Dell to launch managed print services unit

Dell could start offering managed print services later this year as it tries to extend its reach in the printing and imaging market, a company executive said.

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Dell could start offering managed print services later this year as it tries to extend its reach in the printing and imaging market, a company executive said.

The company is laying down the framework to enter the market by releasing enterprise printer hardware around which it could provide services, said Donald Heath, senior product manager in Dell's printing and imaging division. The company's next step would be to unify printing hardware and provide managed services to reduce the cost per page printed, Heath said.

"We're already doing a lot of managed seats, and offering [managed print services] would be a natural evolution," Heath said. Dell has made a recent push into managed services offerings for large enterprises, acquiring services company Perot Systems for around $3.9 billion in cash. Dell in December integrated Perot Systems' operations into a new unit called Dell Services.

Dell's current offerings are mostly geared toward hardware and supplies, but an increased focus is being placed on controlling the document flow in organisations, Heath said. The company is providing hardware and software improvements that could ease the management of printers and digitisation, and the printing of documents, Heath said. Dell is also evaluating services offerings from Perot.

Dell in the coming months will release a software package to unify printer infrastructures in enterprises and will also incorporate OpenManage Printer Manager software into the Dell Management Console, which brings device and task management in server environments under a single application. Dell is also embedding Java capabilities in printers, which will provide the capability to install custom software on printers depending on specific needs. The company earlier this week also released new enterprise printers focused on cost and print speed, including the 5535dn laser printer, which can print 55 pages per minute.

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