Guest Column | November 5, 2010

OKI Printing Solutions — Ask The MPS Experts

1.  What is managed print services?
      ♦  The Managed Print Service Association (MPSA) definition says:
                •  Managed Print Services is the active management and optimization of document
                   output devices and related business processes.
      ♦  There are a variety of different definitions but the ideal MPS vendor approach would be to
          offer a suite of services that enable Solution Providers to deliver solutions against a
          wide variety of the definitions.

2.  What benefits can I expect to reap from becoming a managed print service provider?
      ♦  Solution Providers with an MPS offering have the chance to expand existing customer
          relationships, take advantage of new business opportunities and establish reoccurring
          revenue streams on supplies and service that may have been missed under traditional
          equipment based selling models.
      ♦  Selecting the correct Vendor to partner with is critical. Solution Providers should choose
          a vendor that can deliver a comprehensive MPS infrastructure on their behalf. One that
          provides a competitive advantage enabling the Solution Provider to quickly transition into
          an MPS business model and begin selling immediately with minimal risk and
          investment.

3.  What is the growth potential for this market?
      ♦  At the current time the fastest growing services within MPS are the following:
                •  Device consolidation and redeployment of excess equipment based on recent
                   force reductions
                •  Consolidation of supplies for cost savings and implementation of contracted
                   consumable replenishment services (cost reductions up to 20% can be realized)
                •  Delivery of Comprehensive print assessments & business strategy
                   recommendations
                •  Color and device control at the user & document level
                •  Long-term life cycle management and asset tracking
      ♦  Fact: Managed Print Services (MPS) is growing annually by 27%.* And by 2011, 70% of
          companies will be under an MPS contract.**
                •  *InfoTrends 2009 State of the Market
                •  **Photizo Group: 2009 MPS Market Share and Forecast

4.  What are some obstacles to watch out for when diving into managed print services?
      ♦  Solution Providers are confused during the initial implementation stage by all of the
          options that are available to them. The key is to find a vendor that not only delivers
          hardware systems and tools but also works with you and your sales & service teams to
          become successful by providing support, resources, and education.
                •  Making the choice between a single vendor strategy and a multi-vendor strategy is
                   essential for dealers thinking of engaging in MPS. Focusing on a vendor that
                   provides a turnkey solution with best-in-class systems, tools and methodologies
                   will significantly help ease the risks and pain of transitioning to a service-centric
                   business model.
      ♦  Transitioning into a "service-centric" business model may seem overwhelming.
          However, the demand for these services continues to increase as companies explore
          new areas where expenses can be controlled and flexible payment options are
          available.

5.  What are the fundamental building blocks needed to implement an MPS strategy?
      ♦  A Strategic alliance partner is essential. Most of the print Vendors as well as Distributors
          now offer an MPS program. The Partner you select will dictate your MPS success and
          directly impact your long-term revenue and margin realization.
      ♦  Key areas to look at when partnering with a vendor is both the depth and breadth of their
          MPS offerings
                •  Special attention should be paid to offerings that are flexible, channel friendly,
                   reliable and dedicated to helping Solution Providers quickly begin selling, servicing
                   and supporting MPS opportunities.
      ♦  The best place to start building your MPS client base is with existing customers because
          of your established relationship, trust and services. It is the "low hanging fruit" offering
          the greatest opportunity for those Solution Providers who are just getting started.
      ♦  Another key element to consider when transitioning into the MPS business model is
          how you can best minimize personal risk and investment of a new venture while
          maintaining, continued growth and support for existing business.







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