Managed Print Services: Streamlining in the Digital Era

By innov8 Digital Solutions, IT Resources, Printers & MFP, Managed Services  |  February 21, 2024


A company can survive in the digital era by being efficient, sustainable, and always on its feet, no matter what. You've seen first-hand how fast anything digital gets picked up in today's day and age. It's a first-come-first-serve world where you must be as fast as possible to push your idea. 


Take the race to become the next ChatGPT. It is one example of how fast the world is growing. Anyone who needs work coping with its speed or getting on top of things gets left behind. 


In this survival of the fittest, effective print management solutions are one of several technological aspects you must focus on, especially if your company heavily relies on prints and prototypes.

What are Managed Print Services?

Let's start from the top if you've never heard of or considered managed print services. 


Print management solutions or services are acquired by companies who need someone else to consolidate and manage their copy machine and printer needs. Under these solutions, dealers and outsourcing companies like INNOV8 provide the equipment, setup, and support.


It might be challenging to comprehend for those who've never availed of managed print services, but the global demand for it remains high. The global MPS market was worth $37.4 billion in 2021. What's more: It's poised to reach $84 billion by 2031. 


These numbers should be familiar to small businesses and large corporations that invest significant capital in managed print services. While smaller businesses may need them because they don't have the resources to hire people and buy/rent equipment, large corporations do this to cut back on the cumulative expense of running in-house print support and free up their human resources for other tasks.


MPS has come a long way since the days of responding to printing challenges. It's ahead of these challenges, playing a predictive and preventive role to maximise uptime. 


This article delves into managed print services as they used to be, how they have changed, and their role in optimizing office operations and making them more efficient.


professional printer managed by a woman

The Need for Managed Print Services (Before 2006)

It took a couple of years for managed print services to emerge, but echoes of its arrival began in the 1990s when extremely intelligent equipment hit the market. It propelled some businesses to new heights by performing multiple functions (printing, scanning, faxing, etc.).


Such equipment was dominated by many names that we continue to hear in the MPS domain today, such as Lexmark, Canon, and Hewlett-Packard (HP). It was equipped with multiple functions and had remote monitoring capability for wireless usage, support, and many other important functions that have become critical to business operations over the decades.


This updated concept of a printer or copier equipped with a remote support staff put MPS into high gear, and the rest is history. 


Below is a short version of the evolutionary landmarks that followed.

Managed Print Solutions: The Early Days

As mentioned before, managed print services initially emerged as a response to the challenges most companies faced regarding their printing equipment. Earlier versions of copy machines and printers left a lot to be desired. While they were destined for obsolescence like most of today's equipment, they had a much shorter lifecycle than their contemporary versions.


Apart from equipment quality, businesses also struggled with the following:


  • Inefficient Printing: Wasting paper, setting the equipment up to use more ink, and printing unnecessary documents made for inefficient printing practices. 
  • Lack of Equipment Savviness: A lack of training resulted in incorrect tray loading, toner placement, and other consequences.
  • Unmitigated Expenses: The above led to inflated costs for businesses and the environment.
  • Minimum Accountability for Printing Costs: Organizations should have paid more attention to their print infrastructure. With advanced office printers, there was some visibility where there was none, but more was needed to monitor usage patterns and stem costs.
  • Overreliance on In-House IT Teams: IT teams needed to be centralized management and learn the right maintenance practices. It resulted in inconsistent service levels and endless downtime.

Bunch of old printers in a storage


Dealers started providing managed print services in 2006 to help companies overcome the above challenges. Initially, the focus was print equipment maintenance for optimal functioning. Businesses were also more open to outsourcing to these specialists for this single purpose. They were happy enough to have their IT team focus on strategic tasks rather than printing operations.


Consequently, the focus became reactive instead of preventive maintenance. These managed print service providers addressed issues only after they occurred. The software was not developed enough to detect issues beforehand. 

Managed Print Services: The Comprehensive Edition

As the years passed, the human need for bigger and better propelled managed print services to greater heights, with the best yet to come. While businesses enjoyed little to no control over the earlier models of printing equipment, they were introduced to an environment that provided greater visibility and autonomy. 


MPS providers expanded services beyond reactive maintenance. They added proactive maintenance, supply management, and print optimization strategies to their service menu.


It helped that the new equipment enabled MPS providers to monitor devices centrally and in real time. With this ability, they could track the following:


  • Device performance
  • Print errors
  • Consumable levels
  • Emerging issues


By this point, INNOV8's managed print solutions featured services like cost allocation and print policy. They could integrate the printing software with the accounting software or system to help businesses track print costs.

Executive analyzing a report and highlighting key data


In Comes Data Analytics and Automation

Data analytics are a breath of fresh air for the managed print service sector. With data-driven insights, providers could offer measures with a higher chance of optimizing a company's print infrastructure and workflows.


MPS providers could perform the following functions with this newfound ability:


  • Analyze print usage (patterns and frequency)
  • Detect inefficiencies
  • Detect low utilization rates
  • Identify high maintenance costs
  • Make optimization recommendations


These optimization recommendations may or may not include device placement, replacement, and integration as cost-saving measures. It could also include recommendations regarding removing an inefficient device or software completely. Lastly, these recommendations could be as simple as defaulting to duplex printing or introducing a cap on colour prints.


