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MPS: Choosing the right MPS provider

How to choose the right MPS provider

To C-Level Executives:

MPS providers are popping everywhere and the MPS market is made up with old copier vendors, printer manufacturers, and IT outsourcing vendors.  But how do you know which one is the right one for your company?  The most important criteria to consider when you are selecting a MPS provider are as follows (in no particular order):

Does the MPS provider do an existing assessment of your printing environment?

  A MPS provider cannot MANAGE your document output fleet if it does not MEASURE it first and they do this thru an assessment.  If you are bidding out your fleet, make sure each potential provider does their own assessment, don’t share assessments.

Do the MPS provider’s core competencies match your company’s strategic goals?

  Make sure they fit your needs and not the other way around.  Make sure the MPS provider offers a wide array of services.

Can the MPS provider meet your ever changing needs?

  Some MPS providers are good at supporting your equipment, but have limited experience in workflow solutions and document solutions.  Make sure the MPS providers an array of solutions and can actually delivery them.

References, References, References………..

  Ask for references for companies they support in your industry, as well as for each service they provider like workflow and document solutions.  Ask them how many pages and devices they manage monthly.

What is the service footprint and are they vendor neutral?

  The MPS provider must be able to support all of your locations and footprint.  Also, it is a key that the MPS provider can work on your whole fleet.  If they can’t, does the MPS provider offer support and manage devices from other vendors?  

Is the MPS SLAs and Agreement flexible?

  Technology and hardware is always changing, read the agreements to make sure you have the flexibility to change out equipment without costly fees.  What change management methodologies are used?

During the length of the agreement, does the provider conduct regular meeting with you?

 Communication is a KEY to a good MPS provider and they should meet with monthly or quarterly to make sure all goals and metrics are being met by both you and the provider.


C-Level Executives should use the following criteria when trying to find the right Managed Print Services provider.





May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors


  1. “A MPS provider cannot MANAGE your document output fleet if it does not MEASURE it first and they do this thru an assessment. If you are bidding out your fleet, make sure each potential provider does their own assessment, don’t share assessments. Not Cool”

    Surely the best way for a client to go would be with an independent assessment because in my experience each vendor will have a different method of establishing current costs and this can make it almost impossible to compare vendor A with Vendor B etc. In my opinion an independent assessment from which you can provide vendors the output is a much more reliable and accurate approach.

    Comment by Nigel Hancock | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  2. I agree with Nigel, getting the MPS providers to each perform an assessment does not make sense. Do your own assessment and if the required expertise is not present in-house an independent expert should be engaged. Also create your own solution design so that you can compare the providers directly.
    I also don’t particularly agree on flexibility. Sounds like a nice idea but there is no such thing as a free lunch. The more flexibility built into the contract the more expensive it will be. If you don’t need flexibility don’t ask for it because you will pay for it.
    Intellect UK will be publishing a white paper on MPS procurement next month and I’d recommend anyone wanting to know how to go about procuring a MPS to read it.

    Comment by James Duckenfield | May 12, 2010 | Reply

  3. It’s a good point that James makes, flexibility IS expensive. I can think of many MPS procurements that have started life with “technology refresh” as a major requirement but off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single one where it’s made it through to the final negotiations because the costs are just too high.

    The only exception to this might be where the client is seeking a five or seven year (rare)contract where a clause is needed to protect productivity as equipment reaches end of life and starts to become less reliable. In this case it might be wise to build in an element of churn in years 3-5 but you have to accept that you will be paying for some of that up-front.

    One of the MPS “golden rules” is that anything and everything is possible in an MPS contract; you can bundle into it pretty much anything you like BUT, you will pay for it. My advice is always “buy what you need” and invest more in determining that need in the first place rather than pay for what is effectively an insurance policy that you probably won’t need.

    Comment by Nigel Hancock | May 13, 2010 | Reply

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