Only about 20 percent of MSPs focus some of their efforts on managed print services, according to the ongoing MSPmentor 100 survey (which closes Dec. 17). I find that figure surprisingly low -- especially since printers will remain an on-premise, recurring revenue opportunity for VARs and MSPs over the long haul. So what's holding back the managed print services market? I've got a few hunches.

For starters, many printer companies remain too difficult to work with. During a phone call last week with a Texas-based MSP, the company CEO told me he had essentially scrapped his managed print efforts because his chosen vendor was big, monolithic, slow-moving and enterprise-facing. There was little to no SMB focus from the printer company.

No doubt, many printer companies want to generate managed print profits. And Xerox earlier this week was quick to celebrate its continued managed print success in Europe. But there was nary a mention of partners in the news announcement.

Still, there are some noteworthy victories in the managed print market. We keep hearing about managed print conferences hosted by Photizo Group. And there are anecdotal success stories out there with partner programs such as Xerox PagePack.

But if managed print services is such a huge opportunity how come we hear from so few MSPs on the topic?

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