Copier Buyer Beware: MPS Is Not a Lease Extension Plan – the Devil You Know Is Not Always the Best Option

man from mps company holding an mps lease extensionAs many true Managed Print Services (MPS) companies will agree, a lease extension or equipment upgrade prior to the end of term is most often not a good idea from a total cost of ownership perspective. It’s interesting that we have recently seen the following tactics from copier manufacturers.

1. We have seen them extend leases at low costs to keep machines that they manage in place with hopes of differing their customers’ decision on going to market.

2. We have also seen them offer unsolicited proposals to try and get their clients to upgrade equipment with as much as 3 years left in their current lease commitment. There are some important things to think about.

Top 4 things to think about before approving the copier company’s proposal:

1. Significant cybersecurity risks. Copier equipment typically has significant risk from malware attacks and as a network entry point for hackers; and almost all copier device brands (old and new) can’t be managed with software tools that can support automating locking devices down from threats, remediating a cybersecurity attack if one happens, or reporting on potential areas of risk and cybersecurity activity.

Recommendations:

  • Dig deep, most of the manufacturers will assure you that their devices are bulletproof from cybersecurity threats. They aren’t! No matter which brand there is always the risk from hackers, but there are some leading brands in this space that are many years ahead of the competition.
  • Deal with independent experts, independent MPS companies are services companies and should provide
    recommendations for best in breed equipment, while taking cybersecurity hardware brand capabilities into account. If they can’t explain how you are best protected (automated security profiles, reporting etc.) then keep looking for the right partner. On the other hand, when you deal with the manufacturer, the sales rep/dealer rep has one purpose, to sell as much hardware as possible; therefore, not necessarily in the best interest of the customer.

2. Early upgrades can cost your company dearly. If the copier manufacturer or reseller sold you on a 60
month lease and the equipment is already failing to meet the expected up-time for your users, then it is the
wrong manufacturer and partner. The early upgrade is typically positioned where they say they will make the
existing lease go away; in actual fact, they are always adding the remaining financial commitment of the old
lease to the new lease amount. Re-financing is not recommended!

Recommendations:

  • Do not replace failing equipment with the same brand of equipment. You will most likely be in the same
    position in 36 months.
  • Find a leading MPS company to help you with short and long-term strategies to improve your office printing environment, which may include moving troubled device(s) to a lower volume area and getting them out of the environment when it makes sense.

3. What you had before is not what your users need today. Like for like replacements are usually not a good idea. A lot has changed since your company last upgraded copier hardware. It’s time to look at the full office printing environment.

Recommendations:

  • Engage a trusted independent MPS company to assess your environment and recommend devices and
    software that will improve your business’s competitive edge with more efficient document workflow and lower total cost of ownership.
  • Be sure that your buying committee looks past historical brand preferences. As experts in this space, many of the biggest brands have not invested enough in research and development to build equipment and solutions that will keep your organization efficient and safe, now and in the future.

4. It costs more to run that old equipment. Extending an existing copier lease is the wrong decision. The old copier devices are typically more expensive to run, even with the cost of capital (whether leased or purchased) factored into the monthly operating cost. With printing and imaging devices it now seems to fall in line with Moore’s law as related to the processing power and storage capabilities of technology that consistently doubles every two years.

Recommendation:

  • Find an independent MPS company that will recommend best in breed hardware that will last for the required term of your company’s refresh plan.

If you are interested in understanding more, please contact us.

Still Going About the Old Way? Office Printing-As-A-Service Is the Future

At SmartPrint our Managed Print Service (MPS) Consultants work with clients every day to help them improve their office printing environment.  What’s quite amazing, is that we consistently run into mid-sized companies and large enterprise organizations that on the outside look well organized, and I’m sure they are in core areas of their business, but frankly, their office print environment is almost always out of control. Nothing is more frustrating for users than an out of control print environment.

