Phil White, Managed Print Sales Manager at Brother UK, explains how Brother has created MPS solutions that suit both large corporates and small and medium size businesses, allowing the channel and customers to make the most out of managed print.
The print industry has long focused its efforts on promoting managed print services (MPS). Not only does MPS allow end-users to benefit from greater flexibility and control over their print solution, it represents secured long-term revenue and opportunities to provide additional services for vendors and their channel partners.
MPS has traditionally been tailored to corporate customers where end-users have a wide-range of complex print requirements and are typically provided with a high end multi-function device by a value added reseller.
At Brother we’ve aimed to make it as easy as possible for MPS to work for end users, while also making it easy for channel partners to implement. This has seen us develop MPS solutions for the channel that provide partners with a choice of highly flexible corporate and public sector offerings as well as solutions for end users that require a more simple solution.
Establishing larger MPS environments
MPS requires a bespoke customer-centric service, especially when it comes to agreements at the corporate end of the market. This means tailoring solutions and services specifically to the print environment and the customer’s needs.
While most vendors will approach the market with an off the shelf, or one size fits all approach to managed print, at Brother we don’t think this is enough. For each of our MPS agreements, once Brother and the channel partner have understood the customer’s requirements, the services are developed to fit the specific needs of the customer.
At Brother we only sell our MPS offering through the channel and we give our partners as much support as possible when it comes to developing these agreements.
Our end user sales team, pre-sales technical teams and MPS specialists offer a range of tailored support from project management through to installation as well as recycling. These services can be delivered in-house or by channel partners themselves, creating nine opportunities for channel partners to develop their own revenue streams within a Brother managed print service.
We’re proud that we haven’t sold the same MPS solution twice to any of our corporate customers – our service is incredibly flexible and truly tailored. In essence, alongside channel partners we can deliver a truly bespoke solution.
At your side
Brother’s ‘at your side’ ethos also provides support throughout the pre- and postsale process to ensure end-users get the best from their managed print service agreements.
Our three-stage implementation process for new customers sees us assess their print environments, transition to the new managed print service agreement, and then continually optimise the service to ensure maximum value is delivered to the customer. During the assessment stage, our end user sales team and pre-sales technical teams work alongside the customer and channel partner to ensure data is collected and customer needs are understood and considered when designing the solution.
Following this, our project management team support the transition from the customer’s original system to the new Brother MPS solution. A Brother Service Delivery Manager will then lead the optimisation of the customer’s MPS solution – providing reports and performance updates to ensure the customer benefits from a modern, intelligent MPS system.
Making MPS mass-market
As the transactional print hardware market continues to contract in size at around 5% per annum, the aim at Brother is to open up MPS to as many channel partners and customers as possible. Brother has invested in a platform allowing all channel partners access to managed print services without the need for these channel partners to invest in any additional resources themselves.
This allows channel partners to quickly (in five clicks) create an MPS agreement, empowering a wide range of channel partners, from VARs to office supplies resellers, to agree managed print services over the phone with their customers, with the aim of taking transactional print customers on a journey to the benefits of a basic managed print service.
The easy-to-use interface provides both the channel partners and the customer with a simple and effective service including installation, break-fix service and automated supplies fulfilment. While allowing the end user to gain the operational efficiencies that MPS agreements afford, it helps channel partners to benefit from this broader trend, securing long-term revenues and enter the IT services market with zero investment in new resources.
A flexible, simple and fast approach to MPS
Our overall approach to MPS focusses on four key pillars – flexibility, simplicity, speed, and availability of experts. This allows us to offer a truly customer-centric model.
In addition, our Commercial and Public Sector End User Sales Teams are available to work with our Brother Channel Account Management team to develop new MPS sales opportunities for our channel partners. Pre-sales Technical Support, Project Management and Service Delivery teams then work with our channel partners to ensure the solution design fits the customer’s needs and is implemented in a way that delivers maximum value and minimum disruption to customers.
This means both channel partners and our customers can be confident in the solution from assessment throughout the lifetime of the contract, no matter the size of the customer, the strategy of the channel partner, or the complexity of the MPS solution.