Streamlining Printing Tasks with Automation

Automation enabled businesses to automate routine printing tasks and avoid human error, like the following:


  • Meter reading
  • Supply replenishment
  • Service requests


From this point on, organizations will always have the right consumables for their printing needs right when they need them the most, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.


On the other hand, proactive maintenance turned into predictive maintenance, thanks to automation. By assessing the analytics., an MPS provider can detect anomalies and inefficient device performance, schedule maintenance before the device breaks down entirely and maximize productivity.

Managed Print Services Redefined: Integrating with the Digital Landscape

With one in five Canadian businesses having already achieved digital maturity, one can assume the transformation started a while ago. The transition included managed print solutions that embraced digital integration around the same time.


Today, MPS providers have introduced cloud-based and mobile printing solutions, eliminating employees needing to be physically present near a device. 


Fun Fact: The remote feature existed long before the pandemic necessitated contactless alternatives. 


Seamlessly integrating with document management systems reaped the following benefits:


  • Efficient document handling
  • Effective retrieval of the prints
  • Organized archival processes.


Conversely, the digital transformation of managed print solutions enabled businesses to digitize physical documents, automate document routing, and streamline storage. Simply put, it made everything related to printing operations more accessible, flexible, and sustainable.

Professional multi functional printer


The Importance of Managed Print Services in the Digital Era 

The digital era is heavily regulated, all the more reason to get managed print services in Victoria, BC.


Below are some more reasons that make this service essential across the commercial board.


  • Data Security 

Canada's public and private sectors face an unprecedented cybersecurity threat. While today's digital space is more secure and controlled than in the early 2000s, it faces constant challenges from hostile actors. 


With data breaches on the rise, document confidentiality has become a mainstay for managed print services. Reputable MPS providers provide secure printing capability and document encryption features. They also safeguard confidential information through user authentication gateways.


Some providers also provide data protection compliance through annual audits and monthly reports. They make recommendations regarding legal requirements and industry standards, developing print security policies to meet such regulations. 


  • Cost Savings 

Implementing MPS helps with cost savings. Providers like INNOV8 analyze print usage patterns and detect areas of unnecessary printing. Businesses may then reduce such instances to cut down on their consumable expenditure.


MPS providers also recommend device placement and usage, enabling organizations to dispose of unneeded devices and save a significant sum on operational and maintenance.


Streamlined print workflows and document management are a cost-saving venture on principle. They also contribute to enhanced productivity and time savings, thereby saving and making more money for a business.


Lastly, reducing or eliminating downtime saves on lost time and opportunities that can be costly in a corporate landscape.


  • More Scalability

Managed print services assist growth by adapting to the changing needs of a business. Organizations seeking more opportunities need more equipment to complete more orders. 


On the other hand, MPS providers can seamlessly accommodate additional devices and change the print infrastructure so that a growing company doesn't have to hire additional personnel to grow. 


MPS providers also offer on-demand scalability options, letting businesses scale up or down depending on their print environment. Such customization options enable them to tailor workflows, enhance efficiency, and improve user experience.

Metropolis landscape in the night with high rise buildings



  • Advanced Technologies

A digital transformation requires cutting-edge print technologies. Businesses let trusted managed print service providers adopt innovative devices and strategies on their behalf instead of footing their bill and investing time in them in-house.


Internet of Things integration allows for real-time monitoring, preventive maintenance, and minimum downtime. MPS providers use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze print usage and performance and automate repetitive tasks.


  • Sustainable Practices

Sustainability is in the fine print of almost every company's policy. Managed print services contribute to these sustainability efforts through energy-efficient infrastructure and responsible printing practices. Such sustainability-focused strategies reduce power consumption during printing tasks and make supplies last much longer.


Examples of sustainable printing strategies include:


  • Double-sided printing.
  • Defaulting to black-and-white prints.
  • Limiting printing to the most critical tasks.


After implementing these strategies, MPS providers help track their impact by providing reports on the following:


  • Print volumes
  • Paper usage
  • Carbon emissions
  • Sustainability goals achieved.

Adapt to the Fast-Paced Digital Landscape: Adopt Managed Print Services in Victoria, BC

Managed print services have evolved significantly over time. They have reached the perfect point for adapting. Thus, they can assist the sector's digital transformation. Transform with comprehensive managed print solutions to optimize office operations and keep pace with the digital age.


Managed print services can be your one and only way to thrive in an ever-changing landscape. Don't take any chances; visit INNOV8, a provider of commercial digital printers and managed print services that have been doing the former for the past 40

 years and the latter for as long as it has existed.


Avail the following services for getting their managed print solutions in Victoria, BC:


  • Automated ink and toner delivery
  • Device setup 
  • Device replacement
  • Access training
  • Help desk support
  • Automated billing


Get in touch with the managed print service providers for inquiries and support.

Stay up to date.
Let's innov8.

Save time, money and stay secure

Get a free office technology assessment

We help businesses and the people who power them with a free office technology assessment. Ask our experts how you can integrate the latest Print and Document Management and Managed IT solutions to boost your productivity, increase security, and save time and money. Learn how you can outfit your office with the latest Canon, Sharp, Lexmark, HP, and Océ office equipment products to help your business operate more efficiently.

Get Started