by Mark Schneider, Y Soft
As if celebrity divorces are not entertaining enough, now corporations are splitting up too. It’s become the latest trend. HP, eBay and Symantec are recent Silicon Valley high-tech examples but recently companies in all sectors are doing it too: RR Donnelley, W.R. Grace and Computer Sciences. And research shows this trend will continue since the effect on shareholder value proves a split makes sense.
As a provider of IT services, what do you do if your customer announces they are splitting the company up? How can you turn this into a selling point – that in the event of a reverse merger (or changes in general), your solution and customer care organization can guide them through the change easily?
When a company plans to split up, the IT organization is hit the hardest – internal systems, contracts and services have to be analyzed so that vendors can be contacted and change plans organized. It’s a lot of work and not surprising that it takes companies years to complete a split.
In the case of print management, how your services and support are structured can make things easier for IT. From a pricing perspective, if pricing is done on a per device structure, it is much easier to calculate what pricing will look like for the split organizations – IT just needs to know how many MFPs are going to the various new entities. If pricing is done on a per-person or per-page basis, it becomes more complicated. The IT person will not know for a long time how employees will be allocated across the various new organizations and which of these employee groups are responsible for the bulk of print services.
Lastly on pricing, a print management solution and ongoing customer care based on a subscription model helps the organization as there are no lengthy contracts to renegotiate.
Consider also the print administrators role. Usually large organizations are a result of mergers and acquisitions. Sometimes these organizations fully merge IT operations. In a reverse merger, these IT operations now have to split. If the print management system is capable of having administrators for each division, what we call local administrators, a reverse merger is made much easier as the print management system is already configured for administrators to access and manage only those MFPs in their division. This is one less thing that IT management has to worry about.
An important consideration for a print administrator is a seamless continuation of services. How quickly can you react to requests for new quotes, billing changes and ongoing customer care? Does the new, slimmer organization need all the features or are some of those feature needed only in some of the new entities? Is your solution an all or nothing or is their flexibility based on critical needs?
While reverse mergers seem to be a trend, mergers and acquisitions are still happening too. The same considerations described above are headaches for the combined organization and the poor IT print administrator who has to sort it all out.
How flexible is your print management solution and the services that stand behind them? How do you picture that conversation going when your customer calls you and says, “We’re splitting the company”? Is splitting up hard to do or are you prepared? It’s a topic we invite discussion on as you consider adding managed print services to your offerings. Y Soft is here to help.
Mark Schneider is the national sales manager for Y Soft, North America. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org