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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Engage or Die? Managed Print Services Reaching Another Sea Change

In an article appearing in the MicroScope UK by Billy MacInnes, Ed from Photizo outlines a possible approaching tempest for the traditional resellers - KillSwitch Engage.

This is nothing new for we who have been engaged in MPS - evolution occurs in months, not years.

Last month it was "define MPS" today it "engage or die", next month it will be "channel competes with the manufactures" - again.

For us in the trenches, the glass will be either half-full or get the point.

The large manufactures do not have the flexibility that the channel posses - the Channel may not have the Global coverage the manufacturers do - competing with manufacturer MPS, in the SMB should make your mouth water - and by SMB, don't we mean 100-1,000 employees?

That's at least 500 printers and possibly a few dozen copiers, right?

Enjoy the article:

Analysis: Resellers need to engage with print managed services

by Billy MacInnes
25 September 2009

IT resellers risk losing out if they fail to seriously engage with managed print services (MPS) opportunities within the next
five years.

The warning comes from Ed Crowley, CEO at specialist market research company Photizo Group. He suggests large numbers of resellers will not be able to break into the MPS space if they delay the move because rivals that make the leap to become what the company terms “hybrid dealers” will have so much more to offer.

“Firms that make the transition are so successful because it completely changes the customer dynamic and the customer relationship. Resellers will have a very difficult time competing once they come up against hybrid dealers,” Crowley says.

Levels of commitment

Photizo Group categorises IT resellers, office products dealers and office supplies resellers and remanufacturers as hybrid dealers, committed, testers or fence-sitters.

According to Crowley, less than 5% of IT resellers, office dealers and supplies remanufacturers/resellers have become hybrid dealers able to sell and support managed print services. A further 10% are committed to making the investment in people and technology to deliver MPS. Of the rest, around 25% are testers, which are not fully committed to MPS, and almost 50% are fence-sitters.

Photizo Group estimates that up to half of the latter two groups will not be able to break into the MPS market after 2014.

In the US, half of the hybrid dealers are from the office product space and a quarter each are IT resellers or office supplies resellers/remanufacturers.

Crowley says the IT channel has struggled with the MPS approach because it is so used to a box-selling mentality.

Channel role

He suggests the channel has a critical role to play as vendors seek to promote and sell MPS to SME customers in the wake of a dramatic fall in sales of printers, copiers and multifunction devices.

Until now, vendors have concentrated on selling MPS to enterprise customers, mainly on a direct basis, but their attention is beginning to shift to SMEs.

“A lot of the activity so far has been enterprise-centric,” Crowley says. “The vendors have not really approached the SME market yet. Some vendors may attack it directly, but for most it will be difficult to scale their systems.”

Reseller involvement

He adds that resellers should prepare for a blizzard of channel programmes from vendors in the coming months, pointing out that almost 18 schemes have been launched in a little over 12 months in the US.

“Europe is a little bit behind, but we see a very similar situation developing and an increase in the pace of the number of new programmes,” Crowley says.

He reveals that HP’s channel programmes in the US have not
been as successful as they needed to be with capturing office product resellers.

“It has been very successful with direct programmes to the enterprise, but the channel programmes are struggling a bit,” Crowley says.


  1. It's amazing the number of international/nation copier printer companies who have invested large sums of money for print fleet management software but fail to implement it on a local basis. Print services is hot and alive with smaller copier printer scanner companies and gives a decisive advantage when marketing the services. Nimble copier dealers need to act now before the large national companies get better at selling print management to smaller local businesses.

  2. Mike - good observations.

    Your statement, " to implement...on a local basis..."

    Yes. Failure to launch, or execute, in the field. All the programs in the world don't make a difference if the plan is not executed.

    The future of MPS rests with the local VAR and copier dealer -

    Thanks for reading and keep coming back.



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