Managing the print challenge

Cost and administration burden have been the traditional drivers of managed print services, but cloud, mobility and other new features from print vendors are introducing more potential value for adopters of print services

Tags: Alpha DataImaging & PrintingKyocera Mita CorporationLexmark International IncorporationManaged print servicesOki Electric Industry CompanyXerox Corporation
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Managing the print challenge Managed print services promise to remove the burden of print support from IT departments, and also introduce new features such as print to the cloud.
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By  Keri Allan Published  May 3, 2014

Increasingly in today’s economy, businesses — both big and small — are looking for ways to cut costs. For many the expense of office printing is high, so it’s unsurprising that more and more organisations have turned to managed print services (MPS) in order to cut printing costs as well as reduce energy consumption and free up IT resources.

“Managed print services are at the front of mind of large enterprise customers as all organisations are looking for ways to reduce cost, improve efficiency and lower their carbon footprint. Therefore, the momentum of growth is many times greater for MPS than it is for the sale of standalone printers,” comments Simon Howells, MPS manager, Global Document Outsourcing — Xerox MEA.

“It’s about taking full control of these issues, allowing the business to get on with what it does best. This divesting control of non-core activities is becoming increasingly important, to large and small businesses alike,” says Javier Lopez, senior manager, Services and Solutions at OKI Europe.

“Third-party providers have the advantage of specialist knowledge and experience of managing and rationalising a printer fleet and reducing total cost of ownership. And, by controlling all aspects of print delivery, this typically produces savings of both visible hardware and consumables costs as well as reducing hidden costs around ongoing management and wastage, for example.

“The objective of moving to a managed print services solution is therefore to maximise cost savings in all areas, while maintaining and, where possible, improving service levels.”

Over the last five or so years interest in the MPS market has grown dramatically, as Lopez highlights.

“Despite the fact that the global financial crisis did not affect the region to the same degree as other parts of the world, more recently businesses have seen the benefits of rationalising cost and improved service, especially as they move swiftly into cutting-edge print solutions such as access to print via mobile and the cloud.”

“The explosion in digital data is forcing organisations in the region to review their approach to enterprise information and how to manage it as part of their wider document management strategies,” adds Mathias Militzer, general manager, Middle East and Africa, Lexmark.

“It is this that is driving the evolution of MPS so that it no longer simply focuses on the fundamentals of print output and fleet management. Now, it is increasingly about instilling best practice and improving business processes to integrate paper and digital workflows within an organisation leading to efficiencies and cost savings.”

For the SMB sector, MPS is proving popular to help companies to account for costs from maintenance, supplies and to have visibility into how many pages they are printing.

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