The imaging industry, like so much of the IT services industry, is poised for big change. That was the message last month, as imaging industry consultancy Photizo Group played host to a full house of high-revenue-earning VARs and MSPs. At its May MPS conference Transform Global 2013 in Scottsdale, Ariz., Photizo offered channel pros the low-down about managed print services and the future of imaging for VARs in the SMB space. SERIOUS IN SCOTTSDALE
In an interview with Channelpro-SMB, Photizo founder and CEO Ed Crowley called Photizo's tradeshow “the event where it's the C-level guys, the heavy hitters, the guys who are very committed to and very serious about their businesses.” According to Crowley, the majority of the Transform 2013 event attendees were dealers earning revenues upwards of $10 million. “These guys are looking at how they can move to the next level,” Crowley says. “They have been investing, moving their businesses forward. They're adding new services. They're probably already into managed services and are probably moving up into more professional services.” BEYOND MANAGED PRINT SERVICES
To help attendees address their business concerns, Photizo offered a full line of managed print-related sessions, addresses, and vendors. Throughout the sessions, discussions brewed about the channel's inevitable and widening shifts from traditional models to managed services models. “I think the industry is at a crucial point,” Crowley says. “We're going to see a continued evolution of what VARs offer.” But Crowley doesn't see VARs shifting to managing services either. He sees them reaching for something beyond managed services. He says the real entrepreneurs will be asking questions like, “How do I outsource for my clients? How do I go in and actually do business process optimization? How can I offer business process assessment with a specific workflow that's finely tuned?” Crowley speculates that MSPs are going to get a lot more competition from the regional and even national service providers. “There's a void on the national scene right now,” he says. “That doesn't mean there's not a lot of opportunity at the local level, but I do think what we may see are some large regionals that really drive growth and push for a magic formula [of service offerings]. We're going to see more of these guys, either through mergers, acquisitions, or outside capital.” That competition, in turn, should be prompting traditional VARs to change their perspective of what it means to service the SMB space. “I have huge admiration for the reseller community,” Crowley says, “but we may lose half of them because they don't want to change. They think they've got more time than they've got.” So how much time do traditional dealers have before broader managed services competitors usurp their traditional models? “The reality is your value as a traditional dealer is dropping every single day,” Crowley says. “The SMBs that are buying are looking for service providers. They want the new model, not the old one.” Channelpro-SMB writer Geoffrey Oldmixon contributed to this report.