So you want to start selling or develop existing contractual based print solutions? Many would say a very sensible move, but has what’s traditionally been known as “MPS” had its time?

All of the key OEMs such as Xerox, HP, Ricoh, Konica etc are scrambling for what remains of the shrinking number of pages being printed, while still continuing to manufacture machines. The dealer channel is starting to feel the effects of lower customer demand and increased manufacturer pressure, and customers are finding more and more reasons not to print anything anymore. Throw in a slow economic recovery within Europe and the UK, and the tablet-effect, and you have a potential world of pain!

Put off yet? Well don’t be, it’s not all bad!

As pointed out by many in the industry including some great articles from the likes of Greg Walters in The Imaging Channel, it’s not necessarily dead, just evolving.

It’s fair to say that if you think “shifting tin” and wrapping some services around it, or even a full and complete MPS service going from audit to installation of SF or MF hardware is going to sustain its business model for the foreseeable future, you may be in for a rough ride. That being said, it will continue to exist but will (and needs to) develop in to a more advanced offering, taking into account these changes in behaviour within the office environment and embracing the changing technologies.

The age of the paperless office is still very much a myth, but technology, and more importantly document and workflow solutions are creating a more technology focused environment – there are those that are already aware of this and are working towards the next evolution….Managed Document Services (MDS).

For years now OEM’s have promoted their various solutions portfolios that include Pull Printing, Job Accounting, Rules Based Printing and other solutions, but with their big corporate eyes still fixed on hardware. Now we are seeing a shift in mentality, with major players such as Xerox and HP alone already introducing in 2013, cloud based document management solutions, built in to devices as standard, ready and waiting to pounce on a newly emerging market opportunity (which is in a funny way, a very old market).