There's money in managed print services. How do I know? First, Photizo Group started organizing managed print services conferences -- and the buzz tied to the events has been pretty positive. More recently, CompTIA organized a community for managed print services. The big question: Can Photizo Group, CompTIA and print manufacturers help to turn the sleepy managed print services industry into a big money maker for MSPs? Here are some perspectives.

On the one hand, dozens of MSPs make a good living by promoting managed print partner programs like Xerox PagePack. But on the other hand, managed print isn't exactly at the top of most MSPs' To Do List. Why's that. As ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini mentioned during the IT Nation conference, "Managed print ain't sexy. It's not shiny. But it will make you money." Bellini noted that managed print is a service that will never go away -- even as SMBs shift some IT services into the cloud.

So how can MSPs gain knowledge about the managed print market? Photizo Group bangs the drum loudest, organizing managed print conferences across the globe. And now, CompTIA seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, recently launching a new member-driven community for managed print services. The community will evaluate the need for a managed print services organizational credential while developing best practices and standards for the market, according to a CompTIA press release.

Greg VanDeWalker, senior VP, strategic relationships, GreatAmerica Leasing Corp., will serve as chairman of the CompTIA Managed Print Services Community. US-based GreatAmerica is a national commercial equipment finance company that has extensive HaaS (hardware as a service) and leasing experience. When it comes to managed services, GreatAmerica is savvy, having built relationships with N-able and other industry players.

Meanwhile, CompTIA has been getting savvier about the managed services market. A few examples: CompTIA acquired MSP Partners -- a vendor-led organization -- in 2009. Plus, industry executives like Autotask CEO Bob Godgart have been helping CompTIA to focus more on managed services and recurring revenue opportunities for CompTIA members.

Still, associations can be slow moving. Without necessarily pointing to CompTIA, we've all seen associations form focus groups and committees that never quite fulfill their promise. We'll be watching to see how CompTIA potentially helps to nurture the managed print services market. And we'll keep our eye on the Photizo Group as they continue to launch conferences and research tied to the managed print sector.

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