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Digital transformaton is often linked with some of the emerging technologies, including AI, IoT and M2M learning. But the trend also presents an opportunity for those pitching printers and print management.
Despite the well publicised benefits of print management, to help customers get a handle on what is happening and control their printing costs, there continue to be many users that are not yet taking advantage of the technology.
Ondrej Krajicek, chief technology strategist at Y Soft, said that offices were changing as a result of the impact of technology and increases in flexibility and collaboration.
“There is a huge amount of potential for the future office to be more efficient and better connected than we ever could have imagined two or three decades ago, and we should be welcoming these new technologies with open arms. However, the ongoing role of print management should not be discounted: moves to make the office paperless have gathered pace in recent years, but demand for the ability to print documents remains high," he said.
The challenge for those providing print management is the same as elsewhere in the managed services space, to keep pace with changing customer demands.
“Key to ensuring print keeps up with the pace of technological innovation lies in the development of next-generation print management software, which is optimised to deal with the changing nature of the modern office. This technology has been created with the increasingly paper-light, digitally transformed office in mind, and so emphasises the need to streamline cumbersome processes and increase automation when it comes to administering printing," added Krajicek.
“Any print management solution that a company adopts should have the future office very much in mind. At the very least, businesses should be looking at a solution that is flexible and adaptable to modern needs," he pointed to cloud-based offerings as a way of meeting those evolving needs.
Pressure on printer hardware continues to be an issue in Western Europe with the UK recording a sell-in decrease of 2% for Q1, according to figures from Context.
The analyst house found that across EMEA printer hardware shipments were up by 3% in Q1, with Central and Eastern Europe producing 10% year-on-year growth to help swell those numbers.
“Sell-in to Western Europe accounts for about 65% of all printer hardware shipments to EMEA and declined by −3% year-on-year in Q1 2018 – although this was an improvement on the previous two quarters”, said Ralph Mascarenhas, Imaging Analyst at Context.
“Sell-in levels of single-function devices continued to fall, making a significant contribution to the overall decrease, while those of MFPs were up on Q1 2017,” he added.