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The role of the channel in the future of print [Part 1] The role of the channel in the future of print [Part 1]
Print isn’t dead; in fact, it’s not even feeling ill. The role of the channel in the future of print [Part 1]

The global digital printing industry is forecast to manage 65% growth over the next 10 years, achieving an estimated $230 billion by 2029. In the digital workplace, print is evolving at an incredible rate with the managed print services (MPS) market moving at such speed that it is about to overtake the traditional print manufacturer in terms of influence and potential. Print has shifted its foundations and is adapting to digital transformation and the changing needs of the organisation. It isn’t dead, it’s just busy getting a facelift.

“Print is evolving,” says Robin Lloyd, General Manager, HP Print and Personal Systems, Tarsus Distribution. “The ways in which organisations and individuals print or engage with printing are changing. They are using mobile devices, internet connectivity, PCs, and everything else in between. The print space is moving away from the transactional printing model towards managed print services that allow for far more efficient and accessible usage.”

Managed Print Services is perhaps among the oldest, most successful examples of the highly-publicised “As-a-Service” model enabled by the cloud today. It hands the complexity, maintenance, admin, stress, and technology side of printing over to a company that will make everything easier to deal with and more efficient to use. MPS has become a very powerful solution that can be harnessed by the channel to help organisations reduce costs, improve efficiencies, drive engagement, and much more.

It isn’t printing itself that’s dying, it is the ways in which people print. Instead of being tied to a lumpy machine on a desk that takes up space and throws out pages, users want to access shared devices across multiple platforms and within different spaces.

Significant MPS growth

“These shifting print use cases and parameters have seen MPS grow significantly over the past few years,” says Lloyd. “MPS is about costs, managed environments, predictability and control. If you look at a typical corporate picture of the past, you’d see everyone sitting with a printer and a copier next to their PC and this was an expensive way to do business. Now, with the need to efficiently manage costs and usage, there is no need for a printer on every desk.”

The primary reason for this growth is the financial impact. It’s certainly a relevant consideration in light of the current market and economic situation. Organisations want more control over how printing is managed. They also want to stop Bob in the accounting department from printing out all his emails every Monday.

MPS allows for improved management of the printing environment, and provides the business with real insights into printing behaviour and performance. This may sound a bit ‘Big Brother’, but the ability to determine who is using the printer excessively, which printers aren’t performing optimally and what areas use the most supplies, can have a huge impact on the bottom line and on overall business efficiency. Poorly-managed, badly-maintained and complex printing systems slow down the business.

Improve, reduce, adjust

MPS solutions should provide the business with reports and insights that can be used to assess print usage, costs per page, overall spend and more. This information can then be used to improve maintenance cycles, increase or reduce the number of printers, and adjust service parameters. 

“The reduction of costs in MPS isn’t just in the richer controls over usage and spend, but also in the changes to the technology itself,” adds Lloyd. “The devices have become incredibly sophisticated, capable of minimising supply usage while also increasing efficiencies and scale. It allows for the business to optimise its printing usage and capabilities through the use of solutions that are customisable and can help leverage overall productivity.”

[End of Part 1]

[Image by Crea Park from Pixabay]

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