Analyst Report > Assessment Importance

Oct 20, 2014Analyst Report written by IDC

The Importance of Initial Assessment and Ongoing Consultancy in Managed Print and Document Services Engagements

Sponsored by Kyocera Document Solutions Inc.-

By Holly Muscolino,
Research Vice President, Document Solutions, IDC

The success of a managed print and document services engagement is highly dependent on assessing the current state, effectively designing the future state, and providing ongoing tracking for continuous improvement.

One of the most critical phases of a managed print and document services engagement is an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the current state of an organization's print and document infrastructure and workflows. The assessment provides the baseline for the design of a future, optimized state.

The assessment must include several components:

  • Detailed device inventory – Including personal desktop devices as well as networked printers and MFPs. This data is usually collected via an automated "agent" over a period of time, as well as via an onsite survey. The analysis must include total cost of ownership (TCO) data for each device.
  • End user requirements – This includes end user workflow, output requirements, and accessibility as well as specific requirements for individual departments and functions. This information is gathered via end user interviews and surveys as well as site visits.

In the future, we expect assessments to also look at document-intensive business processes, particularly those that appear to be highly manual and/or could benefit from re-engineering. This information is also gathered via end user interviews and surveys and site visits.

It is important to note that a comprehensive assessment that includes end-user interviews and surveys is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Therefore, these assessments, though critical, will likely come at a cost to the organization. This is a valuable investment, as solutions that use a "brute force" method to consolidate devices may lead to reduced employee productivity and satisfaction.

Once the assessment is complete, the provider must develop the future state design, taking into consideration end user and business process requirements, organizational objectives and corporate culture, in addition to TCO for all devices. This requires a consultative approach on the part of the managed print and document services provider, and should be accomplished in close collaboration with the organization.

Consultancy and collaboration does not end with the deployment of the new infrastructure. Your managed print and document services provider should provide ongoing access to detailed, real-time information, including device data and statistics as well as information about service and security incidents and performance against SLAs. In addition to keeping you informed, your provider should use this information to look for patterns and trends that indicate additional opportunities for optimization of your print and document infrastructure and workflows.

You and your managed print and document services provider should meet on a regular basis to review all aspects of your deployment. These meeting may occur more frequently at the operational level, but should also include regular management updates. It is important to remember that the objective of regular meetings goes beyond vendor management. Continuous improvement should be a goal of any managed print and document services engagement, facilitated by close collaboration between you and your provider. In addition, these meetings will enable your organization to stay abreast of new products, technologies or services available from your provider. Ongoing communication is critical to the continuing success of your print and document management initiatives.

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Analyst Report > Assessment Importance