Educational operations, enterprises, hospitals, and insurance companies control and supervise print costs using managed print services (MPS). These industries use these document output strategies to reduce printing costs and improve environment footprint and document workflow.
MPS represents imaging, printing, and document solutions within business operations. Within this broad category, managed document services (MDS) is a subset that focuses on document output processes, but falls under the overarching MPS umbrella.
Christopher J. Casinella, VP, managed print services strategy, Ricoh, says that together, MPS and MDS increase demands for services that reduce reliance on paper and increase digitization.
Vendors offer both MPS/MDS solutions to help streamline business document processes. A combination of tools ensures each MPS customer’s solution is customized for the most benefits.
The biggest trend in MPS is its growing impact on the small- to medium-sized business (SMB).
According to Casinella, analysts identify MPS/MDS growth in the enterprise sector as flat with low compound annual growth rates both domestically and abroad. As a result, he says vendors are pivoting to focus on SMBs as the need for MPS/MDS grows there. “We see this as an opportunity to leverage our broad portfolio and first-rate service experience to grow in the enterprise space by beating out competition as we serve the SMB market.”
Ted Dezvane, global head, managed document services business group, Xerox, says the worldwide MPS market was $15.5B in 2016 and is growing at nearly four percent annually. “SMBs now represent nearly half of the total market and offer the biggest opportunity with project growth of more than seven percent over the next few years,” he adds.
Regarding individual sectors, Edward Juliff, manager, MPS operations, OKI Data Americas, predicts government, education, and healthcare industries are poised to accelerate in MPS usage. He also says retail- and service-oriented companies exhibit market strength in this field due to the industries being connected via corporate networks.
“Even though MPS has historically dominated the enterprise space, with the cost of entry decreasing and increased cost savings for even the smallest of businesses, we believe there is a real market opportunity with small-to-mid-sized enterprises,” says Juliff.
To identify the biggest opportunity for MPS, Kathy De Santi, program manager, Toshiba America Business Solutions, suggests partnering with customers to understand and address challenges. Customer needs range from mobile solutions to supporting a changing workforce, reliable equipment, reducing downtime, and streamlining workflows.
“I believe collaborating to identify specific quantitative and qualitative goals, then creating an actionable strategy to achieve those goals is truly the greatest area of opportunity. Everyone offers equipment, suppliers, and services—the key is to differentiate and elevate your offering to drive sustainable business improvements for your customer base,” says De Santi.
Moving forward, security concerns drive the expansion of MPS and dictate the solutions that will be included in the future MPS field. According to Juliff, MPS has traditionally been highly service oriented with break-fix maintenance and toner replenishment dominating. But today, feature sets like secure print and scanning solutions are requested more.
“With data breaches, database hacking, and all manner of cybersecurity concerns taking center stage, we see healthcare, education, government, and even retail sectors calling for security solutions that ride on top of MPS/MDS, ultimately blurring the line between the two,” says Juliff. As a result, MPS cybersecurity is a trend that’s quickly becoming a requirement.
The assessment stage of MPS is important for presenting customers with comprehensive inventories of devices and usage. To reach this goal, Juliff says OKI offers multiple options for this initial phase. He offers, “from feet to the street, onsite inventories, to remote software packages, OKI’s programs are designed to work hand in hand with dealers to assist them in offering deep dive services to the end user.”
According to Juliff, most customers in need of MPS solutions choose OKI’s free software package by PrintFleet, which is loaded at the customer site by a local dealer. The software seeks network printers, tracks printers over a 30-day period, and formulates cost and usage based on pages printed at each location. With this information, the software predicts an optimized look of where print jobs should be directed and the machines should stay or go based on age, productivity, and usage.
OKI Data takes a customer approach and strives to cater to customer’s specific needs. “If the customer has their own fleet of repair personnel or a consumable partner, we don’t simply insist they use ours. Where some OEMs put sales quotas on their dealers, OKI is à la carte—resellers and dealers can select only the services they need,” says Juliff.
For assessment, Casinella says understanding a customer’s current state and needs is the most important first step in any engagement. He defines assessment by helping clients understand the broader opportunity for optimizing and lowering cost, reducing carbon footprint, and streamlining digital workflows.
“If a business has 50 sites around the country, we can look at one or several and create a proposal, extrapolating benefits across the other sites,” he explains. This generally involves meetings between experts and customers.
