Printer manufacturers have taken a page from the playbook used by other technology vendors.  First they sell hardware to clients and then they roll out their managed services to help clients use the hardware efficiently and streamline a business process.  A new study by IDC MarketScape points to growing competition in the managed print services (MSP) industry.

Leading operators have familiar names. Many of these businesses have established their presence as hardware vendors over the past two decades and include Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, and Lexmark.  These vendors have either already rolled out a managed print services business line or plan to do so in the near future.  And for many of these vendors, the print services business will be a first step as they compete for the larger piece of the pie that extends to document management, print procurement and imaging/archiving needs.

As client become more aware of MPS as a way to save up to 30% on costs related to print, they’ll be looking at the following criteria offered by vendors:

  • Improved user experience especially with respect to minimizing equipment downtime
  • Cost management reporting to demonstrate that targets such as reduced expenses are being met
  • Multi-vendor support so the client doesn’t have to replace equipment it owns from other vendors
  • Customer service focus that helps employees learn about new technology and processes
  • Comprehensive offering to support printing equipment in the corporate office, satellite locations and home worker environments

In 2010, more businesses of all sizes may be looking to outsource their printing needs to cut costs. To win businesses, vendors will be marketing the benefits of their services as they move beyond large clients and into the SMB sector. The IDC MarketScape report indicates that successful vendors will use both direct and indirect channels to reach new clients.
[Sources: Considering Managed Print Services? IDC MarketScape Finds Xerox A Leader. Xerox Global Services. 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 3 May 2010;  IDC MarketScape Finds Leading Hardcopy Vendors Aggressively Investing in Managed Print Services Programs. IDC. 28 Apr. 2010. Web. 3 May 2010]