Over the past 30 years, providers and users of varied technologies have recognized the need to engage in services targeted at monitoring, managing and optimizing their solution. Providers that once were considered just component manufacturers have transformed into business partners, earning this distinction by delivering outcome-driven services and winning customers’ trust and loyalty along the way. Cost-savings, increased productivity, and improved time to cash have become increasingly important to customers. As a result delivery of most business-critical technologies today is often paired with some form of managed service. Yet the technologies that digitize information and serve as the on-ramp to most mission-critical business processes have not been supported by these types of services.
While there were many precipitating factors that drove technology providers to develop and deliver managed services, three stand out: visibility, control, and lifecycle management. Each has contributed to the appeal and longevity of these services.
Prior to managed services, customers invested a significant amount into a solution but had no idea if the solution was: being used to its maximum capacity, delivering outcomes as expected, or showing signs that it needed some form of intervention. Similarly, technology providers delivered a solution but had no idea how it was being used, whether it was the right fit for the customer’s needs, or if there was an impending failure that could negatively impact customer satisfaction.
By 1989, a few technology providers, specifically copier manufacturers, started equipping their products with remote telemetry and diagnostics data paths, opening the door to data sets that previously needed to be manually retrieved. This dawn of “visibility” shed light on the performance and state of the technology which could be shared with the provider’s service team, internal product development team, and customers alike. Once visibility was attained, there was no turning back. Devices from copiers and printers to switches and routers were all designed with the ability to provide key operational data on demand, fueling greater value for all stakeholders.
With visibility through data comes the ability to control processes, execution and, ultimately, outcomes. Many components of managed service offerings were derived from customers’ requests for control in addition to mere reporting of the data. For example, while it was good to know that a particular technology was being used significantly through meter counts, it was more important to customers to control costs by eliminating unnecessary or unwanted usage.
This form of control enabled providers to engage in value-based pricing and value-driven sales motions, leading to significant changes to their commercial model. Customer benefits transcended the use of the technology. Control improved and created new business processes which, coupled with technology efficiencies, delivered higher profitability for providers and customers alike.
One of the control points that benefitted both parties was the ability to determine if and when the managed assets were under- or over-specified or reaching end of life. Data and simple analytics enabled providers to assist customers in the journey of deciding what to buy and when. Successful providers did not just focus on making another product sale but ensuring the customer maximized the use of current investments, and applied new investments in an informed and purposeful manner.
Lifecycle Management presented an opportunity for providers to develop and strengthen trust with their customers. This shifted the provider’s relationship with the customer from that of transactional vendor to a trusted partner, delivering tangible benefits through expert advice and knowledge that extended beyond the products.
Managed Capture Services can now be added to the list of pairings of products and managed services. When one considers information capture systems (i.e. document scanners and software) as the enabling technology for data extraction in mission critical business processes, understanding and managing utilization and lifecycle data provides a significant opportunity to improve the efficiency of the processes these systems support.
Optimized capture systems affect more than just data extraction. The ideal system enables capturing once and delivering usable content to downstream business processes. Inefficiencies at the start of the process have a compounding effect manifested in time lost to correcting data manually, exception handling when errors are found, and dissatisfied customers when outcomes are not attained. Properly delivered Managed Capture Services ensure that capture systems are properly assessed, managed and optimized to meet the customer’s ongoing and, often, changing business needs.
Leading capture system providers have traditionally delivered comprehensive value through Repair and Maintenance (R&M) and Professional Services as separate offers. Delivery of the aggregate of hardware, software/solutions, R&M and Professional Service and flexible provisioning options through Managed Capture Services (MCS) engages providers and customers in a more meaningful and productive relationship.
Managed Capture Services, delivered by providers with broad experience in their specific technology field, make actionable information accessible to customers and immediately impacts productivity, costs and helps inform investments. Coupled with state-of-the art products, MCS delivers unprecedented value, efficiency, and savings to customers.
Customers can rely on a MCS provider as a trusted partner that helps drive investment decisions with data and expertise, not sales pressure. Best-in-class providers also leverage systems from which operational data can be extracted in support of remote and automated management, allowing them to serve their customers better.
Customers seeking MCS providers should seek participants rooted in the evolution of capture, with the ability to provision and manage hardware and software as part of an outcome-focused solution, and in the process manage the lifecycle of the solution with a worldwide services presence. For more information on Managed Capture Services, please visit www.alarisworld.com/en-us/services/managed-capture-services.