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White Papers

Tackling printing costs in midmarket businesses
Realising the benefits of managed print services
By: Quocirca
Published: May 2010
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The ubiquitous availability of printers in businesses today, while offering speed and convenience, can also lead to spiralling costs and environmental waste, if left uncontrolled. Few midmarket organisations, defined in this paper as companies between 100 and 999 employees, have a real handle on print costs due to lack of visibility into what is being printed where, and by whom. With all businesses striving to reduce costs while increasing productivity, midsize businesses can no longer afford to ignore the huge cost drain that printing can represent. Midmarket organisations are a powerful engine for European economies. However, challenging economic conditions and intense competition are forcing many midsize businesses to find new ways to reduce costs, while maintaining profitability and cash flow. IT can play a critical role in addressing these demands and, although faced with limited IT resources and skills, midmarket businesses face the same challenges as larger organisations to remove complexity from the IT environment: to simplify processes, to reduce downtime and to improve security and regulatory compliance. Although not a panacea, Quocirca believes that a well managed print infrastructure can play a significant role in shaping how midmarket businesses operate more efficiently and cost effectively.

The haphazard nature of the way printing infrastructures have evolved mean that they are overburdened with equipment from different manufacturers, requiring different consumables, software and service contracts. To date, managed print services have been targeted mainly at larger organisations, but, although they don't have enterprise IT budgets, there is no reason why mid-size businesses cannot use external services to operate an efficient print infrastructure in the same way as their larger counterparts. By operating a managed print environment, midmarket businesses can improve efficiency, flexibility and business continuity. For example, a leasing approach eliminates upfront hardware costs, helping businesses shift capital expenditure (CapEx) to operating expenditure (OpEx) through predictable monthly billing, based on print usage. By implementing some of the lessons larger organisations have learned when it comes to printing, mid-sized businesses should be able to cut costs, improve productivity and keep their business running smoothly.

This paper highlights the printing challenges faced by businesses and the implications of operating an unmanaged print environment. It discusses the benefits that midsize businesses can gain from adopting a managed print service - whether it is a basic packaged service that combines hardware, supplies and support at one end of the scale, to an end-to-end managed print service (MPS) at the other. This paper should be read by anyone who has responsibility for purchasing, managing or supporting printing in a midsize business.

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