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PRINT IT Reseller Magazine Issue 98: The evolution of MPS

Quocirca’s Managed Print Services Market Landscape Report 2022, reveals that customer spend on managed print services continues to increase but, while 72 per cent of businesses say they continue to rely on print, its importance is declining as digitisation programmes accelerate. The research revealed that customer loyalty in the sector is not strong – almost one quarter of the organisations surveyed have definite plans to change vendor at the end of the existing contract, with a further 36 per cent considering a change.

Mark Ash, CRO, Konica Minolta:

“Our managed print business remains a core offering for us and one that we intend to grow substantially, global supply chain permitting!

“We have known for some time that print does not operate in a vacuum and needs to be part of the connected workspace. Konica Minolta has been a successful IT service provider in the UK and globally for many years, however historically this business was primarily run alongside the print business. In recent years, MPS within Konica Minolta has been integrated within our DX-DW strategy and indeed both our large enterprise, public sector and SMB clients are increasingly asking us to support them with full hosted on-premise or cloud offerings that extend beyond the provision of print-related services.

“Whilst these offerings are modular, they offer overlap, hence why many clients prefer to have a single point of contact to out task their managed print, managed content and infrastructure management workstreams to, or alternatively they can utilise our outsourced BPS teams to provide virtual team members to manage this in totality We also work with partners to enable them to provide services to their clients and are heavily investing in this area to further simply and refine this value proposition.”

Rod Tonna-Barthet, CEO, Kyocera Document Solutions:

“As reported by Quocirca, over a third of organisations still rely on print so this practice isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. With competition fiercer than ever before, it’s important we continue to evolve and ensure we are providing the best service and products to our customers at all times. With this in mind, Kyocera is focusing on the following areas to deliver the best value to our customers.

“Collaboration is king – managed print services are in demand, but so is the need to provide a full managed service to complement MPS. This is what we offer at Kyocera, so we’re aiming to collaborate with as many other MPS specialists as possible to ensure customers have access to a broad spectrum of services that deliver additional value to customers. Many believe it’s a ‘diversify-or-die’ situation, but I prefer to call it a ‘collaborate-and change’ opportunity.

“Communication is key – we know there are customers that are already thinking about changing vendor, as backed up by the report. Therefore, it is important to start conversing with customers now so you can understand their challenges and adapt your offering to suit.

“It’s vital to keep customers feeling wanted at all times, not just when a contract needs to be renewed. Learning important lessons from these conversations and increasing your managed service capabilities in response is a great way of keeping customers happy and on board.

“Customer-first approach – we must keep our customers front and centre of what we do. Pre-COVID we ensured that we always met our customers face to face as it created a personal connection. It was also an opportunity to discuss what additional services you can offer and how you operate differently from the rest. At the height of the pandemic, the personal touch was lost somewhat with all meetings happening online. While we wholeheartedly embrace a hybrid system, we also recognise the value of meeting in person when it comes to putting the customer first.

“Cloud print – Quocirca’s report highlights this as a key area of growth, and this is something we’re investing in heavily. Given the acceleration of digitisation programmes, customers want print capabilities that go well beyond what they had in the past – so providing high quality cloud print services is instrumental in ensuring print remains an integral part of the modern office ecosystem for many years to come.”

Peter Shackleton, Commercial End-User Sales Manager, Brother UK:

“We’re seeing strong demand for our MPS solutions as businesses settle into hybrid working and IT resellers increasingly recognise the benefits. Device and page volumes are rising and showing no sign of declining, and we’re continuing to grow our customer base.

“Our success is being driven by our personalised approach. We work with our reseller partners on developing needs based assessments for customers. And this means that by getting under the skin of their printing requirements, we can provide a solution that enhances their digitisation strategies.

“We’re also continuing to refresh our business inkjet line-up with devices designed to support businesses on their digital journeys. Our flagship X-Series, often specified for MPS solution designs, are solution-ready and allow for easy integration with third-party software, while a 20-sheet automatic document feeder supports faster scanning and improved efficiency for customers.

“Of course, the office environment is transforming. But we expect that MPS will remain highly valuable to businesses that rely on print. It provides the best route to ensuring businesses get the right devices in a way that truly meets their needs, and it continues to offer a huge growth opportunity for resellers.”

Steve Kendall-Smith, UK Managing Director, Lexmark:

“Print is an area that has historically been side lined from core digital transformation investment, but for those organisations that can’t keep all their work in the virtual world, investing in innovation as part of a broader continuity plan today will help make their businesses more resilient against future disruption.

“Managed print services provide a platform to drive continuous improvement and control and are one of the easiest ways to support a digital transformation strategy. MPS is a key part of our offering at Lexmark. We have gone beyond the traditional management of devices with our Global IoT System which provides increased uptime and cloud-native services. Many traditional providers rely heavily on a large staff of field service techs to deliver MPS, meaning if something breaks, you call them. They fix it. While this is valid, Lexmark’s IoT system uses a predictive approach, to fix problems before they occur. Using this IoT solution, Lexmark typically resolves 70 per cent of support issues remotely.

