MPSA Commentary

MPSA Member & MPS Industry Commentary
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  • 24-Aug-2019 4:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by West McDonald, Tigerpaw

    I’ve been involved in the Managed Print Services (MPS) space, in one form or another, for more years than I’d care to count now. I’ve worked with a ton of office equipment dealers and office print providers that provide incredible managed print for their end-user customers. I’ve also had the experience of working with others that say they offer managed print, but really, well, ummmm, yeah. Unfortunately, the term MPS is thrown around rather loosely, often to the consternation of customers who expect more of the “managed” piece.

    I also have the good fortune of having done a ton of assessments for end users looking to acquire MPS. Whenever I’ve worked with them doing an assessment, I make sure they ask the following 5 questions when deciding on a provider:

    Question 1: “Are you an MPSA member?”

    Anybody can put MPS on their website, but the providers who really offer it are members of the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA). This organization has done more, and continues to do more, than any other industry association when it comes to refining and improving how MPS is delivered. It is comprised of volunteer members who care about improving the delivery of MPS and helping the entire industry to do a better job.

    Question 2: “How do you approach auto-toner fulfillment?”

    This one is a base-level MPS requirement. If a provider only supplies toner when a customer asks for it, well, move on and talk to somebody else.

    Question 3: “Other than for billing, what do you do with meter information that you collect?”

    Billing by page is NOT managed print: It’s billing by page. The information available from meter collection is much more powerful than that. A few examples of how true MPS providers will use this meter information in their quarterly business reviews to uncover:

    • Devices being over or underutilized: A true managed print provider helps customers to understand how effectively they are using their fleet of devices and can make recommendations on improving this.
    • Color reduction strategies: Considering color is 6 to 10 times more expensive per page than monochrome, volumetric analyses can help customers to uncover areas for reduction. The good providers use user-based software tools to dig as deep as which applications and users could use help.
    • Workflow improvements: Many things are being printed in workflows that could benefit from printing alternatives like document management and process automation. Is the same PDF document being printed and signed 500 times a day? A good MPS provider will provide more cost-effective and time-saving workflow options to replace those pages. Helping customers improve workflows, save time and reduce cost: That is management.

    Question 4: “Who are your MPS ecosystem partners?”

    What on earth is an ecosystem? No, I’m not talking about an interaction of plants and animals. In the MPS world, an ecosystem is a defined group of partners that make the benefits of an offering stronger. These ecosystem partners aren’t just providing software or hardware, they meet as a group on a regular basis to tighten up overall interaction of MPS components specific to their ecosystem, entirely for improved experience by end-user customers.

    Question 5: “What key things will you do to help me reduce our print spend?”

    If the answer is “We’ll provide more cost-effective equipment and less expensive toner” RUN AS FAR AWAY AS YOU CAN! This is not MPS, it’s a dangerous race to the bottom. True MPS providers can save a customer money while maintaining healthy profit levels on the things they sell. True MPS providers understand that workflow improvements have a far deeper impact on costs than the cost of the box and the cartridge. True MPS providers will have managed IT services offerings and be able to bill in different ways like device-based or seat-based. If all a provider offers is CPP, they are a print provider, NOT a Managed Print provider. Period.

  • 29-Jul-2019 6:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by David Brown, ECI Solutions

    Here’s a shocking fact: Over the last 10 years, our society has become increasingly driven by data. OK, maybe that’s not so shocking. We all know data utilization is pervasive in both consumer and business-to-business technology.  Decisions, processes and actions are all propelled by data analytics. This is no longer an opinion, but an undeniable fact. It’s the world we live in.

    In those same 10 years, office print management has also become a data-driven industry. Some businesses have evolved better and faster than others. The point of this humble blog is not to rehash the early vs. late technology adoption argument or provide some pithy cliché about status quo. That’s what LinkedIn is for. The point is, if data is so crucial, how good is your data?

