Hard-copies and electronic documents remain integral to today’s business communication.
However, managing your own print infrastructure and processes can be a costly and time-consuming drain on resources.
Document production is typically one of the biggest expenses for an organisation, costing up to 3% of revenue.
Even so, many organisations don’t have the time, staff, or expertise to effectively monitor and manage their print environments.
A common complaint that comes up in discussions with decision-makers is the lack of time and resources to make meaningful changes to their IT and workflow management.
This has led to an increasingly common phenomenon – that of outsourcing some operations to third-party service providers.
For instance, 83% of respondents report that they use a third-party to service their organizations’ printers and multifunction devices.
In Managed Print Services (MPS), a third-party provides a range of services to help manage and maintain an organization’s document production equipment.
With the active management and continual optimisation of print infrastructure and related business processes, Managed Print Services can directly result in saved money, increased efficiency, and improved productivity.
MPS is growing as an industry and revenue forecasts show a growth expectation of 10% in emerging markets this year alone, according to recent research.
Across the regions covered by the Office Insight report, only 26% currently use an MPS solution delivered by a third-party supplier.
Businesses in the UAE and KSA report MPS usage of 23% and 28% respectively, a trend that may be driven by the need to generate and increase cost-savings.
Still, 55% of organizations have not implemented an MPS solution at all; and 20% of respondents did not even know if their organizations benefited from MPS.
This is not to say that the appetite for Managed Print Services is absent. While 27% of decision-makers say that they are considering it, there is a whole other 27% who are not even aware of it.
Among end-users, awareness is even lower, with 42% saying they afre completely unaware of Managed Print Services.
The decision-makers currently using Managed Print Services are very positive about their experiences. They list a wide range of benefits that they enjoy by having such a solution in place.
A few drawbacks were mentioned, which included a feeling of having less control over systems, and a delay in realizing the promised cost-savings.
At the same time, several decision-makers also outlined the unexpected benefits of MPS solutions:
• Saving time for the IT department by freeing-up internal staff to concentrate on othermatters
• The ability to deploy the latest devices without incurring large upfront costs
• Better protection against the inadvertent use of grey market or counterfeit cartridges
• Minimizing the risk of data loss in the event of power outages.
With a broad range of benefits offered by Managed Print Services, decision-makers use a wide set of criteria when selecting which solution and provider to work with.
Overall, customers are looking for suppliers with strong reputations, to be reassured.
They also want partners to have sufficient scalability to manage changes and any unforeseen occurrences.
A strong understanding of the local market and of the customer’s sector is essential.
With this in mind, and with cost as a factor, the key consideration in decision-making is demonstrable value.
Many are willing to pay as long as the return on investment can be proven.
However, only a few are willing to make significant upfront investments, and there remains a strong preference for cost-per-click pricing models.
For larger organizations, MPS providers need to demonstrate not only technical proficiency and benefits, but also an understanding of the complex, and often unique, infrastructures across unique installations.