Managed print services gain favor in Asia

With tough economic climate affecting printer sales, vendors will look toward managed services, helping market to reach US$1 billion by 2012, says new report.

Managed print services (MPS) will make headway in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan region over the next three years, according to a new report from Springboard Research.

Released Monday, the report noted that the regional MPS market will grow to US$1 billion by 2012, from US$392 million in 2007. The robust growth, said Springboard's senior research analyst for services Sanchit Vir Gogia, is an indication that hardware vendors find MPS their "best growth bet" as the tough economic climate takes its toll on printer sales.

Enterprises in the region are eager to test and adopt the "next level" of printing environment, presenting the MPS vendors with a growth opportunity in a difficult economic situation," he noted.

Phil Hassey, vice president for services at Springboard, added: "The MPS model is still in its infancy in Asia-Pacific and enterprises in the region need to be educated that this is much more than an alternative print hardware purchase model.

"The challenge for providers is to ensure they manage MPS offerings prices and offer solutions as a long-term strategy, providing immediate and successful results for enterprises," he said.

During the forecast period, the Indian market is expected to be the fastest growing in the region, with a compound annual growth rate of 22.6 percent. In terms of actual size however, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) as well as China will provide the largest market opportunities.

Management services and device support services are the most attractive MPS markets in the region, said Springboard. The two sub-markets are expected to continue to stimulate nearly three-quarters of the demand for MPS through to 2012.

According to Griga, while the financial services and telecoms sectors have more mature printing demands, there are opportunities in industries such as retail, considered nascent in managed print offerings.

Within the region, there are three main players in the MPS space with Hewlett-Packard capturing the dominant share. Fuji-Xerox is ranked second, followed by Lexmark.