Pushing print services

Regional organisations are waking up to the benefits of managed print services, to help them improve the cost and efficiency of document devices and hard copy requirements

Tags: Al Reyami TechnologiesHPKyocera Mita CorporationLexmark International IncorporationManaged print servicesXerox Corporation
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Pushing print services Uptake of Managed Print Services has increased in the Middle East as organisations look to offload hardware admin and cut costs.
By  Keri Allan Published  May 9, 2013

In today’s economic environment it’s important for organisations to keep costs down. For most businesses the ongoing expenses related to office printing — cost-per-print, routine maintenance and servicing — is high, and provides them a great opportunity for significant, cumulative savings. This is one of the main reasons that there has been a growth in the uptake of managed print services (MPS), which in the last five years has increased year-on-year, as organisations increasingly understand the benefits that can be achieved by outsourcing the management of their print requirements to a specialist third party.

“Middle East and Africa MPS grew 18.9% in 2011,” notes Gartner research analyst Amrita Choudhury, “and the top MPS providers are HP, Lexmark and Xerox.”

Dan Smith, head of Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa region of Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations explains: “Managed print services within the region are growing at a rapid rate and will no doubt form the platform for additional service lines to be built upon to broaden the offering. Organisations in the region have grown quickly, which has led to a sporadic purchasing model. This model lacked structure, and now CIOs and CFOs are reverting their attention to an area which is causing them both cost and management issues around print.

“With industry experts suggesting that six to ten per cent of a company’s revenue is being spent on print and documents, clearly it presents a significant opportunity for savings and positive results, regardless of economic climate.”

Unsurprisingly, interest is strongest in the industries where printing output is high, such as banks and finance, logistics, government, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

“Post the 2008 financial crisis the demand for print services increased, as firms had a focus on reducing costs. The banking vertical has driven demand in the region,” notes Roberto Alunni, IDC senior research analyst, META region.

Adoption of print services also reflects the wider trend of IT departments trying to shift capital expenditure into operational expenditure. While the Middle East is still a heavy user of printed documents in comparison to other markets, many organisations are scrutinising these costs.

Ehab Wahba, general manager of Corporate Connection, an exclusive distributor of Nashuatec solutions comments: “There is a greater potential in this market as the paper usage per capita in this region is very, very high, and most of the organisations are trying to reduce their printing. There is a steady transformation in the buying practices of clients, where they are looking for service providers rather than suppliers which they used to deal with. MPS helps service providers like us to align with the buying practices of these major clients and meet and exceed their expectations.”

New technologies in fully managed print services are also helping cut other costs, he adds: “Solutions like managing the output and remotely managing devices by using software solutions cuts costs. With the helpdesk in place, companies can reduce service calls by 20%, leading to better productivity.”

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