Print.IT Reseller - issue 88

VOX POP customers, the ideas of, first, being able to purchase products on a subscription basis, and secondly, being sure they will be re-used or disposed of responsibly at the end of their lifecycle, sit very well together.” Andy Ratcliffe: “Traditionally, most print and IT businesses would provide their services according to SLAs. However, we have been able to incorporate the SaaS and HaaS models into our business to suit the changing needs of our customers. “Our services are adapted to dynamic companies, fast-growing organisations and those with ever- changing working locations to provide them with greater flexibility. “What this means is that customers have less initial capital outlay compared to buying outright, which allows for easier budgeting while freeing up capital expenses and making them more operational. “Where the industry is seeing an ever- increasing shift towards HaaS is with servers and networks, with customers favouring cloud hosting services as opposed to onsite server hardware. This is more effective in disaster recovery cases, distributed workforces and, again, means less capital outlay. “As hardware becomes more intelligent, the more it becomes crucial to processes and business operations. The XaaS model is what will become more mainstream as different businesses require more bespoke setups between hardware, software and infrastructure, maximising their usage and productivity.” David Warrington: “In a few organisations, my own included, this offering has been available just under different names. We realised the need for more rental-style hardware procurement and this has been further reinforced by COVID. Many organisations require a more flexible approach to hardware as the new normal is still being trialled and strategies are in their infancy in this unchartered time. In this period our clients have absolutely expressed the need for a service that allows a more dynamic approach to hardware supply as their business plans become more certain.” Julian Broster: “Many industries already operate with a HaaS model, from mobile phones to car ownership and manufacturing, but each sector is dependent on the client demand and reason for the change. “The benefits of SaaS have been clear. The model allow companies to scale rapidly without significant upfront expenditure in equipment or overheads. It also helps businesses fill in knowledge gaps, allowing them to focus on their core offering. For example, a law firm has no reason to be experts in servicing their print equipment. “We will be ready to embrace XaaS business models when the time is right, knowing that our customers will only reap the benefits.” Martin Roberts: “Yes! Because it comes back to those lower entry barriers. In theory, part of the HaaS model, as it is with software, continuity and security, you are buying processing power you need. When you buy hardware yourself, you could be buying more processing power which you don’t need access to. “The downside to it is, you are getting into the situation where the decision process regarding what you do in a price increase is lost. In the old world, you went out, bought a server and package to do the process for you. You might then hold onto that hardware and software for longer than necessary and not get involved in the upgrade process. “In a subscription-based world, your choice is gone. You find that out very soon when a large software vendor puts up their pricing substantially. You are more tied into simply accepting, as you are a subscriber to the service. Cancelling and starting from scratch can prove to be more costly. It’s really worth taking these factors into account, before committing to a subscription-based model.” Mark Bailey: “At EBM, we often find that potential customers simply want devices that work. Whilst some are wedded to particular brands, the real Mike Barron: “It’s interesting that Deloitte’s figures said 80 per cent of firms offering subscription services are ‘either maintaining OR growing their subscriber base’. It would be interesting to see how many are just standing still and how many are actually growing, and at what rate overall. I suspect that, rather than being uniformly accelerated by the pandemic, growth has been variable due to businesses re-allocating their IT spending and re-thinking their approach. As they start executing on those revised plans, I’d expect to see a further acceleration to as-a-service business and more hardware being purchased through HaaS options. But, as with the shift to print-as-a-service and managed print, I’d expect it to be faster and more pronounced in larger organisations and more gradual in the SMB market.” Chris Bates: “Attitudes are undoubtedly changing – that’s evidenced in the huge year-on-year growth we have seen with tech-as-a-service. I doubt we will ever see the day where no hardware is purchased outright, but acquiring and consuming print as a service is definitely becoming more popular. “Sustainability is an important and related trend here. Print manufacturers are now doing much more to improve the carbon footprint of their devices and though our TD Renew service, Tech Data is already offering verifiable recycling or refurbishment of old equipment when it is traded-in for new hardware. For many PRINTITRESELLER.UK 45 In a subscription- based world, your choice is gone. You find that out very soon when a large software vendor puts up their pricing substantially continued... PrintIT Reseller: Consuming software-as-a-service has without doubt become the norm, but do you believe that the hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model, will become as mainstream as its software equivalent? James Broster Martin Roberts