“It’s my intention to sell cloud computing through the reprographics industry,” he added. “The industry needs a new digital business model. Cloud computing is a way to make scanning the beginning of a revenue stream, not the end. The provider can plug his customer into cloud computing services offered by Ideal, and we provide a solution for document management and workflow.”
The excitement of cloud computing is its pricing model, Magenheim added. Cloud computing commoditizes IT infrastructure, in a sense putting very small construction companies on an equal footing with larger players. They don’t have to invest in software, hardware, servers, and IT people, because everything is done over the cloud. That means they can act as larger companies, and can expand and contract as the pace of their business dictates, he explained.
Reprographers' Role Evolves
Like Reddy and Marshall, Magenheim sees print service providers’ role changing. They can now act as middlemen to get their clients on to the cloud.
With cloud, as with a public utility, payment is based only on what is used. Cost is determined by the number of user seats sought, Magenheim said.
Instead of simply being able to charge for scanning their customers’ information, print service providers “can charge for each user seat,” he added. “They can charge an entry-level or viewing seat, or [a more costly] executive-level seat that allows the customer to look at everything...They can start with scanning, then move to HR, and move to more and more departments.”
Ideal assists its PSP clients in having their own clients complete questionnaires featuring a half dozen questions, then use the clients’ responses to produce a demo for each client, he said. “If he likes what he sees, we start a program that begins small in scale. It starts in one department and moves to others. We’re looking for reprographers to be our selling agents. If reprographers are interested in other digital models, we think they will be interested in this. The beauty is they’ll make residual revenue off this.”