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Here’s Your “AH-HA!” MOMENT Regarding Managed Print Services

12 Sep, 2011 imageSource

Quit Leaving Money on the Table! The more I meet and have the opportunity to speak with Dealers, Solution Providers,  IT VARs and Managed Service Providers (MSPs), the more I’m convinced that there is still a tremendous amount of channel education needed to teach the immediate and significant business value of entering the Managed Print Services (MPS)  market.

While MPS is – and has been – my life passion (professionally-speaking) for many  years, I realize that MPS is still in the early stages of adoption within some of today’s key market segments. As a result, there is plenty of opportunity out  there for Dealers, IT VARs and MSPs alike, to jump into the print management  arena and start to realize incredible returns. However, like any good window of  opportunity, it will not remain open for long.

Consider this: MPS revenue globally, was nearly $31.6 billion in 2010 and is projected to  exceed $68 billion by 2014. So as MSPs and Dealers start colliding in the same  business space, customer ownership and retention become compelling reasons to stake  your claim quickly within the Managed Print space.

Although  much has been written about the emergence of Managed Print Services as a viable  business model, I would like to share some of my life-experience as to why your  business must quickly act upon adding  Managed Print Services to your current offerings in order to secure your future  growth and profitability. Your continued business success is dependent on your  taking action now rather than later. As you know, timing is everything…and the  time to act is now!

The Lay of the Land
In today’s business environment, organizations utilize hardware (copiers, printers  and multi-function devices) traditionally provided by Dealers/Solution  Providers, and various services/systems/applications to support them (network  management, application management, database management, data storage/cloud, network security and phone systems/VoIP) all traditionally provided by IT VARs,  System Integrators and Managed Service Providers. Looking ahead, it is  increasingly likely that all of these systems, services, solutions and hardware  devices will be provided through a single source. As this consolidation  accelerates, customers will demand that their vendors be able to provide assessments, maintenance, support, sales and service for all these functions. Is your company prepared? If not, I suggest you strongly consider a Managed Print suite  of Services to build out your existing infrastructure and enhance your current capabilities. There is a plethora of different systems and tools available  today that will simplify your evaluation of MPS offerings and ultimately  expedite your MPS implementation.

In order to be able to provide the level of service and support customers will  demand – and are demanding in increasing numbers – partners will need to deploy a comprehensive Managed Print Services business model to delivers complete customer service and satisfaction so that you may secure long-term customer retention. If your company is unable to provide this expanded suite of professional services, I can assure you that another Vendor that can is right behind you ready to seize that business opportunity.
This evolution is already underway, so the time to act is now. Don’t do your  organization a disservice by not seriously considering the opportunity to add  Managed Print Services to your existing business model. A business expansion of  this type can be quickly and cost-effectively implemented if you choose your vendor  partner wisely. With a proven MPS solution in place, your company will be able  to further-penetrate existing accounts for longer-term retention, identify new and emerging business opportunities, realize an immediate and significant return on investment (upwards of 50%+ markup) while establishing a long-term recurring  revenue stream that enhances your profitability and drives business growth.
Case and Point
As stated earlier, the accelerated growth expectations for MPS are impressive. Therefore,  the rationale for becoming an MPS provider is simple: it’s profitable!

As a matter of fact, MPS is one of the more profitable business endeavors you can  pursue in today’s challenging market. Let me give you a hypothetical example to further clarify this point.

    Customer X has 17 devices: 15 printers and two copiers. Customer X’s average monthly print volume is 1240 pages per month; or 670,000 pages over three years.
    Customer X’s copier usage is 9,500 pages per month; or 684,000 pages over three years.

    Accounting for upgrades of 7-20% annually for three years, Customer X would add six new devices during that time period.

    Based on this information, your profit margin would be approximately $34,700 over three years; with $7,300 coming from upgrades (assuming a 41% margin) and  $27,400 in utility-based (CPP) service & supplies (assuming a 43% margin).

In order to become a Managed Print Services provider, you will need the following  systems and services in place: an assessment tool, a billing system, remote  monitoring capabilities, seamless integration into your existing business  processes, and, ideally, a national service and support network with the ability to provide automated supplies fulfillment & support for mixed  fleets. Easy…right? It can be.

For those organizations that “get it” and desire to enter the MPS arena, the  question is not “why?” but “how?” How in the world are we going to develop or  acquire all these systems, tools, services and functions; compile all this  research and data; and train our sales and administrative staff to handle it  all? How long is this going to take us to get this done, and what is it going  to cost? The task seems daunting and more than a bit overwhelming, I realize,  but it need not be.

