre-COVID levels.
The rise of the remote worker
One of the most significant discoveries during the pandemic was that remote workers could be just as productive, maybe even more so, than onsite workers. While this varies depending on location, we expect to see more people at least part of the time work remotely, particularly in metropolitan areas.
Digital transformation accelerates
According to Salesforce, the company that markets the Sales Cloud CRM program, digital transformation uses digital technologies to create new or modify existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. The “2020 Pandemic Business Impact Survey” conducted by IDC in July found that 59% of IT decision-makers say that pressures stemming from the pandemic are accelerating their digital transformation efforts. Studies also show that digital interaction with B2B customers is now two times more important than traditional channels, a 30% increase since the pandemic struck.
A4 finally gets some respect
A4 is not a technology to be trifled with as print volumes decline, and more businesses realize they don’t need the speed, rated monthly volumes, and many of the bells and whistles associated with A3 devices. And with a remote workforce here to stay, more robust A4 devices will start replacing many of those consumer models that people already have in their homes.
The death of A3
Has the pandemic placed the proverbial nail in A3’s coffin? Things don’t look promising for A3, but this segment’s run is far from over. The technology may no longer hold an esteemed place in the hallowed halls of corporate America and within small businesses, but the technology continues to improve and gain new capabilities such as connectivity to the cloud and enhanced security features, which give it a certain amount of panache and utility. We expect A3 placements will continue to decline as businesses print less, but A3 won’t go away during our lifetimes, at least for those on the north side of 50.
Everybody’s talking about cybersecurity
More employees working remotely means increased cybersecurity-related issues, and who better to address those issues than a dealer with a managed services operation? Cybersecurity will remain one of the most impactful door openers and talk tracks ever to hit this industry because it is something that everyone can understand.
The smart office got much smarter
We don’t mean that literally, but are referring to the companies that have developed products that enable a remote workforce. The number of companies with smart office and office of the future initiatives is growing exponentially. Vendors who have developed hardware, solutions, and services that enable work from anywhere and anytime are looking pretty smart right now.
It’s Virtual Show Time!
With live conferences and meetings at remote locations falling silent during the pandemic, and with more virtual events in the planning stages for 2021, the days of live shows may be reaching the end of the road. Of course, there’s no true substitute for a live event, but as companies and organizations work out the kinks of presenting their events virtually, more attendees will realize that the time and expense of attending a live event can be better spent if there is a virtual option.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic killed live industry events? Various industries have responded with virtual events with varying degrees of success. Whether it was the PRINTING United Digital Experience, Epson’s November Partner Conference, GreatAmerica’s Smarketing Conference, or our own 35th Anniversary Awards and Charities Gala, as well as many others, the pivot was on, and mostly everyone showed that remote events can be successful. That said, most of us want our live events back. But only if it is safe.
Video is killing more than the radio star
It’s not only video but also platforms that facilitate remote meetings such as Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc. How fast did the adoption of those platforms rise in 2020? Rhetorical questions aside, we have all become “screen” stars and had better be ready for more closeups.
Acquisitions in a holding pattern
It wasn’t a big year for acquisitions. At last count, there were 30 acquisitions in 2020. Most were smaller dealerships per usual and most likely were in the works prior to March 17. Looking at private equity acquisitions, which have been driving acquisitions activity in the past few years, there were not many. Even the private-equity backed companies were quiet, with Marco making a couple of acquisitions, and Flex Technology Group and UBEO making one each. As has been the trend since November 2018, Visual Edge has been in a holding pattern. The challenge for anyone interested in acquiring is that it is difficult to value a company when business is down.
Inkjet is still bubbling
Inkjet has made its mark in the production and industrial print space and will define those segments for years to come. Less certain is its impact on the lower end of the market—the A3 and A4 space. Epson is leading the charge in these segments with its inkjet MFPs and printers, and from what we understand, more dealers are taking Epson’s inkjet value proposition seriously.
