Managed Print Vendors – We Finally Have Some Winners!

For several years I have been keeping in touch with managed print solutions with a 1,000 foot pole. I like the idea of increasing your footprint within a client. Deeper sales penetration usually equals “stickier” clients. But the problem I had with managed print providers was that many were acquiring large managed services practices and offering IT support. This is the model of Ricoh, Xerox, HP, Canon, Konica Minolta, and others.

Needless to say this did not give me a warm feeling.  It would be a shame to start a managed print portfolio to then have your vendor come and market to your clients. So I cautiously watched and waited. Recently though the warm feeling is returning and I see lights on the horizon for managed services providers.

Two vendors have caught my eye, yes only two. I am not saying there are not others out there; if there are, then they have not caught my attention. These two winners are & .  Here are the reasons why I think they are the clear winners at this point:

  1. They are Channel Only. I was at an industry event a year ago and a VP at Samsung got on stage and challenged the organizers to kick-out all the vendors that were not channel only. It made a great impression and I think with decreasing market shares all over, it is important to work with a managed print provider that is channel only.
  2. They Understand MSPs. It is a different world and they get it.
  3. They Offer an End-to-End Solution.  Sales, Training, Supplies, Support ….
  4. They Service All Models and Manufacturers: For the most part at least… Kind of a given for this industry but you can’t be a winner if you service only your own models.

Wait… there is one more! Another winner in the managed print category, although in a different kind of way … is . Level Platforms is not a managed print provider, but with their advanced monitoring capabilities in their software, you can ():

  • Discover, monitor, alert and report on network printers and imaging devices automatically
  • Take remote control or push updates to optimize ROI on print assets through increased device availability
  • Respond rapidly to alerts and warning messages, including device status, paper jams, and supply replenishment issues
  • Provide supplies either directly or through integration with third party CPC programs

This is a great solution for those accounts where a full-blown managed print provider is not viable, and/or one in which you want to drive deeper and make sure your clients are not buying their printer supplies from a company that is also a competitor.

If you have not started offering a managed print service, there is not a better time to begin. Please share your experiences with managed print and the vendors you use.