The role of the channel in the future of print [Part 2] The role of the channel in the future of print [Part 2]
The second part of our print-focused special looks at MPS and the channel's need to adapt. The role of the channel in the future of print [Part 2]

This is the second part of our print-focused special. The first part covered the growth of print and the rise of MPS. Part 2 deals with the adaptation required from the industry to make the best use of MPS.

Designed to adapt

Every part of the business will have different printing needs. MPS solutions are designed to adapt to each part of the business. This improved flexibility – powered by insights – empowers employees as they get the resources they need rather than the ones that management thinks they want.

This way, printing is aligned more accurately to which areas of the business need it the most, and the type of printing solution chosen will also reflect this. It’s a far more focused way of managing print which avoids having the world’s most expensive printer sitting in a dark corner of an office that prints rarely, if at all.

“Another benefit of MPS is security,” says Lloyd. “There is no doubt that this has to remain an important part of every technology investment conversation right now. MPS solutions allow for the introduction of more stringent compliance and security measures that are essential. For example, printers were once the most hacked devices, but now vendors like HP have made huge investments into security to change that. MPS makes the organisation ask how secure the network is, how secure their printing solutions are, and gives them the tools they need to fix any issues.”

Printer security is more of an issue than most companies realise. Back in 2014, a hacker got into a printer and loaded the famous game Doom onto the control panel. Anyone who tried to print, found themselves watching the hacker, Michael Jordan (not the basketball player) play the game.

MPS is too tightly controlled across updates, vulnerabilities, flaws, and SLAs to allow for these risks to rise to prominence.

Opportunity knocks

So what does MPS mean for the channel? It means opportunity.

“The print environment is at a crossroads at the moment with traditional transactional services still going as resellers try to push as much hardware as they can,” says Lloyd. “However, the MPS model is becoming increasingly popular and increasingly, the channel is buying into its potential and long-term strategies. That said, it is an annuity-based model which makes it a change from the old ways of doing business and needs time to really evolve within any channel business.”

Replace the existing model

The challenge is to find a way of replacing the existing printing model with MPS while refining the business processes required to make it a success. The company has to take a holistic view across the supply chain, costing, operations, sales costs and more. It requires a complete change of thinking but it is one that is far more aligned with digital transformation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and what the market wants.

“The traditional reseller may struggle initially as they don’t have the right mechanisms in place to invoice or bill correctly, but they can adapt their infrastructure to support the MPS model,” concludes Lloyd.

“Those that have already done it, are seeing huge success. It allows them scope to grow within a very dynamic market and stay ahead of the changes that are altering the print industry as a whole.”

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