Filling a gap in the leasing space
The year 2020 was the end of the road for TIAA Bank as a leasing provider to the industry. It had a nice run, but the pandemic did it in. No doubt, the remaining leasing companies will be looking to fill that gap in 2021, even if many already have a relationship with dealers who used TIAA for some of their leasing needs. We don’t expect to see another leasing company enter the space to compete with the likes of CIT, DLL, GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp., LEAF Commercial Capital, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Managed services to the rescue
While the print hardware business took a major hit in 2020, for some dealers, their managed services business continued to thrive or at least serve as an ongoing source of revenue when businesses shut down, and employees started working from home. Dealers with a managed services offering were often called on to help clients set up employees who were now working remotely. Now that organizations across corporate America have discovered many employees can be just as productive working from home as in the office, managed services will continue to play a factor in keeping the lines of communication secure and flowing between the family home office and the corporate home office.
Pandemic-related products proliferate
We have monitored the steady stream of products and services released or reimagined in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies such as Canon, GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp., HP, Konica Minolta, Sharp, Square 9, and others leveraged existing technologies, expertise, and platforms to protect employees and visitors and keep businesses functioning in an increasingly remote work environment. With business as unusual expected to continue at least through the first two quarters of 2021, we expect more companies will introduce additional products and services geared toward a remote and uncertain world.
Remote demos deliver
As live conferences and events go virtual, so are live product demos. Last month, we wrote about RISO’s success in hosting remote product demos for its dealers. During the virtual Epson partner conference in November, we learned the company has four studios, including three in its newly opened corporate headquarters specifically designed for remote product demonstrations. These are just two examples, and many other vendors are doing the same or have plans to build out their remote demo operations.
Getting in touch with touchless technology
Whether it is voice-activated controls or the ability to initiate or retrieve a print job from one’s mobile device, touchless technology will likely show up in a greater number of products in 2021.
Hanging on the telephone
We know some dealers who have dabbled in telephony and VoIP for some time, but based on our 35th Annual Dealer Survey, the percentage of dealers who view this as a diversification opportunity has risen significantly in the past year. What makes this offering particularly attractive is that it falls under the managed services umbrella. Because of that, a dealer can visit a customer or prospect, and meet with the head of IT and provide an all-encompassing managed services solution.
Baby, baby, it’s a wide-format world
What better way for a dealer to get into the production print space than wide format. One can start at the low end and move up from there. Look at what dealers such as Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office have done with the high-end EFI wide-format machine. Wide format is also a way to get into inkjet since many of the products in the space utilize that technology.
We saw Brother’s numbers rise as an A4 provider in our 35th Annual Dealer Survey for the third consecutive year. Most notably, it was only seven percentage points behind Lexmark—16% to 23%—which is quite the accomplishment as Lexmark has held a place in our Survey as one of the top three A4 providers, along with Kyocera and HP, since we’ve been tracking A4. The reason for this increase is an aggressive effort to sign dealers and to programs that are difficult to pass up. We’ll be watching to see if Brother’s momentum in the channel continues in 2021.
The Terrific Trio of MSPs
That trio encompasses All Covered, Collabrance, and ConnectWise, all of whom provide managed services to independent dealers. If the pandemic proved anything, managed services were a lifesaver for many dealers, particularly as office printing ground to a halt. For dealers who can’t handle managed services on their own, they won’t go wrong with one of these three options. As a result, we expect all three MSPs to see a significant uptick in their business in 2021.
On October 16, First Citizens BancShares, Inc., the parent company of First Citizens Bank & Trust Company, and CIT Group Inc., the parent company of CIT Bank, N.A., jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals to create the 19th largest bank in the United States based on assets, according to a First Citizens press release. What that means for CIT in the dealer channel is unclear but worth watching.
With the office technology industry in turmoil in 2020, and layoffs and furloughs commonplace, Copier Careers was surprisingly busy during this time. The company’s job candidate pool grew and its recruiters found themselves fielding calls from clients who were looking to upgrade certain positions in their organizations that they were hesitant to act on in their organizations pre-pandemic. We also have our eyes on Copier Careers because it has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening on the hiring and retention front. It is also on our list because its many salary surveys are of value to anyone. in the office technology industry, from the top to the bottom of an organization. Because of the pandemic, Copier Careers did not release any of its salary surveys in 2020; however, we hope they do in 2021 to understand better the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the office technology industry.
