The company, which has a 100 year heritage and is the largest producer of remanufactured cartridges for inkjet and laser printers in Europe, is launching a new outsourced print service, tailor-made for the IT channel
Armor’s outsourced print service has been hugely successful in the company’s home market in France. PrintIT Reseller spoke to seasoned IT channel expert Steven Hastings, to find out more about the company’s plans to launch in the UK.
The majority of IT resellers provide products and solutions to their customer base as a service, and many are looking for an easy way to integrate print into the overall IT proposition, and deliver it in the same way. The biggest challenge for the IT channel is that print is not their core speciality and they often don’t have the infrastructure in-house to service and manage fleets to the same level that the traditional print channel has.
“Traditional managed print services solutions are in many instances, hardware-led,” Hastings explained. “What this means is that the transition from ‘as-is’ to ‘can-be’ typically requires the printer hardware to be swapped out. For small businesses, typically running a fleet of standalone desktop devices, that’s not always the best solution and for IT resellers looking to build in print as an add-on as opposed to core, service, swapping out all of the hardware in one fell swoop isn’t always the route they want to go down.”
Print as a value-add
Armor has developed its model to appeal to this market, it’s designed to help channel partners offer print as a valueadd and essentially hands-off service. Of note is the fact that the model is built around a linear set of services, all of which are available ‘off the shelf’ from one supplier – Armor.
The model comprises six modular components all fully managed by Armor:
1 Print audit and TCO overview
2 Flexible pricing models – resellers can choose to bill end customers as either cost per copy, cost per month or cost per quarter
3 DCA to enable the reseller to monitor MIF and provide visibility for the enduser
4 Automated supplies delivery
5 Collection and recycling at end-of-life
6 On-site service for desktop devices
“Armor’s outsourced print service offers multiple benefits to end-users and resellers alike,” Hastings said. “It is a complete outsourced service, end-users can typically realise a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in costs and the margin opportunity for resellers is healthy and attractive,” he added.
The print audit concentrates on networked and USB connected desktop printers and is handled remotely. An innovative proposal tool, integrated with the DCA, enables resellers to prepare customised quotes that meet customers’ individual requirements. End-user pricing can be wholly flexible, with options including cost per copy, billed on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, with or without service.
Ongoing fleet management is simplified thanks to print fleet monitoring. Supplies are automatically replenished, and delivery is guaranteed next day. Moreover, used consumables are collected for recycling and waste management documentation is provided to assist customers in demonstrating their green credentials. Customers will also benefit from enhanced service, with Armor providing on-site service for desktop devices on the resellers’ behalf, extending beyond the standard basic manufacturer warranty.
“What makes this outsourced service an attractive proposition is the fact that a reseller is not asking an end customer to invest heavily in new hardware, the service is designed to work with the legacy infrastructure. What it also does is help the IT reseller increase customer stickiness, and ensure any future printer purchases, whether that’s to accommodate a new business need or in instances where a device has reached end-of-life, will be fulfilled through the channel partner,” Hastings concluded.