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In the competitive business environment, DMS and MPS are the most sought after technologies — they help businesses stay agile, reduce costs and boost productivity. Yet, the adoption of these technologies is witnessing a staggered growth and companies selling such software have to navigate through a welter of challenges.
By Pupul Dutta
As organisations continue to grow, their volume of data grows with them. Most establishments conduct their communications through digital means and they produce terabytes of data everyday. Organisations also prefer to convert physical paper to digital formats for safe keeping and easy archival and retrieval.
Document Management System (DMS) and Managed Print Services (MPS) are becoming important. Majority of the enterprises opt for both or one of these services because of the agility that it brings to the business. Since users are adopting these technologies on a global scale, several trends are emerging in the document management market, influencing decision-makers to select one vendor over another.
Another reason for rapid adoption of DMS is that paper documents are not only difficult to store, they are also perishable. Management of paper documents entails extra man-hours and there is overall loss of efficiency. Hence companies have to go in for DMS to stay competitive.
Managed Print Services, on the other hand, help facilitate document management, in a way that they are printed and shared in accordance with the business needs of the company. The concept of MPS is evolving everyday, as the realisation has started dawning on the companies that going digital helps the environment.
Document management system (DMS) is known to help organisations with managing their documents and assist in proper preservation and storage mechanisms. It also helps reduce document deterioration by digitising all the documents. DMS has become a key business priority for most organisations as they seek new ways of managing the barrage of information they create and share on a daily basis.
According to a Research & Markets report, the global market for DMS is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.63% over a period of 2013-2018, and verticals across businesses are likely to adopt this solution. Some of the key verticals that are driving the DMS market include – BFSI, telecom, retail, manufacturing, FMCG, healthcare, life sciences and utilities.
Markets are always driven by the need of the businesses to become efficient and more productive. DMS helps employees to go through various documents using a single software solution. It brings an organisation closer to a paperless environment and enables a company to take a large step towards improving employee efficiency and reducing environmental impact.
Newgen estimates that the market growth will be around 10% CAGR and expects the trend to continue for the next few years. “The digital transformation wave is fast catching up with global enterprises, as they strive to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Initially, driven by compliance requirements, digitisation and process automation, DMS has now become essential for productivity and efficiency. The nexus of forces – SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) is further fuelling this global phenomenon where almost all paper based information is getting converted into digital,” says Virender Jeet, Sr. VP Technology – Newgen Software.
Yet this technology is often neglected in many organisations. It is neglected despite the crucial role it plays in enabling operations and improving productivity and efficiency. “The reasons are evident – the ownership is split across functions, costs are not visible and impact on organisational efficiency and productivity are not measurable,” explains Vishal Awal, Executive Director, Services, Xerox South Asia .
“In order to ensure that the entire lifecycle of the documents is managed well, we advice organisations to take control of the end-to-end processes for each document, apply Six Sigma methodologies as well as processes and use only market-leading solutions in adherence to appropriate standards,” adds Awal.
Most enterprises do not realise that the cost of keeping a fragmented, decentralised document strategy are just too much. A business that is using obsolete technology may loose its competitive edge.
Driving the momentum
According to Gartner, 15% of all ECM (Enterprise Content Management) being undertaken is Document Management, with BFSI, IT/ITeS, retail and healthcare being the greatest adopters. The research and consultancy firm further adds that in future, the industry will witness more and more enterprises outsourcing their document management needs to leading global players like Microsoft, Canon, Xerox etc., for whom it is a core business.
Therefore, the major growth driver for the printing and document industry is the increasing need for effective document management and outsourcing services that will manage end-to-end document workflows in an organisation. “Many enterprises are moving well beyond the basic uses of DMS (such as secure file storage in organised libraries) to tackle deeper business requirements that need strong process efficiency as well. This has led organisations to regard DMS as an environment for solutions that fit their business needs,” says Awal of Xerox.
A key factor that is driving the adoption of DMS is that it is easy to use and supports effortless information sharing and retrieval. Going paperless has now become imperative for today’s organisations as they look to create leaner and more efficient operations as well as cross functional resource optimisation. In light of this emerging trend the future augurs well for the DMS market.