Ricoh’s acquisition of DocuWare in 2019 has not changed anything from a product offering perspective, not that we thought it would. What it has done, however, is provide Ricoh dealers with a direct line to an ECM/document management product that is perfectly in sync with Ricoh’s document management initiatives.
We already referenced Epson for the part it is playing in driving inkjet through the independent dealer channel. The company did not add as many dealers as it planned in 2020 because of the pandemic, but we expect it to pick up the pace in 2021. After attending Epson’s Ink Boldly virtual partner conference in November, we saw firsthand how the company is making it appealing for dealers to partner with them thanks to creative programs and incentives. The question remains, can dealers convince their customers to swap out toner-based MFPs for inkjet? That will be a determining factor in how much attention the company gets from dealers who will still be selling toner-based devices from other manufacturers.
Flex Technology Group
This private equity-backed mega-dealer has acquired some significant dealerships across the country over the past five years. This past year may have been a quiet one for Flex Technology Group but look for it to get back on the acquisitions track in the coming year.
Gordon Flesch Company
This is another independent dealer that seems to be growing through acquisition. It is also a company with a young generation of leadership that has it well-positioned for future success in a changing world.
The company is making inroads in the A3 space and is expanding its products and services at a steady clip. Indeed, hardly a month goes by when HP doesn’t hold a press and analyst briefing, even if not everything it is publicizing is geared toward the independent dealer channel. However, the HP brand name still carries a lot of weight, and we expect it to make further inroads into the channel with its A3 products in 2021.
Hytec Dealer Services
The company was put to the test in 2020 thanks to the pandemic, proving that while the company had been recession-proof during difficult economic times, it wasn’t exactly pandemic-proof when businesses weren’t printing. While Hytec has relationships with most of the office equipment vendors, it has been growing its list of partners, most notably Ametek ESP, for advanced power protection and related data, as well as Predictive InSight, a print management solution provider new to the U.S. dealer channel. Coming off one of the most challenging years in its history, if any organization can rebound, we believe the team at Hytec can make it happen in 2021.
We started watching this Kent, Washington-based dealership last year after it went on a wild acquisitions streak. Like other firms that had been aggressively acquiring, its acquisitions slowed down in 2020 (at press time, the company had only made one acquisition) and we will be watching to see if it returns to its spending ways. Kelley Connect now has locations across Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska, and describes itself as one of the largest privately-owned and growing office technology companies in the western United States. You’ll hear no argument from us.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
The company holds a significant market share in mid-range digital color production and continues to enhance its product offerings by introducing new models. It might be an exaggeration to say that Konica Minolta is setting the standard for mid-range digital color production, but not by much. And that’s why we are watching them in 2021.
This ECM company is no stranger to the dealer channel, although it tends to be overshadowed by others who are more visible at industry functions. But after dealers identified Laserfiche as one of the top four ECM/document management providers in our 35th Annual Dealer Survey, we are now paying attention.
This company’s standing as an A4 provider has been on the decline in our annual Survey for the past two years, and now Brother is nipping at its heels. We have heard from dealers that Lexmark has made it more difficult to do business with the company, and that could be a reason for the decline. It has been four years since Apex Technology and PAG Asia Capital acquired it, so we don’t think that’s a factor. This could just be a two-year blip in our Survey, and the company could return to its former standing with dealers in 2021.
In 2021, it will be over five years since Norwest Equity Partners acquired Marco. Often, once the investment hits the five-year mark, the acquirer is looking to flip it. Marco executives have never been shy about acknowledging that this has always been a possibility. Could 2021 be the year that happens? If it does, don’t be surprised if other private equity-backed firms fall like dominos. There’s also the possibility that Marco—whether another private equity firm acquires it or not— invests in another private equity-owned entity, which would mean we would have to redefine the term mega-dealer because this resulting entity would be much larger than any other mega-dealer we have ever known.