Here’s a typical environment we see:

The IT help desk is overwhelmed with print issues, users are frustrated with devices that can’t support what they need to accomplish; from an expense standpoint there are too many copiers (MFP/Ds) that are on expensive extended leases and are underutilized, and there are often printers in work groups and on desks that are over 15 years old. Finance management is asking what does all this cost, and no one knows. The print devices on the network can be huge security risks, and the person who is responsible to run the RFP for the copier upgrade is ready to lease new copiers that are also a security risk. IT management and the help desk want to get away from supporting the print environment and focus on core IT projects and keeping the lights (IT infrastructure) on for the users. Often the organizations think that this is just how it is. Well, it really doesn’t have to be.

It’s time to change! There is a better way! It’s time to look at office printing-as-a-service and get out of owning and managing print hardware and software. You can ensure that users have what they need and that the print infrastructure is highly available, and managed as service. According to IDC by 2021, 45% of all office print device shipments worldwide will be sold as part of a printing-as-a-service contract. We’ve had this offering for a number of years and it is growing in popularity.

Another interesting prediction in the same analysis is that by 2021, 60% of  MPS RFPs will include the provision of ongoing security auditing services of the print and document infrastructure. IDC is a very reputable firm in the global technology industry for market intelligence, so, it is very exciting for SmartPrint to already be ahead of the curve offering both MPS as a service, and print infrastructure security remediation and management as a service, especially when you look at what it could cost to deal with a  cybersecurity breach. Further, IT World Canada recently published an interesting article about the potential vulnerabilities of print devices on the network and the cost of a potential security breach.

SmartPrint can easily take over the management of the whole environment through a proven, rapid implementation process; upgrade technology; implement important security software and other secure document processes, and workflow software, all while saving more than 50% over the current state costs! We can do this with no capital investment (as-a-service), and we can get companies away from the legacy equipment that is dragging down productivity in their businesses.

If it’s time to clean up your print environment while saving money, freeing up IT headcount, resulting in happy users, it’s time to do it with a printing-as-a-service program. If you can get out of ownership at half the cost, there is no barrier to entry. Also, through the same process, you can lock down your print infrastructure.  If you’re ready for change, reach out to us to see if we can help.

 

 

Photizo Group Selects SmartPrint as Leader in Managed Print Services

2016 Leaders Index badgeLexington, KY (February 14, 2017)—Photizo Group has recognized SmartPrint Inc as a leader in managed print services (MPS). SmartPrint Inc was one of 11 independent channel partners that Photizo Group selected to participate in the 2016 Leaders Index for MPS Channel Partners, based on demonstrated leadership in MPS.

The Leaders Index for MPS Channel Partners is a collection of hand-selected, independent MPS partners from around the world that are regarded as the gold standard in managed print and document services. Photizo Group classifies this index of elite providers from across North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia as a lens to view the current landscape of MPS.

Tim Lomax, President of SmartPrint Inc shared his reaction, “it’s a great achievement to be recognized as one of the Top 10 MPS Providers within the 2016 Worldwide Leaders Index, based on our significant revenue growth, operational excellence and service performance that drives an outstanding experience for our clients.  This recognition not only validates our continued MPS market leadership, but inspires us to continue reinventing to outperform in a rapidly evolving industry.”

Ed Crowley, CEO of Photizo Group said:

“As the managed services landscape reaches maturity in many markets, we continue to see a demonstrated need for measurable best practices and benchmarks built on real-world results by recognized leaders in managed print and document services.”

Crowley continued:

“These MPS leaders not only demonstrate leadership in MPS, but a genuine interest in the pursuit of best practices that benefit the industry and the customers it serves.”

About the Leaders Index for MPS Channel Partners

The Leaders Index for MPS Channel Partners explores many aspects of the partners, including the following:

  • partner profile;
  • financial and performance metrics;
  • customer profile;
  • team structure;
  • sales and marketing approach;
  • service, support, and operations metrics; and
  • key performance benefits.

