Organisations today seek much more than mere cost savings from their managed print services (MPS) provider. Modern businesses want more flexibility in their MPS contracts, they seek a clearer roadmap with regard to innovation, and most of all, they demand clarity when it comes to the provider’s strategy for information management.

By Ronnie Oeschger, divisional director: Xerox Indirect Channels at Bytes Document Solutions

Due to this distinct shift in the world of MPS, customers are looking for an organisation that will be more than just a service provider. They want a partner that will help them tackle their new priorities and challenges, and which can assist them as they move into an increasingly digital future.

In this new future, technology advancements and innovations – including cloud computing, big data, mobility and business process automation – are undoubtedly changing the MPS game. This is due to the potential these advancements offer for improved service delivery and longer-term business efficiency. Therefore, the modern organisation needs to seriously consider how their MPS provider can support their strategic goals.

With this in mind, enterprises need to think through exactly what it is they need and what qualities they seek from their MPS provider.

As digitisation becomes a reality, companies need to think long-term about their MPS. This means finding a provider that they can work with at a strategic, rather than a transactional level; one that can adapt its proposition to encompass broader digital transformation.

The choice of MPS provider should be based on a strategic view of business transformation, and the customer should consider which provider is best equipped to provide the support needed for this. The provider should also demonstrate both industry knowledge and business process expertise. Businesses should seek out an MPS provider that offers not only high-quality service delivery but also an innovative and proactive partnership with its customers.

In addition, the chosen provider must be able to align the MPS to the customer’s business needs. While MPS has proven successful at reducing the cost and complexity associated with an unmanaged printer fleet, a good service provider will also be able to address customers’ long-term needs around business process improvement.

Customers should also search for a provider that knows how to optimise the use of analytics, which is critical for improving the outcomes of MPS engagements. Effective use of analytics not only improves operational performance on an on-going basis but can also support long-term strategies for business efficiency improvement. Therefore, organisations should demand strong analytical capabilities from their MPS provider, to ensure that the MPS contract continues to deliver on agreed service level expectations.

The final point to consider is that the MPS provider offers flexible models that leverage the cloud. There is already a growing demand for this from organisations who are migrating to cloud computing. Therefore, the MPS provider that is selected should be forward thinking enough to provide enhanced and differentiated service offerings to the cloud.

The MPS provider of the future will be one that is not only committed to enhancing its MPS offerings, but also to tackling the broader digital transformation requirements of larger organisations. Such a provider will deliver not only a mature offering, consistent global delivery and a sophisticated reporting and analytics platform, but will also be able to demonstrate a proven track record.

Ultimately, companies want an MPS provider that can assist them in assessing their existing situation and optimising it by identifying inefficiencies and minimising costs and environmental impacts, as well as improving employee productivity.

The provider of the future will be expected to secure and integrate the recommended print environment, by focusing on security, mobile printing and print server and print queue management. Lastly, they must be able to automate and simplify, driving additional productivity improvements by reducing or eliminating unnecessary paper use, as well as designing and deploying smart workflows to capture, route, store and retrieve documents via a content management solution.

So if you are in the market for an MPS provider, remember that print cost savings – while vital in its own right – is simply the tip of a much larger iceberg.