This is a company serving the office technology industry whose profile should be much higher than it is. It’s a fixture as far as reclaiming end-of-lease equipment and refurbishing it and reselling it, mostly overseas. The company is now expanding a service that it launched three years ago to provide logistical support to dealers, including pickup and delivery, configuration, warehousing, and more. This service is currently available in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, but the plan is to take it nationwide, starting in California and Illinois. For dealers who may be looking to shrink their physical footprint as more employees work remotely or have reduced headcount, this service from MARS International offers a strong value proposition.
NEXERA, a BEI Services Company
The operative word here is data, and NEXERA has it. For dealers who need to understand what good service looks like, there has not been a better source for that in this industry going back to the days, which weren’t that long ago, when NEXERA was operating as BEI Services. The company has numerous initiatives on tap for 2021, and you can read about them in a separate article here in this issue.
Actually, this is a company that we won’t be watching in 2021 as it officially exits the U.S. independent dealer channel on March 31. It had a nice run, but it was another victim of the pandemic. What we will be watching is which A4 providers will gain additional market share because of OKI Data’s departure. Right now, we are placing our bets on Brother.
Earlier this year, when we wrote about this new company, led by print industry veterans Edward McLaughlin and Shawn Cashmark, we questioned whether dealers needed another data collection solution. This solution, which originated in Europe, brings advanced predictive analytics and data collection to the print industry. According to McLaughlin and Cashmark, Predictive InSight will deliver everything other data collectors provide, as well as intelligent data collectors, which clean the data at the collector. The jury is still out on Predictive InSight, and 2021 will determine if this solution takes off in the channel.
This past year, Square 9 has proven it is more than just an ECM/document management company with the release of its Return to Work Essentials Solution, a reimagining of its existing technology adapted for a COVID-19 workplace. We were impressed by this product and the innovation behind it, which should not come as a surprise based on what we’ve come to expect from Square 9. In the coming year, we will be watching to see what other innovative products and enhancements the company unveils.
Who says the consumables and supplies industry is boring? This company totally gets MPS and has the initiatives to back up that knowledge as more businesses engage in a remote workforce. But what has us watching this company more closely is the level of success its new Barcode Select program will have in 2021. The program is based on Supplies Network’s mpsSELECT solution and includes supplies and equipment from Zebra Technologies. Barcode and label printers are a prime diversification opportunity for dealers, and this program could be a winner.
Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS)
The primary reason to watch TABS in 2021 is its new A4 product line. It may have taken forever to finally introduce its homegrown A4 line as it did in September 2020, but now it is here and there is no turning back. It will be interesting to see how the Toshiba A4 line impacts the other A4 lines Toshiba dealers were selling through their partnership with Toshiba—Brother, HP, and Lexmark. Our one caveat about this new A4 line is that these are robust A4 machines designed for office use, not home offices. With the rise of the remote workforce, we wouldn’t be surprised if TABS builds out its A4 line in 2021.
The troubled financial institution remains in the news, announcing a new round of layoffs in late October of as many as 50,000 employees across all of its business segments. As far as we know at press time, this has not impacted its office equipment leasing division. Based on our annual Survey, a significant number of dealers count Wells Fargo as one of their leasing partners, and although the company doesn’t rate as highly in our Survey as some of its competitors, dealers still appreciate the team it has in place.
We are always watching Xerox because, well, it is Xerox. After an eventful 2019, 2020 was extremely quiet, pandemic or not. The company is still reeling, in our opinion, from the departures of a host of talented people, and we are not convinced this new regime is doing much to raise its profile in the office printing industry. It is still a significant player in the production and industrial print segments, and we don’t see that changing any time soon.
Phil Boatman, Vice President, Dealer Sales South, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
The long-time Lexmark executive joined Konica Minolta in August, much to our surprise. Lexmark’s loss was Konica Minolta’s gain, as Boatman is well respected in the dealer channel and has a strong understanding of that channel.
