Friday, October 28, 2011

Rethinking MPS- The Independent Approach

The following paper was written by quocirca
Managed Print Services (MPS) have proven their value to businesses that have chosen a trusted partner to manage their print infrastructure. Many organisations have recognised that MPS can help them become more agile, lower costs, support sustainability initiatives and improve the efficiency and productivity of their increasingly diverse and mobile workforce.
Although MPS has been widely adopted by larger enterprises, the emergence of independent MPS providers that offer vendor-agnostic, best-of-breed technology, software and services is promising to expand the penetration of MPS beyond the exclusive domain of large enterprises. This channel provides an important role in delivering impartial assessment services and unbiased MPS recommendations. Services such as multivendor break-fix, support and supplies replenishment enables organisations to protect existing hardware investments rather than moving immediately to a standardised print environment.
This paper outlines the need for MPS and why organisations that are operating a heterogeneous print environment should consider an independent MPS provider to proactively manage and transform their print infrastructure.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Printer Makers Look To Service Model For Growth
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Printing companies, facing stalling growth in traditional hardware and supplies sales, are increasingly competing for contracts to overhaul the way their customers deal with printing.

Competition has intensified among Xerox Inc. (XRX), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and others in providing so-called managed print services, in which they handle all of a customer's printing needs--from the machines and ink to consulting on reducing costs--typically over the course of a three- to five-year contract.

The business is set to grow 11% to $9.4 billion this year, according to market researcher International Data Corp.

But it remains unclear whether making clients more efficient in their printing--such as by reducing the number of printers per employee in an office--will eat into sales of hardware and toner. That concern comes at a time when sales of printers and supplies are expected to remain flat over the medium-to-long term.

"I think there's no question that if you're going to reduce [printing costs by] 30%, there is some cannibalization," said Bruce Dahlgren, head of H-P's printing services unit. "These customers want to print less. We want to provide the right technology to meet the customer's needs."

The cannibalization is eased by the fact that many potential customers exist, as companies look to cut costs and see managing their print operations better as a way to do so.

"Most enterprises and mid-sized companies don't do a good job of managing print," said Ken Weilerstein, an analyst at research firm Gartner Inc. He said managed print projects typically cut printing costs by 10% to 30%.

The business demands continued investment to improve equipment, as well as areas such as software that enables printing from mobile devices, H-P's Dahlgren said.

"We're on the hook every quarter to bring new solutions" to the company's managed print services offering, he said.

Xerox is ramping up hiring to support growth in managed print services. This year, it's tripling the number of staffers devoted to finding new business at the unit that contains its managed print services operation.

The market has become more competitive and "isn't for the faint of heart" as many large companies have already signed up with providers, Xerox Senior VP Jim Joyce said.

Joyce said Xerox has shifted its efforts to focus on selling the service to small and medium sized businesses, fewer of which already buy their printing that way. Deals with those customers tend to be smaller, but the market is "really starting to move," he said.

Xerox and H-P are considered by many to be the leaders in the market, though estimates of companies' market share vary, and Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) and Ricoh Co. Ltd. (RICOY, 7752.TO) are also big players.

Lexmark is focusing more marketing spending on managed print services, said John Crandall, general manager of the company's enterprise unit. The company is also seeking salespeople with international and industry experience to help it expand beyond its strengths in the retail and financial services sectors.

"If I've been pushing boxes before, I can't go in and turn my hat around, and I'm a services person all of a sudden," Crandall said. "You're going into a much more complex sale, it's a higher-level sale, often at the C-level."

Weilerstein said growth in the managed print business appeals to printer makers because it compares with stagnation in traditional sales of printers, ink and supplies. The providers are also drawn to the area because it allows them to gain control of large fleets of printers at once, he said.

Printing companies' motivation to sign managed print services contracts involves more than just revenue growth. "The service provider is in the catbird seat" because it can install its own products across a client's operations, Forrester Research analyst Craig Le Clair said. "They're going to lose revenue over time if they don't win these coveted spots.

Le Clair said that the overall market for managed print services is expanding enough to give all the established providers room to grow in the area.

-By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240;

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Xerox Announces Relationship with ABBYY

ABBYY and Xerox Ink Certified Partner Reseller Agreement

New North American Reseller Agreement Addresses Content Management and Data Capture Needs in the Market

Milpitas, USA (September 22, 2011) ABBYY provider of document recognition, data capture, and linguistic technologies and professional services, today announced that it has entered into a certified partner reseller agreement with Xerox Corporation. Under the new agreement, Xerox will resell ABBYY’s FlexiCapture and Recognition Server solutions to its United States, Canada and Mexico customer base as an offering for Xerox DocuShare, extending ABBYY’s reach in these key regions. With this agreement in place, Xerox will be able to address the needs of DocuShare customers requiring a complete content management solution with high-performance data and image capture technology.

“Enterprise content management solutions need sophisticated capture and recognition tools to understand documents and images quickly, which automates manual tasks and reduces cost at the front end,” said Harvey Spencer, industry analyst and president, Harvey Spencer Associates, Inc. “The relationship between ABBYY and Xerox DocuShare can bring to the market effective automated content acquisition solutions that are critical components in the enterprise. This looks to be a positive business move for both parties.”

Xerox DocuShare is a content management platform with thousands of worldwide customer deployments, ranging from simple document management applications to more robust process automation solutions. ABBYY was selected after an extremely competitive evaluation because of their solutions’ performance, ability to integrate into existing Xerox DocuShare solutions, and outstanding track record.

“Xerox has always been focused on delivering innovative products to market that solve real business problems,” said David Smith, vice president and general manager, DocuShare Business Unit, Xerox Corporation. “As we extend the capabilities of our content management solutions, ABBYY quickly emerged as the data capture provider of choice because of their industry-leading functionality and understanding of customer needs. We are now able to provide even greater efficiencies and business value to our customers by partnering with ABBYY.”

With the agreement, ABBYY’s FlexiCapture and Recognition Server will be sold by the Xerox direct sales organization, DocuShare direct sales, and Reseller Partners. Through the sale of combined content management and data capture solutions, ABBYY and Xerox DocuShare are addressing changing needs for enterprise organizations looking for ways to better manage their critical data and documents. The partnership will allow Xerox to strengthen its offerings by making highly accurate capture available to DocuShare services and solutions.

“ABBYY has a long-standing and successful relationship with Xerox, and we are pleased to expand our partnership,” said Steve Kincade, Vice President, Channels North America, ABBYY USA. “This win is a milestone in the development of our relationship with Xerox. We see the agreement as a key step in increasing ABBYY’s capture and imaging business by providing additional capabilities to sophisticated enterprise content management solutions.”