We recently spoke to over 250 IT managers about how they plan to gain better control over their day-to-day operational costs. To download a copy of the report, Back in the driving seat: Regaining control over SME costs click here.
The research showed that 2/3 of SMEs are looking to reduce their costs this year. But when asked how, 43% would sooner change their supplier than attempt to negotiate a better rate. One solution that was overlooked by almost all but a few IT managers was moving to a flat-rate service (in fact only 6% suggested it). A flat-rate service generally involves outsourcing a particular service to an external supplier who takes care of all the day-to-day variable costs, keeps the hardware running etc., but all for a flat rate fee. While most SMEs are used to paying a flat rate for their Internet access, they’re not used to, or simply may not be aware of, flat-rates for other services. Flat-rate printing is perhaps the least known option. Is it an IT manager’s best kept secret?
We have been working with HP to provide their flat-rate printing solution, HP QuickPage, for a while now. HP QuickPage is a new HP Managed Print Services (MPS) which rolls the hardware, installation, configuration, supplies, support and maintenance all into one simple contract with a pre-arranged monthly fee based on print usage.
But what is HP QuickPage actually like to use? To give you a better idea, we spoke to one of our HP QuickPage customers, Sibford School in Oxfordshire.
Set in more than 50 acres of grounds in the Oxfordshire countryside, Sibford School has approximately 420 pupils from the ages of 3 to 18. Sibford specialises in educating students with learning difficulties, particularly dyslexia, and with 150 staff, it delivers a very high staff/pupil ratio with the largest classes having only about 20 pupils.
The school procures much of its IT equipment through BT Business Direct and when it needed to replace one of its printers, its BT Business Direct account manager suggested that an HP QuickPage contract could be the answer for a number of reasons:
• Costs are predictable and transparent
• Administration is minimal so staff no longer need to take up their time on printers
• The school now has printers of a higher quality that it could not otherwise afford
When asked about his reasons for choosing the service, Martin Checkley, network manger at the school had this to say: “The main financial benefit of QuickPage is knowing that your outgoing money is going to be predictable, which is better than our previous situation when in some months, we would have to spend between £4,000 and £5,000 on toner cartridges. QuickPage agreements spread the cost of not only the unit but also the toner over the life of the agreement, which makes it much more manageable for us.”
“There were multiple reasons for us choosing QuickPage agreements,” says Checkley. “If you go for QuickPage you get not only the printer but also the installation and servicing if you need them. So long as you keep within the agreed number of pages a month, all the toner is included in the monthly charge as well. You know exactly what you are going to get throughout the lifetime of the printer and if it goes wrong it is replaced with another one. With QuickPage you have a direct debit in place which is very easy for our finance department to deal with.”
For more information about the service, visit the HP QuickPage section of our website here: http://www.businessdirect.bt.com/articles/promotions/products/hp-quickpage-8705.html