As an MSP or IT services provider you’ve likely done a lot to help your customers with malicious external intrusions. Helping clients to avoid or recover from malware and ransomware is probably part of your offering. But for all the work you have done to help protect your customers from Trojan horses there is a big gaping hole in your own organization that could spell ruin if not taken seriously.
The threat: The office equipment dealer and managed print.
I know, I know, you probably think that managed print and office equipment dealers are somebody else's concern. You’ve probably been doing business alongside them for years and have never stepped on each others turf. They do their thing, you do your thing and everybody is happy. Those times, my friends, are changing fast. The office equipment dealer is like a shark in deep waters: By the time they get you it may very well be too late.
Convergence is happening
Once upon a time in the office equipment industry, copier dealers and printer dealers had completely different roles in a customer environment. Then one day that all changed. Copier dealers started selling printers and printer dealers started selling copiers. Fast forward to today and all office equipment dealers represent both product lines. It was messy for a lot of years as they duked it out taking each others business, and a lot of companies didn’t survive the convergence.
The same type of convergence is now happening in the managed IT space and the office equipment space. If you look at any sizable office equipment dealer’s website, guess what you are going to see? A tab for managed IT services or managed services. Yup. You might think they couldn’t beat you in a managed services engagement, and you’re probably right. For now. But this sense of comfort today shouldn’t ease your concerns over tomorrow.
Office equipment dealers taking on MSPs
You see, I work with office equipment dealers on a daily basis, I have for over 16 years. They are coming after your business and they won’t stop until they get it (or you stop them, whichever comes first). Here’s why:
- They have deep pockets: The average MSP is much smaller than the average office equipment dealer. Many office equipment dealers generate $50 million USD to $150 million USD per annum.
- They know how to sell: Managed print services never used to be a thing. The office equipment channel invented managed print and have captured roughly 25 percent to 30 percent of all pages produced under MPS contracts.
- They know how to evolve: Office equipment dealers back in the day were selling typewriters. That evolved into standalone copiers and fax machines. Today they sell network connected printers and MFDs, document management solutions and user print behavior control solutions. If it looks and smells like money they eventually get it. Managed Services smells and looks like money.
OEDs primed for managed services
The office equipment dealer is coming for your business. They will get good at managed services in one of two ways:
- They will buy expertise: There are plenty of good managed services providers that are valued at $1.5 million USD to $5 million USD in revenues per month. Office equipment dealers will buy some of those to gain credibility and expertise to compete effectively.
- They will learn the hard way: Other office equipment dealers will create their own stack and over time get better and better at their offering until they are finally a viable threat. They don’t give up. They’ll keep at it until they win.
Add managed print to increase revenue
Of course, as a managed services provider, you currently manage 90 percent of the customer environment. If managed print is a Trojan horse, you can combat it in only one way: BE the horse! In other words, offer managed print services! If you fulfill 100 percent of your customers' network services, then an office equipment dealer will have a much harder time getting in the door.
And there are many, many more reasons to offer managed print services beyond locking out new competitors:
- Additional seat revenues: $17 to $24 per seat is quite common for MPS revenue.
- Cost Per Page capability: Many customers like to buy managed print by the page. Tigerpaw is the first in the managed services space to allow you to bill this way!
- Extra value-add per customer: As a managed services provider it is essential that you move beyond the traditional stack to set yourselves ahead of the competition. Managed print is a great way to do that!
I’ve been in the managed print services space for over 16 years, and I can tell you that it is both exciting and filled with financial gain for everybody involved. Your customers want it and are going to get it from somebody. Make sure that somebody is you and keep the Trojan horse locked out of your accounts.
Find the right tool to manage print
Are you looking to expand and streamline your entire operation? Take the first step toward convergence. Download our Convergence Checklist for MSPs or OEDs to help you find a business automation software that will allow you to manage IT and office equipment in a single platform.