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5 Ways A Managed Print Services Provider Can Stand Out

The market for managed print services is growing, with one study forecasting it will become a $58 billion industry worldwide by 2025. Here’s how managed print services providers can differentiate themselves.

The Age Of Service 

In an age where boxes are cheap, and speeds and feeds more or less standard, good service and industry expertise become the differentiators, managed print services providers told CRN.

The managed print services market is growing, according to several studies.

According to a March study from Verified Market Research, managed print services is expected to grow at an 8.6 percent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2025, meaning that by 2025 managed print services is expected to be a $58 billion industry worldwide.

Josh Justice, president of La Plata, Md.-based JustTech, a Xerox Accredited Master Elite managed print services partner, talked to CRN about what makes a managed print services provider stand out and how the market is changing for 2019.

“Anyone can ship toner,” he said. “Clients in today’s market are looking for a partner that is responsive, has a proven track record of delivering services and for continual optimization of their environment with innovation and not just with printers. More and more of our managed print services agreements include additional supplemental IT services and solutions.”

Managed Print Has An App For That

With most vendors offering a range of configurable devices, a good managed print services provider will be able to create, configure and deploy apps across a customer’s office environment that help with workflow and communication between all parts of a business, Justice said.

“It really is the continued optimization of their environment,” Justice said. “Not just with printers. Network services, and printers. Additional third-party solutions, supplemental services. Brining something new to the table that justifies the value.”

An IDC study published last year that takes a look at the worldwide and U.S. managed print and document services and the basic print services market, found apps as well as cloud enablement and advances in technology are part of creating a growing opportunity for managed print services.

"Managed print and document services represent a sizable and growing opportunity for hard-copy vendors," wrote Robert Palmer, research vice president for IDC's Imaging, Printing, and Document Solutions Division, in the company’s 2018 study of the managed print services market. "Demand for print is changing, and businesses of all sizes continue to struggle with issues related to mobility, security and digital transformation. Advancements in the MPS ecosystem through technology and cloud enablement are helping to bring the value of outsourced print and document services to the broader market."


From a security point of view, printers and copiers are vulnerable endpoint devices. Many customers are not aware of this, however, so managed print services providers are often in the driver’s seat in alerting customers to the dangers the devices pose.

Justice said successful managed print services providers must have or build a strategy around security.

“A lot of the conversation is around security,” he said. “It’s top of mind now. They want to make sure that anything they put on their network isn’t going to make them susceptible to an attack.”

Not only do most CIOs not consider the printer a danger point, according to a 2017 Spiceworks Survey commissioned by HP Inc., most had no security in place on the devices. While 83 percent of respondents had secured their PCs and 55 percent had secured their mobile devices, only 41 percent had either network security, access control, data protection or endpoint security on their printers.

Service Over Cost 

Gartner research said successful managed print services providers create value around their products.

“MPS providers continue to innovate by expanding capabilities while also increasing value. Infrastructure and operations leaders should re-envision print strategies to include cloud-based solutions that leverage advances in security and analytics,” the company wrote in a 2018 study.

Cost is still important, but service and value are more important, Justice said.

“In order to overcome a price objection, or bring in a higher cost, you have to justify it to the client,” he said. “No one is going to pay more if you don’t tell them why.”

Not Fast? Not Furious 

Customers are not looking for the quickest time to first print or the fastest speed on the market anymore, Justice said.

“I’ve been selling multifunction printers for 16 years,” he said. “When we started upgrading clients they would ask about speeds and feeds. Honestly, the questions we get now are more on workflow, ‘Will I still have workflow scanning?’ ‘Will the apps that I’m using right now work on the new machine?’ It really has shifted the conversation. Speeds and feeds hardly ever come up.”

Differentiating Through IT Offerings 

Being more than a provider of managed print services can also help build a relationship with clients by providing for more of their business needs.

“One of the best things I did about eight years ago is to start a managed IT services division of our company,” Justice said. “We’re able to provide complete IT management to our clients. For our other clients, who have IT, we’re able to provide supplemental services and tie it all in together. We have a lot of managed print clients that have these additional services and solutions, third-party services, cloud services, Office 365, security DNS protection and we’re able to bundle all that up for the client.”

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