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Manage the Imaging Environment

In general, data collection software (DCS) is designed to work well in any organizational environment where imaging devices are found.  DCS is used all over the world in banks, hospitals, schools – any place with high security needs.

Dealers, VARs, and IT professionals should engage with DCS providers offering proxy-compatible solutions that do not create security vulnerabilities.  In most cases DCS can be easily deployed to monitor a business’ imaging fleet. Print management software is written to be compliant in most vertical markets including:

  • Government – local, county, state and federal
  • Healthcare – clinics and hospitals
  • Automotive resellers
  • Education – primary, secondary and university
  • Banking – financial, insurance and investments
  • Real estate, title and escrow companies
  • Large and small business – anywhere printed output is required

“Fun-Facts and Figures”

According to a study completed several years ago by InfoTrends, three to six percent of corporate revenues are spent on document output.  When companies fail to implement measurable cost controls, they dramatically under-estimate their print expenses and make the problem worse.

Printing is often the third highest office expense … falling right after rent and payroll and just before utilities and other obligations. 

UP TO 90% OF BUSINESSES have not taken the time to discover what they spend on print.

While most people accept print output is declining world-wide, studies still show a typical office worker prints about 34 pages a day, 170 pages a week or up to a ream and a half of paper a month!  Sadly, statistics also indicate up to 20% of those prints are never picked up or used.  Compounding the waste problem, a typical office laser printer can create around 100 pounds of waste in the form of toner, parts or other supplies.

According to another study by the research firm Gartner Group, most companies have the opportunity to cut their print related expenditures by as much as 10-30%.  Their study concludes the control of printing costs can be the greatest opportunity for expense control most companies may have.

Assuming the Dealer, VAR, and/or IT professional know their equipment capabilities and understand how to use the MPS software they have chosen, why do so many businesses delay engagement?In many cases it comes down to knowing how to overcome challenges of compliancy.   

Compliancy Paperwork

MPS providers can overcome compliancy concerns by having the right documentation available and ready to distribute.  When calling on current and prospective customers to discuss print management, MPS champions should have the following DCS provider prepared paperwork close at hand:

  • White Papers – Includes technical program aspects and tells what the software is and does
  • Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs address common user concerns
  • Bandwidth Volume Considerations – Details how user and network performance will be impacted
  • Security – Articulates the provider’s attention to security, and identifies which ports are used
  • Privacy Policy – Details the provider’s concern and control of user data security
  • Information Gathered – Details the type of information the software gathers
  • Data Collection Software ‘Best Practices’ – Describes what the software does for the customer

In the United States, there are several legislative acts of which to be aware.  (Countries outside the U.S.A. may have similar conditions to meet.)

When working with federal, state and local governments, many managers require privacy, security and white Paper documentation.  In addition, federal employees may ask for and require Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliancy.

Hospitals, clinic, dentists, eye care professionals, radial imaging and businesses in other medical fields will want to know the solution is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant.  Without knowledge of and documentation showing how the software complies, MPS conversations will stall.

Colleges, universities and institutions of higher learning are concerned with the safety and security of their students personal data.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) addresses how educational providers must control access to personal information.  MPS collection software must comply.

The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLB) affects financial institutions offering financial products or services like loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance to individuals.  Institutions typically include commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies.  Other businesses under the GBL umbrella are non-bank mortgage lenders, real estate appraisers, loan brokers, some financial or investment advisers, debt collectors, tax return preparers, and real estate settlement service providers.

ALL publicly-traded corporations must comply with the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002, more commonly known as the Sarbanes – Oxley (SARBOX and/or SOX) Act .  Sarbanes – Oxley is geared toward accountability and is designed to keep public companies honest with their financial reporting.  Savvy MPS Champions are prepared when they have GLB and SOX documentation ready.

Retailers big and small and anyone who processes credit card payments may require Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliancy.  Having foreknowledge of the act and making paperwork available promotes confidence in the MPS offering.

Finally some managers and IT directors will want to know how devices can be configured for added security.  Knowledgeable dealers to understand their device security specifications and can identify the machines capable of heightened SNMPv3 compliancy.

What’s in it for the Customer …

Software with monitoring capability helps administrators manage the fleet and fulfill supply and service commitments.  Equipment volumes are easily monitored to establish proper device placement.  Knowledge also reduces unnecessary prints, ensures the right equipment is in use and assists administrators with:

  • Supply management – Reduces need for large supply inventories
  • Service management – IT staff can be alerted when device service is required
  • Fleet management – Knowing device usage helps administrators create efficient print centers
  • Total Cost of Ownership Analysis – Device volumes, consumable data and service information can be used to control imaging costs

In order to accomplish any of the above, the MPS professional needs to be able to illustrate how the process will be implemented.  A typical engagement may include:

  • The DCS is installed at the customers’ site to gather device information.
  • Data is sent by the software to a highly secure server, hosted by the software provider or dealer.
  • The management team uses administrative software (Admin), Service Info and Meter Viewers to monitor alert activity, generate consumable reports, and view and manage meter volumes.
  • Reporting frequency is set by a billing administrator as are low toner and device status alerts for contract management. 
  • An administrator applies gathered volumes and supply detail to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership of the fleet to make efficient equipment recommendations and placement.
  • Open lines of communication are established – Fleet discovery and findings are and will be regularly reviewed at quarterly, bi-annual and/or annual account reviews.

… In Summary

Managed print services raises cost awareness while helping to eliminate unneeded or unnecessary prints and cuts waste.  MPS also allows for more efficient placement of machines based on actual output volumes and helps make the provider a better business partner.

Studies have been conducted and many articles written about MPS and most businesses are aware something can and must be done to help them manage their imaging output.Some of the biggest stumbling blocks occur when challenges of compliancy are raised. By having prior knowledge of potential objections, the MPS champion can have the right documentation ready to distribute.  Champions can also know how to convey where savings are likely to be obtained.

In the end it is the end-user who truly benefits by implementing an MPS program.  Supply inventories are reduced as their fleet stays operational without human intervention.  Print volumes can be funneled through more efficient equipment the overall imaging fleet can be reduced.

There is no reason to not engage with any company or establishment where printing takes place.  Every enterprise wants and needs to save money.  Being able to explain, “What’s in it for the customer” shows confidence, making both clients and potential customers much more receptive to the MPS offering.