Clark Bugg, Director, North American Channel Sales, Lexmark
Meet an executive with a gregarious personality and a solid reputation in the dealer channel. Bugg has been with Lexmark for more than 21 years, and Lexmark’s continued success in the channel rests firmly on his shoulders.
Amanda Byrne, Montana Regional Manager, Fisher’s Technology
A former Cannata Report Young Influencer (2017) when she was with Davis Business Machines (acquired by Fisher’s in 2018), Byrne was recently promoted to Montana Regional Manager, responsible for managing six Montana locations. We love it when our Young Influencers scale the corporate ladder and become even more valuable team members at their dealerships. What’s more impressive, she joined Fisher’s through an acquisition and has clearly shown her value to the new organization in a short time.
Fred Carollo, Vice President Originations, Office Products, TIAA Bank
With TIAA Bank pulling out of the office technology dealer channel as a leasing option in 2020, Carollo was destined to become a free agent by the end of the year. He was TIAA Bank’s go-to guy in the channel, and he will be missed. We expect that TIAA’s loss will be some other leasing company’s gain and sincerely hope that Carollo finds another position in the channel.
Jessica Crowley, Senior Vice President, Copier Careers
Here’s a young woman who is helping shape the look and feel of dealership’s sales, service, management, and administrative teams nationwide. She’s more than the right hand woman to Copier Careers founder Paul Schwartz, and seeing her in action during our “Hiring and Retention in the Time of COVID-19” webinar this past summer, she has an excellent read on the U.S. independent dealer channel. We expect she will be instrumental, along with her company, in helping dealers enhance their talent pools in 2021.
Dave D’Agostino, Director of Sales, NEXERA, a BEI Services Company
The hiring of this industry veteran as NEXERA’s new director of sales in September was a smooth move by NEXERA’s Wes McArtor. We expect D’Agostino will be instrumental in raising the company’s profile in the channel even more, particularly since he has intimate knowledge of the channel, having spent nine years on the dealer side of the business as general manager at COMDOC. (See the interview with D’Agostino and Wes McArtor in this issue.)
Sue Dancer, Global Field Marketing and Digital Leader, PaperCut Software
As if PaperCut Software didn’t have a high enough profile in the office imaging industry already, thanks in large part to its partnership with ACDI, we expect to see its profile rise even more with Dancer and her team. She joined PaperCut in 2019 after a long career with Tektronix. It will be interesting to see how things develop for PaperCut in 2021 due to her efforts and those of another individual we are watching, Matt Schotten.
After working for consumables companies, such as LMI Solutions, Digitek, Clover Imaging Group, and a brief stint at FORZA, Dyck has moved to the dealer side of the aisle, as CEO of ES99, a division of Impact Networking focused on branding and marketing. It is a role that fits Dyck perfectly, thanks in large part to his marketing expertise. Let’s see if the grass is greener on the dealer side of the fence.
Jose María Estébanez, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Kyocera Document Solutions America
Appointed to this new position in October, Estébanez is working closely with Kyocera President and CEO Oscar Sanchez to drive the company’s marketing initiatives. He and his team are on a mission to transform Kyocera into one of the strongest companies in the industry. It is a tall order, and the challenge will be winning over dealers who are still navigating some of the changes that were made after Sanchez took his position in 2018. Since Estébanez arrived in the U.S. in September 2018, we have seen the company ramp up its marketing initiatives.
Jeff Jacobson, President and CEO, EFI
We thought it was a smart decision when EFI named Jacobson president and CEO in the fall of 2019, and we haven’t changed our opinion. Our sources inside EFI tell us Jacobson is doing a terrific job and is well respected, and best of all, he has the support of the company’s board of directors, something he didn’t have during the last few years of his tenure at Xerox.
Gavin Jordan-Smith, Senior Vice President, Commercial and Industrial Printing Business, Ricoh USA.
The face of Ricoh USA’s production and industrial print efforts (See interview in this issue.) is well positioned to lead those initiatives for years to come. He knows his stuff and has a talent for making technology understandable and accessible. If you are a Ricoh dealer selling production and industrial print, you know exactly what we mean.
