We’ve Seen This Movie Before…And We Liked It2 Jun, 2015 By: Brian Stevenson, footPrint Manages Services
For the past few years, we’ve been witness to all this noise about Managed Print Services being about consolidation and rightsizing. It’s often insinuated that device rationalization is the cornerstone to a successful MPS initiative. In fact, there have been so many OEMs horn-blowing this message, that self-doubt has rolled into the minds of customers and independent providers alike.
For those of us around long enough to see more than one copier-refresh cycle, the above statement could have been written in 2015 or even 1995, except for the “MPS” acronym. I mean, just think about this:
You’ve had that copier hardware quota hanging over your head – and your objective has always been “Rip & Replace.” Back in 1995, you could expand the number of devices with fax machines and big copiers with dedicated outlets. By 2000, the 30 page/minute “digital copier” was all the rage. Imagine the opportunity: let’s remove those huge machines from the copier rooms and provide the users with added functionality just steps from their desk. This was truly where the growth of MPS was seeded – true fleet management, with a focus on service. Unfortunately, terrific service and fleet management doesn’t fill a hardware quota. So back we went, promoting the Centralized model…again. The power. The speed. The capabilities. The inconvenience to everyone.
For any sports fan, think back to any weekend. For me, I love the “Opening Day” weekend best of all. It’s early April and there are ball games all day. It’s also the NCAA Championship game. Now, I’m a huge baseball fan and can’t wait to watch the Yankee-Blue Jay game. My daughter on the other hand loves Duke and wants to watch the basketball games. “But wait” says both my partner and my youngest daughter. One wants to watch a special on MTV and the other is looking to see the final episode of Mad Men. Well, “back in the day,” this could have been a huge inconvenience for us, but thankfully, we have three ‘traditional’ TV’s and an iMac that can stream one of the games.
Some could look at the above example and say, “Wow, you’ve got TV creep.” There’s a TV in the family room, one in the bedroom, one in the basement, plus an iMac that essentially functions as a fourth TV. Does that make sense? Is it possible there are too many TVs in the house? Should I consolidate those four devices into one newer TV, supporting the latest in technology? Think of the power. The speed. The capabilities! Well, ok – let’s take a look at some Pros & Cons:
- Power consumption. It’s likely the new device would use less power than the four devices, so I could save a few $$$/mth on my electricity bill.
- Additional family time. They may do it very reluctantly at first, but over time they’ll learn to love baseball. Or, maybe the girls will win out and we’ll watch the latest episode of “The Voice.”
- Current technology. This new TV will have bells and whistles that I don’t currently have on any of my existing TVs.
- More space in the house. Removing the iMac and the TVs in the bedroom and the basement will free up valuable real estate.
- Bottleneck. It’s possible that only 1 out of 4 people will be truly happy with what’s on TV.
- Congestion around the TV. Olivia will have a keyboard lying around, Carly will attempt to bring in her Wii, and before long, we’ll likely see the elliptical machine make an appearance.
- Redundancy. If the central TV requires a service call, and the typical response time is eight business hours, can I trust my friend Scott to let me watch the game at his place?
- Culture. The girls’ productivity may be impacted…they are likely to face line-ups prior to completing their task (playing Wii; researching on the web, etc.).
- Capital Expenditure. The consolidation of existing TVs would result in the purchase of a new, state-of-the-art TV, costing upwards of $2,000.
So, are there too many TVs or has this simply been a logical transition? There is a point when TV creep clearly arrives…and if/when that day comes, do you tell your partner that it’s time to rip out all of your existing TVs and spend another $2,000-plus on one new centralized device?
When we think of our industry, the Centralized model may have reduced the overall number of pages printed. Unfortunately, to achieve that result, people likely saw an increase in their overall cost due to the capital cost of the hardware and the declines in overall user productivity. The focus of MPS has never been on changing the way users leverage print as a tool, but to maximize user productivity and to eliminate wasted paper.
Participating in the most recent HP Global Partner Conference, I believe this tide is turning again…back to a Decentralized model. We’re starting to hear OEM’s state that MPS isn’t about 9:1 ratios, Rip & Replace, and centralizing print. Maybe the OEM’s are starting to come out with smaller machines and new technologies (inkjet?). OR – maybe it’s a “new movie” they’re showing? One where they’re telling their customers that: “You have an existing print infrastructure that is highly efficient for your end-users; please don’t spend money to take away these capabilities.”
Wouldn’t that be a happy ending!
Brian Stevenson is President of footPRINT Managed Services. For detailed company information or to contact him visit http://www.footprintmps.com, calls 647.463.9955, or email email@example.com