The Importance of Vendor Neutrality for Managed Print

Every company who does managed print will likely have a favorite brand or two they would like to sell.  We sell 4 brands consistently, but we are not coming right out and telling you one of these brands is the only one you should buy. The purpose of this article is to help you understand the importance of vendor neutrality as it pertains to managed print.

If you have a fleet of printers or copiers and have been getting quotes to swap them out, we want to cover a possible reason or two why that is happening and how working with a company who does not have all their eggs in one basket could be the perfect company for you to work with.

Let’s talk about vendor neutrality and why it matters. But before we do that, for the purpose of transparency, we normally support HP, Lexmark, Xerox and Brother. This only matters because we don’t want to pretend other brands are also not good. When it comes to managed print, we also work with some Konica Minolta, Canon, Ricoh and Kyocera devices too.

It is all about the support you get from us, the service times and how well you are treated, which matters. We have 4 of the top names, but it is always good to let the reader know where our bias could take us.

What is Vendor Neutrality?

When it comes to managed print, vendor neutrality means we will do what is best for our clients, regardless of the sticker or brand on the front of the printer. If you have 200 HP printers, we can support that. If you have 200 Xerox or Canon devices, that is fine too. Our goal is not to get you to buy Xerox or HP or Canon or any brand specifically. Our job is to know what each printer offers and make sure you have the best printer for your environment.

This could mean a mix and match of brands, but we typically find uniformity for a client to be a little better approach.

Why Stick With the Same Brand?

Ideally, a client would stick with the same brand because there are a few advantages. The first being, most of the time, the interface and drivers are about the same. When you work with the same brand across all your locations, staff get used to the interface and training becomes easier. If the rep goes from South Carolina to Denver, that’s OK because both offices use the same brand of printer. It also matters when it comes to driver installation because the IT department has fewer drivers to learn, know and manage.

Another reason to stick with the same brand is because when you buy, especially if you are getting a lot of printers at once, it improves your buying power and the opportunity to take advantage of special pricing.

What Brand Should We Pick?

Currently, we sell 4 brands pretty consistently and support another few. The most popular brand to support is HP. After HP, there is Lexmark, Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta. After that, we do some Ricoh or Toshiba (on limited agreements.) There are more printers out there than there are ways to support all the printers.

Without knowing your situation, we cannot really say one brand is the way to go. For example, if you bought 500 HP ColorLaserjet printers last year, does it make sense to swap them all into Xerox Versalink printers now, or run them until the end of their useful life? Having context is critical to making the best technological decisions for your company.

We would say you need to know what outcome you would like from your printers and copiers, and then we will help you get the right brand to match the outcome you are looking for. An auto dealership using special software may be different from the accountant printing taxes or the doctor using their EHR. At the end of the day, these are technical decisions you have to consider before you sign a managed print agreement.

If you would like to chat about what would work best for you, we welcome a conversation. Just give us a call and we will help you get the right copiers and printers for your office. These conversations can get confusing, and we would love to help you! We will also be happy to chat about what we can cover and where we can provide service with complete transparency with you. 

Generally speaking, we can handle printers all over the USA. Let us know how we can be of assistance to you!

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