While the managed print and document service (MPDS) market continues to evolve, it’s critical for MPDS providers to understand and adapt to the demands of their existing clients as well as their prospective customer base.
According to a recent analysis from International Data Corporation (IDC), although an aging and/or non performing fleet of printers and MFPs, or an unwieldy number of brands and contracts most often trigger an MPDS engagement, aspects of services delivery such as a robust assessment and the ability to serve multiple geographies are often key components of end user requirements.

“Overall, MPDS customers are looking beyond output technology and providers must expand both core and advanced services to meet these changing needs,” says Holly Muscolino, research vice-president, document solutions at IDC.

“Factors such as optimisation and assessment methodologies, national or global support, scanning workflow, and employee training and change management are finding their way into customer requirements. And while price is still a factor, contract flexibility, including a fully variable cost payment structure, frequently helps clinch the deal.”

Of course, as with any change, a number of challenges exist. Vendors must fully promote their capabilities, while remaining responsive to end-user needs. And it is important that service levels remain high, even after the contract is signed. While incumbency is a key win factor, the reason most often given for unseating incumbents is poor service.

Additional findings from IDC’s MPDS research include:
* Technology is still an important factor in selecting a MPDS provider, including breadth of product line and ease of integration with enterprise systems; and
* In addition to financial considerations, service delivery commitments also assisted vendors in winning contracts.

Although only a small percentage of respondents identified vertical knowledge or workflow as important, IDC believes that both will play greater roles in future MPDS purchasing decisions