An MSP’s Guide to MPS: How to Make the Business Case

How does a managed service provider know if it makes good business sense to launch print services? As with any business endeavor, an MSP will need to thoroughly research the market and examine its own resources to see if there’s a business case to be made. But, in general, the managed-print market is strong and growing stronger.

Industry research shows the sector is on the rise worldwide. For example, a 2011 report by InfoTrends, a market research and consulting firm, says the revenue opportunity for managed print services globally could grow from $12.3 billion in 2009 to $25.5 billion in 2014. All regions of the world will experience double-digit increases, the firm predicted, with the North American MPS revenue opportunity expected to increase from $5.9 billion in 2009 to just over $12 billion in 2014, a 15 percent compound annual growth rate.

“Over the past five years, MPS has been the biggest phenomenon in the office equipment industries of the United States and Western Europe,” Randy Dazo, director of InfoTrend’s Managed Print Services consulting group, said at the time the firm released its report. “Almost every equipment manufacturer has banked on a MPS strategy to drive new business, and for the foreseeable future, this will be a lucrative investment.”

Start with Service

MSPs like CTS Services Inc. are taking predictions like these and turning them into lucrative revenue streams. The Bellingham, Mass., professional services company entered the managed print business in November 2010 and became a Xerox PagePack® partner soon after.

“The business case [for managed print], from the start, has been about serving our best clients in new ways, and helping them to contain and actively manage the costs associated with printing across their entire enterprise,” says Michelle Carlow, president of CTS Services.

The company, founded in 1983, provides expert computer and network services to clients in many industries in the northeastern United States. In addition to print, CTS offers IT management services, a repair depot, on-site computer and network support, and remote support to customers.

“We assessed our profit opportunity based on two primary factors: the analysis of their printing environment and the numbers, and the increased depth of the relationship with the client and the opportunity to expand our portfolio of services,” Carlow says.

The company now has a team of three people, including Carlow and representatives from sales and marketing, who concentrate on managed print opportunities. “And our printer maintenance staff are our eyes and ears in the field,” she says.

CTS Services offers a variety of managed service plans, and customizes them to the client based on its needs assessment.

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