What’s having the greatest impact on the market currently?
Scott Walker, Head of Business Development, ZenOffice MPS: “Certainly Brexit! A lot of sectors are being cautious on moving forward with projects until they see how everything pans out.
“On a positive note, the range of new technology out there is incredible. Xerox has recently released their award winning version of ConnectKey which is full of smart apps allowing organisations to make their document processes even more efficient.
“Beyond that, I haven’t seen a drop in the demand for managed print services. If anything, clients are wanting to get as much from their service providers as they can, which is opening the door to software solutions on top of the need for their MFDs.”
Mark Smyth, Operations Director, Vision: “Some of the largest market impacts we have experienced have come from new developments with hardware products where new operating platforms such as Android and tablet displays have been introduced and the use of software solutions and apps.
“There are also a number of robust options available for managed print and document solutions and we have identified more impact and market penetration with new innovative ways to truly make businesses more efficient with mobility, apps and capture, workflow. The strong message from most clients is ‘we want innovation and a clear roadmap for continued development and improvement.”
Steve Hawkins, Group Managing Director, Xeretec: “The greatest impact we have seen surrounds the uncertainty of the market place throughout the Brexit process. This has not really been about the decision; more the process leading up to it and the uncertainty that was created.
“Interestingly, since the actual decision, we have won more new managed print agreements than in the previous two months, which hopefully shows normality is resuming. The key trends in our customers continue to be around driving cost reduction, improving service delivery and improving efficiencies.”
Joe Doyle, Marketing Director, Annodata: “Cloud computing is undoubtedly having the biggest impact on the market at the moment, and this will only accelerate for the foreseeable future.
End-users are under growing pressure to do more with less, be more efficient and digitally transform their processes and are quickly turning to the cloud to achieve what they need to achieve. Cloud-based print services, for example, offer businesses more visibility over their print practices and outputs, offer significant cost savings and lower the overall management overheads for internal IT teams.
“We’ve been making changes within Annodata over the past few years to make sure we can take our clients to cloud and ensure that
they can take advantage of the significant benefits that it offers.
“Another key trend we are seeing at the moment, is that many businesses are now actively looking to cut down on the number of suppliers that they are working with. It is a nonsense, not to mention inefficient, to use one supplier to provide your print, another to supply your communications and someone else to provide your IT and desktop. All of these services are connected to the same network and are increasingly becoming unified in their application, not to mention the fact that it’s just impractical today to rely on half a dozen suppliers to provide these services.
“Businesses don’t want to deal with multiple points of contact if they can just deal with one trusted and strategic partner who can support and resolve a range of services for them. Being able to offer a wide range of services, from print, to IT and communications services means that
Annodata can be that strategic partner. “These changes have already heavily impacted the industry and over the next few years I expect to see considerable consolidation in the market as smaller players struggle to compete with larger, more capable providers.”
Matt Goodall, Service Director, Office Evolution: “Cross platform solutions are key to many buying decisions at the moment, Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, Mopria etc. are all present in companies and in many cases multiples of each device are present. “The very latest solutions providing print, scan and fax functions from the various operating systems and devices are a major consideration in the purchase of a new product.”
Toni Gibiino, Group Marketing Director, RDT Office Solutions Group: “It’s often too easy to go looking for patterns in the market that can be interpreted as having significance, but the reality is that trade today isn’t too much different than it was in 2015 for us.
“Margins are under pressure and will continue to be as more businesses compete for the same contracts. Resellers that can’t add value beyond the ‘click’, will probably find themselves in an uncomfortable position over the next five years unless they start to change their business models.
“The most noticeable movement appears to be coming from the OEMs as they continue to jostle, differentiate, innovate and reinvent themselves into businesses suited to today’s digital world.”
Colin Griffin, Managing Director, Blackbox Solutions: “We’re seeing a huge growth in mobile print, which has to be one of the most exciting innovations in print for years. Businesses increasingly expect staff to be able to work remotely, whether that’s on their phone, tablet or laptop, and that includes the need to access the print fleet. The modern workplace increasingly needs the flexibility that mobile print offers.
“And it’s a growing market – according to research from IDC there will be 26 million mobile workers in the UK. We’re right in the vanguard of this mobile revolution with Samsung. Through our partnership, we offer our customers the latest print technology which is fully optimised and compatible with mobile printing and near field wireless communication.
“It’s all very well having the latest technology, but if they don’t know how it works then businesses won’t get the most out of their devices – that’s why we take the time to train our customers on the machines, ensuring that they’re aware of every feature that can save them time and money.”
Andy Louch, Product Marketing Manager, Danwood: “Different sections of the market have different needs and drivers, so everything from cost reductions to the latest technology and from service delivery to cloud integration, are helping to drive customers’ decisions.
“Focusing on technology, mobile working is still a hot topic as workers are tied less and less to their office as BYOD acceptance increases. But wherever BYOD goes, the inevitable security questions around companies’ IP and workers’ own devices are not far behind, so organisations who are able to offer a fully secure, efficient and reliable mobile solution will be in the driving seat.
“Cloud-based solutions are being adopted by more and more organisations as they enable greater collaboration and sharing of documents across the business as well as being low cost, flexible and secure. Along with this comes a greater need for digitised content and connectivity, which is where the current ranges of smart MFPs provide huge benefits. The MFP becomes an on/off ramp to the cloud and a key element of a company’s document strategy, rather than a piece of technology that gets utilised less and less as print volumes reduce.
“3D print is also a talking point that is beginning to appear more and more with the traditional print market. We’ve begun to see enquiries come from schools, engineering firms and manufacturing companies, amongst others, who are looking to invest in 3D technology and want to partner with experienced and trusted partners in order to provide them.”