"Print-As-A-Service" On The Horizon?
In terms of emerging areas for the office printer market, Kmetz said he's keeping an eye on whether some of the subscription models seen at the consumer level, for services such as automatic ink delivery, might find their way into the business market. Businesses could "get print as you need it and when you need it, as opposed to the traditional transactional model," Kmetz said. "This 'as-a-service' approach that's seen across the IT landscape, does it apply to the print business too? Can you have a 'print-as-a-service' model work within the office marketplace? HP's Instant Ink worked really well for them in the consumer printing area. Where else can we take what seems to be a successful model? The next step of the progression seems to be the office market."
And in this case, the opposite path of MPS might occur: "print-as-a-service" could very well "start at the SMB level and move into the enterprise," Kmetz said. "It's still in the very infancy stage, but it's being kicked around. Everyone's gravitating toward the 'as-a-service' model."