    I’ll admit that good is a somewhat subjective term. We tend to look at data in terms of accuracy, reliability and actionability. In the early days of GPS, the highway data wasn’t as accurate as it is today, and it wouldn’t be uncommon to look at your GPS screen and see your car icon driving parallel to the road instead of on it. You would immediately look back at the road to make sure it was still in front of you and that you weren’t driving through a cornfield.  Accurate? Somewhat. Actionable? Sure. If my car icon is parallel to 75 northbound on my screen and my actual car is on 75 northbound at the same time, I can make decisions on where to navigate based on that data even though it isn’t 100% accurate.

    But what if we expand our current thinking around good data to include the concept of accessibility? How immediately accessible is the mission-critical data in your infrastructure? For example, one of the early instances of data accessibility was flowing meter data from device management platforms like FMAudit and PrintFleet into ERP systems to help automate billing processes. This created a tremendous amount of process efficiency. 

    How has data-driven managed print evolved from this? 

    Supply and part vendors can now access device supply data from disparate systems to provide supply fulfillment programs. They can then associate that with a reseller partner to produce customized shipping labels and return ship status to the reseller and customer. 

    Leasing companies provide solutions that can automate credit checks and lease documents by reconciling customer data with creditworthiness databases. 

    Service departments have remote access to device status and critical errors as well as online libraries of parts and remediation techniques. 

    If you’re a managed print reseller, you’ve invested heavily in building the infrastructure to provide a competitive program or you’ve partnered with a vendor or OEM partner to do so.  Either way, you need reliable data to efficiently automate billing, place supply orders and provide service. You have good data – is it as accessible as it needs to be? If the answer is no, ask yourself these questions:

    1.   What processes do we currently have that, if automated, would help drive growth without additional personnel?

    2.   What processes do my team spend the most time with each month?

    3.   Are their parts of our customer’s experience that could be improved through automation?

    In today’s competitive market, you can’t afford to be running an expensive, inefficient operation. Taking an honest look at the accessibility of your information and the efficiency of your day-to-day business processes might just uncover new opportunities to increase your bottom line and improve customer satisfaction.

    Thank you MPSA for allowing me to contribute! I’m very interested to hear your comments around data automation and the next evolution of data accessibility in the managed print space. 

  • 24-May-2019 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Ann Priede, Canon Solutions America

    I have been hearing a lot about Spirit Animals lately and wondered just what a Spirit Animal could bring to the business arena. For those of you new to the Spirit Animal world, a Spirit Animal represents your inner personality with respect to your personality traits and skills.

    According to spiritanimal.info, the top five Spirit Animals are the wolf, owl, bear, hawk, and fox. Each one of those animal totems has characteristics that can be applied to the work environment. The Wolf represents intelligence, instincts, and social awareness, while the Owl offers access to intuition and wisdom. The Bear signifies strength, confidence, healing, and grounding, and the Hawk provides focus, clear vision, and perspective. Finally, the Fox is discerning, responsive, agile, and smart.

    While any one of these animal spirits is a strong candidate for a successful work style, the true strength lies in building a team that can blend these traits in a spirit of collaboration and cohesiveness. Then you can harness the power of this team to tackle any manner of projects and challenges, with each team member leveraging his or her strengths.

    Spirit Animals may just be the latest New Age distraction, but I will say that after taking the Spirit Animal Quiz, my Spirit Animal is pretty spot on – the Deer: highly sensitive, strong intuition, power to deal with challenges with grace, can be determined and gentle.

    Regardless of whether you believe in Spirit Animals – and I’m not convinced myself — the self-reflection needed to take this type of quiz is helpful to think about how you best interact with others and identifying your traits enables you to  put your strengths to work in your personal and professional lives.


  • 11-May-2019 3:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


  • 06-May-2019 1:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Mark Schneider, National Sales Manager, Y Soft

    In February 2019, Quocirca published their 2019 Print Security Research revealing that 59% of businesses have experienced a print-related data loss in the past year. Quocirca also reported that it could cost, on average $413,000 per annum to deal with such a loss. So, it is unsurprising that 66% of respondents ranked print services as their top security risk, second only to cloud-based services.

