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PrintFleet, a global provider of managed print services software, and Brother International, a provider of printing and imaging solutions, have teamed up to provide channel partners with greater fleet management capabilities and sales enablement to help them demonstrate the value of managed print services (MPS) to their customers.

At the center of the partnership is the Brother Dashboard, a value-added reporting tool, which is integrated into the PrintFleet Optimizer platform that dealers use to manage their customers’ fleet of devices. Used as a sales enablement tool, the dashboard helps MPS providers and resellers expand their business in both existing and new accounts. Resellers can use the tool to help customers capture fleet performance metrics, establish total cost of ownership (TCO) benchmarks and ensure that devices are properly utilized.

“As manufacturers and distributors continue to encourage resellers to move up the value chain, from transactional relationships to value-added consultative managed ones, the Brother Dashboard can help advance this conversation,” said Dan Waldinger, director of solutions & services, at Brother International.

“It is a tool that gathers meaningful information and presents it in a simple-to-consume snapshot,” he added. “The dashboard can help make more informed decisions—based on actual performance data—during an assessment or ongoing engagement.”

The dashboard provides full visibility into the customer’s document imaging devices and workflow. The data is displayed in multiple widgets (currently 12) that report device and meter data, including problem devices, power usage, utilization, page coverage and toner levels.

“The Dashboard gives the reseller a real-time tool to help identify areas for improvement across the print environment of the customer,” Waldinger said. “The discussion between resellers and end users can be much more meaningful with these data sources in hand.”

With the dashboard, resellers can visually show users, particularly SMBs, how managed print can deliver benefits in the areas of efficiency, costs and device management. Data sources include a combination of automatic device data collected by PrintFleet’s Data Collection Agent (DCA) and custom TCO values entered by the reseller to provide users with insights for better management of their print environment, the company said.

Communicating the benefits of having one provider manage the majority of printing and document solutions to large enterprises has been successful, according to Waldinger. “However, when assessing opportunities within SMBs, we find a much different picture,” he added. “SMBs have not adopted MPS as quickly. Nevertheless, in both cases, communicating that there are significant benefits by adopting an MPS approach is the opportunity that resellers have in front of them.”

“Many organizations have not focused on this area for improvements and savings,” Waldinger pointed out. “Print volumes, utilization rates, technology performance and the workforce have all changed dramatically within the last five years. Making this data visible for the customer—and, more importantly, understandable and actionable—is made easier with the Brother Dashboard.”

It’s not enough to just collect the data, Waldinger said. Resellers and OEMs have to act on the data to help users optimize their fleet of devices, increase efficiency and manage print-related costs.