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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Mobile Class of 2012: No Print" A Managed Print Services Story

09/2012 - 

Dear Reader, 

Please remember this article was created and first posted in 2012.  Today's technology was eight years away.



I subscribed to Dropbox and I wanted the ability to send documents to the cloud and access them from my TouchPad anywhere in the world.

It worked great. For example, I create a master blog article at night, then reviewed, finalized, and sent it from 10,000 feet in the air the next morning. (Mile High Club – sweet!) 

There is more: I didn’t need to “send” the file as an attachment; I simply shared the folder with my editor. When she opens the file or document, I am notified. When she needs a new contract initialed, instead of emailing me a 12-page PDF, she simply drops the file into our shared folder, and the cloud notifies me of the new document. Revisions, digital signatures, and final drafts are all handled from a tablet. The final “print” is on a website, not ink on paper.

And I know I don’t need to point out how much paper was not used in this workflow, do I?

Dropbox will degrade email, Twitter reduces Google searches and blogging, cell phones obliterate the payphone system, text messaging replaces cell phone calls, Netflix dissolves Blockbuster, the Internet kills newspapers, and MpS unleashes content from the restrictions of paper, wasting all those devices along the way. All of this, every single motion, is content-driven and accessible from a smartphone anywhere in the world – instantly.

It’s not so much MpS as it is moving content, and it’s not so much about moving content as it is about the new “mobility” movement: the freedom to do what we like, when we like, from anywhere in the world.

MpS leads the way in this because MpS is all about efficiently utilizing technology down to the individual.

Inside most MpS practices, we sub out much to the remote monitor and the DCA. Our software automatically triggers an order, and that order is tracked live from point A to your client’s desk. On my Droid Bionic, I can see a Xerox in one fleet functioning correctly and whether a toner cartridge in another fleet has been shipped, delivered, or lost. This I can do from the beach, the car, at 10,000 feet, or right next to the client.

Of course, there are two edges. This new mobile age cuts both ways; the number of printed documents – our revenue and lifeblood – is reduced. No matter how many “e-print” devices land in business centers, hotel lobbies, or Starbucks, the lost volume will never be replaced. The number of virgin cores is shrinking, copier sales are down, and people are getting out of the industry. People are printing less and “viewing” more.

The other side of independent mobility is the freedom to conduct business under a much leaner business model. Building space alone can be reduced by 50 percent when employing tablets, laptops, smartphones, and a corporate cloud. Indeed, for a period last year, my dispatcher was in Florida for two weeks with her laptop and smartphone. During her time away, all of our service calls were within SLAs; deliveries and installs were coordinated, service parts were ordered, and our customers were happy. Not one co-worker back in the cube farm some 2,500 miles and two time zones away knew she wasn’t physically in the state.

It works.

It works with MpS and will work even better with managed services. One doesn’t need to build, house, and staff a data center or NOC; the machines will practically run themselves. Managed services is not as infrastructure–dependent. Servers may need replacing, but not every 25,000 images, so monitoring these is not as labor-intensive as supporting fleets of output devices.

There is, of course, one more thing: Remember my dispatcher (the one who makes everything work) who was away in Florida? Well, not only did she conduct all her job responsibilities with her phone, laptop, and WiFi; she didn’t use a printer.

Never did toner hit paper. Not once.

Posted by Greg Walters on 01/09/2012

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