It’s surprising how few resellers appreciate the opportunities presented by managed print services (MPS). When you ask the average value-added reseller what types of products they offer and monitor for their customers, you get the usual array of enterprise technology – servers, routers, switches, firewalls, PCs, and increasingly mobile devices. However no one is keeping track of printers, scanners, and multifunction printers. MPS products are just as much a part of the enterprise, and they offer a greater opportunity for ongoing revenue and even new revenue to the savvy VAR.
Reportbuyer.com published a report earlier this year revealing that the global MPS market will continue to grow at a CAGR of 10.75 percent through 2016, with vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, and Xerox leading in sales. In general, organizations spend more money that is needed on office printing and photocopiers. More than 50 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) buy some kind of managed print services, but less than 5 percent have an MPS contract. Clearly there is room for more VARs to get new revenue from the MPS market.
What is MPS?
Before you can understand how to tap its profit potential, you first have to understand “what is MPS?”
“Managed print services” is a catch-all term that encompasses a broad range of products and technologies. For some, managed print service means outsourcing all their printing to a third party, but the most common usage is defining print services as a separate part of the business infrastructure consolidated under the administration of one service provider or department.
Whether MPS is handled internally or externally, the overarching reasons businesses should embrace MPS are the same – increased savings and productivity. And there are added benefits such as better document security and environmental sustainability. If you add up the cost of printing within any organization it’s typically at least 15 percent of the organization’s annual spending, and with MPS VARs can help reduce those costs by as much as 30 percent.
When you ask yourself “What is MPS?” you have to think beyond just overseeing printers. MPS includes all printing and image capturing devices such as desktop printers, multifunction printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. If you are establishing an MPS maintenance contract it also can include toner, paper, and other renewables. And there’s also routine maintenance and emergency service.
If MPS includes networked printing devices such as departmental printers, scanners, and fax servers, there’s even more reason to develop MPS as part of your service offering. If you are providing enterprise management contracts then everything connected to the network should fall within your domain, including printing devices.
Adding MPS to Your Offering
MPS isn’t a high-profile service for most businesses or particularly sexy. It doesn’t have the same high-risk associated with other services like network security, and it is seldom viewed as a problem in search of a solution. However, the customer savings and VAR profit potential are substantial so it’s up to the reseller to actually sell MPS as a value-added service worthy of the customer’s attention.
To make a case for MPS try a vendor-neutral approach. Start with an assessment of the customer’s current printing infrastructure, printing volume, wasted paper and print resources, and other factors. This will serve to both dramatize potential savings for the customer and provide a sense of how large or small a potential MPS contract could be. Be sure to include such factors as network integration, supporting mobile and remote users, environmental impact, savings in staff time handling their own print services; anything relevant that makes the case for MPS.
Once you assess the potential for MPS revenue you can structure a contract that suits the customer’s specific requirements. In addition to “right-sizing” the MPS support, you also should determine how MPS fits into a large support contract that gives you access to other aspects of the enterprise infrastructure.
When considering whether or not to include MPS in your service offering, think of it in two ways:
- MPS is an opportunity to expand your current service offering with more value-added services that have a visible impact on the customer’s budget;
- MPS is a means to protect your turf from outsiders who may also see managed print services as a way to gain access to your customer’s operation.
Also think vertical. There are a number of markets that are underserved by MPS and print services can be a way to open the door to new contracts. If you embrace MPS with expertise and passion, you will be able to both expand your business with existing customers and attract new customers looking for a variety of value added services beyond MPS.
Are you already offering MPS as part of your portfolio? Do you find managed print services complement other products and services?