Keith Kratzberg, President and CEO, Epson America
What an enviable position to be in, leading a company with inkjet, a technology that has nowhere to go but up in the U.S. dealer channel! We commend Kratzberg and the rest of his management team at Epson for keeping the company upwardly mobile and in the hearts and minds of its dealer partners during the pandemic. That Epson did not have to lay off or furlough a single employee during the pandemic is another positive achievement. Now to see what kind of inroads Epson can make with its inkjet technology in 2021.
Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP, Inc.
Lores has been in these roles for just over a year and is a proven leader, adding to an impressive three-decade career with the company. Under Lores’ leadership, HP is still innovating, still making inroads in the independent dealer channel, and relentlessly getting its message out to the press and analyst community. Hardly a month goes by without an HP briefing. The company has some solid talent around Lores, and while many of those executives were in place before he took the helm, he has a knack for surrounding himself with good people.
Casey Lowery, Director of Sales, Applied Imaging
This was an easy selection for us. Casey is being groomed to take over the helm of Applied Imaging from his father John, and from all of our interactions with him, we approve of that succession plan—not that anyone has asked for our approval. The next generation represents the future of our industry, and we are closely following talented young leaders such as Casey as they take on greater responsibilities in preparation for the next stage of their careers.
Maegan Lujan, Director, Solutions and Services, Toshiba America Business Solutions.
One of only two executives honored in The Cannata Report as a Young Influencer and a Woman Influencer, Lujan possesses an inspiring backstory. We continue to applaud her for the upward mobility she’s shown in her life and career, and she has become a valuable member of TABS’ executive team. When it comes to social media, she is a master, particularly how she advocates for becoming the CEO of your own brand. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram and see for yourself.
Bob Madaio, Vice President of Marketing, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America
Madaio has settled nicely into his position since joining the company in 2018. As Sharp builds out its product offerings and positions itself as more than just an MFP vendor, Madaio has been spearheading the charge and helping raise Sharp’s profile in the industry and the marketplace. His background in IT fits perfectly with many of Sharp’s current initiatives.
Bill Melo, Chief Marketing Executive, Toshiba America Business Solutions/Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
Here’s an industry executive who quietly and effectively does his job, knows the business, and has long been an advocate for TABS’s many product offerings and now Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions’ products. We’ve interviewed him many times over the years and have always walked away impressed by his industry knowledge and perspective. While other executives have left TABS over the years for other opportunities, Melo remains a consistent and positive presence.
West McDonald, Owner, West McDonald Company
Really now, is this guy still a free agent? As he describes himself on Linkedin, he’s a “flat-rate billing innovation specialist and a converged services enthusiast.” He’s also one of the industry’s most notable MPS advocates. He is still doing business development and social engagement for Tigerpaw Software, where he serves part-time and is also president of the Managed Print Services Association. Our question is, what’s next for McDonald in 2021?
Paul Meyer, VP Sales, National Accounts, U.S. Bank
Meyer may have been flying under our radar mainly because our primary contact at U.S. Bank is the always accommodating Phil Buysse, but we are taking notice of Meyer in 2021. Meyer is well regarded as a leader who has developed a strong team delivering significant and specific value to each major account. He has been with U.S. Bank for more than 20 years and has 26 years of leasing experience, which gives him cred as a trusted advisor to the industry’s top leaders, resulting in what we understand are some of the largest and most successful vendor programs in leasing. On top of that, he has high-level relationships with virtually every manufacturer in the market.
Bruce Nelson, Vice President Strategic Initiatives, Hytec Dealer Services
Nelson joined Hytec in April of this year after a 23-year career with Ricoh and Lanier, where he served in various service and support positions. Since joining Hytec, he has led the company’s efforts to expand its product and services offerings and new partner initiatives. One of the newest partnerships is with Boca Systems, a company that sells RFID and wristband printers, as well as ticket printers for Ticketmaster. Perhaps the best way to describe Nelson’s roles is that he oversees the company’s diversification initiatives and is helping the company diversify.
