By Andy Jones, director and general manager, Xerox Europe

Managed Print Services (MPS) first became a lure a decade ago, when the promise of reduced cost, higher productivity and better energy efficiency prompted many to seek out expert third parties. But in 2012, is that still enough? MPS is more than just providing print, and this has been the case for some time. Companies are looking to MPS not just to save money, but to implement strategies that offer real business growth. To do this, they must think of print in the context of their wider IT environment and business processes.

This week at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 the sessions revealed key questions you need to be asking to find out which MPS providers are up to the task:

  • How will you save me money? Modern MPS needs to manage all print services together as an enterprise-wide resource – meaning a focus on processes as much as hardware or technology. Your provider should establish clear, total cost of ownership baselines from which to measure improvements, and for continuous savings to be delivered year on year.
  • What about other vendors in my environment? Make sure the provider is interested in selling you what you actually need, even if it means offering a competitor’s product. To achieve the best results they need to be able to manage competitive devices so you don’t have to throw away those you’ve just invested in.
  • How will MPS help grow my business? MPS providers should continuously suggest innovative ideas to help you grow and improve your business. If they’re not, it’s likely that they don’t have much to offer in this department.
  • How will you support me as we grow? It’s imperative that the MPS provider will be there for you in the long term. The right MPS offering should be prepared to provide change management programs to help employees adapt to new IT and work processes, a web portal, with ongoing support and online learning, and/or an on-site print center with dedicated staff.
  • What’s your approach to mobile? Embracing mobile technology across the organization is critical to employee efficiency, given the explosion of mobile devices. Look for a partner that can carry out a full assessment of your IT infrastructure, to immediately showcase the added efficiencies that mobile can bring.

If you get a good answer to each of these five points, it’s safe to say this is the MPS provider for you. Need more assistance with your decision? Refer to reports from analysts who study the industry. In fact, Xerox earned the top spot in all major analyst reports on MPS this past year. And just last week, we were recognized by Photizo: “Xerox’s focus on advanced MPS is positioning the firm as a leader in the space and differentiating Xerox from the competition,” and positioned in the leaders quadrant in Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Managed Print Services Worldwide.

 

Andy Jones helps Xerox clients find simpler ways to work through business consulting, service innovation and technology. When he’s not helping navigate business challenges, he embraces his passion for sailing.