Managed Print Services: Office Depot, Xerox Partner In Europe

Office Depot has introduced Xerox Managed Print Services to customers in Germany, with a European MPS rollout scheduled to take place throughout the remainder of the year, according to the two companies. The move is a mixed blessing for European managed services providers. On the one hand, the Office Depot-Xerox relationship further legitimizes managed print services. But on the other hand it means small MSPs could wind up competing with a big retailer for recurring print revenues.

As frequent MSPmentor readers know, I consider the managed print services market somewhat of a head-scratcher. It seems like the perfect opportunity for MSPs to further engage with customers. But only about 20 percent of MSPs that completed the fourth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey, which ended in December, offer managed print services.

Still, smart MSPs are profiting from the managed print trend. And some MSPs -- such as Print Administrate -- have bet their entire business on the market opportunity, MSPmentor has heard. And The Photizo Group is set to host a managed print services conference May 2-4 in Orlando, Fla.

Meanwhile, Office Depot and Xerox apparently see opportunities ahead in Europe. According to the Office Depot-Xerox announcement, Office Depot plans to "assess, optimize and manage customer printing needs, resulting in lower print, copy and IT support costs, reduced environmental impact, as well as increased office productivity."

Office superstores are increasingly familiar with the managed services market. Staples, for instance, acquired Thrive Networks in 2006 as part of a push into the managed services market.

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