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Opportunity for All Commonwealth Buyers to Streamline Print Operations

Print capability – It’s hard to imagine any office operating without it. Though the digital age offers many paperless alternatives worthy of consideration, printers and copiers remain a regular and necessary part of doing business. For something so ever-present in our daily routine, it’s only prudent to make certain that state government is well positioned for efficiency in its print operations.

Stepping back a few months, this was a topic of discussion during a meeting of Governor Charlie Baker’s Cabinet, subsequently leading to the formation of the Cross Secretariat Operations Council (XOC), a team with representation from the Executive Offices for Administration and Finance, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, and Labor and Workforce Development. The XOC is tasked with rolling out policy and tools to guide agencies as they implement cost-effective print strategies through Managed Print Services (MPS). Groundwork for this change was detailed in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance’s July 24 policy announcement that put a moratorium on the acquisition of desktop printers, scanners, and fax machines and the lease or purchase of multi-functional devices (MFD) by Executive Departments.

What is MPS and how will the Commonwealth benefit?
MPS is a holistic approach to handling an organization’s print output that has the potential to reduce costs, garner efficiencies, and lessen the Commonwealth’s environmental footprint. MPS considers such variables as physical layout, number of employees, utilization, and the need for secure printing to adopt a program that optimizes efficiency while minimizing cost. The sophistication of the MPS model can, among other things, route requests to the most economical printer, automate equipment maintenance, and authenticate users (secure printing) at the copier. In terms of sustainability, MPS has the potential to reduce energy and paper consumption – people often send documents to the printer and never retrieve them – and provides the added benefit of fewer toner and ink cartridges entering the waste stream. The approach will significantly lessen, if not eliminate, the number of desktop printers not connected to an organization’s centralized network, thus reducing the high cost associated with their use, in favor of networked MFDs.

Reporting in to Kristen Lepore, the Governor’s Office Chief of Staff, the XOC is co-chaired by Gary Lambert, Assistant Secretary for Operational Services, and Faye Boardman, Chief Operating Officer from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. In addition to driving analytics activities and developing policy to support implementation, the council has moved forward to add MPS to the suite of print-related services available on Statewide Contract. Currently open for bid, new Statewide Contract ITS69 will offer categories of services that will enable purchasers to comply with the new MPS policy. While this policy applies only to Executive Agencies, all eligible entities will be able to purchase goods and services from ITS69, thus reaping the benefits of the new policy.

Several agencies already have started migrating toward more efficient print operations, taking such actions as eliminating standalone printers as they fall into disrepair and deploying authentication services for secure printing. In the very near term, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue will be engaging MPS to comply with Federal secure printing requirements, but also expects to realize a slew of efficiencies with implementation, including significant savings on toner cartridges, asset maintenance, and paper.

New MPS Policy for Executive Departments Forthcoming
Boardman, working with senior level, cross-secretariat staff, is leading the charge to develop policy that will help Executive Departments navigate what for many is new territory and make the evolutionary shift to an enterprise printing asset management model. Over the next year, Executive Department CIOs and CFOs will be asked to inventory their current print assets and begin developing a plan in line with the new policy. The newly established Executive Office of Technology Services & Security will review Executive Departments’ annual progress report submissions to assess the Commonwealth’s advancement toward more efficient print operations. Executive Departments can expect to hear more about the new policy and implementation timeframes in the near term.

“We realize the program’s implementation is going to be a huge shift and something that will take time to fully realize its potential,” remarks Lambert. “Strategically, this is the right choice for the Commonwealth.”

Related Q & A

Q. I have a need for a new printer/copier/scanner/fax machine. In light of the recent ANF directive for Executive Departments, what should I do?
A. If redirecting the workflow to other machines is not an option, you should explore a short-term rental of six (6) months or less of the existing machine or a replacement machine. Short-term rentals are available from the equipment vendors on the Statewide Contract for Copiers, Printers, Scanners and Related Devices (ITC66).

Q. We already are in discussions with vendors for new IT asset purchases/leases. Do we need to tell these vendors we no longer may buy from them, or is some sort of grace period allowed?
A. Pending Executive Department purchases or procurements of these items must be cancelled; Statewide Contract vendors no longer may accept these POs from the Executive Branch.

Q. Are there any exclusions to the print equipment moratorium?
A. Yes, large format plotters offered from ITC66 contractors and rugged devices that will be installed in vehicles from ITC47 vendors are excluded, for example. If you have questions about a particular item, contact the contract manager:

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