IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

MSPs Should 'Print' More Money

Managed services should handle everything on the LAN, say channel advisers - and that includes printer equipment. By Geoffrey Oldmixon

Managed print services are a no-brainer, according to Christopher DiReda, national sales director for OKI Data. “The document processing side of the LAN is a piece of revenue that you’re leaving on the table,” he told a room full of VARs at Tigerpaw Conference 2012. 

“Successful MSPs are delivering managed print services each month as a part of their assessment and their value add,” DiReda told VARs. “They are finding the deficiencies in inefficient in existing print processes for the SMB clients.”

Elsewhere at the conference, in a different session altogether, TAG CEO Dale Johnson was saying much the same thing. He advised would-be managed services providers to “include everything surrounding the LAN.”

Managed Print Basics

OKI Data’s DiReda boils managed print services down into three general capabilities:

  • Fleet Takeover - An MSP must have the ability to manage machines of various vendors. “A single program will enable you to manage the existing print fleet,” he says.
  • Fleet Optimization - MSPs should be able to tell clients which printers to associate with which users. They should be able to provide use data and recommendations for reducing costs. Moreover, the MSP should be able to see maintenance and repair needs in real time and deliver as-needed product or service.
  • Total Fleet Replacement - Product refresh should be done in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible for the client. DiReda says the best-managed print programs are those that will monitor age and performance of a product, but also price and suggest replacement models.

These services, he points out, enable SMB clients to save in three key ways:

  • Printing Analysis - “SMBs can learn who is printing,” DiReda says. Knowing the file types and quantities being printed will lead to equipment and usage efficiencies.
  • Printer Maintenance - With real-time monitoring of printers, employee hours troubleshooting equipment failures will be saved, as will routines for measuring and replacing toner. “Proactive maintenance will reduce repair costs,” DiReda says simply.
  • Scan-Routing - Additional savings can be enjoyed through scan-routing, which directs files to specific fax machines, printers, e-mail, etc.

For TAG’s Johnson, managed print is a must-include for MSPs. “Proactive IT support, remote device monitoring, 7/24 critical device support, and managed print services,” Johnson advised, “is what we’re talking about when we say it’s time to become a true managed service provider.”

About the Author

Geoffrey Oldmixon is a freelance writer based in Western Massachusetts.

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