Print management services may not sound like a huge deal, but it's big business and Hewlett-Packard and Xerox are spending accordingly as they battle each other as well as Ricoh.
Earlier this week, both Xerox and HP bought companies that are designed to fill in gaps of their respective managed print services portfolio.
Xerox on Wednesday bought NewField IT, a U.K. print consulting firm. NewField IT's specialty is implementing managed print services (MPS) faster with its Asset DB software, which creates visual maps of floor plans and locations of printers and copiers. The software also maps usage patterns.
After all, a big part of MPS is finding rogue printers and eliminating waste at companies. Enterprises benefit from lower ink costs as well as offloading hours devoted to maintenance.
On Tuesday, HP bought Printelligent, which gives the company more foot soldiers for its MPS effort. Printelligent specialized in small and mid-sized businesses, a market HP is targeting for future growth.
MPS is deemed to be a growth market by industry analysts and that fact has attracted a lot of competition. Xerox and HP are in Gartner's leader quadrant for printers and related services, but Ricoh is right up there. In other words, MPS is a three horse race and these companies are looking for tuck-in acquisitions to get an edge.