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Friday, May 28, 2010

Year Two: Managed Print Services Focuses on Change

Ed posted this over at ChannelWeb, here.

I commented, and then I cut and pasted - enjoy.
Ed Crowley
Posted by Ed Crowley on May 28, 2010 1:43:34 PM

The first North American Managed Print Services (MPS) conference was launched in April of 2009 amidst the very ugly depths of the economic crises of 08-09 at a time when other conferences were seeing their attendance fall by 50% or more.

Many skeptics debated whether this would be a huge failure, or at best, moderately successful. Well, the first conference ended with 35% more attendees than planned, tremendous excitement and enthusiasm, and the formation of the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA).

Fast forward one year to May of 2010. It's now time for the second MPS conference. The questions are still out there. Was the first year a fluke? If it grows, can it keep its excitement and edge? Will attendees come to a conference and trade show for Managed Print Services? Well, we now have an answer. And it is a resounding YES!

The conference more than doubled in size, booth spaces were sold out months in advance, over 40 speakers gave insightful sessions on MPS trends, techniques, and best practices. And the excitement was even greater than in 2009! In fact, you can see webcasts of a few of the key note sessions at the MPS Insights portal.

The theme at this years conference was change. The change MPS is driving throughout the industry, the change vendors are going through as they transition from hardware centric to services centric business model, and the change required to successfully transition from a traditional reseller to a Hybrid Dealer.

So what now? Plans have already been set for next years event, with booths and sponsorships disappearing quickly. The event has been expanded to five tracks (from three) with focused sessions for management, staff, and end users. In addition, the conference has spread to Europe (Barcelona), Asia (Singapore) and look for announcements soon in Latin America. Managed Print Services is here, and its here to stay!

Well, well, well - what do we have here? Some sort of young, MPS upstart?

You say you've been doing MPS since before there was such a thing as "MPS"? Really? No, really? You think inking ribbons in your mom's garage back in '97 was MPS? Huh. Ain't that some sh*t?

As much as Ed may want to gloat, he won't - but I will.

As much as Ed bristles when others claim the "Hybrid Dealer", he won't point his finger and laugh - but I will.

I find it strange, a bit peculiar, how many, highly paid, "industry consultants" are discoverying MPS, this year, this month. I chuckle and shake my head everytime I here somebody exhalt "MPS is Hot" - like, 12 months ago...

In the end, it really doesn't matter - a year ago it was an "anomoly" today it's the hottest thing going(again).

Managed Print Services is going to put one industry down while raising another from niche status to "savior" rating.

Here's an even stranger thing: MPS is not like selling copiers. Back then, heck even today, if you got in late to the game, it was no problem, that segment never really evolved all that much.

But MPS is different, at least at this point in time. Those that got in early, and stayed in, have a distinct advantage over the "newbies" - for instance, this Hot New Thing, touted about is more like supplies management, simple Stage 1 stuff.

The real, exploratory ones are providing MPS under the "Business Process Optimization" banner, perhaps even wielding Sharepoint in lieu of third party toner.

Come on over. To the right of the Bell Curve, way right. It's fun.

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