Oki Data Revamps Partner Portal

Can a vendor-agnostic tool propel printer dealers and VARs into the realm of managed print services? Oki Data Americas seems to think so. The company this week previewed its Total Managed Print Portal, which it says will help partners migrate to the services side. an official announcement is slated for June 27. The portal, which pulls together a number of managed print tools, already has helped one partner land two managed print deals in a 24 hour period, according to Tim Brien, director of Managed Print Service at OKI Data Americas. That partner hadn’t previously sold a printer or toner cartridge, he added.

The TMP Portal may sound familiar to Oki Data’s current partners. Indeed, the portal is built upon an earlier platform that’s been available for some time. The revamped portal, however, has been expanded to included nine modules and offers more features than its predecessor, according to a company spokeswoman.

Oki Data terms the portal agnostic in that it lets partners manage multi-vendor printer environments. The portal’s data capture component pulls in information on a customer’s printer population, supporting 10,000-plus devices, according to Oki Data. This feature provides asset identification and tracking, reports on device utilization, and collects data on a printer’s age, manufacturer and toner levels. It also provides metrics such as cost per page.

The portal’s data capture element also accepts data from print management tools such as PrintFleet, FMAudit, and Print Audit. In addition, the portal accommodates remote monitoring and management products from vendors such as Level Platforms and N-able, Brien noted.

Other TMP Portal modules cover data analysis, proposal generation, acquisition options, implementation services, remote monitoring and management, personalized service and supply fulfillment, back office processing and billing, and continuous fleet optimization and reporting.

In the back-office area, Oki Data offers partners the option of using their own billing systems. The portal will integrate with a partner’s professional services automation solution -- ConnectWise and Autotask, for example.

Jim Fitzpatrick, manager of Managed Print Services operations at Oki Data, emphasized the portals’ vendor neutral nature. Partners, he said, “have complete control across brands and models” as well as the systems and tools they choose to use.

The portal is free to Oki Data dealers and branded with the dealer’s logo.

Oki Data’s portal launch comes as other printer vendors acquire new resources. Two examples include: Xerox Corp. recently purchased NewField IT, a print consultant. NewField IT provides Asset DB Suite, which lets users create digital floor plans that show how printers are deployed in an office. And HP bought Printelligent, a managed print services firm. HP said it believes the purchase will help its channel partners expand customer ties and recognize new revenue streams.

Additional reporting by Nicholas Mukhar. Sign up for MSPmentor’s Weekly Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center. Follow us via RSS, Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. Check out more MSP voices at www.MSPtweet.com. Read our editorial disclosure here.

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