Do small businesses have any use for Managed Print Services?
VINCENT SIM GENERAL MANAGER FOR SINGAPORE/EMERGING MARKETS & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR AP FUJI XEROX ASIA PACIFIC PTE LTD
by In this digital world, is there still a market for printers? Are we wrong to assume that people aren’t printing as much these days? The overall printer market is still growing. For laser printers, the number of units sold actually sees a growth of seven percent year-on-year. Wow, we didn’t know that. What are the reasons that contribute to this growth? Well, it’s driven by two key areas. First is the decentralization of printing, where we’ve more people printing more items personally, such as hotel booking and air ticket confirmation slips. Yes, laser printers do compete with inkjet printers, but with the falling prices of laser printers, consumers are finding it increasingly attractive to buy a laser printer today. They now get to enjoy the high print quality and durability of a laser printer even at home.
In addition, while it’s true that people are now converting and sharing data in digital form, that amount of digitized data is so huge that even a fraction of it being printed is a huge number. That sheer amount of digital information being created is now driving print volume. In fact, the amount of paper sold across Asia Pacific has been experiencing a 10-percent growth year-on-year, which shows that people are actually printing more these days. Since more consumers are buying laser printers for home use, have Fuji Xerox considered adding consumer-ish features that some inkjet printers have, like having content for users to print birthday cards or make scrapbooks? I think the reason why most inkjet printer vendors are doing these is to encourage printing. Fuji Xerox is more pragmatic, as in we believe in printing only what you need. So we focus our attention on areas that make printing easy for home users, with features like wireless support and mobile printing through technologies like Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. When we design our products, we look at how consumers utilize a printer and add practical, instead of dramatic, features. Which is why we conduct customer surveys regularly, to gain insights on how we can do better. Any upcoming new features that you can share with us at this point? Secure printing, or more specifically, how to secure a print output, is something that many of our customers in banking, insurance, healthcare, and education are looking at. We’re also interested in this area, and we hope to share more on that in the near future. Fuji Xerox is now offering Managed Print Services (MPS) to SOHOs and SMBs. Isn’t MPS more for large corporations? How can smaller companies benefit from it? Most printing vendors target their MPS services at large businesses, and we saw that this in turn leaves a sizable potential market - the SOHOs and SMBs - untapped, and their needs unfulfilled.
MPS benefits are similar between different sizes of customers. The biggest of them all is that because customers are virtually outsourcing its printing to us, they don’t have to worry about issues like machine breakdowns or that toners have run out. And since services are included in our MPS offerings, when customers do encounter problems, they can reach out to our call center or help desk, and get them resolved almost immediately. In short, customers get to enjoy seamless printing.
Also, customers only pay for what they print. And this is actually more important for small businesses that tend to have more cash flow concerns than big corporations. For example, SOHOs and SMBs may not be willing to buy extra toners for storage if the money can be used for something else, like a marketing activity. They’ve to be careful with their spending. Additionally, since there’s a fixed fee per page, customers can now better predict their printing cost. This in turn allows them to manage their cash flow more efficiently.