Buyers' guide: MPS advice

Advice for outsourcing and implementing managed printer services contracts

Burnside War Memorial Hospital chose a Kyocera Mita managed print services solution.

Burnside War Memorial Hospital chose a Kyocera Mita managed print services solution.

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While MPS can address a number of common print-related business problems, it should be noted that MPS isn’t an out-of-the-box wonder cure.

Like any enterprise-wide rollout, the headache of cultural management is likely to be the ultimate obstacle that stops an organisation from fully rolling out a managed print service, if at all.

Opposition to change, for instance, prevented the CIO at legal firm Gilbert & Tobin from implementing PIN-based or swipe card printing for confidential documents. Instead, Andrew Mitchell decided on a Lexmark solution which included printers that had personalised multi-tray bins, automatically separating each employees’ prints.

“It’s very hard to change the mindset of lawyers,” he says. “Like anything else they like to have it close by and they are dealing with sensitive data so we do need to make sure that people are confident.”

Some, like Knappstein at Burnside hospital, are resigned to modest gains as a result of ingrained culture as well as pure business requirements.

“For certain parts of the hospital, you cannot change too much,” he says. “The medical records department will print ‘X’ amount of pages per admission and that can never change so we’re not going to see any great improvement in those areas.”

But there is a secret to cultural management that some organisations have discovered in their travels, particularly when it comes to removing pesky personal printers: Work from the boss down. At Allens Arthur Robinson, its rollout began with the manager and the precedent simply followed.

“The managing partner said ‘I don’t need a personal printer, would you like to explain to me why you need one?’” says Allens’ Taylor. Once his decision was made, Taylor says there was a “ground swell” of support for the new system.

Debbie Louttit, IT customer services manager at Deakin University, saw the same effect when the institution’s new vice chancellor led the way.

After 18 months of trialling its managed Lexmark service for students, which currently averages a million impressions a month, the educational institution Deakin University is set to commence a wider rollout over its staff from next year, but the precedent is already in place.

"It will still be difficult, I have no doubt, but given the vice chancellor has said ‘I can go to a centralised printer, I don’t need one on my desk,’ it will make the discussion with staff a bit easier.”

For RAC’s Gilmore, showing the organisation’s employees how much paper they wasted – the equivalent of 300 to 400 trees each year - prompted a change in thinking that resulted in the organisation effectively halving the number of printers in its Perth rollout.

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Tags managed print servicesMPSAllens Arthur RobinsonDeakin University

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