Deep Dive – Managed Print Services Evolution: From 2011 to the Cloud Era


Printing the Future: MPS from Ink Drops to Cloud Tops

Executive Summary:

  1. From its foundational days in 2011, Managed Print Services (MPS) has expanded its horizons, moving beyond basic print functionalities to holistic business process optimization.
  2. The rise of remote work and the integration of cloud technologies have reshaped the MPS landscape, presenting both challenges and unparalleled opportunities.
  3. As businesses transition to hybrid and digital models, MPS remains a pivotal player, guiding organizations with innovative solutions and a forward-thinking approach.

The world of Managed Print Services (MPS) has always been a curious one.

It’s an industry that, at first glance, seems to be about the simple act of putting ink on paper. But as the years have rolled on, especially as we approached the pivotal year of 2011, it became clear that MPS was about so much more than that. It was about evolution, adaptation, and the occasional revolution.
In 2011, the MPS industry was grappling with its identity. It was a time of introspection, with industry players pondering the true essence of MPS. Was it merely about fleet replacement, toner fulfillment, and occasional onsite service? Or was it about a broader vision, encompassing business process optimization and holistic efficiency?

The rise, fall, and subsequent rise of MPS were foreseen, even as office printing began its decline. The industry found itself at a crossroads, with some advocating for the evolution of MPS beyond its traditional boundaries, while others remained anchored to its foundational principles.

Fast forward to today, and the MPS landscape is markedly different, yet eerily familiar. The advent of remote work, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has had profound implications for MPS. Remote work has accelerated the shift towards A4 devices, and the need for analog backups (paper) has become more pronounced in the face of rising cyber threats. Print tracking and user authentication are becoming the norm, heralding new ways of doing business and fresh opportunities to manage print.

However, the challenges are also more pronounced. The decline in office printing, coupled with the rise of digital workflows, has posed existential questions for the industry. The shift to remote work has distanced employees from traditional office equipment, prompting questions about the future of MPS. Yet, as the industry grapples with these challenges, it also finds itself at the cusp of new opportunities.

Amidst the fundamental transformations sweeping the imaging industry, the dealer channel community finds itself compelled to embrace flexibility in response to evolving customer requirements for hybrid workplaces and digitization. The imperative for portfolio diversification emerged as a crucial strategy. Businesses have recognized the significance of expanding their offerings to tap into new revenue streams and maintain competitiveness in an increasingly digital market.

Simultaneously, the significance of cloud-based print technologies has come to the forefront. It’s no longer a question of “if” the transformation to cloud-based print technology will happen, but “when”.

With a significant portion of organizations striving to implement cloud-based print solutions, the shift towards the cloud is evident. Customers are moving away from on-premise technical hardware, recognizing its limitations, and are looking towards the cloud to achieve significant reductions in overall costs for IT infrastructure and maintenance. Authentic cloud-based print solutions that synchronize with customer’s cloud approaches are highly sought after. Differentiate between authentic cloud solutions and those merely masquerading as such.

In the ever-evolving landscape of Managed Print Services, the industry has showcased remarkable adaptability. From the introspective days of 2011 to the current era of digital transformation and cloud integration, MPS has consistently risen to meet the challenges of the times. As businesses navigate the demands of hybrid workplaces and the digital realm, MPS stands as a beacon, illuminating the path forward with innovative solutions and a commitment to excellence. For those keen on staying updated with such transformative insights, delve deeper into content like this at

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Greg Walters, Head Writer