The next 12 months are likely to see a wealth of opportunities within the channel for managed print services (MPS). As companies continue to search for ways to cut costs and increase efficiencies, print services have become a key area of scrutiny.
Those who can move fast and add the most value will be the ones that benefit here, with building intimacy with customers and adding value taking on an ever greater significance.
There will be two key themes within the channel for 2011.
Firstly, consolidation and optimisation in the channel market will continue as partners look to add more value to their offerings. One way to do this quickly is by merging with other companies and we would expect to see some evidence of this as partners look to take advantage of opportunities before someone else does.
Secondly, cloud-based services will keep growing. Cloud services create a fantastic opportunity for channels to use the world’s leading products, and the continual research and development investment that the providers make available.
To develop the intimacy required, channel organisations should focus on the processes and skills they have in place to understand customers and their needs.
This will allow them to align solutions closely with customer requirements, and forge that more valuable relationship customers require.
To win the race for MPS, channel tech providers need to deliver it effectively. This will best be achieved by investing now and securing the customer base.
This is a long-term opportunity, but short-term proactivity is needed to take advantage.
Darren Cassidy is vice president of global and partner print services at Xerox
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