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Data Analytics: Do More Than Keep Up with the MPS Joneses

Toni_DuGal HeadshotIn this special guest feature, Toni DuGal of Novitex examines how the Managed Print Services industry has evolved with the help of data analytics. The progress can serve as a model for many other industries. Toni DuGal is Vice President of Solution Services at Novitex, a digital-first document outsourcing provider, where she leads the development of Novitex’s MPS practice.

Over the past 15 years, the Managed Print Services (MPS) market has seen a shakeup from its intersection with next generation tech. Cloud, mobile, even IoT has not been lost on this industry. But to understand the biggest potential game changer – hint, data analytics – you must first understand the industry origins.

If you’re not familiar, from the onset MPS – helping organizations manage and optimize their print fleet – has been a very people oriented business. Vendors in the 90s often provided onsite support to help tackle anything impacting an organization, from toner replacement to printer jams as well as consolidating and streamlining its printing environment.

Naturally during those days, data analytics played a small role in how MPS were offered. More recently, the industry has shifted towards a variety of new technologies – including the cloud – and as such, reducing significant pain points for IT, procurement, and finance. More specifically, the technologies which enable vendors to manage print environments remotely, also allows vendors to leverage data that brings out the personalities of each respective environment.

Taking a page from Marketing or Financial Services, MPS vendors are now able to provide online dashboards for analytics, reporting and KPIs, delivering full visibility into their printing environment at a device and user level. Greater control on overall costs means less wasteful spending, yes but there is a larger ripple effect in play. In the MPS world, all of an organization’s activities are influenced and therefore, can be improved. With a greater handle on how the physical operations are functioning, environmental impacts like power consumption and carbon footprint can be reassessed. But this is only the beginning.

By grasping this insight, MPS vendors can refine how they approach each implementation – but even more underrated are the particularities the data can reveal, which are specific to MPS. This means the ability to capture behaviors about the specific documents themselves. Determining the business process that drives document generation is critical for future advancements in cost reduction. Imagine through a combination of employee feedback and data analytics, organizations can not only determine why a document was printed in color, but the overall impact on costs of printing that document in color versus scanning it and sending via e-mail. Moreover, this foresight can outfit organizations with customizable print policies across the entire document lifecycle – to help reduce wasteful printing.

While MPS continues to evolve, it is also returning to the genesis of the industry’s mission, people centricity. Through data analytics lifting the operational veil, we can do more than move the needle slightly beyond the status quo, we can break the industry mold.

 

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