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MPS by Tim Brien

MPS-in-a-box:
Getting into Managed Print Services Has Never Been Easier!
Ready-to-use tools that will get you in the game quickly


P  You’ve heard more and more about Managed Print Services (MPS) throughout the past year.

P  You understand the opportunities inherent in offering MPS as a service to your customers – both current and potential.

P  You recognize the revenue potential and benefits of engaging in MPS. 

P  You know that the window of opportunity is closing, as more of your competitors get in the game.

So now what? How do you get started in MPS? Do you have the time or the resources necessary to do so? Is there such a thing as “MPS-in-a-box” and, if so, where and how do you get one?

MPS-in-a-box

The idea of an “MPS-in-a-box” solution is an intriguing one. As the movement toward outsourcing the management of an organization’s print fleet and IT services continues to gain momentum, and as these services continue to converge toward one another through the implementation of Managed Print Services, the need to find a ready-to-use MPS solution that fits your emerging business model becomes increasingly valuable.

According to industry research firm Gartner, print fleets are one of the most overlooked and undermanaged assets, costing enterprises one to three percent of revenue per year, and representing a gold mine of hidden savings potential. So as the demand for Managed Print Services increases, the need for a ready-to-use MPS solution increases as well.

But simply offering MPS as part of a business portfolio isn’t enough nowadays. Dealers must understand the features and benefits of the entire MPS solution, have complete knowledge of the implementation of such services, and have a trained and properly equipped staff. Furthermore, it is important to select an MPS solution that provides training and a comprehensive toolkit that includes methods for assessing, monitoring and optimizing print fleets for organizations of any size. Tracking, reporting, analysis and billing functions will help to round-out a total and complete service offering. A broad understanding of the resources and tools available within the marketplace will ensure effectiveness, sustainability and success.

MPS-in-a-box is a solution which relies on a partner to supply all aspects of your MPS program. As you grow your business, you will want to bring certain processes or services in house in the future. Your partner should be able to integrate with your growth and the internalizing of processes versus having a program that is so regulated that it does not allow for growth. A true partner needs to assist you in growing your MPS business.

When considering the right vendor partner for MPS, it is crucial to consider that company’s reputation, experience, support, suite of services, and tool set. The right program will get any dealer up and running quickly and provide a range of easy-to-use tools that add value to any business considering MPS. With 90 percent of all companies unaware of what they are currently spending on internal desktop and network printingi, it is important to look for an MPS partner and solution that have a wide variety of useful tools.

MPS toolkit components


• Automation of processes that were previously time consuming manual tasks
• Unbiased recommendations for print optimization across all brands and technologies
• Flexible solution that meets the needs of seasoned dealers as well as those initiating MPS
• Simple, step-by-step processes with online support to maximize your engagement
• Leverage dealer capabilities in all areas (Assessment, Implementation, Service and Support)
• Ability to select services that augment existing offerings where current program may have gaps
• Support for a wide variety of data capture formats from major vendors such as: PrintFleet, FMAudit, Print Audit, and Level Platforms
• Incorporates Industry best practices
• Educates and supports the unique roles of administrators and owner/managers

Selecting the MPS offering that provides a complete solution with such advanced tools will help dealers improve management and user efficiency, tighten controls and contain all print-related expenses. Furthermore, successful MPS dealers who have access to a wide variety of industry leading MPS tools can better facilitate customer engagements, manage relationships more efficiently and improve overall customer retention. All of which will help dealers realize predictable and ongoing revenue streams while driving significant savings for their customers.

Dealers who offer Managed Print Solutions are in a unique position to capitalize on these opportunities. In so doing, they gain the ability to provide programs, services and solutions to deliver document management and workflow optimization tools, business process automation and efficiency improvement programs, outsourcing options for IT activities and print fleets, and integration of niche-specific solutions.

