Canon has outlined its managed print solutions strategy for UK resellers following a CRN article on the sector’s burgeoning opportunities.
Matthew Searle, channel partner director at Canon, said its focus for managed print solutions (MPS) is around offering software-based tools.
Its uniFlow application, acquired when the vendor bought long-term partner NT-Ware in 2006, is proving popular.
“It allows them to help their customers to understand and manage their printing costs, and reduce them,” said Searle. “UniFlow helps resellers to manage their print solutions for the customer.”
MPS based on uniFlow lets Canon resellers monitor and control a wider range of variables that affect print while keeping costs within bounds. Information collected can be fed through to break-fix, allowing printer fleets to be maintained well and maximise their useful life.
“It goes right through to those who manage the print fleet on an outsourced basis,” said Searle. “Another part of our [MPS] offering is follow-me-print.”
The follow-me-print service enables staff to print to their network, but lets them go to any printer and swipe their card to print the job at that specific printer. Costs are automatically recharged to the right department and group, said Canon.
“Our MPS also offers least-cost routing, so customers can send a job to the most cost-effective printer in the organisation,” said Searle.
Customers need MPS to understand their costs, how much printing is costing them and what sorts of printing costs are being incurred. Managed printing is about having the software to help put together a range of other products, and that is where vendors help resellers most, according to Canon.
According to analyst Gartner, MPS could hold the key to growth in the print market as unit sales continue to decline (Channelweb, 17 February). Senior research analyst Tosh Prabhakar said at the time that MPS could help “control costs and better manage office devices”.
Oki was also contacted for comment, but a representative said the company could not yet outline its MPS offering to CRN.
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