Hannah O’Donnell, Director of Sales, Collabrance
O’Donnell has been on an upward trajectory at GreatAmerica Financial Services and in the Collabrance division since joining the company in 2013. She was named one of our Young Influencers in 2016 and she has impressed us with her knowledge of the industry while moderating educational panels for Collabrance’s MSP partners
during the pandemic. We predict she will continue to advance in this industry.
Joseph Odore, Product Manager, Office Products, Panasonic Systems Solutions Company of North America
Earlier in December we learned that Panasonic will be exiting the scanner market. With that exit, one of our favorite people, Odore will also be moving on. We are hoping that he remains in the industry, and being based in northern New Jersey, he’s got a few options.
Kazuto Ogawa, Chairman and CEO, Canon U.S.A.
Ogawa assumed this position on April 1, 2020, replacing Yoroku Adachi who retired on March 31. Ogawa started his career with Canon in 1981 and has held various leadership roles around the world since joining the company. It’s no secret that Adachi was a polarizing figure inside and outside Canon U.S.A., so it will be interesting to learn more about Ogawa’s leadership style and see if he will be embraced by Canon employees and the press and analyst community in a way Adachi was not.
Dino Pagliarello, Senior Vice President, Product Planning and Management, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
This is an executive who has been scaling the corporate ladder at Konica Minolta since arriving there more than 13 years ago. Pagliarello was deservedly promoted to his current position in April of this year, a testament to his talents and the respect of Konica Minolta senior leadership. With much of the current leadership at Konica Minolta entering their sunset years, the future looks bright for Pagliarello.
Oscar Sanchez, President and CEO, Kyocera Document Solutions America
Sanchez makes our WatchList for the second consecutive year due largely to the comments from dealers in our 35th Annual Dealer Survey. The Survey reveals uncertainty as to the direction of the company under his leadership. Sanchez has been nothing but gracious with us, and we commend him for making the tough decisions that needed to be made to position Kyocera for growth, even if those decisions haven’t been received well by some of Kyocera’s dealers. Change is hard, and it will be interesting to see if those dealer perceptions change over the next 12 months.
Matt Schotten, Go-to-Market Lead, Cloud, Papercut Software
Schotten, formerly of ImageNet Consulting, where he served as vice president of managed print solutions, joined the company in August and is tasked with driving the company’s cloud initiatives. We’re excited to learn more about these offerings, and we expect that Schotten will educate us and the channel about them in 2021.
John Schweizer, Vice President, Channels & Business Development, ConnectWise
One of the best things ConnectWise did when it acquired Continuum in 2019 was to keep John Schweizer. Without a doubt, he’s the industry’s biggest advocate for cybersecurity or at least one of the most vocal, and he understands the independent dealer channel, which is three-quarters of the battle when convincing dealers there is opportunity in the managed services space.
Mike Stramaglio, President and CEO, Stramaglio Consulting
When Mike Stramaglio first entered the imaging industry nearly 40 years ago, he probably didn’t realize it was like checking into the Hotel California. You know, “you can check out any time that you’d like, but you can never leave.” Stramaglio could easily sit back with his feet up and enjoy retirement, but instead, he’s started a consulting company after leaving Konica Minolta earlier this year. Here’s another example of how the more things change in this industry, the more they stay the same.
Lou Stricklin, Director of Product Marketing, Industrial Printing, OKI Data
Stricklin, whom many dealers know from his time at Muratec, is still at OKI Data for the foreseeable future, despite its plans to pull out of the North American printing business on March 31, 2021. When we spoke with him after the company announced it was leaving the market, his long-term future with the company was uncertain. We suspect he has a solid enough résumé to find another position in the industry. Anyone? Anyone?
Joji Tokunaga, President and CEO, Ricoh Americas
Tokunaga is one of the most visible, accessible, and engaging Japanese executives in the U.S. and we aren’t the only one who thinks highly of him. The Philadelphia Business Journal recently recognized Tokunaga in its 7th annual Most Admired CEO Awards program.
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