Treat print as seriously as other outsourced IT functions

Jason Quinn, Ergo.

28 September 2016


In association with Ergo

Market research shows that outsourcing continues to grow, no doubt helped by the proliferation of cloud services that offer new ways of delivering IT, but what’s really interesting is the way expectations have changed about outsourced services, or managed services, and what they should deliver.

The principal aim of outsourcing still stands – let a specialist service provider run day-to-day IT processes more cost effectively while freeing up in-house resources to concentrate on core business. What’s new – and this is based on research I’ve been reading from Gartner and Deloitte – is a focus on driving value.

As general manager of Ergo’s managed print division it comes as no surprise that there’s an expectation of value. In fact, it’s an affirmation of everything we believe and will be one of the themes I will be talking about at our Re:Think Managed Print event at Carton House on 7 October. You will hear how a well-executed MPS (Managed Print Service) must deliver on more than the promise of savings. 

Finding value
To realise extra value from outsourcing, Gartner encourages businesses to revisit their sourcing ecosystem and tick off some fundamentals: get the balance right between cost and performance and make sure vendors respond to your changing business demands.

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? And perhaps in other areas of IT outsourcing it is, but my experience with print is that a lot of companies will put up with poor performing hardware and lazy vendors if they get a rock bottom price on printed pages.

I suspect some of the same organisations pay a lot more attention to other parts the IT environment that they outsource – hosted infrastructure or software-as-a-service – and lower their expectations for print because they see it as a cheap utility. The mistake they’re making is assuming that a utility service can’t add value or become transformational.

Driving innovation
In its 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, Deloitte discovered that 35% of organisations measured outsourcing value through innovation. That’s a big step change from cost savings and suggests something much more strategic.

This is the space we operate in, helping our customers create a print estate that is constantly evolving. It delivers on the basics but also works as a platform for innovation, new workflow services, and business transformation. Technology is always advancing so processes are inevitably ripe for change. Just make sure you have a provider that’s up to the task of implementing it.

Another stat from the Deloitte survey that caught my eye was the 46 percent of businesses that believe their providers are reactive rather than proactive. Our whole ethos is based on providing preventative maintenance. We proactively monitor devices to spot technical issues before they become a problem, before they cause downtime and start to impact on the business. 

Continual improvement
Anyone who has worked with Ergo will know why our MPS proposition is so thorough. It’s only one part of an extensive portfolio of managed services that we provide, where each one is executed with transparency and technical expertise to ensure the customer gets real value and the best possible experience.

Outsourcing ultimately comes down to trust; we work hard at Ergo to earn it. Attention to detail and the pursuit of continual improvement for our clients is what we do for a living, right across our business. Maybe this is why some of our print-only competitors struggle to deliver – they don’t have the wider experience of outsourcing and the fundamental understanding that there is always an opportunity in IT to do things better.

To hear more about Ergo’s unique approach to managed print, and a special focus on security, book a free place at the Re:Think Managed Print event at Carton House on Friday, 7 October.


Jason Quinn is MPS general manager, Ergo

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