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Cloud provides silver lining for MPS providers

MPS providers enhance services offering to offset fall in print volumes

Managed print services providers are responding to the decline in print volumes caused by the Coronavirus pandemic by offering customers new services suited to the demands of remote and hybrid working, including cloud services, contactless printing and support for home printing.

The Quocirca 2020 State of the Channel survey reveals that while 50% of MPS providers have seen a decline in revenue in 2020, with 45% experiencing a reduction in print volumes (62% in the UK), two thirds (66%) are confident that revenues will bounce back in 2021 as they continue to diversify into new areas.

One third (32%) of MPS providers and half of UK respondents already offer managed IT services alongside MPS, with 29% offering print security services and 28% offering cloud print services.

Cloud print services are viewed as the most important growth area over the next two years, followed by the provision of home printing services (e.g. consumables delivery and collection of printed material for secure shredding/recycling) and contactless printing, both of which are directly associated with the pandemic.

MPS providers appear to be well placed to meet (and generate) demand in these areas, with a significant minority building on their position as a trusted partner to deliver additional services to clients.

One third (34%) of respondents said they had accessed new opportunities to sell value-added services such as information management and collaboration tools; 32% have built longer term relationships with customers; and 29% said there were more opportunities to sell non-print related services, such as IT services.

Quocirca Director Louella Fernandes said: “MPS is undoubtedly providing opportunities for the channel to diversify into adjacent areas. It can be a platform for future growth if companies can successfully build partnerships with complementary service providers and invest in the sales, technical and marketing skills needed to deliver a broader range of services.”

Productivity benefits
Separate end user research by Quocirca shows that remote working is leading to less printing overall, with 52% of employees printing less than they did in the office, compared to 28% who say the amount they print has increased significantly.

Fernandes said: “It is not surprising that workers are generally printing less than they did in an office environment. Office-based workers who may have been printing regularly out of habit are now adapting to digital alternatives. For example, 28% of respondents said their company was now allowing the use of digital signatures for documents that previously required physical signatures.”

Employees of large organisations are most likely to have stopped printing entirely, with 44% going paperless compared to just 18% of SMEs and 10% of mid-sized organisations.

In contrast, Fernandes points out that workers in mid-sized organisations are more likely to be printing more than before. “There is a concentration of printing among employees in mid-sized organisations, which may be because security policies at larger organisations prevent documents being printed at home,” explained Fernandes.

Interestingly, employees who still print are more likely to report increased productivity when working from home. Of the 41% of home workers who say their productivity has increased, 64% say they are printing more.

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