The First Critical Steps on the Managed Print Journey
By Mark Cole, National Business Intelligence Manager, Xerox Canada
The definition of Managed Print Services (MPS) differs slightly by analyst and vendor, but every definition starts with getting your print environment under control — moving it from an unmanaged state to a well-managed state. And usually, the impetus is cost savings.
In an office environment, we’ve seen a 3:1 device to employee ratio. Whether you work for a small or large organization, you can easily see how this ratio can result in underutilized devices and unnecessary costs — and a real opportunity for improvement.
These ratios are typical with technology sprawl. Clearly, more technology doesn’t necessarily make you more efficient. Instead, it’s about optimizing and rationalizing technology and building better processes around it. And that often means moving to a higher device to employee ratio.
A poorly managed print environment can be costly to maintain, from the cost of the hardware itself to the cost of supplies, service and support — in some cases for equipment that is significantly underutilized relative to its optimal capacity.
But there are also soft costs to consider, such as the burden on staff to maintain this environment. Whether you’re talking about employees who have to order supplies for the printer beside their desk, or the IT department that has to manage and support all of these devices on the network, this can have a significant impact on overall productivity.
Initially, most organizations are looking to better manage this environment to reduce costs and allow employees to focus on their core business, therefore boosting productivity.
But industry analysts say few organizations fully understand how to optimize their own print environment — from understanding what their requirements are to rationalizing their fleet. That’s why the demand for MPS is continuing to grow. In fact, the industry is seeing double-digit growth rates in MPS, which are forecast to continue through 2016.
Photizo Group expects that, by 2016, about 41 per cent of imaging hardware and supplies will be purchased through MPS contracts, as more companies outsource the management of their printer fleets and fewer purchase hardware and supplies in the traditional manner.
Of those who’ve already made the move to MPS, we’re seeing high customer satisfaction rates. IDC1 recently conducted a survey on MPS asking why customers were satisfied with their vendor’s performance. The No. 1 reason, at 62 per cent, was that the vendor delivered on the promised cost savings.
It’s not just a marketing spin: These cost savings are real, and they’re available to organizations of all sizes. But MPS is an evolution. Rather than simply optimizing and maintaining a well-managed print fleet, there are ways to evolve MPS for additional opportunities and ongoing cost savings, which I’ll talk about in future blogs.
Xerox is positioned as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for MPS2 in terms of our ability to execute and deliver on our vision. This is a sentiment that is also echoed in reports compiled by IDC3, Forrester4, and Quocirca5. So, while initial cost savings alone may seem enticing, look to a vendor that will deliver ongoing savings through partnership and innovation throughout your journey.
 IDC, IT Managers: Look for Innovative Solutions from Managed Print Services Providers, #237780, November 2012.
 Gartner, Inc, “Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services, Worldwide” By Ken Weilerstein and Cecile Drew, October 24, 2012
 IDC, MarketScape: Worldwide Managed Print Services 2011 Hardcopy Vendor Analysis, #232135, December 2011
 Forrester Research, Inc., The Forrester Wave™: Managed Print Services, Q2 2012
 Quocirca, “Vendor Landscape: Managed Print Services” By Louella Fernandes, March 2012
About the Gartner Magic Quadrant
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