How is online buying impacting the MPS sector?
Quocirca’s MPS Buying Habits report reveals that managed print services (MPS) customers are turning to online ecommerce channels to purchase printers for their remote workforce. Are MPS providers missing out on opportunities created by the growing preference for online procurement of print technology?
Supporting hybrid work and home printing
Quocirca’s research among IT decision makers in the UK, France, Germany and the US found 32% expect to continue with a mix of home and office work, and 27% expect remote-working employees to remain working from home (WFH) over the next year.
However, as the return to the office takes hold in 2023 and employees start to work more days in the office, it is likely that access to office MFPs on a more regular basis will displace the use of home printing. However, hybrid working will persist and many organisations will need to manage and support home printing for their employees.
MPS customers are moving online
Our research found that while almost half (47%) of companies use their MPS provider to procure printers for employees working from home, a further 47% use online channels.
MPS providers are most likely to be used to procure home printers in the US (53%) and the UK (52%), as well as by larger organisations (53%). French organisations are more likely (49%) to use an ecommerce site – almost double that found in other regions.
These largely transactional online purchases were useful during pandemic disruption. But over the long term, firms should be mindful that buying devices outside their existing MPS contract carries the risk of inefficiency, lack of cost control over consumables, poor integration with the business ecosystem, and sub-optimal security provision.
The use of cloud marketplaces for software
The preference for online purchasing is even more evident with software. Overall, 44% of companies already use online platforms to buy cloud print and document solutions with a further 32% planning to do so in the next 12 months.
This is highest in the US, where 68% are already using online marketplaces and amongst mid-market organisations, of which 51% already use online marketplaces compared to only 38% of large organisations.
The prevalence of online purchasing amongst smaller organisations is potentially a threat to companies in the traditional print channel that do not have ecommerce capabilities.
How can MPS providers capture the online opportunity?
As B2B buyers gravitate to ecommerce platforms for technology procurement, MPS providers need build a presence across online channels. In addition to transactional purchasing, MPS providers can offer professional services across established online marketplaces such as Amazon Business, AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform marketplaces.
Ultimately, without ecommerce capabilities, MPS providers are not only missing opportunities around online technology purchasing, but also may have less insight and control of the print infrastructure they are managing.
Learn more about how MPS customers are moving to online channels in Quocirca’s MPS Buying Habits Report.
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