Only partners that Photizo Group determines to be among the best in the world are invited to participate in the Leaders Index. These aggregate results serve as a tangible set of benchmarks other partners can compare their own performance against.

Chosen MPS partners receive no compensation for participation.

About SmartPrint:

SmartPrint, Canada’s most recognized independent MPS provider, helps organizations make sense of complex print environments. SmartPrint’s team of Managed Print Services (MPS) consultants leverage the markets best tools and systems offering best in breed office printing equipment and software to help simplify printing, scanning and document workflow. Our clients experience dramatic improvements in user efficiency, reduced costs of 30% to 50%, reduced helpdesk calls by 25% and significant administrative efficiencies through vendor consolidation. SmartPrint’s solutions are not about printers and copiers, they’re about people.

To find out more about SmartPrint, please explore our website: www.smartprint.com.

For Press or Analyst inquiries please contact:
Rob Farrell
rob.farrell[@]smartprint.com
905.475.6177 x234

About Photizo Group:

Photizo Group is a leading Marketing Intelligence and Strategic Consulting firm for the imaging industry. The firm has twice been on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies. It has received three (2011, 2012, and 2014) leadership awards from the Managed Print Services Association. Photizo launched the industry’s first Advanced Analytics Division in 2015 and is pioneering the use of Predictive Analytics to bring value to the IoT data generated by over 100 million digitally enabled imaging devices installed globally. The firm conducts research and consulting in over 40 countries globally, and has offices in North America and Japan.

For more information, please contact Mario Diaz at +1 602-571-6530 or mdiaz@photizogroup.com.

The 3 BIG Benefits of Print Vendor Consolidation

Is your print fleet out of control? Are your print vendor management and procurement processes becoming too complex and time consuming?

If you answered yes to one or both of these questions then it’s time to consider working with a Managed Print Services (MPS) expert.

print partner print vendor consolidation benefits We consistently see organizations with office print environments that are a mess. There’s little to no standardization or cost control over their print fleet, often due to the fact that they have been buying print equipment and services from a number of different companies.

For example: The office services team is leasing copiers from a copier manufacturer, and is working with a “copier rep” who is constantly selling the latest and greatest equipment and services that have all the bells and whistles that will of course save them money! The IT team is buying print devices from a large reseller, and the purchasing team is dealing with big box office supply companies to support the print environment for toner, service calls and whatever else they need.

In many cases, one department has no clear idea what the other department is doing. What complicates things even further is that organizations don’t employ experts that can make strategic decisions on print services and equipment purchases. With the right type of print partner, organizations can save thousands of dollars a month, simplify vendor management and procurement processes and increase user satisfaction.

Consolidating office printing and imaging suppliers is a proven strategy that increases buying power, which in turn leads to reduced costs. Furthermore, vendor consolidation leads to the simplification and minimization of vendor interactions in the areas of procurement process and risk reduction.

By moving to one independent Managed Print Services partner that will manage 100% of an organization’s printing and imaging needs, the following benefits can be realized:

1. Hard cost savings for equipment, software, supplies and services

  • A leading print partner is able to leverage their market knowledge with the right manufacturers to provide standardized pricing that is far better than the organization can negotiate on their own. This market knowledge is a huge factor in reducing capital and operational costs.
  • A balanced deployment of equipment with the right devices in the right locations to increase user productivity.

2. Reduced vendor relationship management and procurement costs

  • Managing procurement calendars with multiple suppliers takes time and focus; vendor consolidation simplifies this process.
  • Reduces accounts payable processes dramatically; often from having to deal with 100’s of monthly invoices to 1 detailed quarterly invoice.
  • One simple web-based interface for the IT Helpdesk and/or Users to interact with, reduces training time and confusion when technical support is required.

