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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Is Managed print Services experiencing "the third day..."

Yes, MpS is coming back.  I know dozens of successful MpS practices engaging clients, supporting MpS, and making a profit today; it isn't that we've completely abandoned the idea.

But, I'm observing that we've left MpS to pursue the latest shiny object, managed services.  I'm not deriding that effort - worthy is the quest away of print.

And no, clients haven't fallen prey to our hypnotic social media or cold call campaigns - they've heard the "30% savings" mantra and see through the "optimized fleet" scheme.

What I see is that we've come full circle.  MpS programs, benchmarks, best practices, and philosophies have been rooted and everyone has logged their "10,000 hours. 

Today, we've got programs and associations:

CompTia's Managed Print Services community, Xerox PagePack, Canon MDS, Ricoh MDS, HP MPS, Toshiba Encompass, Lexmark MPS, Sharp MPS, Muratec MPS, Kyocera MDS, Okidata MPS and the grand daddy of them all, your Managed Print Services Association.

Today's software, unavailable in 2008, reads devices and spits out proposals in the blink of an eye. 

Like cities in the dark, MpS programs dot the landscape: Supplies Network, Digitec, LMI, Clover, Synnex and more provide sales training, assessment/TCO tools, and automatic toner fulfillment. 

These managed print services pillars are proven, standardized and in place.  In other words, managed print services is the status quo.

The establishment is MpS.

Consider the following:

MpS is part of a stale and complacent offering.
Is there anything staler than copiers, printers, and paper? No.  There is nothing more old-fashioned than marks on paper.  Don't believe me?  Ask your customers.

The providers are not in touch with customers.
While we've been promoting OEM-specific solutions and telling prospects about our 14 new models,  businesses have been shifting from copying to scanning, relieving themselves of those big, nasty A3 copiers, and going paperless - without our help.  

Think I'm wrong?  Check Xerox's earnings for the past 3 years; review HP's numbers for the same period and feel for those Lexmark CxOs, crash-coursing Mandarin.  They all lost touch years ago.

These shinny offerings are wedged into old business models.
I've had paying clients tell me, "...if it(managed services) doesn't fit into the 'blah, blah, blah', copier dealer business model,  it will never work..."  Indeed, even successful managed print services practices utilize yesteryear's example; contractual services tied to equipment placements.  What once was our strength, is now our greatest weakness.

"Complacent, out of touch, old business models"-
I challenge you to google, "How to Recognize an Industry Ready for Disruption" - you'll find that we are sitting on the bubble.  

The niche is primed for major turbulence; bigger than experienced at the beginning of MpS, and separate from current consolidations(OEM/Dealer).

I suggest that you and I are on the cusp of a Revelation and Revolution. The MpS 'third day'. Resurrection.

This time, the MpS revolution will be carried forward by in-the-field, MpS practitioners, free of stifling processes and discombobulated compensation plans...

This time, executives who've forgotten how to sell, aren't fashioning a strategy designed to secure more self space, create equipment quotas then calling it 'managed print services'...

This time, we help our clients move away from ink, away from printers, away from copiers, without the promise of 30% savings...

Who's coming with me?  

This moment will be the moment of "....something real and fun and inspiring in this God-forsaken business and we will do it, together..."

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