'Distributors must do more to push managed print services'

Vendors and resellers report growth in business model but want more support
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Tech distributors can do more to push the growing managed print services business model and better support their customers, say experts.

Joey Hemingbrough, AAG Systems director of business development and Network Group B2B director, commented: “In terms of managed print, if it wasn’t for someone like David [Tulip, Network Group’s MPS programme manager], I think there would be a lot of members who wouldn’t offer managed services and wouldn’t see the value because it isn’t being driven at a distribution level.”

Oki Systems’ marketing manager Andrew Hall added: “The opportunity managed print services presents resellers and distributors is clear. The trouble is too many dealers are continuing to let themselves down by failing to deliver the most effective and consultative pitch into target organisations. Distributors can play their part here in ensuring their resellers fully explain the service when required and offer a range of resources to cater for clients.”

However, while Peter Silcock, business manager for business imaging and Epson in the UK, agrees, he says distributors are improving in this area.

"They are becoming more aware of the demand for better control for cost in print," he commented. They are able to utilise their low cost shipment of consumables to provide real savings compared to traditional methods."

Some suppliers, manufacturers and resellers expect the business model – charging customers a monthly subscription for IT services and products – to come to fruition this year.

The model allows retailers and resellers to generate recurring revenues more easily rather than rely on one-off product or breakfix sales.

“We see managed print services (MPS) as a huge growth engine,” Jamie Brothwell, print general manager at distributor and retail services provider Exertis, told PCR.

“With an improving economy, ongoing investment in UK businesses from overseas and the relentless pace and progress of digital and connected services, we believe that 2015 is the year MPS will take off.”

Aside from the print sector, Microsoft is also reporting strong growth within managed cloud services.

“High demand has meant that our commercial cloud services have now delivered triple-digit revenue growth for the sixth consecutive quarter,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “Office 365 continues to be priority for CIOs as both existing and new customers move to the cloud. 

"We are also seeing great growth in revenue from premium Azure Services driven by both the increasing customer base and an expansion in the number of services that those customers deploy. Within Dynamics CRM Online, customer growth accelerated and revenue nearly doubled. We expect this trend to continue.”

For more information, read PCR's feature: The rise of managed IT services - how to generate recurring revenues.

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