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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Three Steps for Your #ManagedprintServices Practice

There were dark days.  

Back in 2007, MpS was new, on the edge, and a bit contrarian.  The year was 2007, copiers were flying off the shelf, and everybody signed a 60-month lease with an accompanying service agreement.  A4 was a dirty word.

MpS didn’t flourish it sputtered and more often failed. Stories of fallen MPS practices outnumbered the successful.

I, myself, declared MpS dead in 2011 because the discipline became adulterated into the lowest price possible. The race to the bottom was inevitable.

Today, I look upon the contemporary MpS ecosystem and see customers calling dealers looking to sign MpS contracts, more MpS press coverage, INCREASED membership in your MPSA, ridicule, and criticism from industry "pundits" and “shills” it’s beginning to feel like the ‘good old days.  Sorta. My optimism is cautionary.

There is one, huge, decerning difference between the pioneer times and today: the impact of the fear of Covid.

I’ve plucked this from the MPSA,

“The Great Resignation presents MPS opportunities. Many companies are facing an exodus of employees who are re-evaluating their work/life balance. Technology will play a crucial role in helping organisations build hybrid work models that create a more inclusive and collaborative experience for employees. With a renewed emphasis on employee experience, MPS providers should consider how they can help their customers realise the full potential of the hybrid work model through workspace design and optimisation services.” - Louella Fernandes, Quocirca Research Director

This is a fact. 

Your customers do not want to manage the remaining copiers, printers, scanners, and fax devices – in the cloud or otherwise – nobody is looking for another reason to stand next to a copier.  Also, there is a high likelihood that their IT staff has been reduced to almost nothing.  Certainly, print management has fallen off most whiteboards. This is your opportunity. Not only to “capture clicks”, that was our first mistake.  You have the chance to do what we said we were going to do but never did – advise your client away from printing.

Another tidbit from you MPSA,

 “Smart building and IoT technology will shape intelligent workspaces. Workplace efficiency and sustainability will accelerate use of smart building technology. IoT-enabled smart buildings are presenting new opportunities for managed service providers in the post pandemic workplace. As more businesses work to attract employees to go back to the office, they are considering how to ensure their operations run efficiently, securely and sustainably, while supporting staff wellbeing.” - Louella Fernandes, Quocirca Research Director

Some of you might remember the 60s movie classic, “The Graduate”.  I have no idea why I remember it, but there is a great quote,

 “I just want to say one word.  Are you listening? Plastics…”, advice was given to a guy fresh out of college, “Plastics.  There’s a great future in plastics.” 

Back in the 50s, plastic was a miracle material.  Look around you, paint on the wall, the keys on the QWERTY, fabric, solar panels, and Teslas.

To mirror the intent with three words,

“I just want to say three words.  Are you listening? Internet of Things. IoT.  There’s a great future in the IoT.”

I know you know this but do you really KNOW THIS.

Here’s the path

  1. Close every MpS contract you can but don’t get stuck…
  2. Establish strong technology relationships outside print…
  3. Plan on days without toner

Today, we have a chance.  A Phoenix, a resurgence, roll the stone away, its the third opportunity to grab as many clicks as possible, nurture relationships and walk with clients into a paperless future.  They’re going there with or without you.  Join them.

The IoT is the “miracle material” of the 20s. Look around you, paint on the wall, the keys on the QWERTY, fabric, solar panels, and Teslas are or will be connected to each other. 


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Greg Walters, Incorporated