Memo to MSPs: Charge for Your Managed Print Assessments

The Managed Print Services Conference this week in Orlando, Fla., contained a swath of breakout sessions, with topics ranging from end-user experience panels to reseller practices. But what's the key to success with managed print services? Gary McCone, CEO of Preo Software, says success starts with effective customer assessments. And by the way: McCone says customer assessments should not be free. Here's why.

Preo Software develops Print Knowledge Management Systems for VARs and MSPs. Preo Software's solutions can be pushed out to desktops and deployed in less than a hour, according to McCone. The software offers a breakdown of user print habits (local and networked), color or black and white prints, and what type of paper users print on.

Based on those analytics alone, the VAR or MSP can develop managed print strategy that delivers ROI for the customer. Bold claims aside, McCone offered some sound advice: You need to have the whole picture before making customer recommendations. That means combining information gathered from IP devices as well as interviewing end-users about their print and document management habits.

Another key point: Assessments shouldn't be free. Multiple conference attendees called on channel partners to stop providing value without charging for it. Set an assessment price at the start of the conversation -- even if it's a conservative figure -- and you'll quickly determine if the customer has budget to proceed with you in a long-term relationship. Yes, common sense advice was everywhere at the Managed Print Services Conference. Hopefully, attendees will heed the advice.

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