Managed Print Services Acquisition: Xerox Buys LaserNetworks
Xerox Corp. has acquired LaserNetworks, a managed print services (MPS) expert in Ontario, Canada. The Xerox-LaserNetworks combination signals accelerating interest in managed print services. But Xerox will also need to carefully balance its direct vs. channel efforts with MPS.
LaserNetworks specializes in print device tracking, centralized service and supply management, and document routing. All three of those specialties will help Xerox enhance and add value to its own line of MDS offerings, according to Xerox Canada President and CEO Mandy Shapansky. LaserNetworks already supports about 40,000 printing and other office document devices throughout Canada, so Xerox’s newest acquisition will certainly help the $22.5 billion enterprise company expand its Canadian footprint.
LaserNetworks will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox Canada once the two companies dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s”. LaserNetworks Founder and CEO Chris Stoate will continue to head the LaserNetworks brand under Xerox Corp.
Still, Xerox must balance its direct-to-market efforts with channel partner programs — including the eConcierge and PagePack efforts for VARs and MSPs. Roughly 30 percent of top MSPs currently offer managed print services, according to the fifth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey (complete results coming in February 2012).
Xerox already operates in 160 countries and we expect the company to continue to be a major player in the MDS market in 2012. But rival printer makers have also been pushing hard into managed services and managed print services. Some examples: Konica Minolta in 2011 acquired All Covered, the national managed services provider. And in January 2011, Ricoh vowed to invest $300 million in managed services.
At the end of 2011, MSPmentor predicted that MDS would be one of the two fastest-growing markets in 2012, along with mobile device management (MDM).