What is managed print services (MPS)?
James Joyce. Xerox spent decades defining what most businesses consider MPS today – we introduced the concept of managed output services, and as the program matured and gained greater acceptance it was re-named MPS.
I prefer to refrain from an actual definition because a well-executed MPS strategy is in the mind of the customer – it’s one that drives value in several clearly defined and measurable areas based on the client’s key business objectives. For some, the main goal is cost savings. For others, it’s to secure paper and electronic documents, or move them more efficiently throughout the organization. And increasingly, there’s tremendous emphasis on using MPS to achieve environmental sustainability goals. It’s really all about creating a more effective and efficient printing environment via better document management.
Recognizing the need for clients to redefine and expand MPS to include all elements of an organization’s print infrastructure, last year Xerox launched Enterprise Print Services, the first MPS offering to extend from the networked office to the in-house print center to the virtual worker. When defining MPS, customers should consider whether they are buying MPS or a business strategy for the corporation?
How do end-users benefit from implementing an MPS strategy?
JJ. Ultimately end-users enjoy the time they get back in their day thanks to the improved print infrastructure – availability of devices, improved work process and increased productivity. In fact, Xerox recently completed two Lean Six Sigma studies with Fortune 100 companies, measuring productivity pre- and post-MPS implementation, and found the average user is picking up 250 minutes per year from MPS alone.
But change of any kind is hard to swallow in an organization, and end-user acceptance of an MPS strategy is critical to the success of the project. End-users need to understand and feel good about best practices. Xerox works with clients to take a strategic approach toward change management, focusing on how best to support the staff during the transition and moving forward in order to minimize disruptions.
What should companies look for in an MPS provider?
JJ. A well-executed MPS program can slash costs by up to 30 percent, increase productivity and improve environmental sustainability – but not all vendors have the ability to deliver on all three. Decision-makers should evaluate the following when selecting a supplier. Does the supplier monitor all devices, and proactively solve problems to avoid unnecessary downtime and keep employees productive? Will they help employees adapt to the new technology and work processes with change management programs? Is there a formal reporting process to show business objectives (cost, environmental sustainability, security, and risk compliance) are being met? Do they support equipment from other vendors so clients don’t have to replace existing devices with the supplier’s brand? Is the offering limited to printers within corporate offices, or can it be extended to include in-house print center and virtual/home worker requirements? Is there a single point of contact and a consistent approach to MPS for businesses that span different geographies? Will they collaborate to understand the business and provide innovative ways for employees to work more effectively – beyond simply managing print? And can the MPS supplier provide quality references that demonstrate measurable and sustainable results?
How is MPS gaining momentum?
JJ. The economic climate raised the profile for print/document output as the last unmanaged frontier when it comes to optimizing IT infrastructure. It’s creating a tremendous market opportunity for vendors but it’s important for clients to understand that success in MPS comes from effective execution, not upfront promises. Companies with future plans for MPS should check references and portfolios carefully, and look for guaranteed, validated and clearly measured results.
Xerox seems to be participating in the MPS space through a variety of strategies, from managing office printer and copier fleets to running centralized print rooms and from serving customers directly to serving them through reseller partners. Can you explain this strategy?
JJ. These and other MPS activities are part of Xerox’s overarching strategy to provide a holistic MPS continuum covering a customer’s entire print environment while matching the appropriate sales and delivery infrastructure with customer/deal economics in each market segment. To us, office print and centralized print are not different markets or strategies but rather different print environments to be managed. The core concept behind our Enterprise Print Services offer is to help our customers get more out of their entire print infrastructure, not just print in the office.
In order to capitalize on the full MPS opportunity, Xerox’s strategy is to participate in all market segments from large global enterprises to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). Based on the different needs of these customers, we engage them with two different approaches. The size of the customers/deal in the enterprise segment justify a direct sales and delivery model, while the SMB markets benefit from indirect delivery of MPS from our global network of channel partners. This is consistent with our direct versus channel model on the equipment side of the Xerox business. That said, we do leverage common core capabilities and strategy elements across the Xerox MPS continuum.
What are the challenges around an MPS implementation and how does Xerox help clients overcome these problems?
JJ. By adding Enterprise Print Services to our market-leading portfolio, Xerox continues to address two of the traditional barriers to more advanced deployment of MPS (business process optimization and enhancement). The first is the fragmented manner in which most large corporations purchase. For example, office print services are typically managed by real estate or procurement, while the IT organization often owns production print. Therefore, selling a comprehensive MPS offering requires close relationships with a corporation’s senior management to build the required coalition to close a deal and implement it. Few vendors possess such relationships.
The second barrier to adoption is the customer’s willingness/ability to change business processes to take full advantage of optimization. Xerox has invested heavily in change management, delivering programs with the right formula for existing employee work habits, daily volume and organizational readiness, to help customers empower their workforce to embrace productivity and operational changes.
And generally speaking, while MPS continues to be part of a client’s strategy to save money, companies want more. Our clients are eager to innovate and give their employees new ways to work efficiently – to win new business, to get products to market, to get invoices processed, and to communicate more effectively with customers. A properly implemented MPS strategy does that and more by creating a digital platform that integrates with their overall IT strategy.
Now that you have announced Enterprise Print Services, which incorporates mobile workers and centralized print environments, can you tell us what’s next for Xerox’s MPS offerings?
JJ. EPS promises to take MPS to the next level as a great match for companies who are looking ahead, focused on driving revenue now, and when the economy brightens. However, we’re not stopping at EPS. The next frontier for Xerox is to leverage our technology base to drive broader business process improvements for our customers.
Xerox recently acquired Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). How has this changed Xerox’s services business?
JJ. As a result of the ACS acquisition, Xerox’s services business has nearly tripled to $10 billion and clients now experience the benefits of document, business process and information technology outsourcing services all under one roof. Xerox is now a single provider for enterprises and governments to do the three things that matter most: reduce costs, improve processes and manage information more efficiently – on a global scale. Our combined companies focus on the information needs of the business process – the data, documents and transactional touch points, not solely the software applications or IT infrastructures that other companies address.
As Xerox Senior Vice President, Jim Joyce is responsible for the global strategy, offering development, and operational execution for Xerox Enterprise Print Services. Joyce has over 28 years experience in information technology, serving in national and international roles. He joined Xerox in the late 1990s.