Kyocera Mita America this week kicked off the latest program aiming to transform channel partners into the managed print services market. It's part of a trend across the printer industry, where a new association and a recent conference show growing interest in managed print services.
First, the big picture: Photizo Group, which is organizing a managed print services organization, says roughly 140 people attended its recent Managed Print Services conference in San Antonio, Texas. Two more conferences (one in Europe, one in North America) are planned. And the company's blog offers some key metrics about the MPS market.
Meanwhile, printer companies are finally accelerating their managed print services efforts. Xerox has been popping up at more and more MSP-oriented conferences, and Kyocera is now evangelizing MPS.
Now, the NewsKyocera launched FASTtrack, a program that aims to help authorized dealers adopt an MPS business model. Kyocera has lined up three companies to back the dealers’ transition: FMAudit, the Learning Outsource Group and BEI Pros. FMAudit provides print assessment and monitoring software, while Learning Outsource Group and BEI Pros offer MPS sales and and service training.
Earlier this month, The Water Training Institute announced it will offer a sales training and certification program for MPS salespeople. The program is set for September 16-18 in Philadelphia.
Printer vendors began prodding printer dealers toward the managed services-versus-box-selling approach around 2007, but adoption has proven sporadic. The education and training programs suggest past efforts may not have been quite enough to get dealers into MPS. It’s a quite a transition, after all. Resellers that sold provided printers and break/fix are now tasked with providing assessment services and developing a package that includes elements such as remote monitoring and supplies management.
But if the trainers are willing to teach, it looks like there’s a growing population of interested parties to fill the seats. The Photizo Group recently noted that the Managed Print Services LinkedIn Group passed the 1,000-member mark. That LinkedIn community debuted in January.
Contributing blogger John Moore covers Master MSPs and Web hosts, and has written about the IT channel for two decades. MSPmentor is updated multiple times daily. Follow MSPmentor via RSS, Facebook, Identi.ca and Twitter. And sign up for our Enewsletter, Webcasts and Resource Center.