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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Notable Trends in Print Management and MPS - The Cannata Report and Me.

Greg's Words

Scott was the first writer, a real writer, to interview me back in 2009ish.

This piece is an accumulation of interviews by Scott, outlining a good, collection of views and trends within the managed print services niche.

Managed print Services 'died' the day the OEMs reanimated MpS in their own likeness. 

"What is dead, may never die."  The most notable trend in Managed print Services is that it is alive and kicking.

Check it out.


Scott Cullen May 19, 2023

The emergence of the cloud, sustainable practices, mobile printing, and AI are driving change.  Do you and your team understand the difference between print management and managed print services (MPS)? I’m not being a wise guy. 

There is confusion out there. The simple definition of print management comprises software and tools for tracking, monitoring, and managing printing devices and workflows. MPS is a comprehensive approach to managing a company’s document output environment, including the hardware. The objective of MPS is to optimize the printing environment to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve productivity.

Like all technology and services across the document imaging industry, print management software and MPS are changing and evolving. To learn how I spoke with three industry thought leaders who shared their opinions on the latest trends in print management and MPS.

Print Management Trend #1: The Cloud

The biggest trend in print management over the past few years is the shift from an on-premises platform to a cloud platform. “Most major vendors now have a cloud version or an alternate cloud offering,” noted Jamie Bsales, principal analyst, digital transformation and smart workplace, Keypoint Intelligence.

Another cloud-based trend is the fusing of two separate product types. “You have the classic print management guys with cost accounting and cost recovery, and [others] with print infrastructure management trying to eliminate print servers and lift that to the cloud,” said Bsales. “So, onsite print servers and print queues are gone, and the requirement for drivers is gone because you can use universal drivers. At the same time, companies are adding classic cost accounting, usage tracking, etc., to their cloud-based offerings. With the advent of the cloud, those two categories have melded.”

Print Management Trend #2: New Features Just Keep on Coming

For the past two decades, vendors in the print management space have been continually adding new features that previously weren’t available in a print management platform. “Because of the cloud, the number of features that can be added is limitless,” said Bsales. “The term print management doesn’t even work anymore. Canon started using output management for its NT-ware Uniflow software, but even output management isn’t a big enough umbrella to cover everything these platforms do.”

What began as cost accounting and usage tracking has evolved into rules-based printing to transform print jobs from simplex to duplex or color or black and white to save money. Here, print management software was a cost-saving and sustainability tool. Now, print management tools offer secure pull printing, making them more of a security solution that, as Bsales also noted, “plays into the sustainability story because pages that aren’t retrieved at the device are never printed, so you have the paper and supplies savings.”

One of the latest features is support for mobile printing, which Bsales contends enhances fleet management. “Now your print management platform has remote firmware deployment, and the firmware repository, all the things you would use classic fleet management for.”

Another change within the past decade is layering in scanned workflows. “With the cloud, the sky’s the limit with what features can be added because you can layer in all sorts of processing in between,” emphasized Bsales. “It’s not just scan management and doing a simple workflow and delivering it to Dropbox or wherever. Now you can have full document processing if the company chooses to have the print job go through the cloud.”

Print Management Trend #3: A Growing Focus on Print Security

Read the entire article, here.

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