End users need to be taught the benefits of managed print services (MPS) and document management if they are to truly understand the financial savings effect on their business bottom line.
It's not that they're not interested in MPS – far from it. They are simply not aware of the benefits.
However, IT is coming under more scrutiny in the drive to optimise business processes, increase performance and ultimately deliver more for less.
Saving costs is top of the agenda. Reducing waste and increasing visibility of what's going on in the business is a good starting point.
Customers often overlook the most obvious things, including paper documents. Printing is expensive.
IT resellers may not feel confident to talk about workflow management technologies if they do not have the knowledge to implement these. And they will be competing with copier dealers with 20 or 30 years of experience.
Obviously you need to understand your customers' goals.
Large organisations tend to have the most complex and least efficient office printing practices to begin with, and therefore stand to benefit from MPS the most.
There are also revenue and margin opportunities in certain product and programme offerings. This can help resellers promote MPS to customers.
One-time hardware resellers may find that setting up MPS on your customers' networks is easier and more flexible than expected.
Customers must be taught that unstructured, clunky IT processes slow down their entire business. Being unable to find a document quickly is frustrating and costly, particularly in some sectors, such as financial services.
Giving customers some solutions to these problems will go some way in winning sales. To get customers interested, try asking some simple questions.
Martin Fairman is UK and Ireland channel and SMB sales director at Lexmark
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