Most IT departments, especially smaller teams, are bogged down by managing printers and print-related helpdesk queries. While crucial for business operations, managing print manually often leaves IT teams with little time for mission-critical tasks.
A lot of businesses make this mistake and end up spending more. Worst of all, their IT processes and print services remain under-optimised. Here’s where MPSs become a valuable solution:
Managed Print Services (MPS) are offered by print providers to manage all aspects of a business’s printing devices. MPSs offer effective business and enterprise print management solutions in the form of centralised print fleet management and streamlined print procedures.
Print management software and services were previously usually offered alongside hardware and office equipment. They were simply a way for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Today, managed print services are offered by most office equipment resellers, as well as print manufacturers and IT service providers.
Since providers began offering MPS to help with document management, they quickly became popular. Organizations found it efficient, convenient, and cost-effective. The significant cost savings came from reduced operational, energy, and office supply costs, which meant MPS became one of the most popular business and enterprise print management solutions to incorporate.
Typical Managed Print Services Offer
typical MPS offering ideally provides a complete managed print solution for the following:
- Full visibility of the printer fleet (data on available printers)
- Supplies and consumables needed on a regular basis
- IT support to quickly identify when a printer, multifunction printer, or copier has a fault/error
- Data on the following:
- Number of pages produced by workers and print operations
- User-to-printer ratio
- Supplies and consumables spend
- Who are using the devices and what for
With new solutions like pull printing systems and document process automation, MPS has become more widely accepted by organisations across the globe. Research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that businesses can save up to 30% of their annual print spend with MPS.
So, the question for today’s suppliers is this: How do you further differentiate your managed print services? In such a saturated market offering a lot of value-added services, is there still a way to gain an edge?
Leverage Cloud-Based Print Infrastructure
The one area that most MPS providers don’t talk about is print infrastructure.
In most cases, the print server is a necessary commodity that a customer sources and manages through their IT department. However, with the advent of cloud-first solutions, more people are welcoming the concept of moving the IT infrastructure to the cloud. This streamlines workflows and addresses most issues associated with on-premises infrastructures.
If you’re an MPS provider, you probably want to focus on print cost reduction and optimization, right? Why not truly differentiate your offering by extending this to the print infrastructure? By introducing cloud-based print, you can help your customers reap the many benefits of having a cloud-based infrastructure.
Offering a cloud printing solution also results in IT optimization and simplification. Cloud-based print services will lessen the burden on IT by getting rid of most of the work surrounding print server maintenance.
For better optimization, you can also offer clients a fully-featured single print driver to support their entire print fleet. The cost savings offered by removing print servers and introducing a single print driver can be dramatic.
Moving to a true multi-tenant cloud-based application benefits customers and providers alike. As the provider, cloud-based print offers you a simpler way to deploy and manage print hardware for all customers. A hybrid cloud solution eliminates the need for on-site technicians to deploy or troubleshoot printers.
By utilizing a cloud printing solution, you can manage the deployment and troubleshooting from a single web-based console. This allows you to optimize your internal processes and provide faster resolution to customer issues.
Benefits of MPS in the Cloud
A cloud-based print management system offers customers ease of use. With it, they can send their print jobs from their PC or mobile to the nearest printer. This allows for secure printing minus the hassle of maintaining an on-site print server. Organizations can also track print utilization for better security.
Some of the additional benefits of MPS are:
- Offers secure print release to the customer’s print environment while streamlining procedures and reducing costs
- Eliminates the need for physical print servers, queue management, multiple print drivers, and troubleshooting help desk calls to IT
- Holds print jobs in the cloud until a user is ready to verify their identity and release the print job
- Eliminates the risk of security breaches due to documents being read or accessed at the printer tray
- Reduced print costs from paper and ink due to lesser unclaimed documents or errors while printing
- Improves productivity by allowing printing jobs to be done in one go
- Promotes time savings due to amped-up print efficiency and fewer errors
How Organisations are Leveraging Cloud Managed Print Services
Y Soft’s cloud MPS SAFEQ Cloud offers a convenient print infrastructure solution. While there are multiple great business and enterprise print management solutions. With SAFEQ Cloud, organizations can seamlessly migrate their on-prem print environment to a cloud-based service. The platform can easily be delivered as a SaaS offering or as an on-premise private cloud.
One of our customers, Intracoastal Realty, has been able to adopt a cloud-first strategy with regard to its print infrastructure. They were able to streamline their print workflows despite having ten offices and over 600 real estate agents, thanks to SAFEQ Cloud. A cloud-based solution was appealing to them, as their location is prone to hurricanes and severe weather disturbances.
After a trial of SAFEQ Cloud, the company was able to successfully adopt the print management solution to their infrastructure. They currently have 18 printing devices installed across ten locations and used by employees and agents.
Chief Information Officer John Schweighardt talks about how the switch to SAFEQ Cloud has helped their business:
“Printing is a heavily used function. To put this into perspective, on a typical month our printers process around 10,000 print jobs, equating to over fifty-thousand printouts. As a small IT department, the only way we could support the business’ growth trajectory was to streamline processes and automate as much as we can.
Everything is so much simpler now, when we hire a new agent, we simply load the software from the intranet, and they are connected to the print infrastructure without having to come into the office. Our focus now is on reviewing the added benefits, rather than installing, managing, and maintaining print drivers and doing all of the updates when we roll out a new printer, or when an agent buys a new computer, that’s a huge time saver,” he shares.
Another thing that Schweighardt cites as a great value-add is SAFEQ Cloud’s secure infrastructure. “Pull print functionality means printouts are only released once the agent authenticates via a PIN code at a printer. That’s been a huge value-add as we know sensitive documents such as offers or contracts for example aren’t lying idle on printers where anyone can see them,” says Schweighardt.
FAQs on Managed Print Services
What is a Print Driver for Managed Services?
When adopting true-cloud managed print services (MPS) as SME-to-enterprise print solutions, one full-featured single driver enables printers of different brands and models to work together in a single, unified solution. Instead of constantly installing new drivers, every print user is managed from the same master driver.
What are MPS Providers?
Print providers specialized in MPS are experts in SME and enterprise print management solutions that include centralized print fleet management and streamlined print procedures. MPS providers are highly qualified to recommend new processes or working practices that can help reduce print pressure and share information more effectively.
Become a partner and make cloud-based printing a standard part of your MPS offering. Find a way to truly differentiate yourself from the competition while offering your customers dramatic savings and infrastructure optimization. Get in touch with us if you have any questions, concerns, or partnership ideas — we’d love to hear your thoughts.
After reading this post, one thing is clear when it comes to managed print services – they are simpler, more easily scalable, and vastly outperform on-premises solutions when it comes to print security.
Do you have a customer who's getting ready to migrate to the cloud? Here's our cloud readiness quiz, a free 4-minutes self-assessment that can help your customers get saddled up for cloud-managed print services.