As a technology services provider, your customers rely on you to ensure they have the best technology options for their business. But when asked about printers, if your answer is “That’s not what we do”, you could be doing a lot more damage to your tech services practice and reputation than you realize. You could even lose customers, and maybe already have. More on that later.
Why should you start caring about printers as much as your customers do? Here are the top 5 reasons:
#5: Printers are network assets, and you DO network assets: The days of printers being connected directly to computers are in the same camp as phones attached to walls: Only your parents use them. In 2021, printers are sophisticated network assets. They have MAC addresses, IP addresses, MIB (Machine Information Base) tables, hard drives/SSDs, RAM, use SNMP to communicate and many even utilize cloud services. Sound familiar? Sound like a desktop computer, a server, any number of network assets that you manage? If you say you manage 100% of your customers’ network assets and are ignoring printers, well, you’re simply not doing what you say. If you have a customer with 300 employees, that’s 300 desktops/laptops. For every user, the ratio of printers is typically 5:1. That equates to 60 printers (networked assets), or 17% of all their networked computers you could be managing for them right now. ‘Nuff said.
#4: Printers are a GLARING security hole: I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that network security is an important part of your value proposition now. You do your best to ensure your customers have the right active and passive security measures in place to ensure they are less likely to be compromised by bad actors. So how can you ignore helping them with their printers? According to Forbes, “Nearly a million printers are at risk of attack and thousands have already been hacked to prove it.” The article goes on to detail how ethical hackers used Shodan to scan a list of 800,000 printers and over 447,000, or over 56%, could have been easily hijacked. Once hijacked, it’s easy to spread malware and other malicious code throughout the network from the inside. You probably shouldn’t let that happen to your customers, right?
#3: Printers are in 100% of your customer locations: If you call your entire customer base and ask if they have at least 1 printer, the answer is going to be 100% “Of course!” Printing is still an important part of a company’s workflow processes and they literally couldn’t do business without them. Even those working from home offices full-time now (which is pretty normal thanks to the recent pandemic) have printers, and those are often used by the entire family which adds costs and security problems. If you want to shine, surprise them by offering to manage them like you do their other network assets. It is a misconception that you will have to learn how to fix and supply printers to manage them. Even if you just manage the printers from a security perspective, your customers will be impressed and pay you for peace of mind. If you need a little help showing your client base why they should be more concerned about print security, Hollywood actor Christian Slater can help you in a video called “The Wolf”. I don’t know how the heck HP got him to do this vid, but it’s pretty cool as well as highly persuasive!
#2: Printers are MONEY MAKERS: The global Managed Print Services (MPS) market is set to grow to nearly $60 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 10.3%. That’s a whole lot of toner hitting pages, but how could that translate for your growth? On average, you can charge an extra $17 to $25 dollars/month/user for managed print services, and some of the new Flat Rate models allow you to charge for it just like you do for your other managed technology services. If you are making an average of $65/seat today, the managed print revenue could help you grow your existing customer wallet-share by 27% or more. Yeah, you read that right. Typical margins are anywhere from 40% to 60% for those who do MPS right, so that share of wallet is highly profitable too.
#1: Managed print providers are TARGETING your customers: Those who provide MPS are fast adding managed technology offerings to their portfolios and boy do they know how to capture markets. They are coming after your accounts, starting with print, and because they love nothing more than “winning”, they will use those printers as an anchor to take over everything else. You might have lost a customer or two to MPS providers already. Don’t for a second kid yourself by thinking, “They have no idea what they are doing when it comes to managed technology services,” because they have something you may not have: deep pockets. Pockets so deep that they can afford to make mistakes along the way until they get really, really good. The average managed print provider has annual revenues of $10-$45 million, and the really big national ones have revenues of over $250 million. Most of them are looking for more wallet share and many of them are already deeply entrenched with your customers. It’s time to plug the holes that printers provide for them in your base if you are serious about keeping them out.
If you are concerned about growth and protecting your base, adding some form of MPS to your portfolio will go a long way to help you to do both. You can learn more about Managed Print by visiting www.yourMPSA.org which is an industry-neutral peer group that will have everything you need to know to get started and to get good at it. Tigerpaw is a member of the MPSA and wouldn’t you know it, we actually have a few MPS industry leaders. Contact us to organize a call with one of them to learn how you can take advantage of the managed print opportunity for your managed technology practice today.