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Now more than ever, companies are calling on managed print services (MPS) providers like Xerox to save money and spur growth. CIOs and IT managers recognize the need to proactively manage printed output, according to a survey recently released by research and analysis company Quocirca and co-sponsored by Xerox. Nearly 70% of survey respondents, made up of IT leaders in the US and Europe, say better management of their print infrastructure is a strategic imperative, with more than 90% stating they will continue with plans to deploy MPS to reduce the cost of printing, sharing and updating documents, despite a down economy.

2009 was a year of awareness for MPS (surveys such as this one prove a new acknowledgement of the value of MPS), and 2010 will be about adoption. While the majority of IT leaders recognize the value of MPS, most have yet to deploy a strategy. Organizations looking to leverage MPS this year should evaluate a potential provider's execution history. Companies like Procter & Gamble, the Dow Chemical Company and KeyCorp turned to Xerox for MPS because they pioneered the market and continue to deliver results, not just up-front promises.

Last fall, Xerox announced the availability of Enterprise Print Services (EPS), which differs from Managed Print Services in scope and opportunity. Whereas most MPS efforts are targeted at traditional output in the office, EPS expands to drive the benefits into the centralized print space, to mobile and virtual workers and into the home work setting. Expanding the benefits of MPS to the enterprise extends the value in many ways, including increased savings, improved document security and improved environmental sustainability results

Not surprisingly, 80% of Quocirca survey respondents rated the capacity for an MPS partner to manage devices from multiple vendors as either "important" or "very important." Xerox is currently the only vendor monitoring as many as 1.5 million devices from multiple vendors worldwide.

This will no doubt be another busy year for those of us in the MPS business. As someone who's been advocating the benefits of MPS for nearly a decade, it's exciting to see this service gain visibility, allowing even more organizations to reap the cost-savings benefits made possible with MPS.

Jim Joyce is senior vice president, Enterprise Print Services, Xerox. The complete survey results are available at http://www.quocirca.com/reports/433/managed-print-services-in-european-and-us-enterprises.