Ricoh Americas' professional services team has launched a Managed Print Services (MPS) initiative, which strives to help businesses streamline their print operations.

This is the latest attempt by a major printer company to brand IT services wrapped around hardware. For more than a year, Xerox has evangelized its PagePack managed services program to MSPs.

But while PagePack is designed with partners in mind, Ricoh's MPS effort sounds more like a direct sales customer engagement. Here are the details.

The Ricoh MPS effort has four stages, according to a company press release:
  • Assess: Provides a detailed overview of current costs and process workflows, along with maps of output device locations
  • Design: Recommends a future plan based on the assessment results with specific productivity, sustainability and security measures built it
  • Implement: Includes the execution of the plan in order to help users realize the benefits outlined in the Design phase
  • Manage: Helps organizations stick to the plan and adapt to any unexpected changes - enabling projected cost-savings and productivity gains to be realized
According to Ricoh, the company's MPS experts will work with customers to remove underused printers, multi-function printers, fax machines, etc. in order to consolidate systems.

There's also a green IT angle here. Ricoh claims the program can allow customers to use less energy, paper and toner.

An Idea That's Fit to Print

Meanwhile, Xerox has been in the market promoting its PagePack managed services program for more than a year.

PagePack allows VARs to charge customers a flat, predictable monthly fee for printer consumables. Xerox handles the back-end billing system, and is now integrating PagePack with MSP software providers.

Sources say Xerox is opening up PagePack to ConnectWise and N-able, with additional MSP platform support anticipated in 2009.

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