Key considerations


It is essential to have an MPS program that captures and analyzes data on a customer’s current print fleet. Evaluation of this data allows the dealer to offer strategic cost-savings, recommendations from something as simple as replacing one or two existing printers, to a complete reorganization and/or optimization of the customer’s printing infrastructure. Through the implementation of these recommendations, dealers are able to help save their customers money immediately and for the long-term, allowing them to leverage existing and emerging technologies with minimal capital outlay. Furthermore, adoption of an MPS program will allow dealers to provide a variety of value-added services and proactive solutions to meet the critical challenges their customers are struggling with.

In order to be successful in the MPS arena, it is important to be agile and adaptive, and able to meet customer needs within a continuously changing business environment. This may include evaluation of an existing print fleet, analysis of both current and future printing needs, and recommendations for the installation of new products and solutions. Therefore, as dealers continue to expand their offerings through MPS, it is essential for them to partner with a vendor that can provide a modular and flexible MPS program that is customizable for their individual business needs and those of their customers.

Becoming valued partners


Establishing a collaborative, customer engagement is also important. Through this sort of relationship, dealers will assume a more consultative role, becoming a trusted advisor to their customers. In turn, customers will gain an in-depth understanding of their print usage, document workflow and overall related costs of device ownership.

Dealers offering a turnkey MPS program have the opportunity to secure new customer business and expand existing partnerships to include new lines of business. Together, dealers and their customers will forge a long-term and mutually-beneficial relationship based on a MPS platform.

But with these opportunities come additional dealer challenges, namely infrastructure, resources and timing. Without a comprehensive MPS program in place, dealers will not be properly equipped to manage the evolving printing and document management needs of their customers – both current and unrealized. Dealers will need to either build or acquire the proper systems and tools to support these emerging customer needs, in addition to recruiting and/or developing a staff with the skill set necessary to sell and service these accounts.

When considering whether to build or partner, using an outsourced service can often be less expensive and potentially provide your organization access to top tier resources which might not be the case when launching a program independently. Large scale companies that are offering MPS-in-a-box programs are leveraging the cost of employees over many partners versus you hiring head count for a single program in your company’s portfolio. Just ensure that you understand what the resources are that your partner has internally so that you can maximize the benefits you receive from the partnership.

What are you waiting for?


From a timing standpoint, there is a limited window of opportunity for dealers that want to implement an MPS program. As Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and BTA Dealers converge into the MPS market, those who are able to quickly procure the necessary business architecture will get into the market faster with these solutions and gain a competitive advantage; they will be the ones to stake their claim to this territory and solidify long-term success.

While, companies are continuously being challenged to do more with less – seeking ways to optimize processes, increase productivity, reduce operating costs, and maximize efficiencies – it is no wonder that the marketplace will demand an entirely new breed of sales and services personnel. Customers want a consultative approach to sales and service, seeking vendor partners who will extend themselves beyond hardware sales or the provision of IT services. Customers want to know their providers are committed to their success, and are fully-engaged into their business processes and practices. As a dealer, it is essential to become their strategic partner and a trusted advisor.

These days, organizations all seek to simplify processes and reduce capital expenditures. Device monitoring and management, integration of document management and workflow optimization, and a consolidation of vendors to a single source can help meet these needs. Rather than transaction-based engagements, customers are looking for longer-term, more holistic solutions and consultative relationships.

What MPS delivers


Dealers offering MPS have the distinct advantage of expanding existing customer relationships, seizing new business opportunities, and establishing recurring revenue streams on supplies, services and solutions. These opportunities may have otherwise been overlooked under traditional transaction-based selling models. Given today’s market challenges, those dealers who proactively position themselves for success and quickly recognize the importance of this changing business model will emerge as market leaders and realize long-term financial gain.

What are you waiting for? Pick-up your MPS-in-a-box today and get started right away! u


Tim Brien is Director of Managed Print Services for OKI Data Americas. OKI Data Americas markets PC peripheral equipment and customized document management solutions under the OKI® brand. Total Managed Print™ (TMP) from OKI is a comprehensive, turnkey Managed Print Services (MPS) solution for the channel, including best practice methods for assessing, monitoring and optimizing print fleet management for organizations of all sizes. OKI's TMP portal is a cloud-based, brand agnostic solution that includes nine customizable modules specifically developed to optimize business processes and remove the burden of print ownership.

 
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