    Print security can be challenging. Think of it as the attacking zone on an ice hockey rink. The goalie and defensemen are all working together to defend against the opposing team scoring a goal. It requires teamwork between the defensemen (you, the device provider, and the print management provider) and the goalie (your customer).

    Print Environment - Potential threats & prevention

    When looking at the role each of the team members play, we need to first consider what they are defending against. Here are four key areas of an organization’s print environment that pose a security risk and how “the team” can defend against them:

    1. MFD Hard Drive

    Device provider - The MFD service provider should have processes in place for securing the MFD hard drive during use, during servicing and in the event of decommissioning which includes destroying any data on the hard drive.

    Print management provider - Should not permanently store print, scan, fax or copy data on the MFD’s hard drive.

    Customer - Agree on policies with the device provider for the protection of any MFD hard drive and the associated data during use, servicing and when decommissioning the device.

    2. Device Access

    Device provider - As well as securing physical access to the MFD and its working parts, you should advise your customer on compatible print management providers that support authentication and control the release of jobs from the MFD.

    Print management provider - The print management provider should offer a variety of authentication methods including employees using their ID cards, PIN codes, login passwords or a combination of methods. For some customers fingerprint authentication may offer an additional level of security.

    Customer – Through their print management software, your customer’s IT administrator may set up rules and policies to further control over who, when and which devices can be accessed. The customer may also have policies about sharing digital documents.

    3. Network Access

    Device provider - Ensure you adhere to the strictest security standards for all system components and points of vulnerability by continually testing and applying the required software patches to ensure the MFD and the associated data is protected. You should also be benchmarking yourselves against industry leaders in printer security protection.

    Print management provider - With data passing between devices, servers, systems, and the MFD, multiple data transfers are taking place over multiple communications pathways, and the preferred print management provider should be securing data in all states (in use, at rest and in transit). They should also be ensuring that up-to-date cryptographic protocols are correctly deployed.

    Customer - Providing a firewall and encryption are table stakes.  Working with the device provider and print management provider is key to ensure that security is an ongoing conversation that should happen regularly to ensure that new protocols are discussed and implemented.

    4. Secure Printing

    Device provider - Enabling users to securely print from any convenient MFD or networked printer within the print infrastructure is made possible with pull-printing. It is essential that the device is compatible with a print management solution that enables pull-printing.

    Print management provider – The pull-printing solution should be intuitive to users and provide the customer with options: card reader, username/password, PIN or any combination. And for IT ease, it should work with the corporate director and be easy to administrate.

    Customer – Because most internal data leaks are accidental, educating employees on the importance of secure printing and data privacy is important.

    The importance of reporting and tracking

    On-ice data analytics is playing an increasingly important role in the performance of an ice hockey team. This is also true for an organization’s print environment. Tracking and regular reporting enable your customers to identify new policies to govern and secure their print environment. To ensure security is maintained, it is important that your customer has visibility of usage data. This means ensuring the device is compatible with leading print management solutions that provide valuable, fact-based reporting.

    Print Security – a team sport with a year-round season

    The changing technical landscape means that protecting data and preventing security breaches is a necessity. It is not a box ticking exercise, simply by taking your position on the rink and covering the ice. It is about working together as a team to predict attacks and defend your goal. It is an ongoing process and only by working as a team can you ensure your print environment remains secure.

  • 21-Apr-2019 4:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Mitchell Filby, First Rock Consulting

    Today, many businesses across many industries are in an accelerated state of change. This appetite for change is driven by their need to survive and prosper in a rapidly changing marketplace. This is no more evident than what is occurring across the office printing industry globally.

    One of the many challenges (or some would say legacies) that this industry has faced and continues to face is that of its wonderful success globally over the past 30-odd years. From the office equipment manufacturers (OEMs) through to every player and provider that operates as part of the channels to market, it has been a wonderfully successful sales and marketing driven business. 

