Managed Print Services: Low Entry Barrier, High Opportunity
Solution providers are always asking how they can continue to push their business model forward. They are looking to align their skill sets with where the market is growing, but need to find the lowest barrier of entry.
While printing, or more specifically managing print services, may not necessarily sound like the most exciting way to break into managed services, it provides a recurring revenue stream and leverages cloud expertise—areas solution providers are most certainly looking toward growing. Further, recent research shows organizations are looking to better manage their print services, not just to save money and be more efficient but also to be more environmentally friendly.
Solution providers, listen up. Look at the trends. Nearly 80 percent of companies said they are engaged in efforts to use less paper, according to a new study by CompTIA. In fact, one in five businesses said they are aggressively pursuing a less-paper strategy to a “high degree,” according to CompTIA’s "Trends in Managed Services" report. This creates an enormous opportunities for solution providers to provide these organizations with a managed print solution that more efficiently utilizes printers, saving on paper, downtime and support.
Data for the study was collected from online surveys of 600 U.S. and Canadian IT business executives responsible for technical or strategic decisions affecting print or document management at their company. Additionally, 350 executives of U.S. IT firms, with most having some level of involvement in the IT channel, were surveyed.
According to CompTIA, the move to using less paper is driven by a variety of factors, with cost savings the biggest reason. “The less obvious, but potentially greater savings may come from efficiency gains,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, Research and Market Intelligence at CompTIA, in a prepared statement. “Digitized, properly managed information delivers countless benefits over paper files that are handled manually.”
That said, paper isn't expected to go away anytime soon. The study reports that 98 percent of office workers expect to continue to print at least once per quarter. That’s where managing printers, loads and downtime as a service can also help save companies big time.
Another opportunity in this area for solution providers is in mobile device printing. While mobile devices are running rampant across organizations of all sizes, printing from these devices is still premature. Only 28 percent of businesses surveyed by CompTIA said they have mobile print capabilities currently in place. However, 37 percent said they plan on adding printing capabilities for smartphones and tablets in the near future, creating an opportunity the channel cannot ignore. The recent product announcements from Samsung and Apple are going to fuel this fire and fuel this need.
The intangible here is the connection between printing and corporate social responsibility. According to the report, 80 percent of businesses said they have paper recycling bins near print stations and a bit more than 50 percent said they regularly encourage their employees to engage in environmentally friendly print practices.
Again, all of this puts solution providers in the driver’s seat to grow their managed services, gain recurring revenue and align their services with market needs.
Knock 'em alive!