Guest Column | October 28, 2013

Opportunities To Sell Managed Print Services In The Education Vertical

By Jackie Paralis and Michael Garofola, OKI Data Americas

Customers in the education vertical are challenged consistently to provide access to leading-edge technologies for their teachers and students within constrained budgets. Managed print services (MPS) provides an opportunity for those within the channel to provide valuable and cost-effective services and solutions to their education customers. Following is an example of how MPS allowed for the integration of new technology into a mid-western school district and how this delivered a win-win for the dealer and the school district alike.


This mid-western school district serves a population of nearly 2,700 students in its four schools — a primary, intermediate, middle, and high school — overseen by a single administrative body and employing nearly 200 teachers. The district’s aging print fleet included a number of different vendors’ devices — among them, A3/tabloid units, color units, and placement of devices in every classroom with no output control mechanism in place. The IT staff found it difficult to maintain this aging print fleet and effectively manage needed supporting drivers and firmware updates. Furthermore, the fleet’s downtime adversely affected staff productivity. After receiving a series of federal grants, the city had the opportunity to rebuild its school district and employ state-of-the-art technologies.


The district’s assorted fleet and lack of centralized purchasing caused the district to incur unnecessary printing and supplies costs as well as procurement inefficiencies. Devices were deployed inefficiently and printing-related costs were too high.


By conducting a print fleet assessment, the dealer was able to help the district replace or repurpose existing devices in a manner that allowed for greater efficiency, printing controls, and technological improvements. The addition of targeted software solutions for testing and job tracking further improved the district’s capabilities, efficiencies, privileges, and cost controls.

Together with the manufacturer, the dealer helped the district recognize that there was a significant decrease in the need for A3/tabloid printing, an excessive use of color output without any way of knowing its origin, and that the placement of copy devices was inconvenient for teachers and administrative staff. The dealer recommended a blended resolution, placing the right devices with the right technologies and feature sets in the right place throughout the district. These recommendations included:

  • Incorporating a job tracking solution, which allowed for proper cost accounting, while the solution’s user authentication functionality helped limit misuse and abuse of the district’s devices.
  • Deploying test grading solution software for teachers who wished to administer bubble chart tests cost-effectively, quickly, and easily.
  • Placing the under-utilized A3/tabloid color devices in main office areas — networking these devices so that teachers would have access to them when needed, but without having the devices housed within each classroom which was deemed unnecessary.
  • Placing A4 monochrome multifunction peripherals (MFPs) in easy to access common areas throughout the schools, allowing teachers and staff to access output, scan, and perform test grading quickly and efficiently.


As a result of the dealer’s recommendations and the incorporation of new printers, MFPs, and solutions, the district has realized greater efficiencies and cost savings (a reduced total cost of ownership) without having to sacrifice performance. In fact, processes are streamlined, more effective, and with greater controls both in terms of security and cost tracking. Teachers are able to use color in the classroom more cost-effectively to better engage student learning and retention of material. Teachers and administrators can print up to A3/tabloid size and banners up to 52 inches in length, as needed, keeping certain print jobs in-house that may have otherwise been outsourced, saving time and money. Administrators can monitor usage and limit access to devices, helping minimize abuse and related costs. Furthermore, the newer devices are more cost-effective, energy efficient, and reliable than those they replaced, allowing for useful printing solutions to be implemented district-wide.

The value of this exercise is evident in the efficiencies and cost savings realized by the district. The newer devices have greater media handling and output capabilities, are most cost-effective, can support valuable solutions, and are more reliable — minimizing downtime. While results are still being tracked and measured given the recency of this installation, the dealer suggests that the district has greater control over printing usage and costs, and is enjoying more efficient printing-related operations.

Managed print services is not a “rip and replace” strategy; rather, it allows dealers the opportunity to help customers within the education vertical optimize their printing and document management environment — and do so in a way that helps them streamline processes, maximize efficiencies, minimize waste and reduce costs. Through MPS, dealers can assess the efficiencies (or lack thereof) of a school district’s existing print fleet and demonstrate ways to successfully integrate new technologies in a cost-effective and budget-friendly manner.


Jackie Paralis is Senior Manager of Managed Print Services (MPS) Marketing at OKI Data Americas. In her current position, She is part of a dedicated MPS team responsible for helping to build the MPS organization. Paralis has more than 25 years of experience in the print and imaging industry, with in depth specialization in diverse areas including business and financial analysis, channel/product strategy development and launch, and business planning and forecasting. She has been responsible for program creation and management across all channel segments including solution providers, managed service providers, BTA Dealers, DMR, Etail, retail as well as Distributors. 

Michael Garofola is the Senior Marketing Manager for Channel Development and Education at OKI Data Americas. He has been with the company for 14 years. In his current position, Mr. Garofola is responsible for the development and execution of the marketing strategies and programs required to grow OKI’s presence in the printer/MFP channel and support of the company’s distribution and channel partners. In addition, he is responsible for OKI’s education end user vertical marketing.