Managed Print Services: Ricoh's @Remote Office Move

Ricoh Americas hit my inbox this week with a rather intriguing announcement. The Ricoh news could have implications for the managed print services market. Only, Ricoh didn't mention managed print services and MSPs in the e-mail to me. In my mind, that's a potential missed opportunity for Ricoh. Here's the story.

Let's start with the official news: Ricoh Americas Corp. has unveiled an @Remote Office Intelligent Remote Management System. Admittedly the name is long and cumbersome. But Ricoh's vision sounds intriguing.

Ricoh says the system will allow businesses to remotely manage Ricoh devices, optimize device usage and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). According to the Ricoh news release:

"This includes collecting device data, receiving and reporting service and toner alerts and enabling remote firmware upgrades. In addition, @Remote’s secure, Web-based reporting portal transforms captured data into valuable reports on population and usage as well as offers new Green reporting capabilities."
Translation: The Ricoh @Remote Office effort sounds like a potential fit for MSPs that are pushing into managed print services.

But here's the problem: Ricoh doesn't really say if or how the @Remote Office effort applies to channel partners. Instead, the launch announcement is positioned for corporate customers rather than channel partners.

I checked in with a Ricoh spokesperson, who offered these additional insights:
  • @Remote Office is designed for the corporate IT, Finance, Purchasing or Administration managers to enable them to have visibility to their fleet of networked print devices. It provides population, utilization and select green metrics for Ricoh devices.
  • @Remote is made available through Ricoh's direct sales organizations and authorized service providers.
Dig deep enough, and it sounds like @Remote could be a managed print services opportunity for VARs and MSPs. If so, Ricoh needs to have more targeted messaging for the channel -- especially as Hewlett-Packard builds managed print relationships, and Xerox continues its PagePack MPS efforts.

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