    The business model that was driven via the OEM brands and many of the resellers and dealers provided the impetus to virtually saturate an ever-growing market. Therein lies the challenge.

    A manufacturing-based business must be fed. When products are in demand and markets are growing, manufacturing is built to support output levels including peaks. The same strategy doesn’t usually apply when the direction of growth is going in the opposite direction. Typically, when manufacturing volumes decline, you either invest in better automation to bring down costs, pressure partners for lower input materials, cut back on costs through labor reduction (staff cutbacks, redundancies, etc.), reduce or lean out the supply chain that reduces inventory levels, or you reduce overall manufacturing volumes. Alternately, a combination of some or all the above may apply.

    However, the impact of such changes, more so related to reducing manufacturing volumes, is that the unit costs of manufacturing go up.  At some stage, there is a tipping point. If the tipping point occurs, this will increase unit price and will be most likely shared across regions and the globe.

    Although in the past it was possible, when one region was in either a flat or declining market, other regions could or would support the total manufacturing unit number, providing a level of support to protect the global unit manufacturing costs. This is less likely to occur in the future with falling unit and print volumes from most major markets occurring in the last two to three years. Even with growth coming out of new geographical regions it will still not be able to underpin the impending impacts of the forthcoming decline.

    The Butterfly Effect

    When manufacturing costs increase, they are often passed on through the channel and ultimately to the end customer. When this occurs, market demand can further decline as pricing is not as favorable in comparison to other brands. Providers (direct sales teams, dealers and resellers) that distribute, market and sell the higher cost product feel the effect as well. 

    Customers ultimately have a choice. When customers struggle to see the value or difference between one brand or the other, they will usually fall back to price.

    Ultimately what occurs is the ripple effect (butterfly effect). We have had these effects in the office printing industry in the past, but the ripple has always been so lightly felt. However, this is changing in a very dramatic way. 

    As print volumes continue to decline globally due to increasing digitization and coupled with increasing device consolidation, the office print industry globally is on the tail end of market maturity. 

    The impact will be that brands (OEMs), print providers, dealers and resellers will be squeezed through tighter margins. Resellers and dealers may be the first to change or be impacted as many are on the front line and feel the effects first. 

    Some of the smarter businesses are doing just that – they are changing and they are being assisted by able business partners. However, the majority are still holding out and believing the bathwater is still warm. By the time these organizations recognize the temperature has gone cold, it will be all too late. 

    So, we now know why this is happening, but what is the larger impact on the industry? 

    The industry is currently feeling the effects of a shortening business model or manufacturing-based lifecycle. Instead of a product (or product set) having a manufacturing life span of 20, 30 or 40 years, the office printing industry is now on the verge of a sharp fall. The product set is running out of runway, and I’m not referring to a new piece of hardware (kit) released every five years or a retooling the plant. 

    Obviously, redesigning manufacturing plants to manage lower production cycles is an option, but it’s not going to be the strategy of all the remaining players. Maybe the last one or two within the industry sector can play this game. The others must take a different path, deploy a different strategy.

    The Market Maturity Tail is Shortening

    Although the Rogers Bell Curve (see figure below) is about the technology adoption lifecycle, it is equally useful to illustrate the focus on innovation. The reason why innovation has become increasingly important is more related to the shortening of products in the market at the back end of the cycle. If you have a shortening cycle or your product matures quicker, the focus and attention must be on renewing or innovating faster. Many industries — and the office printing industry is one of them — are now seeing the full effects of a shortening or decreasing market life span.

    does innovation = distruption

    This is not to say that the industry will disappear anytime soon because it won’t. It will continue to exist, but not the way it has in the past. We are now in one of the latter phases of a flattening market (short market tail). We have seen, and will continue to see, brands (manufacturers) consolidate. 

