Managed print services (MPS) spending is forecast to increase in 2019. Managed Print Services Landscape, 2018, based on a survey by global market insight and research firm Quocirca, reports that 65 percent of businesses around the world are planning to increase MPS spending this year, and that number is even higher — 78 percent — in the US. Some factors driving that growth in the managed print services landscape are improved service, reduced hardware and consumables costs, decreased burden on in-house IT staff, and increased analytic insights.
According to David Underwood, Director, Solutions and MPS for Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., MPS providers will find the best opportunities to sell managed print in healthcare, education, manufacturing, government, and finance, typically to customers with 25 or more devices.
Jim Joyce, Vice President, US Channels Unit, MPS for Xerox, adds that although managed print serves every market segment, “Partners who focus in certain areas and leverage best practices within a segment often perform and deliver better than those who focus on all segments equally.”
Expand Your Managed Print Offering, Expand Your Influence
The Quocirca report states that although MSP presents opportunities for growth, the market is mature, “forcing MSP providers to differentiate themselves with new offerings.” Complementary services in demand among MSP customers include:
- Security: The survey report states that 65 percent of MPS end users experienced data loss in 2018, an increase from 60 percent in 2017. Providers with Security as a Service offerings can stand out among their competitors in the managed print services landscape by implementing and managing security solutions for their clients.
- Remote Monitoring: A remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution allows you to monitor the status of printers and other devices, alerting you when preventive maintenance is required, which can prevent downtime for your clients. RMM can also enable you to perform some maintenance remotely, saving the time and expense of on-site service.
- Analytics: One of the factors driving growth is the valuable data an MPS service can provide. Analytics can provide your clients with insights about user behaviors and costs, which can help them optimize printer use to be most efficient and cost-effective.
Expanding your offerings beyond managed print can also expand your influence with the client and help you to build sticker, long-term business relationships. It may even pave the way for additional recurring revenue opportunities, such as Desktop as a Service, facilities and energy management, or virtual CIO services.
Who’s Selling Managed Print Services?
The trend of MPS providers offering additional managed services is causing lines to blur copier service providers’ and systems integrators/managed services providers’ offerings. Either can — and do — sell managed print. Underwood points out that copier/print service providers may have an edge with an existing customer base that can easily see the value in a comprehensive managed print services program.
Joyce comments, however, that Xerox has several IT and networking integrators who have found success providing managed print services. “Similar to coper/printer providers, those who have been successful have identified a set of key resources focused almost entirely on MPS. Training and the proper use of assessment and analytics tools are key,” says Joyce, and adds, “Often IT resellers win larger MPS contracts than the traditional copier/printer providers do, but many are also focused on smaller clients where they serve as the outsourced IT department.”
Managed Print Vendors
One of the keys to building a competitive MPS offering is partnering with a vendor that offers a comprehensive and feature-rich solution. You can find information on some market-leading managed print services vendors’ offerings and partner programs by clicking the links below:
- Xerox Global Partner Program
- HP Partner Frist Program
- Ricoh Partner and Alliance Community
- Canon Alliance Partner Program
- Lexmark Connect Global Partner Program
- Konica Minolta All Covered IT Services
Watch for Opportunities
With such a widespread market for printing services, MPS providers’ sales teams may be challenged to identify prospects ready for a transition to managed print, but you can develop a strategy that can result in more conversions.
“Often there is a primary catalyst in one of the key areas of value derived from MPS,” says Joyce. “It could be a document security breach, a failed audit, cost and efficiency pressure or the need to retain cash for acquisitions.” He adds that it could also be pressure from the supply chain the business serves, such as meeting the auto industry’s security or environmental standards as a supplier. “The potential impact and results from effective MPS do materialize more in the larger entities simply because they generally print and spend more, have greater risk and are more diverse,” he says.
Be strategic about your target audience, be ready to provide them with a comprehensive solution, and capitalize on the growth forecast for 2019.