Managed print innovations set the tone for Ergo
I wonder how many of the people coming to our event next week – Rethink Managed Print (see below) – realise that Ergo started out as a supplier of toner cartridges for printers, back in the mid-nineties when the market was on the cusp of huge change. Before I started Ergo I was working for print and copier companies, Sharptext and Rank Xerox, so it’s no surprise that print and document services are still at the forefront of my plans.
Ergo has grown to become one of the largest IT services providers on the island, delivering on a whole range of business technology solutions, but print remains core to what we do. Because it was the starting point, it has also defined how we do things, instilling in our culture the need to constantly innovate and be better than our competitors.
Pioneers in print
Back at the start, we quickly moved from selling consumables to launching the first Managed Print Service (MPS) in Ireland. This was the Nineties when the first MFDs (Multi-Function Devices) were only starting to make an impact and the benefits of managing a fleet of networked devices was still being understood.
Before then, companies had relied on a disparate collection of printers, copiers and scanners, all from different manufacturers with their own service agreements and consumables. A management nightmare was compounded because copiers and printers fell between two stools, facilities and the IT department. This is still an issue in some organisations, but there’s no doubt that the arrival of the networked print estate put control firmly in the hands of IT.
What happened next is a microcosm of what has happened throughout the IT industry. The rise of managed services. We were real pioneers and innovators in print because we were the first service provider to take the headache away from companies. How did we do it? By consolidating, standardising and centralising; by divesting inhouse IT of the burden of managing the estate and adding value in the process.
Measure of success
I suppose the best measure of our success is that some of those first customers from over 20 years ago are still with us today, but the MPS we provide them with now bears no resemblance to the service they took back then.
In the intervening years, features and functionality have exploded: pull-printing, mobile printing, better security, scanning solutions. We have made giant leaps in document routing, creating digital workflow and integrating with other applications like our own FlowFlorma product.
All good stuff, but there’s another factor that defines every kind of customer engagement Ergo enters into. We set about solving client problems as if they were our own. A core Ergo value is about being open and transparent with our customers, forming special relationships that break down vendor/client walls to get the job done more effectively.
Sometimes it’s hard to convey the power of this partnership approach, especially in the print and document market where there has been a race to the bottom on price that threatens to turn what should be a well-managed utility into a cheap commodity. For over 20 years we’ve been showing customers it’s much more than that by unlocking real value and taking them on a journey of business transformation.
I do hope you can join us on Friday 7th October when I’ll be there with our team to give you a taste of what sets us apart, including some security innovations to help combat the rising threats to document services. The only reason we’re still leading the way after 20 years is because we don’t sit on our laurels; we tackle head-on the challenges of the day and urge you to do the same.
To hear more about Ergo’s unique approach to managed print, and a special focus on security, book your free place at the Re:Think Managed Print event at Carton House on Friday, October 7th.