“The demand for reliable and cost-effective DMS platforms, which can provide organisations with stable growth capabilities will be on the rise in the coming years. Advanced document management systems with built-in social collaboration capabilities that allow businesses to manage and leverage critical information arising out of social space will be highly successful,” explains Fahmida Ozair, CEO, SoftAge.
Capturing the information context and leveraging it to make informed business decisions will be another critical feature of successful document management systems. While there is a lot of momentum in the market for DMS solutions, there are also challenges in the growth of the same. We can majorly base these challenges on pure apprehensions of CIOs to move to a digital way of storing their documents. “Some organisations still have apprehensions in discontinuing their traditional ways of work as they look at technology with an alien eye. Change management is a big issue in such organisations,” says Jeet.
Alok Lall, Director, Microsoft – Office Division, says, “There is a need to educate the market on DMS solutions. Many in-market solutions provide limited amount of coverage for content, something potential buyers may not be fully aware of.”
Another hurdle for DMS solution is the ‘legacy systems’ that have been deployed in organisations for decades. End users of these legacy systems are highly skeptical about advanced DMS platforms as they are not willing to change their age-old style of working.
When it comes to catering to user demands, most of them centre around solutions that can help organisations manage the lifecycle of their information, end to end. Further, in the mobile-first, cloud first world, businesses must not only manage their information arsenal, they must also make it available for users on the go. Remote workers must be able to access files from anywhere, anytime. “Along with being mobile-friendly, businesses want DMSs that do not add to their capital expense while integrating easily with incumbent systems and solutions. They should also help improve internal collaboration, must be easy to use, and be more mobile friendly,” notes Lall of Microsoft.
Besides these, some of the key deciding factors in regard to document management solutions are integration and interoperability, innovation in the solution, credibility of the vendor and the solution thus provided, affordability, etc.
“Integration and the ability to interoperate with existing IT infrastructures has emerged as a big deciding factor for most IT procurements. Enterprises, as they scale up, need myriad applications to balance and run their business. Therefore, enterprise leaders and IT procurement decision makers are always keen on technology that has proven integration and interoperability capabilities,” explains Jeet of Newgen.
Organisations look for product companies that deliver innovative solutions to clients at a rapid pace. They prefer vendors that can upgrade faster to new technologies. The importance of synchronised processes and the impact they have on services delivered to end-customers cannot be overlooked. No matter what business or service an enterprise deals in, DMS platforms and solutions can create seamless processes and collaborative management of digital assets.
Most companies that offer DMS solution are focusing on tools that empower social productivity. Says Microsoft’s Lall, “We believe that there is a need to move from tools focused on our individual abilities to tools that empower social productivity. We will help our customers in this transformation by providing ubiquitous collaboration, which is ubiquitous in terms of device, the pervasive nature of the cloud, and enterprise social networking.”
Xerox on the other hand brings to the plate solutions that streamline the entire value chain. “As part of the business transformation Xerox underwent recently, the company’s business groups were aligned into Services and Technology & Channels group (T&C). Xerox does not concentrate on price, its focus is on value addition,” says Awal. Other organisations like Newgen are focusing on new markets like America. They are also expanding their partner ecosystem for moving into new markets across the globe.
Predictions for 2015
Given the fact that everything is going mobile these days, the world of DMS can’t stay unaffected. With mobile devices being used more for business communication, there has been a huge rush in the amount of documents stored, transferred and even edited through them. It is expected that this year some of the applications will move to the mobile.
The pervasiveness of social media has made it an indispensable component of business strategy. Smart IT frameworks will facilitate collaborative work environment by leveraging social media platform to engage with the customers and other external stakeholders.
Analytics is another area expected to become part of the DMS offering soon. Expanding the scope of process analytics to encompass predictive analytics tools along with real-time Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) within the IT framework is resulting in enhanced operational intelligence, improved visibility and business responsiveness and this is expected to pick up soon in the DMS space.
Like it is the case in all other sectors, cloud has forced enterprises to rethink the way they work. Data is now overflowing out of the enterprises through emailed copies of files, copies of files saved to the cloud and so on. The companies are pushed to focus on data security and how best to save, share and collaborate on enterprise content. Hence we will see the trend of “outsourcing”, and it is here that cloud is expected to play an increasingly important role.
Managed Print Service
With changing times, the managed print service (MPS) market too continues to evolve. MPS is no longer restricted to device consolidation, it now facilitates efficiency in business and paper-dependent processes. While many organisations are still in the early stages of implementing MPS, according to some market reports about 20% of the organisations are planning to use MPS within the next year, reflecting the growing maturity of the market.
