Hybrid working significant potential for managed print services

There is an overriding feeling of optimism around how the channel can support businesses in their transition to hybrid working. Mike Mulholland, Head of Services and Solutions at Brother UK, outlines why cloud managed print services will be essential to firms’ new requirements and how partners can kickstart their services journey.

It’s not an overstatement to say that hybrid working is a once-in-a-lifetime shift to the way customers approach work. Businesses across the world will have employees working from home permanently and the roll-out of remote tech infrastructure, including print and scan, is one of the key changes firms are making. And with that comes an opportunity for the channel.

Such is the optimism around the transition to hybrid working, Quocirca’s latest COVID-19 business impact survey revealed that most resellers expect revenues to recover fully in the next year. A lynchpin to the growth in revenue will be managed print services (MPS) – more than three in four expect to see greater demand for cloud-based print management.

Those resellers that have pivoted to a services model will be well-positioned to deliver on the enhanced demand that the shift to a hybrid will generate.

MPS enabling hybrid work

The immediate challenge businesses face is delivering a tech infrastructure that allows a decentralised workforce to maintain new levels of productivity while remaining resilient and secure.

The workplace is no longer one, easily manageable location; it’s hundreds, potentially thousands of satellite offices, all connected to a firm’s network. This presents something of a headache for IT managers looking to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.

The surface layer of a company’s IT system will balloon as more devices are connected to networks from home. This leaves firms more vulnerable to security breaches while making it more difficult to identify and resolve issues.

MPS comes with a catalogue of security features that helps to minimise disruption. For example, remote monitoring and diagnosis of devices help IT leads to keep on top of threats across the network. Remotely delivering regular software and hardware updates to devices also makes sure that systems remain one step ahead of hackers wherever they’re located.

Remote monitoring also helps to minimise downtime, yet another threat to productivity comes when supplies start to deplete, disrupting working habits. While this is easy to spot when in the office, it’s less so when working remotely. However, managed services automatically monitor ink levels and send out new inks once they begin to run low, ensuring the workers are never without what they need.

The case for prioritising MPS isn’t a complicated one. It keeps devices reliable, workers productive and businesses resilient. But as well as bolstering businesses’ tech infrastructure, it can support the bottom line too. Capital expenditure is poised to increase as businesses invest in the infrastructure, they need to enable their shift to hybrid. But the subscription model that MPS employs provides a cashflow friendly way for businesses to adopt this new technology.

The value of partnership

Hybrid working clearly presents an opportunity for resellers to offer new value to their customers. Existing vendor-reseller partnerships have long provided the expertise and technology that suits customers’ needs, and this will shine through as they support customers’ MPS journey. 

The transition to hybrid could usher in a wave of MPS adoption as companies strive to make workflows at home as efficient as they are in the office. For print partners, riding this wave will be essential to expanding revenue streams.

Core to the value that MPS provides is in helping resellers cater to the longer and more sophisticated buying journeys that customers are committing to. Educating businesses on how MPS works, as well as what benefits it will bring, will prove a fruitful exercise because it will demonstrate how firms can achieve value for money. This is an essential criterion for businesses procuring print services post-Covid.

To support the conversations that resellers are having with their customers around hybrid, vendors are now developing bespoke solutions for remote work. For example, Brother has launched its Mini Business range: a series of A4 inkjet printers with a compact design that ensures they fit into home offices, but still pack in the same quality and speeds of a larger, office-based device. Ranges such as these provide another string to the bow of resellers looking to capitalise on the hybrid transition and, alongside MPS, help them demonstrate how they have all the solutions that fit their customers’ needs.

It will take time and maybe even some trial-and-error for businesses to develop a hybrid working approach that works for them. It will be up to partners to provide businesses with the tech that will help them reduce this time and error, as well as allow them to achieve the improved resilience and productivity that hybrid working is driving at.

MPS’ ability to enable a decentralised approach to print makes it a key solution for resellers looking to support their customers’ hybrid ambitions.

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Company Details

BROTHER UK LTD

Shepley Street
Audenshaw
MANCHESTER
M34 5JD
UNITED KINGDOM

0161 330 6531

www.brother-uk.com

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