Quocirca Predicts: Trend #2: The Smart MFP as a digital enabler
In 2020 market consolidation will continue as the global print industry landscape continues to face the forces of digital disruption. Erosion of legacy revenue streams driven by hardware commoditisation and the ongoing transition to digitisation are forcing industry players to consider new ways of remaining relevant to enterprise customers. While many have embarked on journeys to become digital workplace service providers, the market remains vulnerable to rapid shifts in digital technology, competitor activity and customer needs.
To remain relevant in the rapidly changing digital workplace, manufacturers and their partners should capitalise on five key trends in the coming year. This is the second article in Quocirca’s Print Predictions series. Read Quocirca Predicts Trend #1 here.
Trend #2: The Smart MFP as a digital transformation enabler will come of age
The Smart MFP is a key enabler for digital transformation, acting as a conduit to digital workflow automation. While manufacturers have long been supporting embedded platforms to enable document capture and distribution to both the cloud and enterprise apps, adoption has not reached maturity.
Through 2020, the positioning of smart MFPs as intelligent digital workplace productivity devices will demand a strong and broad portfolio of digital workflow solutions as well as a channel ready to transition to more of a software and services model. While digital workflow apps are a first step to integrating the smart MFP with digital business processes, the more lucrative services will be around more complex business process and workflow automation.
Today, the most mature smart MFP platform is Xerox ConnectKey. Xerox ConnectKey-enabled MFPs support a range of cloud and mobile digital workflows, boosted by a broad ecosystem of Xerox and third party-developed apps. However, HP has recently entered the market with its HP Workpath technology, based on Google’s Android platform. Although later to the market, HP’s participation will undoubtedly build awareness of the advantages of leveraging a smart MFP platform. This will potentially boost implementation of Smart MFPs as part of broader digital transformation initiatives in 2020 and beyond.
Quocirca’s MPS 2019 study revealed that over 80% of businesses using MPS do find that using the smart functions within an MFP is of value: however, the channel needs to build more expertise in this area to better educate both prospects and existing customers in the value of the apps to fully capture the opportunity.
Managed Print Services (MPS) will remain a potential enabler for digital transformation, and it will be by positioning the true value of the smart MFP as a digital workplace tool that industry players will make the most ground.
- 76% of organisations expect paper digitisation to be important to their businesses in 2025 (Source: Quocirca’s Print 2025 Report, Second Edition)
- The growth in digitisation will also drive a growth in the need for better integrated print and digital information workflows. Print vendors need to grab this opportunity to build competitive advantage with higher value services.
- In 2020, major industry players will expand their portfolio of embedded digital workflow apps to exploit the digital transformation opportunity.
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