“While the print industry is undergoing transformation, there is still very much a need for high quality, differentiated and digital-first print solutions that are capable of building customer loyalty. Lexmark’s IoT solution, coupled with our vertical expertise, supports customers with their digitisation strategies by adapting to industry and business specific requirements. For example, suggesting the best approach to asset management by removing devices that aren’t needed but not replacing devices that have plenty of life left in them – thanks to the way we build devices to last. Therefore, despite the average for the industry being low, Lexmark’s own retention rate is 95 per cent across our worldwide managed print services customer base.”

Stuart Miller, Director, Channel Partners, Canon UK & Ireland:

“As hybrid working has evolved, organisations have had to reassess their infrastructures and learn to manage dispersed workforces, including a range of remote and on-premise devices. With this shift, businesses have had to accelerate their digital transformation strategies and build a stronger ecosystem of technologies and services.

“When it comes to managed print services, Canon has listened to the increased demand for document workflow solutions, offering a secure and sustainable print and scan environment that is available via the cloud, in a hybrid setup, or on-premise. With solutions such as uniFLOW Online, Canon has been able to embrace and support digitisation processes by providing a scalable cloud-based document management system that ensures data integrity and endpoint security.

“The acceleration of digitisation programmes doesn’t mean that organisations need to sacrifice print. By providing flexible and adaptable managed print services, print providers can continue to support digital transformation strategies and help build efficient and productive workflows in the world of hybrid working.”

Andy Ratcliffe, Managing Director, Key Digital:

“We continue to experience growth in our IT services arm as well as our traditional MPS market – both new business and in existing accounts. We have proved our model and continue to forge our own path through a customer centric approach that offers adaptable solutions to each business’s individual way of working.

“By being ahead of this curve, we are able to identify core areas within our clients to prove a solution concept before a problem ever arises.

“While the print landscape is changing, this is nothing new. It is important that we do not stop moving to provide solutions that are relevant. As part of our ’framework discovery’ process, we ask our customers and prospects about upcoming IT projects as we feel it is important to fully understand their business process and technology roadmap, and where we can add value in that.

“By establishing a mutual understanding between ourselves and our customers, we remain relevant to their needs both now and in the future – it’s a win-win.”

Neil MacDonald, Channel Director, HP UK & Ireland:

“Current challenges within the print industry, such as global supply chain issues and rising business costs, are forcing print decision-makers to revisit their vendor and production tools strategy, to ensure that they are operating as efficiently as possible. Customers, understandably, are critically assessing their costings and digitalisation strategies to ensure that they’re constantly adapting and evolving their infrastructure to remain relevant. As vendors, we cannot simply expect loyalty; we need to earn it by taking customers on a journey and supporting them to integrate workload-optimised solutions, and readily available digitalisation options.

“Digitalisation options include HP’s optimised workflows that help customers identify the best practices to go digital and the most effective way to do it. Businesses can leverage HP’s branded workflow tools, as well as our partner portfolio, to fix issues and develop processes that may prove a challenge during the set-up phase. HP’s end-to-end approach ensures success and transformation by directly involving the workforce. Digitalising a business is a critical step to delivering employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

“The adaptation in HP’s services also seeks to reflect customers’ needs within today’s working environment. Security is as critical for all organisations as ever, regardless of size. HP’s security offering, HP Wolf, has been optimised to provide the multi-layered protection that every customer needs – from SMBs to large enterprises. HP Wolf Security is designed using zero trust principles – which eliminates the default assumptions of trust between endpoint hardware, apps, data, and network resources. Our proactive security service ensures that IT can spend less of its valuable time investigating false positives and remediating impacted devices, and more time focused on other strategic initiatives.

“The global shift to digitalisation has been accelerated with the integration of hybrid work. As such, HP’s offerings have had to be mindful of the requirement to optimise the user experience for flexible working. Our range of printing and MFP platforms provide the ideal productivity tool for users in the office and at home and are designed to offer a simplified user experience for accessing every feature through our Futuresmart platform. Our MFP platforms also feature the fastest processors and high-resolution interfaces to ensure responsiveness and customisation for every user need and offer benchmark productivity and performance for customers.

“Print management is a challenge for most IT departments and the expectation that over 50 per cent of print will be in the cloud by 2025 presents an opportunity for IT to streamline and reduce costs and overheads.

“Our MPCS (Managed Print Cloud Services) offer enables each customer to outsource the entire management of the print infrastructure to HP, from servers to drivers to devices to toners. The use of public and private cloud deployment models in this manner means that every client can benefit from a streamlined and efficient service, now and long into the future.”

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