Cloud Print Management - the best for your customers

Tuesday, 20th February, 2018

Should you really offer your customers a cloud-hosted print management solution?

Read AIT's Business Development Director, Alan Christie's take on this.

Over the last few months I’ve been having many conversations with our MFD partners about the various benefits of offering a cloud-based print management solution.

The key benefits of this type of solution for the end user are very clear and well documented - from the reduction of print waste that any print management solution provides when used correctly through to the significant savings obtained through moving your print infrastructure to the cloud. No more server hardware (or virtual space) to purchase, software licenses greatly reduced, IT support resources to update and run patches to servers greatly reduced and I could go on.  Gartner Group published an article several years ago stating that 30% of calls to IT help desks are print related.

Cloud Print Management

However, what I was surprised to understand was the benefits to the partner in being able to offer this type of solution over a traditional server based package. I’ve noted a few of these down, although they appear obvious I hadn’t considered some of these before these discussions.

 

 

  1. When you offer your customers a MPS you are not offering a true MPS unless you also supply your customer with servers, software and resources to support that solution. The up-time of your offering can be subject to the responsiveness and skill level of the local support team rather than your own. If you provided the hosted solution you would be the monitor of the system and know instantly if something is wrong and able to intervene in a timely manner.
  2. Every supplier knows that being able to offer that little extra service for your customers is what separates us from our competitors. With both cloud-based and server based solutions you can confidently discuss your entire customers requirement and be able to offer the solution that best meets their needs. I’ve found a lot of customers that have managed print solutions installed but don’t use their functionality to their full potential because “its another enterprise system to manage” Partners can now offer to manage this aspect for their customers, should they want to get the best out of the system but not have the resources to do so properly.
  3. Every organisation is now rushing to ensure they do not fall foul of the new GDPR legislation due to come into force in May this year. Unfortunately, this also applies to printed data as well as data stored on laptops and servers. For thousands of organisation who do not monitor their staff printing this is a major headache, particular if their current infrastructure does not support the easy installation of such systems like those that use IBM mainframes or smaller SME’s may lack IT skills and infrastructure for example. With a hosted solution you can solve a major issue for your customer and as we know, solving our customer’s problems is a big way to provide that extra service I mentioned earlier.
  4.  As a partner, if you do choose to host a solution and provide the service to a number of your customers you can now manage this much more effectively. With the improved visibility available through the hosted solution you can monitor your fleets performance and make changes where and when you feel would offer an improved experience for your end users.
  5. The SaaS (Software as a Service) model also provides greater flexibility for your customers in being totally scalable. When your customers wish to make changes to their printing infrastructure there are no questions around have many users will that add to the system, will I need another print server? and what about an additional embedded license?, you just need to add the device and the SaaS pricing model takes care of the rest – cost per device, per month. It’s so simple.
  6. The SaaS model is also a win-win for both you and your customers when it comes to revenue. Most managed print solutions required an initial up-front cost to purchase licenses and hardware followed by a lower, on-going support cost. You may choose to bundle this into a lease agreement but you still need to procure the various components of your managed print solution. The SaaS model greatly helps with smoothing the peak with cash-flow to provide your business with an on-going monthly (quarterly) revenue stream. It also helps your customer finance this addition to your proposal by moving the purchase from capital expenditure through to on-going service costs and without the interest incurred under the lease agreement.

The more discussions I had with partners the more I realised that both partners and end users can greatly benefit from moving their current print management solution from a server based infrastructure onto a true cloud hosted service.

If you'd like more information about OneQ cloud print management please click here. If you would like to arrange a demo of the solution please click here. Alternatively feel free to call us on 0113 273 0300 to have an informal chat about the solution.