Can Managed Print Services Really Save Customers Money?

Invenio IT, a New York-based managed services provider, is the latest company to partner with Xerox on managed print services. In a prepared statement, Invenio suggests that managed print services can save customers 30 percent or more. But here's the twist: I think managed print services have faced some market challenges because there's a bit too much focus on cost savings and perhaps too little focus on predictable, reliable document management services.

Invenio IT sounds like a seasoned MSP. The company's customer list includes dozens of banks, health care organizations and municipal organizations. Invenio's IT services include everything from managed security services to application integration projects. In a prepared statement about the Xerox relationship, Invenio IT CEO Dale Shulmistra said:

"This partnership will offer Invenio IT the opportunity to better serve our clients and seamlessly manage all network print devices, both Xerox and non-Xerox, all while saving our clients upwards of 30% and more. Our clients also experience stress-free management of supply inventory with automatic replenishment for one single flat-rate monthly fee."

Key Benefits

Perhaps Invenio IT can deliver those savings for customers. But generally speaking, most MSPs focused on managed print services tell me that the services don't deliver big financial savings for customers. Instead, customers are able to become far more productive because:
  • Assessment services allow MSPs to optimize how printer fleets are deployed (or re-deployed) within an organization;
  • virtually all printer devices become IP devices, managed remotely in a pro-active manner to improve uptime; and
  • consumables (paper, ink) are replenished automatically as part of the managed services agreement.
In some ways, I think the current managed print services market is like the broader managed services market of five to seven years ago. Back then, some MSPs positioned managed services as a cost saver to customers. But over time, the sales pitch shifted to reliable service, predictable costs and trusted guidance.

I suspect the story will be the same in the managed print services market. Perhaps some MSPs can deliver cost savings to customers -- especially as aging, inefficient printer fleets are replaced. But the far bigger themes will involve automation, predicable costs and reliable devices that are proactively managed.

Additional insights from Nicholas Mukhar. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. And follow us via RSS; Facebook; and Twitter. Plus, check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com.
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