Features

Independent editorial coverage on the latest hot topics in managed print.

Managed Print Services and the Value of Print

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/22/2014

by Robert Palmer

If you spend much time following the imaging business these days, there is one question that is often repeated: How long can printing remain relevant? It is an interesting question to ponder. On the one hand, the printing business is under attack from numerous disruptive forces, all of which have been discussed and debated by pundits the world over — including within the pages of this publication. Yet the “paperless office” that was predicted more than 20 years ago has been very slow to materialize. Printing, while certainly threatened and on the decline, remains an important part of our everyday lives.

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MSPs: Evolving the Face of MPS

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

Anyone in the print business who isn’t aware at this point that managed service providers (MSPs) are entering the MPS space — and are even being assisted by old industry players to do so — must have been living under a boulder the past few years. “We’re definitely seeing more and more MSPs adding print to their mix, when they started out without it,” said Don Jones, senior partner and principal technologist of Concentrated Technology, an IT consulting firm. What’s behind such a major shift in this space?

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The Changing Role of Printing in Small And Medium-Size Businesses in the U.S.

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Larry Jamieson, The Photizo Group

Print volumes have been a concern for the printing industry for nearly as long as the industry has existed. Ever since businesses owned machines that could print on paper, the printed page has been the primary method of communication and record retention for companies.

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Samsung Pushes Hard to Be a Major Force in the Office

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

It’s becoming abundantly clear that Samsung is serious about taking some share of the office equipment market away from more established players like Canon, Ricoh, Xerox and others. This summer, Samsung expanded its A3 portfolio by adding five new entry-level machines to its MultiXpress line, which hitherto had only two A3 units. In addition to broadening its selection of hardware, Samsung is investing to better support its channel partners in their efforts to add more enterprise clients and further penetrate small to medium-size businesses.

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Who Are the People of Managed Print?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Greg Walters, Walters & Shutwell

Thinking about the people of managed print services poses a complex query: How can anyone pick one or a few special people as standouts within the managed print services ecosystem? Even though MPS, in its current form, is roughly four years old — closer to five — the ecosystem is loaded.

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The MPS to MNS Evolution: Eliminate the Risk and Cost With Network Monitoring Software

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Markus Brinsa, Paessler

In business, as in nature, evolution is vital to ensuring survival of the species. Through continuous innovation, the managed print services industry has evolved from providing a straight-up hardware product to offering full-service imaging solutions. As the industry faces the next frontier — the move from managed print services to complete managed network services — a new breed of services and solutions have emerged to help service providers make the leap with ease, less risk and low cost.

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The New Math of MPS Pricing

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Sarah Henderson, West Point Products

I still remember the first conversation I had several years ago with a dealer principal who very confidently stated, “MPS pricing is just the old cost-per-copy bundling with a new name — no big deal!” Fast-forward about six months later, and this same dealer expressed frustrations about having to take printers under contract and summed up MPS pricing as “guessing — and hoping not to get burned.”

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Executive Corner with Meagan Moody

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

This June, Ricoh announced it had partnered with Digital Gateway to create a new dealer system interface. The Imaging Channel asked Ricoh’s Meagan Moody a few questions about the project.

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Executive Corner with Gordon Snider

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

The Imaging Channel sat down with Gordon Snider, Director of Business Development, PrintFleet, to ask some questions.

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MPS – One of EBS' Most Profitable Services

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

A company named after the family that founded it, Edwards Business Systems (EBS) opened its first office in 1954 in West Reading, Penn., and has since grown to 11 locations (including Virginia Business Systems, or VBS) that serve businesses large and small across eastern Pennsylvania and central Virginia. Originally a copier dealer of Konica Minolta and Ricoh products, EBS expanded its line to include HP devices in 2005, at which time it also decided to build an MPS offering. Here’s EBS’ success story.

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Service Offerings Grow as Hardware Markets Remain Depressed

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Charles Brewer

Hardware manufacturers have indicated that their equipment and consumables businesses remained lackluster early in 2012. Unfortunately, most printer and copier makers are sending signals that they do not expect things will turn around anytime soon. With only a few exceptions, the OEMs reported flagging sales and profits in the first quarter of the year, and revenue from hardware and consumables remains depressed. Services have become the one bright spot in the industry, however, and the space continues to see a lot of activity.

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MPS Market Flooded With New Entrants

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Mike Huster

Since Photizo Group was established in 2006, focusing its gaze upon the managed print services (MPS) industry, there has been an amazingly quick growth rate of the MPS market. The journey has taken us from simple copier contracts with a monthly cost per page to comprehensive document management and business process optimization. Today, there is a buffet of new MPS programs and opportunities for dealers and decision-makers to choose from.

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M&A Activity Connects Print With Other Services

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

Ever wonder why it came to pass that printer and copier providers started becoming managed service providers and vice versa? If so, you’re not alone. Perhaps it was when print devices became network-capable. Perhaps it was when the recession hit, and companies were forced to think of new businesses they could diversify into to survive. Perhaps it was something else altogether. Whatever the case may be, though, there’s no doubt that this crossover trend is real and here to stay.

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Xerox Print Services Impact Hardware Revenue And Page Volumes — But That’s OK

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

Xerox had a better year in 2011 than many hardware manufacturers. While the second half of the year was tough, the firm managed to grow its total 2011 revenue approximately 5 percent to $22.6 billion, up about $1 billion over the previous year’s revenue. Xerox has its Services organization to thank for much of the growth. Revenue from Services was up in fiscal 2011 compared to the year before, but sales from Xerox’s Technology business, which includes sales of hardware and supplies, appear to have been down last year compared to 2010.

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Defining the Indefinable: The Rules of MPS

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Greg Walters, Walters & Shutwell

After five years of managed print services, one would imagine a standard set of MPS rules would rise out of the fog. (I know, you’ve been doing MPS for 25,000 years. Get over it.) And yet there is still debate over what exactly MPS stands for — not the acronym, but the vision and real value of managed print services.

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The Laws Your Clients Contend With

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

“Assuming responsibility for the print fleet” — one of the primary tasks providers take on in an MPS engagement. What does the expression refer to? Generally, that the provider will manage and optimize the print environment. When it comes to accomplishing this, most providers are not only proficient, but forward-thinking — at least when it comes to reorganization, device replacement and, of course, the corresponding financial implications of their choices. But on a deeper (and legal) level, there’s more to consider when “assuming responsibility” for clients’ devices, especially in light of today’s privacy laws.

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Are Smartphones Risky to Your Business?

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Mike Stramaglio, MWA Intelligence

Ever since the day I got my first BlackBerry, I’ve had a smartphone in my hand or attached to my hip. I’ve even been known to wear out keyboards on my BlackBerry because of my insatiable obsession with communication. 

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Executive Corner With Gary Stevens

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

The Imaging Channel recently sat down with Gary Stevens, CEO of Agiliant Inc.

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Four Rules of the Hybrid Provider

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Ken Stewart, Photizo Group

Many dealers and resellers on the edge of managed print services equate MPS with simply taking over the service and supplies for printer fleets. By this definition, you could assume MPS is naturally suited for existing account expansion. But simply taking over the service and supplies for printer fleets is just the tip of the iceberg. At the other end of the spectrum is the hybrid provider — a dealer or reseller who has made a complete transformation and is riding a wave of success.

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The Five-Step MPS Plan

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Jim Kahrs, Prosperity Plus

Dealerships that lead the pack are in almost every case simply more organized and proactive in their approach to the business and the changes at hand. Here are five steps you can take to become a leader in this evolving industry.

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