As a managed services provider, you’ve likely heard of managed print. Maybe you even looked at possibly adding it to your stack but were turned off of it because of the complexity of having to supply, feed, and fix printers. What if I told you that you can manage your customers’ print without ever having to touch a printer or toner cartridge? According to Allied Market Research, the market for managed print in 2017 was valued at $27.5 billion dollars and is set to grow to over $59.7 billion by 2025 (10.3% CAGR). What if I told you that you could get a piece of that and add high-margin dollars to your existing seat revenue without doing any of the messy care and feeding?
The channels as you know them are changing and mixing. Did you know that you that you keep new and nontraditional channel threats from moving into your accounts simply by adding managed print to your mix? You might call me mad.
The concept of an MSP providing managed print without having to fix printers or supply toner isn’t as crazy as you think. In fact, it mirrors perfectly well how you manage your customers’ networks today. You don’t always sell the computers and servers that you manage. In fact, you may have made the business decision to avoid hardware sales altogether because of high sales efforts for low, one-time margins. Printers and copiers have I.P. addresses, information tables and the ability to be remotely monitored and managed. And there’s good money in doing so - really good, high-margin money.
In a recent podcast I did with Jay McBain from Forrester Research, we discussed how the traditional channel is changing, becoming more of an ecosystem that could kill traditional channels in as little as 5 years. He has some pretty sobering channel predictions in his “What I see coming for the channel in 2020” blog and I highly recommend you give it a read. The rules are changing and so are those looking to take your business. It’s not just predictions. My own experience has shown me that the office equipment and managed services channels are converging. Traditional office equipment dealers are quietly becoming managed services providers. One you might recognize in your local market because they’re everywhere: MARCO. They have grown their managed services business to over $100 million annually from practically nothing even a few short years ago. By the way, they manage print as well - lots of it - over $200 million dollars of it. Diversification of services has worked extremely well for MARCO and other companies like them. So what’s stopping you from diversifying into managed print? Like I said before, you can do so without selling any toner or printers.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to see if managed print is a fit for you:
Research “secure release” and user-based print control software: One of the biggest in the market globally is PaperCut. Their software remotely manages printing behavior and controls which devices are used for different kinds of printing. Secure release printing is huge in verticals like Education, Medical, and Legal. Not only can customers cut printing costs and help do their part to save the environment with tools like PaperCut but they can dramatically improve document and printing security. Do you remember the Reality Winners fiasco of 2017 when she sent highly sensitive NSA documents out to the press? She didn’t do it by email. She printed the documents and manually mailed them! Guess how she was caught? Secure release printing capture from software - like what we’re talking about here today!
Ask your peers if they are looking into managed print: Odds are some of the folks in your circle are further down the road than you. Ask them. If they are in different markets where you don’t compete, they could be a great partner to bounce ideas off. I’ve been monitoring LinkedIn for managed services providers offering managed print and they are starting to pop up. Don’t think they are? Check out this blog by DATTO. They showcase only a couple of Managed IT providers doing managed print but both are names you’ll recognize.
Work with partners like Tigerpaw: Do you want to know a not-so-secret secret? Tigerpaw is working hard to build out industry leading modules for managed print. We have been actively involved with the office equipment channel and managed services channel and have witnessed firsthand evidence that both channels are becoming one. We have a network of experts in managed print and can help you make decisions on which pieces you want to offer. Maybe you start with doing secure release printing and look at offering other aspects of managed print further down the road.
The person writing this blog (me) spent years helping dealers break into accounts using secure release printing solutions. I would work with dealer sales reps, get the software in place, and a year later we would grab the printers and toner. I know firsthand that it works. So, if you’re serious about growing your managed services practice, I suggest you have another look at managing how your customers print. Contact Tigerpaw at the link below and book an appointment to talk with one of our managed print experts. It could be the single best call you make to elevate your managed services practice above all your competitors.