Sunday, February 19, 2012

Managed Documents "The Next Big Thing"?

We've all read the hype about Managed Print Services, some of us have embraced it, some of us have tried it and stated it's not for us.  But did we ever think about Managing the Scanned Documents? 

I sell "down the street", hardware has always been my bread and butter.  After 32 years in the business I can see the trend to scan more, and email more and a distinct line in the sand for companies to not print and copy as much.  The documents are still there, they're just being scanned and saved more and more.

So, with more SaaS Cloud Document Management Systems on the horizon, the increasing popularity of Microsoft 365 why can't we (dealers) have a plan for SMB's to manage the scanned documents?

I hear excuses from potential customers like  "We'd like to do this, however we don't have the IT expertise to do this",  "We can't hire another person right now for this", "We're kind of illiterate when it comes to operating new software applications", "We can't afford the training right now". 

Everyone likes idea of being able to find documents when they need them and the idea of being able to access documents when they are out of the office. 

So, why can't we offer a Managed Document approach to the scanned documents?  I'm thinking we can do this easily and offer Block Time Agreements, a monthly billing charge or maybe a document charge.  We could meet with clients and develop their index and naming process. The customer would then scan all of the documents to a folder on the server, once a week we could log in, index and upload those documents to the SaaS program. 

We would only have to train the user in finding the documents, or we could even manage this part of the business.  Just think of it, no IT resources would be needed for the customer, no additional hardware, no learning curve on how to use the software.  We can manage and do it for them similar to a Managed Print Program, only we would control the documents.

We can bill professional services monthly or even bill by the document.  This would alleviate the large investment, along with removing the fear of buying a product and never using it.

I'm sure, someone, somewhere is doing this.  I think it's about time we offered this to our SMB accounts.  Thoughts, Ideas?

-=Good Selling=-


Ken Stewart said...

Hmmm... you mean there is a decent way to incent additional stickiness with your customer while providing a true win-win?

Art, I love it!

The beauty of this is that it can start with relatively little capital expenditure, and there are some great SaaS-based partners to help with this.

The missing link has been the vision to pull it all together and make it a viable source of revenue.

Lots of positives in this business model, especially when bundled with the rest of the offering!

Art Post said...

Ken, thanx for the kudos, imagine that no upfront cost for "Managed Documents"! I've started pitching it with ms sharepoint, and will move to a cloud dms solution quickly, who knows maybe I'll quit my day job!


Anonymous said...

Art, interesting concept. To be truly beneficial to the client there would have to be specific predescribed metadata properties used to index and identify and categorize the documents to the client to make search successful and swift. This would involve some preliminary design sessisons and corresponding fees. Office 365 is perfect for this.

Art Post said...


Exactly, we could bill pro services for consulting for the exact metadata and design!