    Today, in fact, we are witnessing some of the most successful global brands pivoting and refocusing their direction on a new future. They are either exiting the office print industry altogether, merging or being acquired by another office printing brand. Some are choosing to split parts of their business to either refocus their attention to new adjacent markets or create a new play in a new market.

    Some have also recognized that breaking the business up helps to create and make transparent a new asset value (class) that was previously was trapped in a somewhat slowly decaying carcass. Maybe this is more of a push to satisfy shareholders or to take advantage of available investment funds.

    Whatever the reason the office printing is presenting at an inflection point.

    Where to From Here?

    Well, the playing field is certainly changing, and innovation has sped up. In fact, it has accelerated at phenomenal rates due to the realization that businesses can no longer launch an innovative product (or business) in the market and watch it have a 30-plus year run. It is more likely that it will be obsolete, redundant or disrupted within five,10 or 15 years. 

    Due to the shorter life, organizations are looking at innovative (and some disruptive innovation) to sustain their growth. Incremental innovation (e.g.,  a faster more powerful processor or better process improvement) won’t be enough. The focus must be on leapfrog innovation – innovation that takes a “design thinking” perspective rather than looking at today’s environment requirements only.

    Parallel to this changing dynamic is the increasing emphasis on aligning businesses to a customer-centric view, or businesses focused on the future industries that are evolving such as the “customer immersion industry” or the “customer experience industry.” 

    We are seeing many clients, customers and consumers around the world continue to be educated and conditioned around the benefits of such permeating technologies led by an assortment of technology players who provide solutions and experiences in the areas of mobility, big data, cloud, virtual reality, augmented reality, analytics, IoT, 3D, drones, AI — and the list goes on. 

    This accelerated appetite of innovation takes advantage of technology infrastructures, platforms and applications that are driven and leveraged by a variety of existing and new technologies and customer-centric business models. 

    Additionally, the ability to compete and gain access to low-cost technology is changing the way both new and old businesses compete. Green field businesses are now disrupting older, well-entrenched businesses of the past. Business that have been successful in the past are now being eroded by new entrants that are using technology and low-cost models to outcompete the competition. 

    Businesses that have built a successful business on decades of experience and infrastructure are being challenged by businesses that don’t carry dedicated workforces or don’t carry legacy infrastructure to operate. They scale, they are agile and deploy quickly. They are becoming the new norm. 

    They operate on an agile business model and are changing the way they engage their customers. These new business models are shaped around being more customer-centric, engaging at an individual level, being able to respond at a faster rate and at a deeper level through predictive analytics.

    Therefore, the question that now remains is — how is your business going to adapt going forward? How are you going to drive leapfrog innovation, not just incremental change? The way you have always done things in the past does not mean or guarantee your success in the future. 

    As someone said to me, “if nothing changes, nothing changes.”

  • 07-Mar-2019 5:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Ondřej Krajíček, Chief Technology Strategist, Y Soft

    Cloud computing exploded onto the technology scene and has impacted almost every aspect of an organization. The continued rise of the cloud is driven by the benefits realized in efficiency, productivity, cost control and workforce mobility.

    Choosing a cloud-based solution for your print management and document capture needs can remove some administrative tasks and related costs, saving time and freeing up IT resources to focus on more important strategic elements. Cloud based solutions enable organizations, such as small businesses, to increase user productivity and ramp up document security even without having their own IT resources. Cloud solutions also add value by eliminating or vastly reducing server maintenance costs, application and print servers alike.

    The right model for your print infrastructure?

    As organizations continue to digitally transform, there is an increased demand on IT capacity and a hunger for new capabilities. Should your organization continue to deploy print services on-premise, in a private datacenter or a private cloud? The answer, of course, depends on the organization’s specific needs, the organization’s overall cloud strategy, IT capacity and other factors.

    Leading print management and document capture solutions can typically be deployed on-premise, partially on-premise/partially in a private cloud or completely in a private cloud. To be clear, by private cloud, we mean a dedicated set of IaaS resources hosted by a cloud provider such as AWS or Microsoft Azure.

