Features

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

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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Five Things to Consider When Developing Your Mobile Field Service Strategy

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Robert Sombach, Nexent

The service business is on the move. To ensure a happy and satisfied customer base and an efficient field service team, the option of employing mobile technology is no longer considered “nice to have.” It has become a necessity to stay competitive.

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A Direct Question

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Jake Fishman, Gap Intelligence

It’s been hard to ignore the growing buzz surrounding the printing industry’s direct sales organizations as news of downsizing and branch closures placed a spotlight on the sustainability of the business model.

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OEMs Invest in 2011

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Charles Brewer, Actionable Intelligence

Industry watchers recognize printer and copier manufacturers have been gaining solid ground in the enterprise space for the past few years by marketing more services, including managed print and document management solutions. OEMs are constantly crowing to their stakeholders that they are generating more and more revenue marketing services to larger customers, and each month brings news of new contracts. While vendors may have successfully wooed enterprise clients, their penetration of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) has been more limited. Going forward, however, I expect that will change and OEMs will reap more cash from smaller companies, thanks in part to certain initiatives announced in 2011.

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Shifts in Consumer Behavior Drive Mobile Printing Solutions

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by Raegen Pietrucha

What do 3-D TV and mobile printing have in common? Neither began to be part of the mainstream discussion until technology — either tangential or directly related — caught up, making it more appealing to users. Some early mobile printing solutions, for instance, were a bit complicated, as they were proxy-based, requiring the use of a PC as the middleman that would communicate with the printer on behalf of the mobile device to get output, explained Robert Shibata, marketing director at Thinxtream.

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Taking a Closer Look at Offering Managed Network Services

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

by David Pohlman, GreatAmerica Financial Services

It’s an accepted fact that progressive office equipment dealers are actively moving down the path of managed network services (MNS). By transferring the day-to-day management of technology to a third-party MNS provider, small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) are able to get away from the break/fix model and move toward a more proactive technology management approach. MNS goes beyond selling technology equipment; it involves helping to keep your customers’ equipment running, backing up their data and protecting their email. For office equipment dealers, this is the biggest opportunity for growth since managed print.

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Executive Corner With Ed McLaughlin

The Imaging Channel

by The Imaging Channel | 05/26/2014

The Imaging Channel recently sat down with Ed McLaughlin, president of Xiphos Consulting and executive advisor to Sharp Electronics.

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