Photizo Group, a managed print services research and consulting firm, has acquired Lyra Research, a research and consulting company that has strong ties to the international imaging industry.

This is the latest in a growing list of acquisitions within the managed services market since since the start of 2012. Financial terms of the Photizo Group-Lyra deal were not disclosed.

The deal seems to reinforce MSPmentor's belief that the managed document services (MDS) and managed print services (MPS) sectors are sure to ramp up in 2012. And when it does, Photizo Group is preparing itself to be the leader in MDS and managed print services MPS research, even as Garner Inc. and International Data Corp. (IDC) release their own research on the international state of MDS.

Photizo Group has had its research fingerprints all over the MPS and MDS markets even before the sector recently caught fire. The research and consulting firm hosts MPS conferences internationally and releases numerous MDS research documents.

But one of Photizo's recently released research studies offers a little insight into this recent Lyra acquisition, if you read between the lines. It's entitled 2011 European MPS Market and Roadmap, and it included two key predictions relevant to the company's Lyra Research acquisition.
  1. The European MPS market will be the largest MPS Market by 2013, based on revenue size.
  2. The European MPS market is one of the most diverse and fragmented regions for the imaging industry.
The first is significant because Lyra Research has a physical presence in five different international regions: the United States, Japan, Korea, China and, yes, Europe. And if you've been keeping up you know that the second is significant because Lyra is an established player in the imaging industry and can help make analytical sense of Europe's supposed fragmented and diverse MPS market.

As far as the logistics of the acquisition, both will keep their own brands and individual conferences that they host intact through at least 2012. Photizo and Lyra plan to evaluate how to potentially combine their events in 2013.

Photizo Group has been striving to further accelerate its growth over the past two years. The company raised $1.73 million in investment funding from Meritus Ventures to add more staff and expand its global coverage of MDS back in July 2010, even when most managed services providers (MSPs) were still not buying into MDS.

In fact, only 20 percent of  the top MSPs were offering managed print services at the time, according to our MSPmentor 100 Survey. Today, that figure is closer to 30 percent.

So where does Photizo go from here? Earlier this month Photizo projected that India will have the fastest growing MPS market in 2012, followed by Brazil's MPS market -- which the research firm projects will grow by 49 percent annually through 2014. My best guess is to look for Photizo to use more of its investment dollars to either expand its research into one of these two regions or into one of the other regions in which Lyra has an established, physical presence.