Thursday, May 14, 2015

Managed print services, per seat billing. "I have two guns, one for each of you."


It's time to chime in on a subject that's been part of my Mps discussion since 2008 - per seat billing for toner and supplies fulfillment.

By now you've been reading or have heard the buzz around the idea; instead of billing in a 'usage model' or per click, we bill monthly for the number of users.  Benefits for the customer are about the same: supplies and service inclusive. For providers a steady revenue stream, regardless of decreasing print volumes.

Not a bad bargain.

"...that's the rumor..."

I've been a proponent of per seat billing since 2008 when I was cutting my MPS teeth with Edgeline, inside a VAR.  Billing help desk and other services on a per user basis was the norm.  Back then, I thought that someday, managing print devices would fall into the same scheme.

Of course, this hasn't happened.

"...that's just my game..."

Two sides of the same coin, arguments for and against, with no clear winner, I put together three reasons 'against' and three reasons 'for'.  Enjoy.

Against:
  1. Risk Avoidance - Assessments may be more important than ever, adding another 30 days to the cycle.  It is difficult to convert CPI or toner out costs into a per seat figure.
  2. Implementation - Can your system bill per seat?  How about three different types of seats? Who will handle adds and deletes?
  3. Ignorance - If you're doing Mps, by optimizing a 1:1 scheme, delivering toner/service only, there is little chance you'll understand the complexities and nuances of presenting to an IT professional.  Don't try per seat billing.
"...you're a Daisy if you do..."

For:
  1. Easier to bill - Once you determine the SKU(gag), billing is simple.  No meter reads.
  2. Easy to understand - Again, simple billing is a value.  So is an easy to understand pricing structure..
  3. Your customer does not care - And your client doesn't care how you bill.
"...I'll be your huckleberry..."

My personal belief is that by the time BTA-types figure out how confront their fears and live outside the shadow of equipment quotas, there won't be any printing - no matter how we bill, per image, per scan, per seat, or per whim - the cheapest image is the one you don't print.  Ever.




"I was just foolin"
"I wasn't..."
"....poor soul...you were just too high strung..."

Click to email me.

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1 comment:

  1. One big upside to moving to a flat rate billing model is that it removes toner/hardware as the revenue stream and allows providers to focus print reduction without fear of cutting the jugular.

    Just like successful Managed Service Provider's who reduce IT service tickets and enjoy higher margins, Managed Print can help take processes trapped in paper and move them to more efficient digital workflows. Another advantaged is that flat rate allows for easier coupling between Managed Services and Managed Print - if your into that sort of thing.

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