    Not all print management and document capture solutions can deploy in these three ways easily and cost effectively, so investigating how the print services solution is designed can affect your options. For the most flexibility, choose a solution that is designed to be able to scale for your growth needs and can easily move from on-premise to a combination of on-premise/private cloud or can be offered entirely in a private cloud. Bear in mind, that your needs and strategy always evolve, and investing in a solution that can naturally transform from one model to another, without significant migration costs and duplication of effort, can provide significant savings in the future too.

    The model you choose for your print environment is essential in ensuring you have the right level of control and security to protect your systems and data while balancing costs, flexibility and manageability. Organizations are typically concerned with three areas when thinking about where print services are managed: security, IT burden and data/bandwidth costs. The table below outlines where these concerns most often rank for each deployment model.

    On-Premise/Datacenter

    Partial On-Premise/Partial Hosted Private Cloud

    Hosted Private Cloud

    Security
    Higher as print/scan jobs and job meta data are behind the firewall

    Security
    High as print/scan jobs can remain behind the firewall; only the job meta data goes to the private cloud for reporting purposes

    Security
    Lower as some companies may be concerned that print/scan  jobs are processed in the cloud. Job meta data stays in the cloud for reporting purposes

    IT Burden
    Higher as the company is responsible for entire print infrastructure

    IT Burden

    Lower as company’s IT is only responsible for on-premise part of infrastructure

    IT Burden

    Lowest as company’s IT has little print infrastructure burden

    Data/Bandwidth Costs
    Lower as data transfer is local

    Data/Bandwidth Costs
    Higher as the company pays data transfer for meta data traffic

    Data/Bandwidth Costs
    Highest as the company pays for job and meta data transfer costs. Latency may be an issue

    Hosting your print management and document capture solution in the cloud, regardless of the model you choose, is not a pinnacle of progress. Besides costs, privacy, security and availability, needs and concerns may lead you to IoT edge-based print management and document capture solutions, providing coverage for the organization’s user base where cloud availability/connectivity is a concern and yet having servers on-premise is a pain point.

  • 01-Nov-2018 9:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The MPSA is pleased to welcome its new president, Tawnya Stone.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A: GreatAmerica has been an active member and supporter of the MPSA since its inception, and my personal involvement includes serving as a judge for the 2016 MPSA awards.   

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: I have been involved in the MPS industry for several years, primarily interfacing with dealers and helping them utilize technology to improve their internal processes. I also had the opportunity to serve on the CompTIA MPS community for five years before becoming the chair for the past two years. That experience gave me the chance to partner with many industry leaders and dealers to create MPS related resources and deliverables. Now that the MPS Community has been absorbed into another CompTIA community, I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with others to focus on furthering MPS education and knowledge.  With over 20 years of IT experience with an emphasis on billing/invoicing and integrations, I am excited to bring a technology perspective to the association.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: It seems like dealers understand that what made them successful in the past may not be what keeps them successful going forward. We have seen different strategies emerge, but the ability to deliver a valuable MPS program is one of the most complementary to their current business model. I love being a part of something that drives our industry forward and provides assistance to dealers that want to advance their businesses.  I look forward to helping the dealer community on this endeavor!

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not at work?

    A: I have two kiddos (ages 14 and 10) that keep me busy shuttling them between dance, soccer, baseball and basketball. Since I spend so much time in the car, I am an avid audiobook lover. As a family, we love to play all kinds of games … board games, card games, dice games, etc.  We have found it is a great way to get everyone to unplug from their electronics and spend time together.

  • 29-May-2018 9:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rounding out the Q&A series, we chat with board member and longtime membership chair Kevin Morris.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s? 

    A: I was elected to the MPSA Board of Directors in 2012.  I have been serving as the Membership Chairman since I was first elected to our board. 


    Q: What experience do you bring to this role? 

