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Lyra's new Office Print Monitor service shows enterprise bias toward monochrome printers

15 May, 2007

Lyra's new Office Print Monitor service shows enterprise bias toward monochrome printers

In a recent study of enterprise printing, Lyra Research found that when it comes to printing in color versus monochrome, enterprises' bias toward monochrome printing continues unabated even though businesses are increasing their spending on color printing devices such as copiers, single-function printers, and multifunction printers (MFPs).

Powered by PrintFleet, Lyra's Office Print Monitor (OPM) information service continuously analyzes the printing patterns of hundreds of companies. For this particular research study, Lyra selected a sample panel of 17 North American corporations. The corporations in the panel ranged in size from 50 to 900 employees and together printed a monthly average of 1.7 million pages over the nine-month period from June 2006 to February 2007. During that period, the companies included in the panel collectively spent approximately $438,000 on new laser printers, MFPs, and copiers. Forty-five percent of this amount was spent to purchase or lease color machines. Despite this investment in color hardware, corporations' actual color printing increased a mere 2 percent.

Enterprise IT leaders have made the commitment to make color printing available in their offices. However, there remains a persistent mindset in most enterprises that favors monochrome. This may be due to restrictive corporate guidelines about which employees can use color hardware and which types of documents can be printed in color. Whether office workers are governed by authorization codes or IT mandates, they tend to reserve printing in color for special occasions or sporadic, event-specific print jobs. This work culture appears to have dampened increases in color printing among the panel companies. Before color printing became more affordable, this hesitation to print in color made good budgetary sense, but now that many corporations have newer, more cost-effective color hardware in place, this hesitation means that color copiers, printers, and MFPs are a largely untapped corporate asset.

The real-world corporate printing data provided by Lyra's OPM reveals that vendors must educate users to think about their documents in new ways in order to increase color page volumes. For example, many organizations may not effectively communicate that their new in-house color printing capabilities can lower costs on short-run printing of sales and marketing materials. The OPM study reveals that color toner and hardware makers must emphasize the value proposition of color printing with phase-appropriate messages long after color devices are installed.

Office Print Monitor - To help printer and copier vendors track changes regarding where and how hard copy is output, Lyra has developed a new information service.Office Print Monitor (OPM) broadens Lyra's current coverage of office printing by combining real-world corporate printing data, powered by PrintFleet, with Lyra's strategic analysis, forecast and installed-base data, detailed hard copy specifications, and ongoing primary research programs. With PrintFleet, Lyra has established an ever-expanding panel of hard copy devices that are monitored in real time. The current panel consists of more than 12,000 hard copy devices in more than 160 corporations throughout North America. On a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, Lyra can monitor each device in the panel to ascertain today's printing dynamics and to predict future trends for print volume, average coverage amount per page, and dozens of other print-related variables.

For more information on this information service, please contact Tom Sandock at Lyra Research by phone at 617-454-2621 or e-mail at tsandock@lyra.com.

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