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Monday, May 9, 2011

"Managed Print Services" is dying. Let's Kill it Together...


The 2011 Global MPS Conference is part of history.

I have a unique view of both the evolution of the show and our industry.

It goes a bit like this:

-Year One, 2009: What the hell is this thing called MPS?
-Year Two, 2010: I've made so many mistakes. How in the heck do we make the change?
-Year Three, 2011: Now what? There has got to be more.

So, as a proponent of MPS, as one of the first evangelists.  As a fully engaged, MPS Practice Manager.

As a  "thought leader", somebody who has spoken at each MPS Conference, sat on panels of experts, queried the titans, investigated every single MPS package, program, and type; as a dangerous, True Believer -

How can I possibly, in good faith, call for the destruction of Managed Print Services?


Well, welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, step inside...
I've talked about the Separation and stagnation of MPS S1 and S2.  Two reflections on some of the happenings in our industry.

The separation is between the MPSrs moving ahead, moving out, taking fleets, and continuing along the curve; indeed some are even Jumping the Curve, and those remaining at rest.

These adventurers struggle with defining S3. They know this is the future and the future is upon us.  They look to the left and to the right and see nobody.  Soon, the rearview will be empty.

My hint, my clue, and my suggestion to those trying to get around Stage 3 are simple.

S1 and S2 are based on repeat revenue, and Stage 3 is project-based.  Go with that, don't get stuck.

As for those being stuck, after this year's conference,  I am more convinced of the notion that newcomers with a copier pedigree observe MPS as simply 1:1 fleet replacement, toner fulfillment, and onsite service all billed in a cost-per-image manner. Entirely.

I've heard this with my own ears.  I've seen the ignorance with my own eyes.  There were a few blissful Ones at this last show, hiding under the misnomer "Hybrid".  Worse, they think they are 'independent dealers' - wow.

The OEMs have relegated MPS to mean ONLY S1 and S2 - it is easier to control something defined. Control of the process, control of the fleet, control of the Box that filters your message.  And those independents who stay inside S1 and S2 are the OEMs unknowing tools.

The OEMs are the Machine and they must not let the 'cogs' rule. The Machines do not sweat, they do not bleed, and they cannot care. They desperately require the US. Without our blind commitment, without our Energy, the great Wheel has no lubricant and seizes.

And this is what I say - If they want S1 and S2 to mean Managed Print Services, let them have it. Let's take off and "nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure..."

Let them define MPS as S1 and S2.  Let them ignore S3 and beyond.

But don't stop acquiring fleets.  Keep plugging, keep writing engagements - engagements with high intent

Acquire the fleet, decrease the clicks, reduce the MIF and move to secure your position in S3.  Cut across everything inside your client's business.

Look in his eyes and say the truth. Say to him/her that what you're offering has little to do with print, and nothing to do with Brand Names.

Invade the 'white spaces', stop using "Managed Print Services" in front of your clients, and start saying Managed Optimization Services and Optimize EVERYTHING.

If your company sells toner, optimize the way they cut checks for their uniform service.

If your company sells servers, optimize the server farm and their output fleet and the way they cut checks for their uniform service.

If your company sells copiers, optimize the way they cut checks for their uniform service.

Let's kill MPS together and change the world...

I still don't know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

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Greg Walters, Incorporated