Further, as more and more businesses enter the second and third phases of their MPS engagements, expanded services and solutions that support broader process automation initiatives are proving to be key differentiators amongst the leading MPS providers.
According to a study by Infotrends, the market size for managed print services in India will exceed $275 million by 2014. Ricoh on the other hand projects a growth rate of 30% of the overall MPS market in India, making it one of the fastest growing MPS markets globally.
“In comparison to other developed markets, Asia-Pacific region’s MPS market is growing at 17-20% and the global average growth rate is 10-12%,” says Manoj Kumar, Executive Vice President & CEO, Ricoh India.
The MPS segment has gained momentum in the last few years as enterprises have started transitioning from CapEx to OpEx business mode of printing. BFSI and telecom, being early adopters, are expected to continue to be the dominant spenders.
Drivers of market
Both MPS and DMS are being adopted by government, education sector and healthcare, industries, as all of them require a smart office. They understand the need of reducing costs and optimising resources so that they can build higher competitiveness for the organisation.
“With an increasing demand for faster decision making, organisations are aiming for cost reduction, improved turnaround time and serviceability. They are looking for value driven solutions for continuous business process improvements within corporate and government and hence, there is a high demand for managed integration of office functions. Bridging this gap, is where office automation acts as an integral part to Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry and is playing a vital role in the government and corporate sector today,” says Bhaskar Joshi, Senior Marketing Manager- Office Imaging Solutions Division, Canon.
The acceptance of the cloud-based MPS model is increasing at a tremendous pace. There appears to be a decent market for managed cloud services for printing in SMEs in the near future and this is contributing in the growth of this market enormously.
According to Kumar of Ricoh, the key future strategies will revolve around development of solutions that help customers to have a uniform and secure print environment. It will enrich user experience while being easy to use and enabling mobile printing. Customers today are looking at one vendor who can manage their complete print infrastructure.
Joshi of Canon believes that vendors need to aggressively look at educating their customers and reach out to CIOs to spread awareness about the benefits of MPS. “We at Canon believe that CIOs today have larger role and need to be sensitised about the issues and the need to have effective MPS. Canon works towards building awareness amongst CIOs on the importance of adequately managed print fleet. Lack of the right printing facilities affects the company’s ability to adopt to change in addition to constant management and maintenance,” he adds.
Integrating DMS and MPS
Many enterprises today prefer to have a partner who will provide both MPS and DMS services, although in today’s scenario these services are provided by different vendors. According to Gartner, organisations spend approximately 1-3% of their annual revenue on print activities and the document output costs are rising at around 30% per annum. Companies have started realising that printing is one of the few remaining areas of IT spending where substantial savings can be realised with little risk. Printing cannot be neglected as the printed information adds values to the business by supporting the brand and helping to create sales opportunities. Though print management is ‘the last grey area of uncontrolled costs’, if handled efficiently and strategically by companies there are huge opportunities wherein they can save up to 30% of these costs with effectively managed document services.
Companies are realising the need of domain experts for managing processes and activities more effectively and that is why outsourcing has gained importance in document management and other spaces. “Enterprises are looking at saving costs by shifting from capex to opex models and bringing in operational excellence and we feel one of the major areas where this can be implemented is print infrastructure,” says Joshi.
Joshi asserts that today the first thing on a CIO’s mind is paper management for going green. “CIOs are focussed on having paperless office and streamlining of workflow. They want optimisation of storage, readiness and accuracy of data and security. Digital colour printing is also on their radar,” he adds.
According to E&Y, MPS is being looked at as a means of cutting print cost and keeping the content secure. A report from Ernst & Young puts it quite well – “For this, the workflows will need to be automated, and we will see document management solutions being integrated with MPS.”
The linkages of documents and work-flows, coupled with print suppression measures via increased digitisation, and advanced analytics, mobile and cloud printing, help the enterprises unleash an extra layer of productivity. Advanced MIS capabilities provide insights that help the clients gain visibility and control over their print infrastructure, thereby effectively managing the most vital asset for the enterprises – information.
In times to come, we are going to see continued movement towards more integrated work flow solutions that will blur the lines between MPS and basic business process outsourcing.
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