Office automation as a service
Reading a recent article on XaaS (Everything as a Service), I was surprised to see that the traditional mindset around “services” is shifting away from Cloud Based solutions (SaaS) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) toward XaaS (Everything as a Service).
Even the way we travel has now become a service, think of Uber and Taxify; where we stay has become a service, think Airbnb; and where we work has become a service, think Regus.
Cars can now be used as a service, with GM testing the market with Book by Cadillac and the reasons could be that many people between the ages of 18-44, have no real desire to own vehicles, or finance these over the long term.
This got me thinking about office automation, where the traditional model has been for companies to buy or lease equipment and software, in order to carry out functions such as printing, faxing, scanning and copying. The lease would ordinarily run for a period of 3-5 years, during which time your business requirements could change.
There could well be a model for office automation to be supplied on a monthly subscription basis, with the usage (pages printed/ scans made), paid for in advance. In other words you would pre-pay for pages you believe you would consume and subscribe on a monthly basis for the use of the equipment, for as long as you have use of the equipment.
For the office automation industry, devices could be pooled, and moved between customers as and when customers requirements change, thus ensuring better customer retention without having to go through the lengthy finance process or the holding of stock.
For end user customers, it would mitigate the risk of having to commit and finance equipment and the customer only pays for the pages they require on a pre-paid basis, making it easier to budget and manage printing costs.
Developments are taking place and with the improvement of the internet this service could be nearer than we think.