    A: I have been in the office equipment industry for 36 years and have been in Managed Print Services for 18 years.  I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  Contrary to a lot of public press, I believe that our future is very bright.  We simply need to remember the genesis of our industry and learn ways to better serve our clients through continually offering the best possible solutions to meet our client's ever-changing needs.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most? 

    A: Honestly, the thing that excites me most is people saying that MPS is dead.  From my contrarian point of view, I believe that it couldn't be further from the truth.  Our company continues to grow at a solid rate by putting the "M" in Managed Print Services.  I rarely see a competitor who offers anything more than selling equipment with service and supplies and calling it MPS.  At our company, we truly manage our clients workforce automation.

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work? 

    A: I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my family, traveling to countries across the globe and finding the best food and wine available anywhere!

  • 26-Mar-2018 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    More from the MPSA Q&A series with board member Mitchell Filby.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A: I have been an individual membership holder since about 2009, shortly after the MPSA was established. I have also been on the education committee for about six years. For the last two years I have been a board member of the MPSA. 

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: In a word – INSIGHT. 

    I think my most valuable contribution is built around a fabric of knowledge and insights through working in the industry for over 28 years where I held a number of senior executive roles in strategy, sales, marketing and operations across both office and production environments. 

    However, over the last nine years I have built an independent consulting practice focused around innovation and strategy. In this position it has given me unique insights to how boards and C-level executives are looking at their business around innovation, strategy, operations capability and technology enablement. At the same time I work with many industry players in helping them develop new approaches to markets and or customer segments.

    In summary, my experience is also a responsibility to continually help our industry adapt and evolve to the changing requirements of the market and the customer environment.  

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: The MPS industry is continually adapting and reshaping its capabilities in response to a changing and growing demand from businesses and their decision makers to do more with MPS or to go further around digitization. With a unique set of lenses across the global market, I see many challenges that face the industry as opportunities to advance our industries relevance to end customers. Although we see digitization or services based solutions impacting print device assets and print volumes, this at the same time allows providers to better understand and reshape their business around changing client needs. As they say, clients will show you the way.

    However, to do this there has to be a change of business practice around how many providers engage the market. Some businesses are better designed to deliver base line MPS while other businesses have a vertical industry or technology capability to support a customer differently and evolve the MPS offering.

    What I am seeing is the start of MPS divergence and this will move at an accelerated rate over the next two years. As the industry starts to consolidate and what I mean as industry consolidation is that OEMs can no longer fund a direct go to market model the way they have in the past. They are no longer able to build a large sales, marketing and service operation and take this program directly to end customers. As print volumes and margins reduce, OEMs cannot afford the cost base and therefore have to move to more an 80-20 ratio of indirect to direct. 

    In my view, they will move even more to a wider channel distribution model. This will provide even greater opportunity to the wider dealer community or to market entrants who feel they can disrupt existing old style dealers or service providers that haven’t addressed key market segments effectively.

    The key for many dealers is all about understanding and testing their key core strengths and then leveraging this to better evolve and become adaptive and agile in specific market segments. Many existing MPS dealers and MPS service providers have strong core competences in their specific knowledge domains, but the key is how they will use this going forward. Ultimately the secret sauce is about how they blend the balance – that is, bringing in revenue today so they can sustain future growth. Fortunately for the industry, they are still the most powerful sales-led industry workforce out there today. If any industry group can adapt, its this industry.  

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work?

    A: There is not much spare time when you run your own business and have active kids who overachieve in 14,000 sports! Business never stops and guess I never stop either. However I am fortunate that family and business are my two passions and with anything in life – it’s a comprise and balance. Knowing where and when that balance should occur is the skill that I’m still mastering.

    Also my unfair advantage is I have a background in many different sports across many different continents. This includes the NFL (I made summer camp in 1988 for the Dallas Cowboys – not bad for a traveling Aussie). A natural DNA and competitive drive makes working hard not actually hard work!

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