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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Than Managed Print Services - Born Free, You and Me



"Fast, on a rough road riding

High, through the mountains climbing
twisting, turning further from my home.

Young, like a new moon rising

Fierce, through the rain and lightning

Wandering out into this great unknown. "


It's strange, this thing called MPS is really more than an industry, a niche, an occupation.

And then again, it isn't all that different from times long past - one more step towards office/business/process Nirvana.

A new moon rising. No paper, toner, toner bombs, copiers, 60-month leases, or auto-renewals.

A world without Sin.

Yeah, I know...dream on.

Sure, printing is not sexy but that doesn't stop MPS/BPO/BPM/Systems Analysis from becoming a LifeStyle.

Uh-huh. That's right, I said it. I meant it. I'm here to represent it.

Not just an industry, MPS is a LifeStyle.


Free, like a river raging
Strong, if the wind I’m facing.
Chasing dreams and racing father time.
Deep like the grandest canon,
Wild like an untamed stallion.
If you can’t see my heart you must be blind.

You can knock me down and watch me bleed
But you can’t keep no chains on me.


Some call me an MPS Expert - I don't really want to be an expert. Some say that I'm disruptive, radical, a "John the Baptist" type. (not sure about that one, what happened to John's head?)

Other miscreants have called me disgruntled - out loud, during an MPS Sales Training session - projection at its best.

If anything, I prefer Defiant Idealist. The shame of it is, today, "Defiant Idealist" is considered redundant.

I see MPS as a secular change, not cyclical. I see MPS in the imaging industry today as technology was to the music business a decade ago.

The music didn't die - we changed the way "we" acquire it. The "Control" of the music industry shifted from the fat-cat record companies(establishment) to the individual listener; the ultimate consumer. The Big Guys could no longer control the creative process, the distribution channels, or the DEFINITION of the industry.

Did they fight? Yes.

Did they continue to throw their diminishing weight around, until the very end? Yes.

Did any of them change? No.

Are most of the players, and their advisers around today? Negative.

The pure "providers" of music(bands, songwriters, etc.) shifted their attention from pleasing the record producers to pleasing their ultimate audience - themselves.

You and me, out here in the listening audience simply choose to tag along and enjoy.

In a broad sense, this meant these creatives could once again, produce content they actually wanted to create. No more "Johnny Cougar"'s(the record company changed his name for Mellencamp to "Cougar").

And as the Titanic-like music moguls rearranged the deck chairs, they never hesitated to mock the young upstarts and deride the agents of change, the Defiant Ones.

(Are we having a Glenn Beck moment yet? Please, not tears.)


"Calm facing danger
Lost, like an unknown stranger
Grateful for my time with no regrets.

Close to my destination
Tired, frail and aching
Waitin patiently for the sun to set."


For us, now is that point in time when the entrenched authority has begun to crumble, their influence over the MPS ecosystem fading.

This is part of the reason some think me disgruntled - the establishment, if there is one in our industry, wants to, like the music industry once did, make the rules, create the definitions and they abhor "uncontrolled" change - especially change that starts in the grassroots. Down here with me and you.

I am "of" the grassroots and am not afraid to point out, to you, the naked Emperor. So I must be crazy, unqualified, "disgruntled".

This is heady stuff - the "Imaging Intelligentsia" do not want "us" to be independent in thought or action. The OEMs don't want us looking outside of their box.

Neither seems to be the least bit concerned with the client.

And by "we", today, I mean we in the field selling MPS on a day-to-day basis. We are in the trenches who (hopefully) are strong enough to partner with those prospects who deserve our company.

We who are sent to those "sales training classes" and attend the weekly mentoring sessions only to find little guidance or relevancy when across the desk from a prospect.

We who recognize our own shortcomings now have a growing suspicion of those who say they know the way.


"And when its done believe that I will yell it from that mountain highhh!

I was Born Free!
I was borrrrrrn free
I was born free, Born Free.

And I will vow to the shining seas and celebrate God’s Grace on me.

I was Born Free!"

There is more to our world. More than OEMs, toner delivery, technicians, proposals, assessments, and quotas - More than Managed Print Services.

And yes, this too shall pass.

So what?

If you are just getting into MPS or have been slugging it out since the beginning, every turn, every setback and every success is yours.

Yours Personally.

Hopefully, revenue-enhancing but most certainly, resume enhancing.

This journey is all about you. Today's MPS "grunt" is tomorrow's MPS Leader.

Explore your boundaries, try MPS things that haven't been tried - right now, THERE ARE NO STANDARDS, no benchmarks, no "proven".

We're free.

Click to email me.


  1. Great Post, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the MPS Galactic Ranger

  2. All very amusing and well done, but for the life of me, I can't tell if you're being totally ironic or absolutely sincere. If that's your intent, you've succeeded. For my money, MPS is just another buzzword, and its implementation is more flimflam that gives copier/MPS reps a bad name, that for the most part, they probably deserve. If you can get into an account by promising--and delivering a CPC, is that MPS? What's different from what has been going on for more than 20 years? Better flimflam?

  3. dicano -

    Thanks for commenting. And yes, that was my intent.

    I understand your position.

    MPS is whatever you want it to be. And I agree, we all get what we deserve.

    MPS is fading, into the future.

    When you treat MPS as a simple CPI/service/supplies contract, you will never get out of the transactional, box moving world.

    There is more to MPS and the single most difficult issue for any copier/printer, even some MPS'r to understand is that PURE MPS is geared to REDUCE the number of machines(and clicks) in the field.

    That's it.

    So, as I come upon first generation MPS Engagements, originated by the copier or third-party guys, I can sometimes see an initial reduction in costs(toner) - but no REAL reduction.

    A fleet refresh is not a reduction.

    You ask what is different - INTENT.

    CPC schemes are devised to "lock the customer in".

    Stage 1 MPS(CPI) approaches are leveraged to 'capture' as many clicks as possible.

    IF "capturing" and "locking" are your intent, congrats. You've pretty much sealed your doom.

    If your intent is to expand into Stage 2, 3 and even 4 reducing the number of devices/ images along the way - you are on the right track, fading off into the future.

    Keep coming back.


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