What to expect from a Managed Print Services provider
Your printers have an important role to play in your organisation’s digital transformation. So it’s time to rethink the way your print environment is managed. Here are five things to consider.
Today’s intelligent multifunction printers have a huge role to play in digital transformation. They make your people more productive, your processes more efficient and your data more secure.
It’s why businesses need more from their Managed Print Services (MPS) providers — to deliver the level of support their new, digital workplace assistants require. To make sure you’re getting the right support from your provider, it’s vital to understand what they can offer and how it will be delivered.
So what does a Managed Print Services provider need to deliver? It boils down to these five things.
1. The Right Tools for the Job
Your MPS provider needs to offer a comprehensive suite of tools that covers printers, supplies, and service management. As a basic starting point, your potential MPS provider should offer:
- Third-party service management and integration
- Help desk management
- Options to integrate with client-based ticketing systems
- Monitoring and management of supplies
- Transaction logging and auditing
- Escalation logging and resolution
But that’s not all. The right provider will also offer value-added services that amplify the capabilities of your multifunction printers, with support for process automation, content management, mobile and cloud connectivity, and more.
2. High Standards, High Security
Hacks and breaches aren’t always because of hackers or cyberattacks; it can be something as simple as leaving a sheet in a printer tray. As multifunction printers become more intelligent and complex, they’re increasingly at risk of security breaches – both from outside and inside sources.
These new threats make it all the more important to look for an MPS provider that can deliver high standards of security.
The basics for a secure MPS infrastructure include intrusion prevention, device detection, and document and data protection. But the best providers also offer additional layers of protection through user analytics and fraud deterrent technology.
3. Visibility When You Need It
Though your MPS provider handles the bulk of your print infrastructure management, from time to time your team will need to get more hands-on. That requires an MPS solution that gives you an operational view of how your print environment is performing — and where it could improve.
Some MPS providers offer a portal where information from your environment is consolidated into an easy-to-navigate dashboard, giving you full visibility of all your connected printers.
- Visuals to show printer locations and status at a glance
- Links to reporting systems
- Access to incident reports, supplies orders, driver installation and other services
- Easy access to manuals and other information for your printers. Remember, an MPS portal should make it easier to monitor supplies, incident management, and usage data – all of which can help you optimise your print environment.
4. Insights That Drive Continuous Optimisation
A Managed Print Services solution is all about extracting the maximum value from your print environment. Your MPS provider will be generating and collecting huge amounts of operational data from your networked printers — and the insights from that data provide a unique opportunity to streamline your infrastructure and workflows.
Your MPS provider can generate reports on metrics like:
- Which printers are used the most, and when
- How quickly paper, ink and toner are being used
- Which processes are the most paper-intensive
- How effective the supply chain for paper, ink and toner is
The more you know about your printers and how they’re used, the bigger the opportunity for optimisation. For example, if you know which print processes use the most paper, you can look at digitising them for better efficiency — and lower costs.
Look for an MPS provider that offers standardised and customisable reports (so your team can focus on the metrics that matter to them) and the ability to export in a variety of formats, so they can be shared with the right stakeholders.
5. Service on a Global Scale
For many businesses, the print environment can span cities, states, and even countries. That means a MPS provider needs to be able to deliver a consistent service on a regional, national, and even global scale.
Most times, an out-of-the-box solution won’t suit a global rollout — your MPS provider should be able to contextualise the offering to your different locations, giving you the same high level of service, wherever your offices are.
Your Next Steps
Use these five criteria to evaluate potential Managed Print Services partners. This choice matters, so you want to make sure you’re covering the right bases.
With the right MPS partner, you’ll be able to trust you’re getting the most from your print infrastructure, and focus on the things that matter most to your business.
If you want more tips on how to find the right MPS partner, take a look at 16 Questions to Consider to help you evaluate which provider is best for you.