Casinella says Ricoh also identifies assessment by a more comprehensive due diligence assessment after the contract is signed. Ricoh understands the physical information of the environment; number of users, floors, and building involved; devices; and how much faxing, scanning, and printing volume occurs to uncover potentially overlooked opportunities for improvement.
“We work hard to truly understand a customer’s current state so we can develop plans to improve customers’ operations throughout the duration of our contracts. We aim to help our customers work smarter, and in order to do that, we have to have a deep understanding of how they are currently working,” says Casinella.
Ricoh differentiates its service with a portfolio of solutions that involve multiple areas of MPS including workflow automation, bring-your-own-device enablement, and enterprise content management.
In addition to providing a detailed assessment analysis for clients, optimization for MPS should be considered. According to De Santi, Toshiba’s Encompass Program recommends an optimized printing environment that reduces client costs while improving productivity and energy efficiency.
The program informs customers of how they can optimize ROI by creating reports on key performance indicators like total cost of ownership, cost per page, employee-to-device ratio, and average age of asset. “Most notably, customers are actively engaged in the optimization process, from refining the strategy to championing the change within their organization,” says De Santi.
To differentiate its service, De Santi says Toshiba offers more than 20 integrated software solutions to help document workflow and capture solutions, enterprise management, cost accounting, and a range of business applications. Toshiba’s Professional Services team engages with business stakeholders to identify and implement methods to digitize workflows and eliminate time-wasting processes.
“Interactive sessions enable us to refine strategic initiatives and create an implementation plan that truly works within the customer’s environment and benefits the users,” says De Santi.
Xerox’s MPS practice provides expertise that grasps the full potential of ConnectKey—improving the flow of work through Xerox’s MPS digital transformation journey. Dezvane says an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the status of an organization’s print, document infrastructure, workflows, and formulation of detailed designs for the future is critical to the optimization plan.
“Once the assessment is complete, we develop the future state design. The design considers both current and future total cost of ownership for all devices,” he offers. It also considers the end user and business process requirements discovered during the assessment. Dezvane says Xerox presents the customer with several alternative scenarios that include cost of ownership, cost saving, and ROI analyses.
Xerox then collaborates with customers to complete the design that best meets their needs. “Xerox MPS ensures an optimized infrastructure, complete with advanced solutions and customized workflows that fit the customers’ business, regardless of its size,” says Dezvane.
MPS/MDS is a strategy that ensures a successful, well-managed document environment. For this approach, Ricoh has a service delivery organization. “We have a very accomplished management structure to provide steady-state management of our customer engagements,” says Casinella.
Ricoh does this with a combination of hands on management and cloud-based hosting and management. The company also has a dedicated Service Excellence Group to stay on track and ensure customer needs are met.
According to Casinella, the Service Excellence Team has an intimate relationship with its service delivery teams, what they do, how they do it, and how that relates to its contracts. “As quality of service emerges as the battleground for MPS, we are incredibly well equipped to perform well, thanks to our willingness to listen to customers, assess their needs, and adapt to both of those things,” he says.
Toshiba takes a comprehensive approach that incorporates strategy into its programs and elements for addressing MPS/MDS. “We start by analyzing the customer’s environment and business dynamics to identify key objectives and opportunities for improvement,” says De Santi. The company then works in partnership with business stakeholders to define methods to leverage technology and processes to achieve the set objectives.
After this approach, Toshiba enters the implementation process, which involves realigning and deploying equipment to optimize document output and instituting processes to streamline service and supply management.
De Santi says Toshiba also incorporates operational management, which includes account daily support, leveraging simplified processes like automated toner replenishment, proactive remote service support, and on-site break/fix service.
However, De Santi believes Toshiba’s strategic business reviews to be the most important factor of its MPS/MDS. “We meet with our customers regularly to measure performance against initial goals and service level agreements,” she says. Throughout engagement, the company strives to deliver continual operational improvements and cost savings for customers.
Handling Print Costs
According to Casinella, analysts see growth in the SMB marketplace as MPS/MDS becomes more accessible in terms of ease of use and price point. “It’s becoming increasingly apparent that today’s digital workplaces need workflows that can keep up with massive data volumes, turning them from a paper burden to a digitized, accessible, agile asset,” he offers.
Today’s MPS/MDS help organizations ensure businesses operate smoothly and determine customer requirements to proactively shape implementations to serve any document need.
Dec2017, DPS Magazine