As many of you know, I have a certain level of contempt for the bloating of the managed print services industry. Or rather the level of non-experts who insist upon hijacking the bandwagon and riding the coattails of folks like us, which from my point of view dilutes the professionalism and elegance of a once respectable niche market. Adding to the frustration of this situation is the fact that the "big boys" speak of expertise and flaunt global accounts with flashy marketing schemes which for all intent and purpose are grandiose collectives of smoke and mirrors. There is more (snake) oil in this industry than there is in the gulf of Mexico.
While organizations such as the MPSA and the Photizo group are reflections of the finer points and honorable aspects of the industry, neither of these groups speak of these hard truths. While this is to be expected for obvious reasons, one has to consider the dynamics within the realm of managed print services and report on both the light and the dark sides of this industry.
Managed Print Services is at once an honorable industry with virtually unlimited potential while also serving as a catalyst for the darkest depths of depravity in regards to the filth of commodity which for some, will serve as nothing more than a tool for self righteous financial indulgence.
We must ask ourselves
Is being a giant corporation with a "now offering MPS" marketing ploy enough to make you an expert?
Will the customers who get burned by the "used car salesmen" of the industry spew hate for MPS as a whole?
Will they give the real experts a chance after such an ordeal?
Will MPS carry the same debonair after the wheat is separated from the chaff?
Who knows. Maybe the bullsh*t wont hurt the industry all that much and after its shoveled and removed everyone will forget about it right?
Customers who signed multiple year contracts swayed by the promise of savings falling from the lips of well dressed men, only to find out that had they dug a little deeper and had they looked past the buzz words and green wash that they could have done business with a real expert apposed to a magician with well rehearsed lines of double talk...
The most import people in managed print services are the customers.
These are the people who matter the most.
And these are the folks who are going to get burned by these "MPS experts".
Yeah sure you may end up feeling bad for the guy who spent a month in Vegas gearing up for a long succesful career in MPS only to crash and burn. But think about all the hard working people in the companies he was supposed to be helping. When a customer signs that contract they believe that you are going to save them money and on some levels provide them with a sense of security. They believe that their business is going to be better because they choose you to be their provider.
So before you hotshots latch on to the bandwagon, think about the customers. Think about the people.