Calling All Channel Partners! | Discover Quocirca’s New Channel Insider Programme.

Quocirca Predicts: Trend #4: Products to platforms

Quocirca Predicts: Trend #4: Products to platforms

November 27, 2019
Articles, Channel, Digital Transformation, Managed Print Services, Trends

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 fourth article in Quocirca’s Print Predictions series.

Trend #4: From products to platforms – innovation will rely on open developer ecosystems

The industry must make faster changes to move from product to platform. This will provide more opportunities for broader value-add services, particularly if integrated with cloud IoT platforms.

Building a broad digital ecosystem is a strong opportunity for print manufacturers to pursue innovative, agile business models to remain competitive and grow outside of their traditional core business.

In 2020 and beyond, a thriving developer ecosystem will be critical to success for manufacturers and their partners. Developers are central to digital innovation and fundamental to the success of today’s smart MFP embedded workflow platforms. A platform model is perhaps the strongest opportunity for manufacturers to build an ecosystem around MFPs to support digital transformation initiatives. Although many have introduced embedded app platforms, only a few have so far have created a broad developer community.

Such smart MFP platforms not only expand the opportunities around digital workflow solutions and services, but also help manufacturers drive innovation. Consider that while internal innovation is limited to the resources and vision of any one manufacturer, a diverse developer community can provide limitless opportunities for innovation – think co-creation and co-innovation.

Going forward, APIs and engagement with developers will require more consideration as manufacturers develop their digital business models. There is certainly a wide-open opportunity for manufacturers to build stronger relationships with the developer community and differentiate their developer ecosystems.

While Xerox ConnectKey is the most established platform today, HP Workpath promises to build further momentum in the development and fast deployment of customised digital workflow apps. With the latest Global Print 2025 report revealing that ISVs set to become more influential amongst businesses looking for strategic print suppliers, providing a flexible development platform will be key to helping channel partners more effectively deliver workflow solutions to their customers.

Ultimately it will be the open platforms with ecosystems that allow partners, customers, and users to co-innovate that gradually overtake closed, proprietary platforms. It will be those manufacturers that operate as software companies that will be more likely to drive innovation and move beyond the hardware-led, transactional model.

  • 41% of businesses believe smart MFP embedded apps are very useful to their organisation, with 83% rating them fairly or very useful
  • The influence of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) with customers is set to accelerate between now and 2025 as the platform economy and digital ecosystems continue to gain currency. (source: Quocirca’s Print 2025 Report, Second Edition, 2019)

Read Quocirca’s 2020 Predictions here:

Quocirca Predicts Trend #1 Cloud MPS Evolves

Quocirca Predicts Trend #2 Smart MFP as a Digital Enabler

Quocirca Predicts Trend #3 The Analytics Opportunity

To register for an Executive Summary of Quocirca’s Global Print 2025 Second Edition Report or to purchase a copy please visit the report page here on

In the spotlight with Quocirca

In conversation with industry leaders

Find out more


Get in touch with Quocirca to find out more.

Get in touch

Print 2025

A global market insight study

Visit Print 2025


Expert and actionable insight to inform business innovation and strategy.

View Services

Stay ahead with industry insights

Receive Quocirca’s latest articles and research updates


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Stay ahead with industry insights

Receive Quocirca’s latest articles and research updates


You have Successfully Subscribed!