Magazine Article | September 16, 2013

How Selling Managed Print Services Protects Your Business

By The Business Solutions Network

This MSP’s (managed services provider’s) decision to become MPS-certified paid off when it landed a six-figure project with the Major League Baseball (MLB) Network.

According to John Iaccarino, president of Real Time Consultants (RTC), adding MPS (managed print services) to his managed services practice was driven by necessity. “About three years ago, we noticed large copier dealers were approaching our customers with subscription-based printer management services that frankly were much more attractive than what we were offering at the time,” he says. “We knew we had to either come up with a better way of selling printers, copiers, and services, or we were going to start losing customers.”

RTC’s decision to sell MPS began with an evaluation of MPS programs from leading printer and copier manufacturers such as HP, Lexmark, and Xerox. RTC selected Xerox at the end of its evaluation period and enrolled an MPS Specialist in the Xerox Page Pack program (which has since been updated and renamed XPPS [Xerox Partner Printing Services]). RTC achieved Premier Partner status in less than two years and is serving on the Xerox Advisory Council.

RTC’s commitment paid off last year, when their Xerox Senior Partner Advisor, Charlie Rand, made them aware that MLB Network, Major League Baseball’s 24/7 cable television network, had more than 50 Xerox printers, copiers, and MFPs coming off contract soon. Xerox wanted RTC to reach out to the customer and ensure MLB Network stayed with Xerox.

“By the time we were able to schedule an appointment with MLB Network, it had already received proposals from several competitors,” recalls Iaccarino. “Bob Larsen, our director of managed print services, and I met with liaisons from several business departments, which helped us identify multiple business challenges that we were then able to address with our business proposal,” recalls Iaccarino. “For example, some departments were experiencing problems printing, and others were experiencing problems with their legacy equipment’s finishing processes such as three-hole punching and stapling. Other departments had printers or copiers that weren’t suited for their department’s size, causing long waiting periods during certain times throughout the workweek,” says Larsen. Billing was another pain point, which made it difficult to determine the network’s monthly print-related expenses and to budget accordingly. After gathering important data about MLB Network’s floor layout and printer needs, an upgrade plan was proposed that included full managed print services which met all of the company’s budgetary and productivity requirements.

Savings From Managed Print Key To Winning Project
One of the tools RTC used that gave it an advantage over some of its competitors was a side-byside cost comparison of purchasing new equipment outright vs. the monthly subscription model. “The comparison showed that a managed print model would reduce total printing overhead by nearly 30 percent,” says Larsen. “Shortly after that meeting, MLB Network signed a six-figure contract with Real Time Consultants for the hardware plus the cost of the first three years of services.”

Shortly after signing the contract, RTC had to determine the logistics of procuring and swapping out nearly 50 machines (representing 10 different Xerox models, including the Xerox WorkCentre 7545), plus loading agents on each device to enable remote monitoring and automated supply replenishment. Additionally, each machine was tested to ensure everything worked properly. The MSP implemented its plan over an eight-day period during nonworking hours.

“The implementation happened without any major issues,” recalls Iaccarino, “and since that time, MPS has become one of the fastest-growing services for our company. “Today’s rising overhead expenses drive organizations to find practical ways to reduce costs. A managed print strategy allows an organization to cut expenses without negatively impacting productivity or sacrificing quality,” says Larsen. Iaccarino and Larsen both agree that not only is MPS a great service to lead with when talking with new prospects, but getting your foot in the door with an MPS contract is a great way to establish a rapport with a new client and uncover additional IT networking and services opportunities over time — rather than lose customers as RTC once feared it would, three years ago, before deciding to sell MPS.