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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Talk Managed Services - "Lost Stars"

November 2011.

This article is over three years old but the concepts and ideas prevail.  Not simply for the new people in the industry, but for all of us.  Gearing toward the IT world seems to be a universal attempt that never ends.  We keep going through the same scenario, altering and adjusting as we go. It isn't insanity, it's evolution.

Would you like to sell more MPS? Start talking “Managed Services” not “Managed Print Services.”

Thinking the magic is in the “P” deserves a deeper look. Like it or not, the service we are offering for printing—the marking of paper with toner—is simply a symptom of our client's business process, an afterthought.

The “P” is an unsustainable aspect of the ecosystem dwindling with each passing day. Managed services are growing. Think I’m wrong? Take a look at the latest news from the IT side of the world.

Look up companies like ConnectWise, LabTech, Level Platforms—companies that provide client support and remote monitoring products to VARs and managed service providers. For them, managed-print services are the buzz, that Hot New Thing, just like it was for us—four years ago.

When companies like these finally see recurring revenue can be had at a 42 percent margin, how long before they add toner delivery and on-site support to their standard service level agreements?

And what will happen when they figure out, for instance, how to craft a 36-month, 90-day deferred, FMV (Fair Market Value)/dollar out, with a buy-out leasing deal—working with more than Cisco Capital Finance and Hewlett-Packard Financial Services?

They’ve heard our racket—living in a world of run rates, volume discounts, and five-point margins; MPS looks pretty good from their vantage point.

The battle lines are drawn. MPS is out of the corporate backwaters. All the noise we’ve made over here, in our small pond, is attracting the attention of some pretty big players. Remember the phrase, “…own the network, own the account…?”

These guys invented, installed, and support the network.

True, they loathe printers and copiers, recoiling at the thought of talking with “copier people.” They underestimate us.

Our edge is—or at least it should be—in vision, flexibility, and deal crafting.

Big thing is they see us coming.

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