Saturday, April 9, 2011

Who And What is Your Managed Print Services Association? From LinkedIn

I haven't mentioned much about Your MPSA.

Like some mysterious mistress she's there, just out of reach, misty, hazy and slightly out of focus....waiting for you to light the candles...ahem -

but I digress.

With the North American MPS conference, back drop for the MPSA - MPS Leadership Awards, just around the corner and our second annual MPSA membership meeting taking place the day after, now is a good as time as ever to talk MPSA.

Recently, somebody on LinkedIn expressed the feeling that one of the bedrocks of today's MPS, the 3 Stages, is flawed.

Interesting...


The Three Stages of MPS -

What was MPS to you, 3 years ago vs. what it is today? What will it be 3 years from now?

The thought leaders of the MPSA have been wrestling with ALL issues around MPS since the beginning.

This is difficult and challenging because once we, or anyone puts anything out there, once somebody makes a stand, the critics now have something to focus on.

And critics they are.

One of the touchstones in today's MPS are the Three Stages:
  1. Control
  2. Optimize
  3. Enhance
Granted, they were first published by Photizo.  But they are ingrained in the basic understanding of MPS.

Is it possible that we are taking this process for granted? No.

Let me remind everyone, including my fellow MPSAr's and MPSr's:

The Three Stages where NOT created, they were discovered.
This mere distinction may blow right past most of us, copier dudes ain't the brightest bulb in the tool shed, yet try, I must.

The stages were observed as the process MPS CUSTOMERS traveled.

Let that soak in - the stages are customer not vendor centric.

And this point is at the fulcrum of the challenges encountered by the MPSA - we are trying to mirror and respond to MPS customers/users - NOT MPS Providers.

Let THAT soak in.

Imagine if you will an organization standing for something, and based on its core beliefs and philosophy could attract end-users.

Imagine how attractive this would be for an OEM to get in early and try to shape the battlefield. Not aligning with, but reigning over, the definitions, standards, awards, education, communications, and messaging. Think it wasn’t attempted? It was.

Can you fathom the interesting conversations as the MPSA tasked themselves with defining MPS?

Your MPSA Executive Board members come from every segment - including END USERs - the discussion was heated, and pulled in every direction. Those days were the wild west of MPS.

Still, we made a stand.

  • We accepted the 3 stages as a valid observation.
  • We considered, built and published a definition of MPS.
  • We continue to hold the MPS Awards.
  • We are building 'standards' around observed customer and vendor behavior.

In the end, one of our challenges is to maintain the MPSA as an organization who observes and publishes agreed ideas - ‘attracting’ the like minded – that being said, just like MPS, the MPSA is not for everyone.

I am an anti-hardware type of MPS’r.

I know that if we define MPS as simply toner and service (S1 & S2), we will whittle away and die. The MPSA has plenty of hardware-heads, folks squarely under the Bell curve – fine.

I will run out here to the extreme right of the curve. Tugging and pulling - stand by me, if you dare.

I challenge you – become a member of Your MPSA.

Get in on a committee.

Contribute.

If you find the Three Stages flawed  – tell them.

We named it "Your MPSA" for a reason - its yours.

Click to email me.

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