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Security hampers shift towards cloud printing

Customers have been moving towards off-premise options, but concerns around data integrity remain

Cloud print levels have surged over the past year as users start to take advantage of the option, but many are still concerned about security.

Market watchers Quocirca has shared its Cloud print services 2024 landscape report, with the headline finding that 69% of respondents are now using a cloud print management solution, up from 55% a year earlier.

The move has not come at the cost of on-premise printing, with print server deployments also rising through the period. The result is that the vast majority of customers (74%) are taking a hybrid approach to print management, and just over half are planning to install more print servers this year.

The concerns surrounding sending print jobs to the cloud remain, with Quocirca finding that data protection worries were still the top barrier to wider cloud print adoption, followed by functionality and cost.

Louella Fernandes, CEO of Quocirca, said that channel partners operating in the print market need to be aware of the current landscape. “There is a paradox in the cloud print environment right now. Despite accelerating adoption, we are seeing more print servers being deployed and continuing concerns about security,” she said.

“It seems that providers are not positioning cloud-based solutions strongly enough and are failing to articulate the significant administrative and cost benefits cloud print management delivers.

“Cloud print service providers must focus on addressing these areas of customer concern and articulating the cost, efficiency and agility advantages of moving print management to the cloud. Many earlier concerns have been resolved through, for example, advances in universal print driver sophistication and improvements in cloud print functionality, but there is still work to be done to convince buyers.”

There is also work to be done helping those that stick with on-prem printing, with many customers bemoaning the administrative burden it places on IT teams and keeping on top of updating drivers.

“Cloud print management solutions can address all these challenges, and providers should be leveraging this to deliver more cloud print solutions. For distributed working environments that need to be both agile and closely monitored, cloud print management makes a lot of sense,” said Fernandes.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the print world Epson has rejigged its channel sales team, with Jason Walcott getting the chance to lead the firm’s new corporate end-user sales team. He comes from the projection side of the business and will be joined by Dan Bacon, who has a background in managed print services, and Dave McLuckie, who has a CV with plenty of corporate sales experience.

The team will include public sector frameworks specialist Dominic Kennedy and Eric Hamer, who joins from the vendor’s reseller team and will be the link between channel partners and customers.

Walcott, corporate end-user sales manager at Epson, said that the vendor wanted to take a fresh approach with this team.

“Years in the IT industry has taught me that IT vendors will design their business structure around their products, not their customers. But most businesses want solutions, not simply ‘products’, and by providing easier access across Epson’s full range, businesses can enjoy the consistency of Epson’s product quality, user-interface and sustainability benefits,” he said.

“This new team is being adopted across other countries in Europe to offer end-users frictionless trade when procuring Epson technologies across different countries,” he added.

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