3. Reduced risk and increased user satisfaction

  • One print partner / vendor / sales relationship means only one group of technical resources entering your premises to give control and standardized building access, and adhere to your non-disclosure policy.
  • One standardized process that eliminates finger pointing, resulting in the simplification of support processes for IT and users.

Through the assessment of print environments and the implementation Managed Print Services, SmartPrint has helped numerous mid-market clients reduce their print vendors from 5 or more down to 1, on average. In working with large enterprise type organizations, vendor reductions are generally more along the lines of transitioning from 30 print vendors down to 1.

Read this Case Study to see how this organization benefited from print vendor consolidation.

Many of these organizations initially had no idea that their vendor relationships were so out of control and that implementing print vendor consolidation would be so beneficial. The value of consolidating multiple print vendors down to one vendor, although hard to measure in soft cost savings, has been seen by C-suite executives as extremely valuable from a bottom line perspective. And from an environmental standpoint, the reduced administration and use of paper when working with one strategic print partner supports the reduction in an organization’s carbon footprint.

Gain some additional insight into your print environment and request a no obligation print assessment.

Learn more or contact one of our print vendor consolidation specialists to see how imaging and print vendor consolidation can benefit your organization.

Managed Print Services Essential Guide Introduced by SmartPrint, Leading MPS Expert

The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services is available as a free download to help businesses understand and take control of their print environments

managed print services mps guideNEWS RELEASE – Toronto, Ontario – April 2016Managed Print Services (MPS) leader SmartPrint, is pleased to introduce The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services. The free 14-page download will help organizations truly understand MPS and the positive impact of taking control of their print environments.

Inefficient printing, imaging and business processes in an office print environment can affect an organization’s overall efficiency. In addition, the hard and soft costs associated are often drastically underestimated.

The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services covers a variety of areas that all organizations should be familiar with in order to optimize their organization’s print environment and costs including:

  • Introduction to MPS
  • Managed print services best practices
  • Benefits of MPS including IT time savings, user efficiency gains, improved document control and security, vendor consolidation, fleet standardization and a paperless office environment
  • Financial rewards of MPS including deeper, hidden cost savings
  • Readying your organization for MPS
  • Managed print services process including details around assessment, implementation and continuous improvement

“When considering MPS, there is a lot to know. That’s why we developed The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services.” remarked Rob Farrell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SmartPrint. “We believe organizations needed access to an ultimate guide to MPS so they can understand what MPS is, how it can improve their businesses, and how to select the right MPS partner.”

The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services is geared towards management, operations, IT, and finance teams who want to better understand the impact and costs of their print environments and how they can proactively implement solutions to ensure an optimal print and imaging environment which is cost effective and user embraced.

James Dunn, Demand Generation Manager at SmartPrint, added, “Many organizations we meet with know that their print environment is out of control, but they don’t know what they can do about it.”

“We encourage anyone who suspects their print environment is costing their organization time and money to download The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services for free. It really is an essential tool for fully understanding the impact of an unmanaged print environment.” continued Dunn.

Executives and managers interested in obtaining The Essential Guide to Managed Print Services can download the guide for free on SmartPrint’s website. Interested parties can also contact an MPS expert with any questions or to help with the guide.

About SmartPrint Inc.:

SmartPrint helps organizations make sense of complex print environments. SmartPrint’s team of managed print services (MPS) experts leverage the markets best tools and systems, and as Canada’s leading MPS independent, offer best in breed office printing equipment and software to help simplify office printing, scanning and document workflow. Our clients experience dramatic improvements in user efficiency, reduced print costs by 30% to 50%, reduced helpdesk calls by 25% and significant administrative efficiencies through vendor consolidation. As Canada’s leading independent MPS provider, SmartPrint’s solutions are not about printers, they’re about people.

To find out more about SmartPrint, please visit our website: www.smartprint.com.

For Press or Analyst inquiries please contact:
Rob Farrell
rob.farrell@smartprint.com
905.475.6177 x234