Phil Buysse, Mike Marusic, and Larry White share their thoughts on the publication’s impact on the document imaging industry.
Editor’s note: In this first of a two-part special digital installment, Frank interviews three industry executives and long-time subscribers about what The Cannata Report has meant to them, their companies, and the industry. The executives include Mike Marusic, president & CEO of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (35 years in the industry); Larry White, president of Toshiba America Business Solutions, Imaging and Information Company of America (27 years in the industry); and Phil Buysse, SVP, general manager, office equipment vendor services, US Bank (26 years in the industry). The Cannata Report’s relationship with US Bank began when Buysse was marketing director for Business Credit Leasing which was eventually acquired by US Bank. Frank’s interview with long-time dealer subscribers appears in our May issue.
Cannata: What do you think about the job we have done or at least stands out in your mind?
White: You have been an advocate for the dealer as well as for the industry. You have pointed out in many ways the resilience of our industry. You have accurately recorded what the industry has done from the time of thermal to plain paper, analog to digital from server-based to cloud-based. We have seen the industry evolve and how they managed the changes in print technology. You have given the same attention to manufacturers and dealers balancing your reporting so that we all could better understand the problems both of us faced. You have also pointed out the reasons that so many dealers have been successful. Their commitment to taking care of the customer ensured their success and you shared many of their stories.
Marusic: What you brought to the table was a huge agnostic view of the (copier/print) world. At the same time, you have served as a dealer advocate and encouraged the channel to move into areas such as production print. You also did an excellent job of speaking in a dealer voice. No one ever covered the dealers themselves and that is what set you apart of the rest who covered our industry.
The dealer survey is another important contribution and I have years of the surveys in my office. It is the one time we can hear the dealer’s opinion. What makes it so valuable is that there is consistency from the same kind of dealers. To me the feedback we receive is the most valuable. You are not telling the same story every year.
Buysse: I think back to when it all started and do not know who got me to read your report. I do remember hearing about it and reaching out to you and getting a copy. I was disappointed there was no advertising and felt it would be great if we could have you consider our placing an ad. You finally did allow us to place an ad promoting CPC in black and white and it was well received. From that point on we did place a few different ads with pictures of dealers such as Bob Shields and John Kuchta. You have been the most connected with the dealer community and focused on what the dealers should be looking at. I think back to the things you covered; analog to digital, advising dealers on getting those machines connected, and being part of the connected world. You have been the most trusted voice. You added a lot of additional activities such as the annual gala and it became the industry’s leading event. CJ came into the business and what he did is create a whole fresh look and feel for The Cannata Report. It is obvious the impact he has made on the report and your business a publication advocating change.
Cannata: Was there any issue we covered that you thought was absolutely the best or if none comes to mind the one, we did not get right?
White: I want to start by talking about the story you did not get right. I am referring to the time you wrote that Savin would not survey their bankruptcy. Brian Merriman was the president of Savin at that time, and he invited you to attend a Savin dealer meeting and admit you were wrong, and you did. I was there and thought that was a good thing One thing you did right is the annual awards and charities dinner. The brilliance of the program was that it brought the manufacturers together with common causes that we could all get behind. I look forward to attending the dinner every year because I love that I can talk to our competitors and for a brief period let our guards down. We could act friendly and have fun with all the manufacturers and so many dealers in the room. Without question another thing you got right was marrying Carol.
Marusic: Your focus on production print. We do not know production and you have a good angle on why it is important. You have done well with transitional things such as document workflow and software in general. The way you challenged the dealer status quo and encouraged change has been appreciated by all of us (manufacturers). This has been unbelievably valuable to us as well as to the dealers. You have made it clear that you must embrace change. You give the dealers much to think about and most important when interviewing dealers, you ask them questions that provided answers we needed to hear.
Buysse: There have been so many and what comes to mind is analog to digital, and for the last five years production print has been an area for dealers to understand with you pushing them towards getting involved. We are both interested in making the dealers successful. You always have a pulse of what is happening. you along with CJ and Scott are everywhere. You attend every OEM meeting, and your numerous trips to Japan and Germany give us a global perspective and brought it back to the American dealer.