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When we talk about the value of managed print services (MPS), it's important to note that the benefits of an MPS program are different for providers than they are for end users. MPS affords both parties increased efficiency by streamlining cumbersome processes like billing and supplies fulfilment, and helps everyone reduce their print-related costs. In this post, I'll focus on the direct benefits of MPS for providers. If you're not already offering managed print services, here are five reasons why it's a huge opportunity for your business:

1. Recurring revenue stream

As software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions continue to grow in popularity in the IT industry, we've seen a shift from traditional transactional business models to long-term consultative sales . That's not to say one-time hardware and professional services sales don't play an important role in IT, but there's been a clear shift in recent years as businesses expand their core services. More companies are adding scalable, cloud-based solutions to their offerings. Why? One of the most immediate reasons is revenue. Many SaaS solutions have a subscription-based service model which provides businesses with a recurring revenue stream. Providers that offer these flexible and scalable solutions exclusively or in addition to enterprise products can increase their margins with a business model that's much more sustainable.

2. Reduced IT workload

Building and supporting an in-house managed print offering can be costly and time consuming for organizations that don't have the requisite financial or IT resources. The easiest way for providers to avoid this obstacle is to outsource. There is a case to be made for selective outsourcing even though, more often than not, it's a term that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many service providers outside of the traditional BTA or dealer channel. Relinquishing control over aspects of your business can be unsettling and choosing the right MPS provider to partner with can be difficult, but if managed print isn't a core competency for your organization, outsourcing can dramatically reduce your IT workload. Find a partner that can help you successfully launch your MPS program and support your customers as you grow your program.

3. Added value

Adding managed print to your service offerings is tantamount to offering your customers additional value. Print is just one more day-to-day activity that you're able to simplify and streamline for them. Conversely, managing supplies, collecting meter reads, and dispatching service technicians are back-end processes you can improve with a managed print solution. In competitive markets, it's imperative that businesses looking to acquire or maintain a dominant market position continually look for ways to differentiate their offerings. MPS is another way that you can set your organization apart from competitors, position yourself as a valued partner (as opposed to another service provider), and offer your customers an exceptional user experience.

4. Flexibility

MPS solutions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so to speak. Finding the right solution will depend largely on your unique business needs. You need to consider whether a turnkey or custom solution is the right fit for your organization in addition to identifying your goals, features you would like to have in an MPS solution, and your budget. Whether you're a small company with only 750 machines in field or you're a global business with 7,500, there's a managed print solution that can scale with your business and meet your needs. The variety of MPS offerings available on the market, including rapid assessment tools , cloud-based solutions , automated platforms , and enterprise programs provide you with the flexibility to implement a managed print program without having to change your business model.

5. Data

In many instances, data is an untapped resource that businesses aren't capitalizing on simply because they don't have a solution in place to collect and analyze it. This is particularly true for printers which are often overlooked when it comes to data analytics because of the perceived value of the operational insights they provide. An MPS program can help you leverage device data by providing actionable information you didn't have before. You can leave the guesswork out of supplies fulfilment, stop manually collecting meter reads, increase the accuracy of your billing, and drive numerous other back-end efficiencies with reliable device data. It all starts with data, and unless you have a managed print solution to collect this information, you're missing out on valuable insights.

If you're looking for more information on the state of the managed print industry and how to get started, download our free Complete Guide to Managed Print Services.

ECI Staff Contributors

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.