Thursday, June 16, 2016

The End Of MPS, The Beginning of MpS


Recent market data for the global hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market saw a 10.6 percent yearly decline, though MPS growth has continued across the world. HP shows an 18.6% decline in unit shipments, Y/Y. - IDC, 2016

It doesn't need to be said, does it? The office environment has been moving away from print for the past decade. I know it, the OEMs know it, and in your heart, you know it too.

Managed print services is a trailing indicator, 'growth' is a statistic anomaly - expanding in a shrinking pool - there are no new clicks.

You want to survive and thrive in the technology industry. It's easier to sell copiers and implement a managed print services practice than it is to bring a managed services practice but the IT world represents growth and opportunity.

What should you do?

"...Come With Me Now..."

Years ago, I preached the coming of managed print services as the wave of the future.


Then, I saw managed print services as an on-ramp to business process/workflow optimization, teaching simple, workflow analysis embedded in the standard assessment.

Next, evangelizing managed services as the new frontier for copier/printer providers, I recommended third-parties like Collabrance and Continuum.

Today, I've come full circle and looking at managed print services basics. The tools I've seen, and I've seen or worked with almost all of them - are impressive.

Here are some of my observations:

  1. Heavy - cumbersome to use, demand time from MpS practitioner
  2. Print-data, intense - print only, some end-user, but no outside asset data
  3. Sales static - the 'map' and client data remain in the sales silo, or not easily transportable into contracts or service
  4. The Tool 'does the thinking for you' - plug the data in and out comes a current and recommended state in a 300 page Word doc
I see lots of TCO tools, column reports, graphs and dashboards and I think we can do better. I'm looking at how I conduct assessments and the tools I would use in the field. Additionally, I'm taking a holistic view - I'd like to know how the fleet is performing in terms of service calls and profitability. 

Finally, I'd like to be in a position to offer my clients an engagement that includes ANY asset type.

With this in mind, we've designed a tool that:

  1. Collects data from multiple databases: DCA, service desk, dispatch, accounting system
  2. Helps you easily conduct assessments and present mapped proposals
  3. Enables you to create, and doesn't do the thinking for you

Point #1
Atlas - Mps displays ANY asset; printers, copiers, desktops, laptops, phones, projectors, oxygen bottles. But more impactful, is our ability to draw together related, yet disconnected data. For instance, we show the number of service calls placed on an asset, the install date, number of toners delivered, revenue and profit generated; for the universal MIF, client fleet, or individual asset.

We've designed Atlas - MpS to work within your managed print services ecosystem - the 'map' not only supports new sales, but integrates through sales to service to management to ownership; sales people engage and asses, service utilizes mapping, and management looks into real-time financial information with the tap of a screen.

Point #2
With or without a DCA/Thumb drive, a practitioner conducts interviews and records findings. Manual entry of device data(manufacturer, model, volumes, etc.) is achieved through the use of the onboard survey tool. Machine data files may be uploaded or a directly integrated, but is not necessary.

Plotting devices and manual data collection is simple and easy. Floor plans are uploaded but when unavailable, practitioners may utilize Atlas - MpS floorpan templates.

Displaying current and optimized environments is as simple as tapping an on-screen icon.

Point #3
Some existing systems deliver everything from a prospect's total cost of operation to a final proposal in Word leaving the "specialist" with nothing more to do than email the proposal, or deliver pie.
We've designed a tool that I would use in the field as a practitioner. I don't want anything 'heavy' and cumbersome and I sure don't want somebody else doing the thinking for me.

Atlas - MpS is not a substitute for your collective knowledge, sales savvy or sizzling charm.

It is a tool that spans the landscape and is useful for the field practitioner, the practice manager, and the owner/principle. Atlas - MpS works the way you do, fitting into your workflow.

I cannot tell you how often I’m asked for an ‘assessment’ or ‘mps contract’ sample. I’ve conducted assessments on paper, laptops and in my head but I still use a basic outline of questions. We’ve incorporated something to orient the new practitioner and keep the seasoned vet on track.

“We interviewed 25 employees and 62% of them responded that service calls are not being completed within 72 hours. 87% felt ordering toner required three to four hours to complete.” 

Atlas - MpS. Assessment Logic*
We’ve incorporated a survey function that can be administered for each asset. In the case of a non-integrated - no DCA software - simple machine data collected on one screen. This isn't a data dump, the questions included collect relevant information you need to create a compelling proposal. I’ve also included basic workflow questions and sales related queries.

Once the survey is completed, the data is attached to that specific asset - the answers can be used as analysis. For instance, “We interviewed 25 employees and 62% of them responded that service calls are not being completed within 72 hours. 87% felt ordering toner required three to four hours to complete.” could be one of your compelling arguments for change.

Atlas - MpS. Contract Completion*
The sales and service teams rarely communicate but an integral part of a great customer experience is the effortless transition from proposing to implementing. One important issue is to correctly communicate data proposed, like existing device serial numbers, location, point of contact, beginning meter reads, CPI, etc. The information is captured during the assessment and proposal stage - why not simply populate a .PDF of your engagement?

Why not have the digital version of your contract available for signature immediately after the presentation? Atlas - Mps has this capability to complete your contract. Print it if you like, or have your client digitally sign right then and there. Email the completed form to your contracts department and have the account set up before you get back to the office. Ring that bell.

Atlas - MpS. Print Policy Framework*
Ultimately, a fully engaged, high level managed print services engagement results in a Print Policy.
Atlas - MpS, will create the blank Print Policy template and present data to support the generation of content.

Once the print policy is in place, Atlas - MpS helps you managed the engagement against the goals set forth in the policy. The information is real time, specific data points are monitored and statused as either “in or out of policy”.

No more quarterly reviews - review the fleet and goals of the program at any time.

One More thing…

Atlas is adept at integrating disparate databases and managing IT assets. Once you begin to utilize Atlas - MpS, the door opens into the IT realm. We’re not suggesting you invest in a data center, or engage with a third party to provide help desk, end-point monitoring services. We suggest talking with your IT contacts about “Asset Lifecycle Management”. You help track their IT assets, manage technology upgrades and equipment refresh with Atlas all for a monthly subscription. We can help you.

Atlas - MpS is different, simple and dynamic, helping managed print practitioners solidify their position in imaging, while opening opportunities outside of print.

Find Your Way.

Reach out to me. greg@asset-atlas.com



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