Unleashing the Full Value of MPS With Data Analytics

Print was one of the first technology industries to evolve into a fully realized service offering, and the value of Managed Print Services (MPS) is well-known and widespread. For organizations small and large, MPS offers seamless printer fleet management, easy maintenance, supplies delivery, operational cost savings … the list goes on.

Today, however, we have entered a new era of MPS, one that is data-driven and requires organizations to take advantage of the enormous opportunity in front of them. Mountains of data collected by devices — not just printers — sit dormant. In fact, McKinsey claims that only 1 percent of data collected is ever used, underscoring the fact that there is a substantial disparity between the potential of data and companies’ ability to convert it into value.

Unleashing data’s kinetic energy means sorting, filtering, analyzing and applying insights to transform information into action. According to the Quocirca MPS 2018 report, companies expect deeper analytic insight from their MPS providers, with 41 percent indicating that this is a “very important” requirement, compared to 31 percent in 2017.

As customers look to MPS providers to deliver greater strategic business impact, analytics are the keys to the kingdom, and can unleash the potential of data that is untapped and under-utilized.

There are four key areas where analytics can drive greater benefits within MPS:

  1. Optimize efficiency of printers and fleets. MPS analytics enable actionable insights such as device usage, performance and status of repair, which can then be used to improve the efficiency of print environment For instance, printing histories can be evaluated to identify which printers are under- or over-utilized and enable decision making around which devices best fit a business’ needs and budget.

As an example, First American Financial Corporation, which provides title insurance and settlement services to help close real estate transactions, wanted to obtain business data to help improve its print environment, optimize and right-size print devices, identify areas of improvement and ultimately reduce costs. By using MPS analytics, First American was able to significantly reduce print costs, establish more responsible print behaviors, eliminate unclaimed print waste and lower overall print volumes.

Pete McGarahan, Senior Director of Corporate IT Infrastructure at First American says, “With the transparency provided … we’ve reduced our print costs significantly.  We use report information to create actionable, measurable improvements.”

  1. Release IT staff to focus on higher-value efforts. The perennial challenge of every IT team is to reduce costs while also improving service scale and capabilities. Predictive analytics help to efficiently manage fleets, prevent downtime and make better business decisions, allowing IT staff to spend less time “keeping the lights on” and more time on innovation to support the business.

After all, just because an IT team is capable of a task doesn’t mean it’s the best use of their time. In fact, half of IT managers believe they spend too much time managing devices and 63 percent would prefer to shift that time to security and digital transformation efforts. Analytics help free them from rote tasks. They inform proactive and automated support so instead of ordering parts or doing routine maintenance, IT can devote its energy to supporting business objectives and better serving customers.

Beebe Healthcare, an independent community health system, once managed its own print environment, which was a resource-intensive burden. Today, with MPS analytics, Beebe IT staff members no longer deal with day-to-day print management. Instead, they have turned their attention to strategic growth, medical applications, network connectivity and other forward-looking initiatives. Clint Perkinson, Director of information technology at Beebe says, “Outsourcing our print environment lets us focus on supporting the best possible patient care.”

  1. Amplify business productivity. The third layer of benefits from MPS analytics comes from moving into a true understanding of user behavior, driving workplace productivity improvements and facilitating the next level of business transformation.

At the next level, MPS analytics can be deployed to evaluate printing behaviors, to identify user-level print actions and to inform the design of policies around who prints, how they print, where and when they print. Patterns identified in data can then deliver insights on user behavior, help optimize workflows and even automate manual, paper-based processes. Consider a high-value employee such as an attorney or physician — they may require individual printers, whereas a group of assistants might share one printer. The right level of accessibility can also boost employee productivity. Instead of time wasted walking across the building or to another floor for printed material, that time can be used to focus on work. In the same way, data can help identify which employees need remote printing capabilities as well as the right level of access and security — along with proactive maintenance and troubleshooting to keep mobile employees connected and productive.

At Franciscan Missionaries Of Our Lady Heath System, MPS analytics helped streamline costs by more than 30 percent while also designing seamless workflows to improve print reliability and deliver productivity boosts for both IT and healthcare staff. FMOLHS is further utilizing data reporting in the print environment to help identify ongoing improvement strategies. Frank Sewell, Director of IS Resource Management & Compliance at FMOLHS says, “Before, we had complaints about very basic issues — ‘I don’t have toner,’ ‘The printer doesn’t work or it’s jammed,’ or ‘I can’t get a service tech here.’ Those are very basic requirements I expect to be handled on a proactive basis. Now they are.”

  1. Support sustainability initiatives. MPS analytics can also help companies to dramatically impact their sustainability goals in three significant ways. First, analytics drive a smaller, greener footprint by right-sizing the print environment. Second, data informs energy-saving protocols such as automatic shut-off for devices and scheduling sleep and wake-up modes across an entire fleet. Finally, information on print behaviors can be used to eliminate waste associated with the paper, toner and energy used in uncollected printing that goes straight into the trash.

One automotive leader was able to reduce printer energy consumption by 56 percent over three years, while also enhancing security and improving employee productivity. A manager at the company says that, beyond the energy savings, paper consumption reductions to date reached the equivalent of saving 47 acres of forest.

MPS offers many important benefits to businesses. When data is used in its total capacity and deployed in actionable ways, those benefits multiply — and the full power of MPS is realized.

is the vice president and general manager of the Americas Solutions Business at HP.