By Louella Fernandes, associate director, Print Services and Solutions, Quocirca Ltd.
In the light of today’s changing IT landscape, channel partners need to look beyond print to help their customers drive more cost efficiencies and productivity improvements.
SMBs are the true backbone of the European economy –according to the European Commission, more than 99% of all European businesses are SMBs. Most SMBs don’t have the resources and budget as larger enterprises but still need to control costs whilst improving their technological and competitive advantage.
SMBs are increasingly aware of cloud-based technologies and services, as a way of accessing the latest best in class technology without having to invest extensively in hardware and software infrastructure to do so. The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) expects that by the end of 2013, over 75 per cent of UK businesses will be making formal use of at least one Cloud service. This is good news for MPS providers – as with any cloud service, they can help SMBs avoid the drain on IT resources, scale their services up or down and pay as you go.
Many SMBs are still very reliant on printing – recent Quocirca research revealed that 60% of SMBs say printing is critical or very important to their business activities. Yet, 80% of SMBs do not have a centralised print management tool to track print costs across their printer fleet. At the very minimum, MPS can help SMBs tackle escalating print costs. This represents a significant opportunity for the channel as the first step in the MPS journey is ensure SMBs fully understand their print volumes and usage.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once print costs are under control, SMBs are looking beyond printing to gain further savings and productivity improvements. Better document workflow is just one example of how SMBs can benefit by integrating paper and digital workflows – and today’s sophisticated MFPs are a critical element of this process. SMBs want partners that understand their business and can recommend and provide cost-effective solutions.
To meet these expectations, channel partners need to invest in expertise and processes to transform their businesses beyond print. Are you ready to take advantage of the MPS opportunity?
Louella Fernandes is presenting today, September 11, at the Xerox Partner Print Services Momentum Event in Lisbon, Portugal. This two-day event includes speakers from a range of backgrounds, with insights into the managed print services market.