Part 2: What the Internet of Things Can Learn from MPS

Last week’s blog set the stage for the parallels between the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) and the established practice of MPS. Because MPS is also about driving more value from connected intelligent devices, there may be some lessons for the IoT industry.

Lesson 1: Use Assessments To Benchmark Your Connected Environment
As James Duckenfield, Managing Director of NewField IT, points out, “Without clean data at the first step of consultancy, Discovery, the successive steps, Analysis, Strategy, Development and Design will be quantifiably meaningless, and subsequent decisions will be exponentially inefficient and potentially wrong.” MPS assessments determine where you are and provide guidance for where you can go, the approach also needed for leveraging the IoT.

Lesson 2: Transform Data Into Guidance Through Dashboards And Visualization Tools
The mass of data gathered from an IoT doesn’t do much good if users can’t organize it or see it context. This is not at all practical to do manually, and MPS experts have automated data gathering and organization. MPS providers can be measured by the quality of their dashboards and other visualization tools. Not only do they help users understand data, visual tools let us absorb faster and be more agile in acting on the information from a connected environment. IoT suppliers must provide interfaces so humans can understand and manage data.

Lesson 3: Focus Measurement On Key Variables
IoT makes big data even bigger. Everything connected has something to tell you. The question is, is it something you really need to know? How does it relate to other data? Can you act on it? Is it accurate? Here’s another IoT lesson courtesy of MPS: focus on the variables that matter to the end goal. The volume of data that can be captured in MPS environments has grown significantly in the dozen or so years since MPS was introduced. MPS providers today base assessments on data, but not all the data. Focus on information that shows trends and bottlenecks. Target data points that measure improvement.

Lesson 4: Use Data To Guide Constant, Incremental Improvements
Now MPS improvements can be driven not only by device data, but also information about document workflow, user behavior and information risk. Using data to improve a little here and a little there leads to an unstoppable flow of continuous improvement. As MPS impact ripples out across enterprise document workflow, data collection remains a constant and reveals ongoing opportunities to do things better. At the first stage of MPS, data helps assess and optimize print devices. Then as enterprises move into second and third MPS stages, data is used to secure and integrate devices and document processes, then to automate and simplify workflow. Start with basic IoT data and build out value into more areas of the organization.

Lesson 5: Work With An Experienced Partner
Don’t even try to do all this yourself, whether it’s the IoT or MPS. Here’s one more important lesson: When it comes to the flood of data available from connected output devices, let your MPS partner carry the load. That ensures the right data gets captured, measured, monitored and reported. MPS experts have developed sophisticated automation to capture data from connected environments about users, documents, workflows, security, volumes, inefficiencies and much more. It makes no sense for an enterprise to duplicate these tools in-house. Then there are the matters of configuration, integration, support, security and back up. It does make sense to ask your MPS provider to help. And when the Internet of Things takes over your life, you’ll have already figured out a few things about dealing with a diverse network of intelligent connected devices.

Need more data on data? Read this article to learn more about connecting the right metrics to your business goals.

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  1. Tom Bielecki February 10, 2015 -

    Great ideas here Carro! Our company PrintToPeer has been applying these concepts to bring 3D printing to the Internet of things. We are the first in the market to provide an “MPS” for 3D. It’s great to take the learnings from this industry and apply them for new ventures

  2. Kelby February 18, 2015 -

    Great content. For those interested in this subject, I encourage you to check out a similar post providing similar insights, “5 lessons for the Internet of Things from Managed Print Services” found here:

    • Carro Ford February 18, 2015 -

      Nice companion piece. Thanks for sharing.

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