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Chatting with the CEO about customer-championing choice

Chatting with the CEO about customer-championing choice

I recently explored how PaperCut provides choice and flexibility at a solution level. Everything from endless brand/device combinations, to having your network on the premises, in the cloud, or both.

But I also wanted to look at things through a more human, values-focused lens – and who better to do that with than our CEO Chris himself!

Join us as we dive into why customer-championing choice really matters, how it got us where we are today, and why print management that ‘just works’ is the best thing ever.

The choice origin story

Fiona: Hey, Chris! Thanks for sitting down for a choice chat 🤙 (sorry). Going back a bit… Was choice something you wanted PaperCut to be about from the get-go?

Chris: No worries! It’s an important part of the PaperCut offering and culture, so more than happy to get into it.

As for the question… I think so. It was definitely a product of being in the software industry during the 90s.

If you were a network administrator like I was back then, you’d know that compatibility was an absolute pain – you couldn’t plug a printer in without some sort of issue popping up.

So yes, that was a big problem I wanted to tackle, and it definitely defined PaperCut at the time.

Fiona: Makes sense! How did you go about tackling it in the early days?

Chris: Initially, it played really well into our values around being customer-first, as well as our ability to code with the best of them.

For example, you wouldn’t support Linux as a commercial play – it’s only 6% of the market. But for education at the time, it was a thing; customers wanted first-class support, and we wanted to provide it.

It was how we made the industry take notice, in a way. Offering wide support for things like operating systems is far from technically easy, but it’s what people wanted then – and they still want it.

Making customers and choice numero uno

Fiona: So we bang on about choice a lot at PaperCut, and rightfully so. But why do you think it’s so crucial to have as a product cornerstone?

Chris: Well, we’re for customers first and foremost. And choice to a customer is all about future flexibility, which is invaluable in print management – or any product, for that matter.

No business wants to get locked into a vendor; they don’t want to have to throw away old devices… They want to be able to change brands or operating systems within a truly cross-platform solution.

Fiona: I’m assuming all of this isn’t just a hunch – that you’ve seen some things in your time.

Chris: Haha. Yep, I’ve seen lock-in from brands in the past, and it’s a real headache. We don’t want to be a part of that problem – we want to give people something that just works, no matter what they use.

‘It just works’ = a most choice quality

Fiona: Ah, ‘it just works’. I’ve heard this do the rounds at PaperCut from employees and customers alike. Could you elaborate a bit on how it relates to choice?

Chris: Basically, we want to give customers something that installs easily right out of the box, and slots into whatever infrastructure they’ve set up.

They don’t need to ask themselves, ‘Have I got enough ram… Have I got the right browser… Do I need any apps?’ We’ve done the hard work to make those questions disappear.

Fiona: Do you think that’s at the top of users’ lists in terms of pesky things they’d love to see gone?

Chris: I think so. As a customer, you don’t know if or when a supplier’s going to come along with a cheaper, better option – so having the flexibility to pivot is crucial.

You want to evolve your business around your customers’ needs, not your software requirements.

Fiona: Love it. Thanks for your time, Chris!

Chris: 🤙

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