PaperCut Embraces Cloud with New Subscription Model and Partner Benefits

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PaperCut Embraces Cloud with New Subscription Model and Partner Benefits

PaperCut held its virtual 2024 Partner Summit recently, where the company unveiled its new subscription licencing model and other options designed to bring benefits to customers, as well as reflecting the positivity in the sector currently.

PaperCut’s annual Partner Summit is a highlight in the calendar for the company and its partners alike, and the 2024 edition was no exception. 

One of the main headlines of the 2024 Partner Summit, hosted virtually on 4 June, was the introduction of PaperCut’s new subscription licencing model. This will be offered alongside its existing perpetual licensing options for PaperCut MF, its powerful, all-in-one print management solution for printers and multifunction devices. 

The introduction of the subscription pricing model unifies subscription pricing with PaperCut Hive and enables PaperCut’s channel partners to offer customers more choice with respect to the pricing model best suited to their current and future print needs.

Event highlights 

PaperCut’s new subscription model aims to bring multiple benefits to customers, according to Stuart Brookes, PaperCut’s EMEA head of sales and channel. “IT is in a constant state of evolution, that’s what makes this industry so exciting,” he says. “Most recently, digital transformation has, among other things, driven significant changes in how and where we house compute, server and storage resources. This has fundamentally changed the way organisations manage their IT infrastructure, and cloud-hosted Software as a Service applications are now commonplace; and they need to be, given the rise in hybrid working and the requirement for business to be more agile and resilientt in the face of market challenges. 

“It was inevitable that print would follow suit; but migrating print to the cloud means that ISVs need to re-think established pricing models, because customers now expect to pay for print in the same way they pay for other cloud-based services, hence PaperCut introducing a subscription pricing model.”

Stuart adds that the Partner Summit enabled PaperCut to outline how the expansion of its licencing model offerings will benefit partners by helping them to build even better long-term, value-add, relationships with their customers, while also boosting the margin they make on PaperCut solutions. It was also an opportunity to reassure them that, while the SaaS norm is to move to a subscription model, PaperCut believes that customers’ needs’ and flexibility should be at the heart of the licencing agreement; they should have the option to choose the pricing model that’s best for them,” he adds. 

“Nor do we think that customers should be penalised for their preferred licence choice, which is why PaperCut customers will pay the same subscription fee regardless of choice between self-hosted, private cloud or public cloud hosted. 

“In the meantime, customers with a preference for perpetual and maintenance still have that choice. That option enables our channel partners to offer their customers more choice with respect to the pricing model best suited to their current and future print needs. And, judging by the feedback we had during the Partner Summit, our channel partners agree.”

The subscription model also ties in with PaperCut Hive. “PaperCut Hive is popular with end users because it brings the power, control, security and savings of print management traditionally enjoyed by large businesses to organisations of any size, even the smallest around the world, while still helping IT infrastructure consolidation and removal,” says Stuart. 

“Our subscription option adds to its appeal by simplifying mid-term migrations to Hive. If customers choose to switch from a perpetual to subscription model, they no longer must place an order, redo finance agreements or request refunds on pre-paid maintenance and so on. We will enable customers to port their ‘existing’ subscriptions from either on-prem or private cloud to public cloud – it allows us to provide a solutions platform regardless of the customer’s stage in their journey to cloud.”

Stuart adds there were also several surprise announcements at the Partner Summit. “While the major announcement centred on the subscription pricing, we also shared updates with them on our PaperCut MF and PaperCut Hive roadmap,” he says. 

“For MF, this will include Modern Authentication & Identity, Print Platform & Print Stack and Capture & Document Processing among other improvements. For Hive, we outlined new admin controls for print paths, SSO and MFA to improve onboarding and the user experience, as well as quotas and balance functionality.” 

Annual highlight

The above is just some of what was included in the Partner Summit, and it is something the company places great significance on. “We invest a lot of resources into ensuring it really packs a punch for our partners,” says Stuart. “Not only do they get a chance to hear about our latest print solutions and how we simplify the move to cloud-based print, it’s also a great platform for them to ask our team questions in real-time. 

“Additionally, the Partner Summit is a showcase for recent PaperCut customer success stories that illustrate the benefits our solutions deliver to end users. This year’s event was well attended, and we received a lot of positive feedback. Our challenge now is how to make Partner Summit 2025 even better!”

Online benefits

While many events have gone back to being in-person events after the COVID years, PaperCut has chosen to keep its Partner Summit an online event. But, as Stuart explains, there is sound rationale behind the decision.

