“Resellers need to keep an eye on how MPS will evolve, even if the fundamentals aren’t going to change.”
That advice comes from Shaun Wilkinson, MD of dealer-only network UTAX, who has warned that resellers and service providers must ask the relevant questions when they upgrade customers’ systems and install new ones to identify how their needs are evolving.
“Everybody’s talking about managed print but the reality is that the opportunities for savvy resellers are enormous,” said Wilkinson.
“If we look at the volume of software we sell compared to hardware, it’s probably single figure percentages. That means there’s the majority of the market to go after with a true, software-based managed solution. People aren’t yet tying things together. Customers are having archiving solutions put in and then buying a separate MFP solution. These two areas work together so it makes sense to join the dots.”
In terms of how resellers can make money from MPS, Wilkinson suggested that resellers should make sure they deliver solutions that provide answers to the problems end-users have, which means knowing what you can offer, and tapping into the expertise of a partner vendor.
“Clients will be prepared to pay more where they can see the wider benefits to their business and the discussion becomes more about the overall business case rather than the straight cost of investment. The last thing resellers need to get themselves involved in is the race to rock bottom prices,” he warned.
“As we all know, the most practical place to start is with existing clients. Maximise the opportunities to sell to the customers and customer base you know and with those who trust and have confidence in you. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to go chasing new business and new clients.”
On the subject of the future of the print market, Wilkinson believes it will become more and more difficult to categorise an IT company, and print vendors won’t exits as print vendors, rather, they will be part of the larger solutions that companies are selling.
“It’s no longer about shifting boxes and the concept of a standalone print vendor will become out-dated,” he told PCR.
“The IT resellers that survive will be those that offer a holistic approach and greater integration between office systems such as the cloud and BYOD and manage the issues that follow, such as security and digital workflows.”
Look out for our in-depth feature on managed print services in the June issue of PCR, which hits desks at the beginning of the month.