Doc pretty much lives in a world of confusing acronyms so I realize how difficult it can be to keep up. Especially when something like Managed Print Services (MPS) is compared to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Is MPS a sub-set of MSP? Or are the two completely different activities? I'm getting a headache.
For some insight, I turned to Jim Hamilton over at CompTIA, the non-profit group of IT communities (which includes a brand-new MPS community).
So what makes MPS truly different from managed services? The first major distinction is that there is little cross over between MPS providers and traditional managed service providers (MSPs). A distinct channel of MPS providers focuses on the management of hardcopy device fleets. Traditional MSPs without expertise and experience in MPS typically don't want the headaches associated with these various output devices. Up to this point, there is still little crossover between MPS and MSP tools and support services, despite the best efforts of several vendors and distributors. MPS requires a different type of sales process and an employee skill set that varies from traditional managed services—due to the physical and consumable requirements, as well as the challenges of document management and multi-function imaging devices.
As this market matures, there will be an increased need for MPS training to help traditional resellers transition and take advantage of this emerging market. In addition, there is an increasing need for unified direction for managed print–to differentiate it from traditional managed services as well as to better differentiate its providers from traditional print resellers. What's the difference between MPS and traditional managed services–it's like comparing apples and oranges.
You can read the full blog posting here.