The hotel shuttle drops us off on a dimly lit street corner somewhere in pre-dawn Scottsdale. Allegedly, there is a trailhead to be found before the end of this street and beyond that, yet unseen, lies Camelback Mountain.

Exploration and discovery are at the core of Pharos, and I can’t help but notice how fitting it is to start the week of our annual user conference by setting out with the Pharos conference team to scale a mountain most of us have never seen.

Let’s just say that it helps to know where to start. Shortcuts can turn out to be painful choices. After some initial confusion, a man walking his dog guides us to the actual trailhead where we begin our hike. The beginning of the trail has a moderate grade and follows wide and obvious pathways. We enjoy many light moments together and share our appreciation of the beauty of the desert that surrounds us.

Closing in on the summit however, we face a much narrower trail. Danger lies on one side or both, and at times, we need to use both hands and feet to scale the steeper incline. The path is faintly marked. Paint splotches faded by weather and time now lead us safely to the summit.

Looking outward, we see how far we have come as our view of the Valley of the Sun and the city of Phoenix becomes increasingly clearer. We watch as throngs of people start their morning commute and look down on airplanes as they take off. They are a gentle reminder of the conference business looming in front of us as we begin to descend from the summit.

As the conference ends, I find myself with a Pharos customer along with some colleagues, setting out to summit a different kind of mountain. Our customer has recently installed our new Beacon Fleet Manager software. We are his guides on a familiar trail, only on his mountain this time. We are exploring a cloud view of his organization’s printing environment; a view that reveals his print infrastructure, usage trends, and many opportunities to save money and improve the user experience. Together, we plot a strategy to engage his organization in mindful printing to lessen their financial and environmental footprint.

Again, the path forward is faintly marked. Shortcuts are usually painful. Our customer has a mountain to climb. There are great rewards at the top, and we are committed to supporting and guiding him to this summit. Together, we will discover the best print strategy and solution to achieve his organization’s goals.

Pharos Explorers

At the top, we had the opportunity to celebrate our achievement, but also to reflect on the great beauty of the world around us – a world and view we must protect for the many generations that follow.