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Managed Print Services (MPS) is a segment that is showing traction in the Indian market. Demand from BFSI, telecom, IT, education and the government/PSU verticals are shaping this trend.

If we look at the present scenario, larger companies are outsourcing their IT services of which printing is the biggest part. MPS is largely being adopted by large companies.

According to Springboard Research, India is the fastest growing market for MPS amongst the countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The market is expected to bloom from $31 million in 2007 to $70 million by 2011 representing a CAGR of 22.6% in the forecast period of 2007-2011. India presents the biggest market opportunity and in terms of maturity it is considered to be in the nascent stages of the adoption of this technology.

While India will continue to lag behind in terms of market maturity in comparison to other countries such as Korea, Australia and China, the market size for MPS is expected to be double that of countries such as New Zealand, Hong Kong or Philippines. As of now, the Indian market is a significant one but certainly not the biggest of the lot.

Research conducted by Gartner highlighted the fact that MPS adoption is gaining momentum and that a substantial percentage of businesses did not fully understand the benefits that this technology had to offer. One of the challenges faced by MPS providers is that some organizations still see savings associated with hard costs and overlook the associated costs including the expenditure on supplies, services, maintenance and help desk, as well as the negative impact that an unmanaged printer/copier fleet can have on employee productivity. This is particularly true in price sensitive markets such as the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

If we take a look at the SMB segment, a wide variety of MPS packages have been introduced directly by the providers or through channel partners. MPS has become a standard offering when it comes to selling print solutions to medium and large organizations, resulting in increasing numbers of customers. To help win over potential customers who are sitting on the fence, all the MPS providers tend to agree to incorporate a portion of the customer's existing equipment into the MPS contract.

Moreover, the full-cycle results of early MPS customers are now visible and more customers are in the market for the second round of print outsourcing. Refinements around needs assessment and usage tracking, user surveys, user education and help in meeting environmental goals are becoming mainstream MPS practices.

Although Indian enterprises are looking at MPS to assist them in the creation of a healthy printing environment, offerings are yet to reach a stage where they can be considered as a must-have.

Sanchit Vir Gogia, Associate Research Manager, Springboard Research, commented, “With the prevailing trends of the last couple of years, we saw about 5% of small enterprises use MPS. While the lower TCO continues to be the primary reason behind enterprise adoption of MPS, the other reason is that it streamlines the print environment. In addition to the need to focus on other key business activities, the fact that it does away with the need to pay for upfront purchases of printers and the coming of concepts like pay-per-page are driving adoption.”

“One of the most important reasons as to why MPS has gained momentum is because companies have realized that outsourcing non-core competency tasks will enable them to focus on their core business proposition. Leading MPS providers perform a detailed assessment of a customer’s existing imaging and printing infrastructure and collect all relevant information about usage patterns in the organization and a current snapshot of the costs incurred,” added Nitin Hiranandani, Director - MES, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

Hiranandani asserted that the economic downturn was among the biggest drivers for MPS, as enterprises started shifting their focus from CAPEX to OPEX to meet their needs. With the increased pressure on CIOs and management teams to reduce costs and inventories, it became crucial for enterprises to make their printing operations economical, environment-friendly and competitive enough to have a positive impact on the company’s financial position. These increasing pressures have established a strong base for the relevant printing solutions in the current environment and MPS is definitely one that is in demand.

According to Vipin Tuteja, Executive Director - Marketing, Business Support and International Business, Xerox India, the MPS market has evolved over the years and today it has become a core business process in every enterprise. Enterprises that have not yet leveraged MPS are looking at it as a potential business enabler.

“Emerging technologies such as virtualization and data center transformation, green computing and eco-friendly technology are driving the uptake of MPS in India. Our managed document services enable organizations to save costs, reduce energy use and conserve resources,” pointed out Puneet Datta, Assistant Director - Marketing, BIS, Canon India.


What’s Available

Canon claimed that its managed document services help reduce IT support costs for print/copy/fax/scan by up to 40% and print-related help desk calls by up to 52%. Other benefits, it said, were an up to 25% reduction in costs for consumables, up to 20% reduction in costs for print/copy/fax/scan repairs, up to 10% reduction in costs to install or upgrade print/copy/fax/scan devices and up to 5% reduction in print/copy/fax/scan equipment costs. Its managed document services helped MindTree gain control of document usage, do away with the incidence of printouts that weren’t being collected, maintain confidentiality, provide the flexibility to collect a printout from any printer on the campus etc.

HP said that it provides proactive end-to-end management of an enterprise’s imaging and printing environment. Its network infrastructure and asset management capabilities enable remote and secure installation, configuration, maintenance as well as monitoring and management of an organization’s imaging and printing environment. Under its MPS umbrella, HP offers assessment services, financial and procurement services, transition and implementation services as well as document and workflow services.

According to HP IPG, it has 2,000 customers globally that have availed of the company’s MPS offering with the list including the biggest names in telecom, IT, manufacturing and BFSI. The enterprise segment is a key growth area for HP and the company works closely with the public sector including legal and education as well as the manufacturing and services verticals.

