Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Tips for Implementing Managed Print Services

By Craig Le Clair
1. Know That Implementing Managed Print Services (MPS) Is a Work in Progress: Managed print services are not something you buy and install, but rather a life cycle that you engage in to gradually optimize a diverse and fragmented environment.
2. Assemble the Right Team: Focus on change management and governance by engaging IT, facilities and line-of-business owners early.
3. Balance RFP Criteria Among Device, Process and Management Criteria: Vendor selection should highlight key business drivers beyond cost and standard service-level agreement (SLA) goals.
4. Emphasize Print Policy Software: While policies for color printing get all the attention, the most dramatic savings can occur with global settings for duplex printing.
5. Avoid Billing Surprises: It's bad enough getting the bill, but it's even worse if you can't understand it. Firms should question providers about how billing works รข€" particularly for global initiatives.
6. Don't Fall for Fluffy Treatment of Environmental Requirements: Make suppliers provide specific data on their environmental approach and focus on reducing pages printed, as this has by far the highest environmental impact.
7. Carefully Weigh Your Pricing Options: While all managed print services have some price per image (PPI) component, there's no "one size fits all."
8. Beware of Color: Users can get hooked on color printing, which will have higher PPI rates and can erode projected savings.
9. Resist the Tendency to Rush the Assessment Phase: Assessment sets critical goals such as realistic user-to-device ratios, as well as key metrics to monitor and improve service.
10. Get Ahead of Compliance and Security: It's only a matter of time before auditors focus on security and compliance holes in the office environment.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Printer Reliability and Satisfaction: Brother, Canon, and Epson Lead the Field

Printer Reliability and Satisfaction: Brother, Canon, and Epson Lead the Field

No one printer maker stood out in our survey of readers about their experiences with printer reliability and their satisfaction with features.

Our survey results show up-and-down results for many printer makers. Samsung received high marks for its printers’ reliability and copy speed, but poor ones for photo and graphics printing quality. Participating readers esteemed Xerox for its machines’ printing speed and network connectivity, but bashed it for their poor reliability. Only Canon, Brother, and Epson had especially strong showings in both reliability and feature satisfaction; and of those three, only Canon also graded high in service and support.
Highlighted in the three charts below are our survey participants' ratings of desktop PC manufacturers in three general areas: reliability, features, and service/support. These results are drawn from our 2011 Reliability and Service survey of some 63,000 PCWorld readers. The other product categories covered in this survey were desktop PCs, laptop PCs, tablets, digital cameras, HDTVs, and smartphones. For a closer look at the methodology we used in our survey to gauge manufacturer reliability and customer satisfaction, see "Reliability and Satisfaction: What the Measures Mean."

Notes and Quotes

The printers section of our Reliability and Service survey prompted some vivid comments from participants, and we spotted a couple of significant details in the data, too:
• In the category as a whole, 14.2 percent of printer owner said that they had run into a significant problem with their machine in the past year. That percentage jumped to 27.6 percent when we counted only Lexmark printer owners.
• Overall, 6.3 percent of printer owners said that that their printer had developed a problem in the past year that was serious enough top prevent it from working.
• "I've used Brother printers for over 15 years at my office. They are workhorses and last a long time. I very rarely have any problems with them." --Brother printer owner
• "Reduce the noise. When it prints, it sounds like a dinosaur eating a helicopter in my room." --HP printer owner