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The MPS edge

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DQW Bureau
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Document management is a critical function and in the era of convergence, any

form of digital communication right from digital office files to emails has to

be managed intelligently. While document management makes for the entire

lifecycle management of the enterprise document workflow, the management of

printers constitutes a key component in document management.

In this backdrop, over the years, the industry has seen the evolution of

newer methods in optimally managing the printing infrastructure. One such model

is managed print services (MPS). Probably WeP can be considered a pioneer in

this space with its on-demand and pay-per-use of print. In time, other vendors

have jumped into the bandwagon despite the total addressable market for MPS

still remaining largely untapped. The three leading players in the space are

Xerox Global Services, HP and WeP.

The MPS Market



A look at the MPS landscape reveals its segmentation across total document

outsourcing to enterprise print management. While the former takes into account

the entire document workflow, the latter addresses the printing needs of the

enterprises. Traditionally, players like HP are into standalone printing sales

and for large deployments has taken a solutions approach. But with the untapped

market potential, HP has forayed into MPS and it is now a part, of its balanced

deployment strategy.

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According to Nitin Hiranandani, Director- Enterprise Sales and Services,

Imaging and Printing Group (IPG), HP India, “HP's MPS can help enterprise

customers to leverage 10-30 percent cost reduction while simplifying the

management of their imaging and printing environment, and focus on their core

business.

“Before offering our MPS services, we do a complete audit of the enterprise

print patterns and study the print volumes generated by various work groups and

suggest the best possible print regime.”

Based on the enterprise print requirements, HP offers a range of MPS

services. Hiranandani said, “The beauty of balanced deployments is that

enterprises can manage their printing and imaging infrastructure with

tailor-made solutions, that's scalable to future demands too.” HP's five key

services-assessment services; financial and procurement; transition and

implementation; support; and document workflow services.

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Meanwhile companies like Xerox adopt a document outsourcing model which has a

component called Office Document Assessment (ODA). According to Mark Petit,

Executive Director, Xerox Global Services, “We segment the document lifecycle

patterns and evolve a solution that best matches the requirements. The ODA is a

component of our document outsourcing services and our model makes for complete

transformation of the enterprise document workflow by ushering greater

manageability and huge cost savings.”

Companies like Xerox and HP are considerably upping their ante in this space

and the ongoing recession augurs well for them. The down economy has pushed many

companies to explore cost effective information management methods. Clearly MPS

tops high on their agenda. According to IDC, 90 percent of companies cannot

estimate their document costs, yet they spend as much as 15 percent of their

revenue on document related activities. The same IDC study also revealed that of

those organizations that can't estimate their document costs, 60 percent have

started initiatives to reduce those costs.

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What makes MPS more ideal is the management agility enterprises get. Print

management despite coming into the domain of the CIO, is a big pain and it's not

the CIOs core area. Through MPS CIOs can have tighter control on their document

output costs and at the same time liberate themselves from the elementary job of

managing and buying various printer assets. Another driver for MPS is in

managing obsolescence. Through total print outsourcing, the managed service

provider upgrades the devices and thus, the enterprise need not worry about

product upgrades. Moreover, enterprises do not want to create fixed device

assets that will become redundant as new technologies come to fore. For

instance, the current printer might get repositioned due to new technology or

the user wants to reposition a printer that was until a couple of months ago

perfectly fine. It is a CIO's nightmare to invest in a technology that is not

useful in a couple of months down the line. This is one of the major USPs of

print outsourcing.

Way Forward



The concept of MPS is not new in India and the entry of players like HP

signifies that there is a big market potential. But the current trend is more

towards total document outsourcing than just print. If we take the print part

alone the traditional pay-per-output model still holds good and is ideal for the

SMB space. From the large enterprise perspective, one of the biggest challenges

they face is managing the various print technologies, and this alone is a good

enough reason for them turning to managed print infrastructure. But while

selecting a managed print services partner, a CIO has to be very careful in

deciding whether the services offered will take the enterprise to a truly

managed level.

In the Indian context, the MPS is beginning to become mainstream. SMBs have

long adopted MPS and thanks to companies like WeP which has sowed the seeds of

MPS. While MPS will never become a threat to standalone printer sales, it will

continue to grow as vendors like HP and Xerox pitch on the ease of fleet

management through MPS. But it can become a threat when total document

outsourcing gains more ground. Moreover, some observers feel that there can

never be total outsourcing of print and other document assets as with some

verticals like BFSI, there is an element of confidentiality that calls for

in-premise self managed printers. That's a miniscule population and will not

impact MPS much. Moreover, in security intensive scenarios, careful planning by

the CIO is needed when managing the security issues. Also among the larger

audiences, there is some confusion between AMC and MPS. These are totally

different. In a typical MPS service, what differentiates it from AMC is the

ownership. The service provider takes care of the entire lifecycle of the

printer and maps each and every printer and puts an optimal print output

strategy.

Going by the market intelligence forecasts, MPS is set to grow and large

enterprises will benefit the most as the print and the device diversity is the

most here. Large enterprise will increasingly look at various models of MPS and

will create a document management strategy that liberates them from the

day-to-day managing of the device and document management problems. The biggest

benefits enterprises of all sizes derive is the high degree of agility and

scalability in print, that's unheard of in an area like printing. The road ahead

for MPS looks promising and it's surely on the growth path.

Shrikanth G



Source: DQ

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