Enter Your “AH-HA”  MOMENT
I speak at MPS conferences internationally and across the US, and routinely meet individuals representing companies probably not unlike your own. Their “ah-ha” moment usually comes when I advise them that there are turnkey Managed  Print Services solutions available in the market today and, thankfully, that all of the “heavy lifting” has already been done for the partner.

Such a moment came recently for James Laszko from Mythos Technology – a Managed  Service Provider (MSP) from Temecula, CA. I was participating in a  panel at a conference in Florida just a few months ago. James was attending with one of his colleagues. Both were curious about Managed Print Services, but were reluctant to engage in the process due to: (1) uncertainty about their  ability to service customers in that capacity, and (2) concern about the costs, in terms of labor and finances, associated with doing so.

As part of my presentation and the panel discussion at this event, I stated, “If you’re providing only one piece of the technology pie to your customers, not only are you  leaving money on the table but you are doing your customers a tremendous  disservice.”

I went on to describe how Managed Print Services is the solution for providing a  more comprehensive and holistic suite of services to your customers, and that  by doing so, companies will realize immediate and long-term revenue streams.  Furthermore, I assured the attendees that if they were not inclined to move toward  this business model, their competition surely is. That was James’s “ah-ha”  moment.

Following the presentation James and I spoke off-line, and Mythos Technology began providing Managed Print Services to their existing clients – both large and  small. With little investment in terms of training and resources, Mythos began  implementing their MPS solution, and within a very short period of time, realized  immediate rewards – not only in terms of increased margins and revenue for  themselves, but also in terms of real and quantifiable savings for their customers. It was a win-win situation borne of an “ah-ha” moment just 30 days beforehand.

Do Your Homework
There are a number of MPS solution providers with a range of offerings from which to choose. Here are a few questions and recommendations as you consider which  solution is best for your company and for your customers, both now and down the  road.

Is  the solution cloud-based?

Ideally, your organization will want to employ a cloud-based system for ease of access, use and implementation.

Is  the solution brand-agnostic?

The solution you select should feature a comprehensive set of tools that will analyze and provide recommendations based on sound research and best practice thinking rather than  on brand preference.

What are the system requirements?

The solution you select should be able to get you up and running as an MPS provider quickly, and with little investment of time and energy, and minimal financial commitment.

Does the solution feature a comprehensive, yet modular, suite of tools?

The modular tool set provided through your MPS solution of choice should include:  customer data capture, data analysis (taking the guess work out of work place optimization), a proposal generator, flexible acquisition options, implementation  services, remote monitoring and management, national service and supply  fulfillment, back office processing and billing, and continuous fleet  optimization and reporting. Note that the last tool – continuous fleet optimization and reporting – may be the most  important feature of all, as it will help drive continuous, long-term profitability for your MPS program by identifying on-going optimization and cost-savings opportunities for your customers.

What support systems and services are provided  through this solution?

All  tools that are part of a comprehensive MPS program need to be easy to implement and utilize, and should  be backed by a larger organization whose core business is driven by MPS. This will help ensure program longevity as well as the assurance for the integration of MPS best practices.

How flexible is the solution?

Your MPS solution of choice should feature a toolkit that has the flexibility to employ its various modules independently or in their entirety as a complete solution. Such features and functionality are critical in meeting the unique business needs of all types and sizes of channel partners. The MPS program you select should work within your existing infrastructure, require minimal out-of-pocket or overhead expenses,  be easy to implement, supplement your offerings for businesses of all sizes, be modular with the ability to evolve as your needs change, and be supported by both a knowledgeable staff and the expertise of a global leader in printing solutions.

Where Do I Sign-up?
There  are a handful of MPS service offerings available in the marketplace today,  including the newly-enhanced Total Managed Print™ (TMP) solution from OKI Data  Americas. TMP provides a comprehensive, flexible and modular suite of services,  and can be yours with no up-front investment.

For more information about MPS and how to get started, attend a webinar or a conference in your area; visit the Managed Print Services Association at www.yourmpsa.org, or email me at tim.brien@okidata.com.  For more info on OKI’s Total Managed Print™ solution, visit http://www.okidata.com/tmp.

BIO: Tim Brien is the Director of Managed Print Services for OKI Data Americas. For full company information visit www.okidata.com.

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