Lexmark’s new mid-range and workgroup MFPs have an e-task interface and these devices are eSF (embedded Solution Framework) enabled allowing for the deployment of embedded applications across the enterprise.

Lastly, Xerox call its portfolio of MPS solutions as Xerox Office Services (XOS), which is a suite of services for managing document output and infrastructure assets. XOS offerings in India include office document assessment, device management, asset management, asset optimization, supply management, break-fix management and help desk.

Improving Visibility into Print Usage

By adopting MPS, companies get a clear picture of how the print infrastructure is being used. Essentially, MPS is a delivery mechanism for printing specialists to share best practices in supplies management, strategic consultancy and the ongoing support and optimization of the print infrastructure.

Recent research from Gartner indicates that businesses spend between one and three percent of their revenue on print output. Through MPS IT teams can identify where wastages are and curb them.

“Xerox Office Services can enable organizations to save costs up to 20-25% as well as help them go green. Our solutions portfolio is customized to meet specific client needs as well as provides secure access to confidential information within an organization,” highlighted Tuteja.

“Earlier, printing was never looked at consciously by CIOs but taking into consideration green initiatives and the need to improve cost and confidentiality along with security, they now have to look into printing aspects as well. It can’t go away from their radar now. This model of Managed Print Services will help in controlling printing, allotting quotas, classifying documents and providing impetus for green IT as well as for security,” opined T.G. Dhandapani, Corporate CIO for SCL-TVS Group.

According to Satish Pendse, CIO of HCC, in most organizations, printers are ‘owned’ by different people in different departments and on different floors. It is decentralized. By enabling a CIO to take a holistic view of the entire printing environment, MPS becomes a must have for organizations. With MPS, the service providers become a single entity whom you have to pay for printing. You also get to know who is printing what as you get complete visibility.

Rajat Sharma, President - IT and Global CIO at Atul, said, “We are already using MPS from WeP Peripherals, as it consolidates our printing infrastructure and eliminates individual printing environments. By making them department specific and then getting it outsourced we have achieved rationalization in terms of printing needs.”

Moreover, MPS also helps organizations streamline workflows and improve compliance. Depending on the industry or customer, a company may have differing needs or levels when it comes to document security. For example, banks or law firms may be legally required to keep certain documents secure. In these cases, printers are fitted with card readers or keypads so that printouts are accessible only by authorized employees. Another example may be to ensure that print jobs that are not printed within a certain time are wiped from the print queue.

K.P. Ranjan, Country Manager - India, Lexmark, commented, “The term MPS encompasses much more than just a managed fleet of printers. Before a solution is implemented, the business processes are examined and a response designed to fit the business needs exactly. Often, printers have company-specific software embedded in them that is tailored to fit the workflow. For e.g. a credit card company might receive online applications that need to be printed multiple times with different copies needing to be sent, faxed or e-mailed to different departments. An embedded software solution would see the whole process being controlled from the touchscreen of the printer or MFP, with much of the process being automated.”

“In terms of workflow, with MPS, you get to know who has given the print command and from which department, etc. That's how you can tap the workflow in terms of from where the printing is coming and where it is heading. It is also more secure because you can assign a certain number of people who are given a log-in ID or access control card to take printouts. In this manner, you ensure that confidential printouts only reach the people for whom they are meant,” added Pendse.


Focus on Higher ROI

By adopting MPS, enterprises can create an agile and flexible print infrastructure that promises higher ROI. It can help organizations reduce print costs by 30% by putting the right controls in place and eliminating CAPEX. It also gives users the power to evaluate their energy consumption, paper use, carbon output and the associated monetary costs of their printing environment to understand how they can reduce their environmental impact through responsible printing.

“Companies can achieve cost and resource efficiency by letting external experts manage printing supplies and equipment and paying for what has been used rather than what might be needed. This means that companies only pay for consumables used rather than for what is being stocked,” opined Ranjan.

By allowing people to share well-maintained, networked and high performance equipment instead of different departments and branches using any printer available, companies can optimize their equipment use as well.

Datta added that with managed document services in place, organizations were able to improve their sustainability by up to 30% thanks to process optimization with automated supplies, usage controls, print pooling, job accounting and rules-based printing all of which combine to provide significant cost savings.

Dhandapani, however, took the view that, “Basically, we want to control printing. We don’t print any document unless it is essential. This should be looked at more from a hygiene point of view rather than from a ROI perspective because the printer is a necessary evil and we should avoid using it when it is unnecessary.”

Additionally, through MPS, CIOs can establish tighter controls on their document output costs and liberate themselves from the task of managing and buying various printer assets.

Although the control of MPS falls under the CIO’s authority, it is not meant to be a core responsibility. By outsourcing much of the work including that of acquiring machines and consumables to MPS providers, CIOs are free to focus on strategic tasks while controlling print costs. The MPS provider manages the technology being used.

India presents huge growth opportunities for MPS. That being said, as most SMBs perceive it as a expensive and complex outsourced service, providers need to promote a gamut of services that would appeal to proprietors or IT managers who lack the budgets of their enterprise counterparts.

While large enterprises will give margins, the SMB segment will have to provide the volumes.

Source: expresscomputeronline

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