“Given the 24/7 pace at which the global digital economy operates, everyone is pushed for time today, especially our reseller partners,” he says. “Therefore, if we’re to secure their time, we need to make it as efficient as possible for them to engage with us. A virtual event meets that requirement, with none of the downsides of them taking half a day out of the office and incurring the time and cost of travel to get to a physical venue.  

“A further benefit of hosting a virtual event is that it enables us to reach partners across multiple time zones and, thanks to the translated closed captions, we can also engage effectively with partners whose first language isn’t English. 

“Either side of the Partner Summit, we also spend a lot of time meeting with our partners – physically and virtually – to maintain those relationships and ensure that we have our ear to the ground when it comes to understanding their business challenges and goals, as well as their customers’ print needs.”   

Range of options

The Partner Summit also showed the range of flexible options that PaperCut has, something that the pandemic showed the importance of.

“The pandemic was a stark reminder that things that can’t bend, break,” says Stuart. “We all saw how quickly formerly rigid ‘structures’ cracked, from supply chains to travel as well as how and where we work; all were thrown into chaos because we had become so reliant on Plan A, we never thought we’d need a Plan B. 

“What businesses took from that experience is that they must now have the flexibility offered by the cloud to respond swiftly to any crisis to ensure business resilience; and the crisis we’re facing today is rooted in global economic uncertainty. It is impacting forecasting and projections and has a drip down effect on budgets and how they’re spent. As such, there’s far greater financial scrutiny across all businesses, so we have to offer transparent licensing options that better meet end users’ needs in the face of sudden and unexpected change.  

“In addition to softening the impact of external challenges and making them easier to navigate, the subscription model option enables our channel partners to better meet the needs of customers wherever they are on their cloud migration journey. It provides new and existing end users with a flexible, easy upgrade path, while protecting users who favour a perpetual licencing model.”

Optimistic outlook

The Partner Summit showed that PaperCut is innovating and in good shape for the rest of the year and on into 2025, which is indicative of the quiet optimism in the wider channel currently.

“Even though trading conditions have been tough, one of the great things about the tech and print industry is – as we have seen – its ability to adapt just as well to market challenges as it does to market opportunities,” says Stuart. 

“PaperCut is more agile than ever and in good shape to respond effectively to the rapidly-changing global market landscape. We know that many of our end users face the same challenges, and we’re excited about working with them and our channel partners to help them drive even more value from their investment in print now and in the future, to make it easier, more secure, more accountable and more sustainable.”

Trends

PaperCut is also well across the current and emerging trends in the channel, Stuart adds. “The move to cloud-based print is gathering pace, as organisations of all sizes work to simplify their internal IT, services and applications,” he says. “This is positive news for ISVs offering cloud-based print solutions and services – like PaperCut – and their channel partners. 

“Closer to home, now the chip crisis is over, the production of printers and MFPs is starting to meet market demand. That’s great news, as some fleets are long overdue for a refresh. That, in turn, is driving demand for print solutions, so we’re seeing this uptick in the market. Security is now more sharply focused on the hybrid work model, as it requires robust security solutions, products and policies to mitigate risk as much as possible. Hence why we’re spending a lot of time talking to our partners to ensure their customers have up to date security protection on their devices.”

Print management solutions are also part of the conversation, although as Stuart admits, many organisations are at different stages of their print journey. “Some recognise that unmanaged print is costly, wasteful, inefficient, complex and potentially a security risk and have taken proactive measures to make print more accountable,” he says. “Others, however, are at the start of that journey and while it’s true that print volumes are falling, we’ll always need print. As the market leader in print, our job is to continue to make it easy, secure, sustainable and convenient for all users, wherever they are no matter how much they print.”

Reasons to be cheerful

As reflected at the Partner Summit, there is plenty to be positive about right now in the print channel. “The industry is being driven forward by customers’ goals and ambitions, by demand for cloud, and demand for differing commercial models and not just ‘put it all on a lease’,” says Stuart.  

“This presents the channel with great opportunities, giving it space and time to be creative whether that’s with ‘as a service’ offerings, or through disruptive commercial models. It also opens other opportunities to engage with customers with different messaging around cloud technology and how best to implement it in a way that best aligns with customers’ IT journeys.

“In the meantime, print is still here. While print continues to evolve, it can still be a challenge for some organisations, be it with the enablement of print or the management of it. As long as that remains, there are opportunities for PaperCut and the channel more broadly to play a value-add role in simplifying print.”